On 10 December we announced that there were only 21 days left in this year, and we committed to sharing 21 ways you can prepare your business for a better 2021.

We’ve covered Phase 1: Value and Phase 2: Influence. In today’s third post of the series, we’ll cover Phase 3: Assets.

In business an asset is anything that would still be valuable if you disappeared.

A great website that would still be driving business tomorrow if you left the business today is an asset. A product in your product ecosystem that continues to do what it should – whether that’s generating leads or revenue – even if you took a one-year sabbatical is an asset. A brand that people recognise and would want to partner with, a formalised system of doing things and a book that communicates your key methodology to someone halfway across the world without your direct interaction, these are all assets.

Anything that causes you stress or that is a bottleneck in your business is an asset deficiency. These areas probably heavily require a lot of your time and energy, and things come to a standstill unless you yourself do something about it. So rather than thinking about when regularly slotting in some time in your busy calendar to sort it so it doesn’t fall behind, start to think about what assets you can create. When you create the right assets to address these bottlenecks, you’ll be needed less frequently and less in the “drop-everything-to-fix-this” sort of way.

There’s an abundance of assets you can develop for your business in 2021, but don’t get overwhelmed. All your potential assets can be classified into just seven categories. Today, we’ll share one key thing you can work on in each of these categories. If you implement even just one of them, you’ll find that having that asset in place goes a long way in getting your business running more smoothly than before.

11. IP ASSETS: Register a piece of intellectual property.

Is there something in your business that you feel you would truly frustrate you if someone else tried to copy it and pass it off as their own? Maybe it’s not an exact replica, but you feel it muddles the recognition your audience ought to have with your business.

If you’ve got a logo, a certain way of doing things that distinguishes you from your competitors, an infographic that’s effectively communicated your value that your clients have come to know you for, look into legally registering and protecting it as your IP. The government shares some information HERE.

12. BRAND ASSETS: Create a brand board.

You might have heard of a brand book before, but it can be overwhelming for most businesses to think about. Thinking of every possible combination and use of your brand fonts and colours, and then writing down step-by-step how to use it (and how not to) might just sound like more work you don’t have the capacity for.

A step in the right direction is to create a brand board: a one-sheet summary of your brand assets, such as your logo, your colour combinations, your fonts, and other visual elements you are likely to use. Most skilled designers are actually able to work with just a brand board to create more assets for you without needing a full breakdown of how to use it.

You don’t need to start from scratch. You can check out available brand board files to use HERE.

13. MARKET ASSETS: Set up your CRM.

If you don’t have a CRM set up yet, then it’s time to get this set up. Having the right CRM allows you to collect and store data about your existing and potential clients in a GDPR-compliant way.

If you already have sort of CRM set up, then improve it. Does it properly store the information you need? Have you properly filled out all the fields that truly allow you to deliver value – and maybe even surprise and delight – your customers? Use your CRM to its full potential so that you and your team never have to spend time digging into a 2-year email trail ever again.

14. PRODUCT ASSETS: Build a scorecard.

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know that we at Dent are big fans of a scorecard. That’s because scorecards have truly transformed our sales process. It allows our team to understand our audience better, have better conversations with potential clients, and even track their progress once as they work with us. It also offers people value in the form of insights and actionable steps through the personalised report that they receive.

You can learn how to set up a scorecard HERE and you can get a free 21-day trial using the code 21TO2021. You can also check out a series of Facebook Live videos in Daniel’s Facebook group, where we had speakers talk about how to set up and market scorecards, as well as how we at Dent use scorecards.

15. SYSTEM ASSETS: Establish your One Channel and your One Place.

Where was that copy you had to review for your marketing team again? And where did they save that latest version of the brochure?

If you find yourself spending too much time trying to retrace your digital steps to find conversations and files with your team, then it’s time to establish your One Channel and your One Place.

  • One Channel: Your main channel of communication. You can still carry on messaging on different platforms, but have one main channel where most work conversations will be to make it easy to pick up where you left off.
  • One Place: The main place where all your files are stored, even if you share it somewhere else. For most businesses this is something like Dropbox or Google Drive. They key thing is that all your assets are filed here, so even if you can’t find the email it was attached to, you know where to find it.

16. CULTURE ASSETS: Share your Vision and Values.

With most teams now working remotely, it’s more important than ever to keep everyone aligned to your company vision and values. Record a video of you talking through the big picture of the company, what it stands for, and what it aspires to achieve. It’s a great asset to share with existing team members and to onboard new members, especially ones who you may not meet in person.

If you want a nudge in the right direction, HERE’s one of the many assets we use to keep our team aligned on our vision and our values.

17. FUNDING ASSETS: Create or update your business plan.

Your business plan should have a clearly defined path for where the business is headed, the challenges it will face, the opportunities it will develop and the returns that are expected. Even if you’re not necessarily looking to pitch for more funding, if you are a new business or if your business has pivoted in 2020, working on a business plan is definitely a worthwhile activity. When the time comes, if you’re approached by a potential partner or investor, at least you’ll be prepared.

Our friends at Robot Mascot have some useful templates HERE.

Bonus: Check out this VIDEO to watch a webinar that Daniel delivered for Entrepreneur.com on Phase 3: Assets for more insights and ideas.

In our next and last post in this series, we’ll share some ideas and principles to carry you through your entrepreneur journey and nurture your entrepreneur mindset in 2021 and beyond.