By Joanna Beck, Founder & CEO of Beck Insights
As a business owner, you know the importance of insuring against losing a physical asset. But what about intangible assets?
Intangible assets are the lifeblood of your business. Knowledge, processes, and employees are just a few examples of assets that cannot be insured. Sure, you can hold an insurance policy on your essential employees. But will that actually help in the event they need to be replaced? And what if a “non-essential” employee needs to be replaced?
Intangible assets usually shape your customer experience and help run your business. Will your customer know if a laptop is stolen? Probably not, but they will feel pain if your customer support process breaks down because an employee departs, or a new employee is not up to speed. You know that the best way to get new clients is via existing clients. When treated well, they will be your cheerleaders to the outside. When treated poorly, they will be the megaphone through which all complaints are broadcast. Which would you prefer?
Creating standard processes ensures you are delivering the same quality product and/or service to your customers every time. As you grow, it gives you the confidence that you can delegate responsibility to new hires and trust that they’re delivering the right way. It sets a standard that can be repeated, improved, and expanded.
It’s important to document intangible assets such as internal knowledge and processes. But don’t stop there – have someone review and question this documentation. A fresh perspective could add even more value to your company’s intangible assets.
Creating and documenting processes isn’t glamorous or fun (for most people). But consider it an insurance policy for rainy days. It will allow you to easily identify areas for improvement and cost reduction. It will allow you to quickly onboard new employees during times of growth and expansion.
Don’t wait until there is a problem – cost overruns, poor customer experience, missed payments – before you set a standard at your company. A flimsy foundation will cause structural problems throughout your entire organization.
How could an already successful business benefit from this work? An outside point of view will identify areas to improve, which will increase productivity, profit, and/or capacity.
Would you like to find and document unknown assets?
Guest blogger Joanna Beck is Founder and CEO of Beck Insights, a consulting firm helping companies be more effective and efficient by improving their operations. Joanna founded Beck Insights after a 20+ year career in project management, operations, and change management for large corporations. If you are frustrated by the inefficiency in your business visit, beckinsights.com/take-action for more information.