All good business owners know that there are many assets which are important to the company. Having a real focus on assets is always central to the overall health of a business. Generally, you have two main types of business asset: tangible and intangible. The former are things you can see and touch – buildings, furniture, cash. The latter are immaterial – intellectual property, software, credit. Knowing the difference is an important first step towards knowing how to look after your assets. And looking after your assets is vital if you want your business to grow healthily. Let’s have a look at some of the things you can do to look after your different assets.
There are many possible interpretations of what exactly employees are. Most business owners, however, would say that first and foremost, employees are an asset. Not only that; they are one of the most central and vital assets in the entire operation. It is clearly therefore critical to look after your people as well as you can. As it turns out, doing so is often surprisingly difficult. This is partly because they might sometimes go against their best interests while at work. But it can also be a matter of struggling to do absolutely everything which is necessary to keep them happy.
The workplace itself is a good place to start, as in the practices within it you can see any potential problems which might be affecting the employees. So what is it that employees need from a workplace to feel happy and thrive there? First of all, safety. You must ensure that you have a number of health and safety rules in place if your people are to feel as safe as possible. Secondly, comfort. If your employees are not comfortable, it can mean that there is a subtle underlying discord which worsens over time. Getting good A/C and heating is a good start. Similarly, make sure you treat your employees to decent office chairs, ergonomic equipment and comfortable furniture. Bring in some plants to improve the mood too – it all makes a difference.
As long as you look after your employees, they will take care of your business. For this reason, as for many others, they are your most vital asset of all and need a lot of care and attention.
Businesses of all sizes have some kind of premises, and it is likely that this constitutes a major asset in most cases. Owning property is a big deal, even if it is just your home, and you should make sure that you are taking proper care of it. Whether it’s a home office or a large city block, you need to ensure you are doing everything you can to keep it in good condition. It is surprising what a difference a routine cleaning regime can make. Hire decent cleaners and maintenance staff to make absolutely sure that every nook and cranny is being cared for. You’ll also want to look at your emergency protocols, as in an emergency the premises are the most likely victim along with your employees. Having a good fire process means that you are likely to save more of your premises than if you don’t, so it is hugely important to do so.
Without your premises, it is likely that your business’ capital would dramatically decrease. Caring for them is therefore hugely important, and not the kind of thing you should skip over. Do everything you can to keep it safe, secure and in the best condition possible.
Businesses are built on ideas, and as long as the ideas are in place, so are the businesses. If you think about it, your business began merely as a concept. It was this concept which led you to start up your business, and without it you would not be where you are today. It is clear that intellectual property plays a huge role in any business, and that it is always a major asset, no matter what kind of stage of development the company might be in. But how can you practically make certain that your intellectual property is taken care of? It might be easier than you think.
One of the unmissable steps here is to have all employees (especially temporary or partnered employees) sign a non-disclosure agreement. This is a contract which states that they may not disclose sensitive information about the business to those outside the business, in particular any rivals. This is important because it keeps you on a level footing in competitive terms. It also means that your intellectual property is less likely to be stolen – or, if it is, you have possible legal action you can take.
It also helps to secure all data within the business, no matter what form it might take. You should, at the very least, be encrypting files and using firewalls and antivirus software on all your systems. But you’ll also want to protect anyone getting access to your computers physically who shouldn’t be there. Office security comes up again here, and you can see why this might be quite so important.
One of the most important kinds of intellectual property a business has is its plans for the future. It doesn’t matter what you might have planned – whatever it is, you need to make sure that you are protecting it. Ideally, you should only allow a core few people to even have access to the information, until it becomes time to unroll it. The better you do this, the more effective any subsequent marketing strategies will be – and the stronger your business will be for it.
There are plenty of assets besides these, but they are three particularly important ones. Work hard to protect these as best as you can, and you will feel considerably safer and more secure within your business and for your business’ future. Care for your assets in the right way, and all should come together for your business in just the right way.