In the last few months, we have learned new terminologies to add to our vocabulary. We’ve learned about Social Distancing, about Self Quarantine and about Essential businesses. It’s the “Essential Business” term I want to talk about today.

Business owners – are you an essential business? Now I know the states and federal government identify businesses as essential and non-essential, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I don’t mean, is your industry essential, but rather is YOUR business essential? Does your business provide a value service or product that is so vital to your customers/clients that they can’t do without you?

Let me give you an example. My business provides digital marketing for small businesses. If I were to work with clients at my office, I would be considered “non-essential”, since my service is not something that customers or clients can’t do without (although I can make a good argument that they need digital marketing now more than ever!)

But let’s venture into the realm of “what-if.” Once this pandemic is over and we return to business as usual, what if another event happens down the road that disrupts business again? Will your business be able to survive? Does your business provide such a value to your customers or clients that, if you went out of business, they would have a hard time replacing you? That’s what it means to be an essential business.

We need to be provide such a value that no other competitor can take business away from you. When times get tough, your customers/clients are still calling you. They still need you because no one else can do what you do. Being an essential business is more that a checkbox on a government form. It’s a mindset change, it’s a business change.

During this challenging time, owners have a unique opportunity to take a hard look at their business. Are you still doing business the same way today as you were a few months ago? What’s working now and what can work better? How can you modify your operation to be more efficient, to take advantage of technologies?

Look at the value you provide. Look at your customer service, your communication channels. Just because something worked in the past, doesn’t mean that’s the best solution today. During this pandemic, we were forced to make changes, to scramble to find ways to serve our clients/customers the best way possible. Now as we move out of this crisis time, it’s imperative that businesses create long term solutions and long term plans to adapt and improve. It’s a time to revamp and transform themselves into industry leaders.

Being an essential business should be the goal of every business. It’s easy for businesses to get engulfed in daily operations and become lax on customer engagements. That should no longer be acceptable. “Essential Businesses” will survive and thrive, while complacent businesses will fall by the way side. Which will you be?

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