What is your company’s first priority? If you’re like many executives, your answer is likely to be “sales,” “profits,” “growth” or something along those lines. But while all of these objectives are important, you shouldn’t allow any of them to eclipse the most important thing of all: protecting your company’s assets. That’s because your organization’s assets are what power your sales, profits, and growth. Plus, assets represent the business’s and owner’s accumulated net worth, and nothing erodes a company’s net worth faster than unexpected asset erosion.
Some of your most valuable assets aren’t “things” on which you can put a dollar value. They’re your employees’ skills and experience, internal processes, customer relationships, reputation and brand in the market, and so on. None of these elements can be easily replaced or repaired, and mismanaging them can certainly damage your organization – sometimes beyond repair.
At all the businesses I owned, mentored, or operated, the executives and their staffs all understood that Priority One was asset protection. For these companies, to make asset protection easier to manage, I broke the assets into three classes, which focused on protecting these businesses’ net worth and asset values. The three asset classes are:
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