As the owner of a business, it’s vitally important to be aware of all of the assets your business already has and also how many other assets it may need to develop in order to help grow and scale the company effectively.
Below is a list of 25 assets that every entrepreneur and company owner should know about, or at the very least look to learn if any of the assets were not already in their cross hairs.
These can largely be defined as whether a business is in the position to be able to raise capital and/or borrow money on better terms than its competitors, and a number of factors will need to come into play for this to happen.
A business plan contains the goals of the business and is always presented in the form a formal written document. The plan will set out in clear language the methods on how the business seeks to attain those goals, and will give a time frame for them to be achieved. It’s worth pointing out that in order to obtain finance, for example by way of a bank loan, it is essential that a business has a practical and achievable business plan in place.
The valuation of a business is required by financial markets to determine a price to be paid should a company be sold at a future point. It will estimate the owner’s interest as part of the procedure to understand the economic value of the business.
A business structure will be determined at the outset when said business is created. It defines roles within the organisation, ensuring that responsibility for the various functions of a business are allocated correctly.
It should set out standard operating procedures and routines, and why these are important to ensuring that the aims of the business are met. These should be flexible where possible in order to keep the business as efficient as possible.
Business Risk Mitigation
In business, risks can come from multiple sources. For example, there may be a credit risk to the company, and market uncertainty will almost certainly be a risk for many businesses. Failures of a particular project, an accident or even an attack on the business by a competitor are other inherent risk factors.
Risk mitigation identifies, evaluates and then looks to prioritise those risks in order to minimise the disruption and ensure a low probability of them occurring again, by way of constant monitoring of the same.
Culture as an asset can best be described as the actions, behaviour and values that employees of a company will engage in on a daily basis. That is, actions, behaviour and values towards each other as well as to clients, stakeholders and vendors. When things aren’t going so well and the business is under stress – which therefore means the employees will be too – that is the best gauge of a company’s culture.
Management & Admin
A good manager will be one that defines clear roles and responsibilities and also ‘walks the walk,’ rather than just barking orders at staff and expecting to get a positive reaction. They should set and monitor goals for the company, tailor them to staff accordingly and help to be the change that the business requires.
Admins are generally those in the positions of CFO, Executive Assistant, Financial Controller and the like. They will ensure that the business runs smoothly thanks to their variable skill sets.
Marketing & Sales
Marketers will look to ‘sell’ the business to others, often known as prospecting. Their skill is winning new business, and ensuring that potential deals are moved through to eventual completion. Companies are often carried by the amount of new business that marketers and salespeople generate. Not everyone can be regarded as a great salesperson, therefore, it’s imperative companies do their homework before hiring.
Any business will have its reputation built on those people who can deliver value to clients, from a technical standpoint. A pre-requisite for technicians will be a body of work delivered to a high standard, as well as qualifications that are complementary to the business.
When we talk about systems as an asset to a business, we refer to a process or processes that will ensure that the company runs more efficiently. In an ideal world the processes will ensure similar or better quality than those of a competitor, but at a reduced cost.
Marketing & Sales
A business’ marketing strategy will denote the type of systems assets that are most valuable, and those which are redundant. Whether the processes or products are for use internally or externally, it’s vital that the marketing and sales departments are closely aligned, in order that these are robust enough to be challenged but emerge unscathed from a thorough grilling. To stay one step ahead, constant reassessment is necessary – even if everyone thinks the business has got it just right. Standing still only encourages competition.
Management & Admin
Logically, the management and senior administrators of a company (CFO, Executive Assistant, Financial Controller etc) will be the drivers here. Those at the top of any organisation should be the ones to pick apart the processes or products, rather than having an outsider do this for them. By then it’s too late. Management and senior administrators need to be rigorous in their efforts to ensure that the systems assets their company has are always fit for purpose.
A company’s operation could be determined by the amount of time saved during certain processes, for example a new piece of machinery may be beneficial for updating a previously agreed process, saving time and therefore cost. It will also generate more revenue because of the seamless, quicker and new way of working.