Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
In my opinion, it would be your list of contacts (as a general rule).
Actually, I would further qualify that by saying that your relationship with your list of contacts is your most valuable asset.
If my entire office burned down, and I lost everything, insurance would cover most of the equipment and other capital assets.
However, the list of prospects, clients, partners, etc. would be irreplaceable; or would be ultra mega challenging to reconstruct.
If you're doing business using Facebook, it has a serious flaw. Fortunately, they've plugged the loophole recently. You can now backup your profile information, including your list of friends and contacts.
See video here on how to do it: http://bit.ly/av40ja
One of LinkedIn's biggest advantage is that you can download the email addresses of all your connections.
I keep multiple copies in multiple locations for all my backups.
So what about you? What's your most valuable asset, and how do you secure it?
One of the most valuable assets that small businesses forget about, is their intellectual property. Many have logos, slogans, etc. that they have used for many years as well as original documents and they fail to protect them. It happens fairly frequently that someone loses a logo or slogan because they failed to trademark it. Imagine the consequences of not having that were one to sell the business.
Interesting point Chuck, I didn't think of the legal side.
This reminds of an article that was published a few months ago:
Correction: 47,000 fans not 5000
Dennis - I agree with you! Relationships are key and my running list, active tracking and engagement with people and the market - that lives outside of the place that my desk lives are indeed key. Then I would say my reputation/credibility.
IP is so easily overlooked because those that have created it and are working with it are so focused on what they are doing with it that they forget to protect it.
While it is easy to steal or lift a 'concept' it can be difficlut to execute because they likely do not have what I call the 'secret sauce' - the one thing that the inventor knows that will ensure the idea works...
Good point about the 'secret sauce'.
I recently had a meeting with a group of inexperienced techno-type guys. They were proclaiming to be the next big business, simply by copying an ongoing business that is extremely successful.
It was unfortunate that their hearts were on themselves, instead of the target customers.
They didn't have the secret sauce.
My most valuable business asset is my relationship with my client base. A close second is my support staff. I consider them the oil of the engine, without them my business would run rough and possibly seize up at times. By taking care of my support staff, I am able to run at full speed and be more effective for my clients and I am able to cover more territory which attributes to more sales/clients.
How I secure business relationships is simple, become their very best friends. This is a win, win but you need to know the fine line between friendship and the business relationship. Great Sales people understand this on a mature level and can handle the balance.
How I secure my support staff is I make them the boss. I let them find the ownership in each client and project. My success is there success and vice versa. This team concept may sound cliché but I have seen other companies miss manage this department over and over again.
I guess that fine line of friendship can also be the secret sauce that David is referring to.
I agree that the support staff is extremely critical to the daily operation of the business.
Do you have backups? :) In my previous corporate world, my bosses always hammered succession planning during our performance reviews.
The most valuable asset is you, your presence to the world without you the business would not exist. So take care of yourself, for your manner, style and health are a feflection of your business and how much you care, and expecially if you are a provider of services in the holistic health care industry, you must walk your talk to be truly successful. And without this asset-YOU- there would be no business!!!
Yes indeed. The YOU is the most valuable asset, most especially during the startup phase of the business.
In the long run however, I would not want the business to be dependent on the "YOU". I think that a truly great business grows bigger than the person(s) that started it. Companies like IBM, Walmart and McDonald's are some examples.
Google is also a great case study. Larry Page and Sergey Brin were both smart enough to realize that they could not grow their business themselves, so they hired Eric Schmidt as CEO, who guided the ship to a $20B company.
In case you're interested, this book is a fascinating read about the Google story: