Add Essential Services to Your Small Business to Survive Covid-19

Are you a non-essential business?

I’m going to answer that question and provide a few tips to help you weather this coronavirus storm -right now!

Transcript below the video.

Are you a non-essential business? How can you thrive in these restrictive times?
I’m going to answer that question and provide a few tips to help you weather this coronavirus storm -right now!

Because of the Covid-19 virus, we’re on lock down and sheltering in place. 

Many of us have lost jobs, hours and reduced wages, and we feel confined to the safety level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 


Beyond job, food, and health, rumor has it that some states are going to restrict box stores like Costco/Target to reduce the shopping experience(1) to essentials only. This means non-essentials like books, clothing, or toys will be off-limits to purchase. 

Lingering longer in the store prevents other patrons from advancing in the waiting in line to take their shopping turn purchasing the groceries they need for their family.

This also informs me that these off-limit, non-essential items are converted into luxury items at this point. This makes it even more difficult for makers and manufacturers to justify producing product -because some of it may have a shelf life.

What exactly is an essential business?

According to the Federal Government, here are the following sectors:

  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Communications Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Dams Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Emergency Services Sector
  • Energy Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food and Agriculture Sector
  • Government Facilities Sector
  • Healthcare and Public Health Sector
  • Information Technology Sector
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
  • Transportation Systems Sector
  • Water and Wastewater Systems Sector

Does your business, product, or service fit into one of those sectors? Could you create a service to shoehorn into a sector?

Let’s talk about what is an essential business

  • Hospitals & Labs
  • Firefighters and Officers
  • Grocery Stores
  • Restaurant Take Out
  • Gas Stations
  • Shipping Companies
  • Public Transit

In the last video, I talked about how you could expand your product/service line that made sense in this era. For instance, adding a delivery service to your product line -let it be as a florist or cafe.

What about for service-based businesses?

A client of mine who’s in construction just dropped his sewer services because it required ridiculous insurance premiums and he wanted to focus on other services. Now that our cities are reduced to essential services only, his business has come to a standstill. Meaning the services he offers aren’t found on the essentials list.

But you know what is? Sewer services.

Sewer services allows him to work in partnership with the city and this week he told me that he’s reinstating his sewer services. This may save his business.

How about you? What areas of your business are at a standstill and what could you add as an essential service?

Non-Essential Business

Now, let’s review what are non-essental businesses

  • Tourist Attractions
  • Sports Venues
  • Movie Theaters
  • Dine-In Restaurants
  • Office Buildings
  • Some Big Box Stores

Tourist attractions like museums are offering virtual visitations!
Sports venues like Formula Racing are now creating online car racing featuring their drivers.


Let’s take another look at Maslow’s Pyramid

We’e confined to the bottom 2 rungs of the pyramid: physiological and safety. Within each area our most basic needs must be met to endure the stay-in-place mandate.

So if you think about it, those areas involve food, health, home, and money. We’re all feeling the need to feel safe and secure as well as make and save money. I know this comes from the scarcity mindset, but hang with me.



6 Degrees of Separation

Remember the Kevin Bacon game? 6 Degrees of Separation is the parlor game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept. It posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. We challenge each other to find the shortest path between us and the prolific actor Kevin Bacon.

What connections can you make to create a shorter path to your services?

Right now, the fastest-growing areas are finance & health.
People need to know if they’re going to have funds to pay their mortgage or rent and if we’re going to have any savings left over after this draws to a close.

We’re also concerned about the toll this virus is going to cost on our health long-term. Plus the cursory issues that surround it.

Now, if you’re not directly involved in finance or health, how can your business services/products link to one of these two categories?

In my BYO Money Message program, we talk about which industry and market your business is in. In addition to health & wellness, and business, career, & money, we’ve got the softer industries like

  • Love and Relationships,
  • Personal Development,
  • Hobbies, Interests, & Activities

that you’ll find higher in the pyramid within love, esteem, and self-actualization.

So, if you’re in the higher levels, how can you correlate your services to tie into Health and Finance?

If you are a home organizer, you could appeal to the health and wellness of your clients with your services. Here’s how:

  • Now would be a good time to talk about maintaining work/life boundaries for WFH employees and how to negotiate space between roommates, a couple, or within a family.
  • Perhaps as WFH employees set up shop on the kitchen table and restrict the times from 9-5. After 5, remove anything resembling office material to reclaim as a family eating space.
  • It establishes roommate expectations, mental health harmony for you, and provides equanimity among all the people who dwell within this space.

Or are you in a different industry -say personal development- what’s your ability to find the 6* of separating with limited space?

Again, have fun and get innovative with the restrictions. We creatives have learned to thrive when we deal with space, time, or material restrictions. You can too.

You’ve got this!


Thank you!

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Lisa Stewart

I help STEAM entrepreneurs build products that sell from their workbench. It’s my goal to transform them into confident makers and sell without monologuing like a supervillain. I do this using my ARC Effect via online courses, training, and private coaching.

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