Six Steps To Building Better Business Assets

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In the journey of asset-building, solving good problems trumps battling bad ones. Dive into six essential steps for building and leveraging effective assets—the game-changer every entrepreneur needs.

On most occasions, when I interact with entrepreneurs and we discuss challenges at hand, the solution they often suggest involves throwing more people at a problem. Are your customers complaining more? Hire more people in the customer support team. Are your accounts not in order? Request a better CA look at the mess. Not making enough sales? Consider hiring more people or modifying incentive structures.

But the thing is, if we view these problems as mere symptoms that point to something critical not in place—our approach will change. In my experience, this missing piece is often an asset that can remove bottlenecks, expedite processes, or bring predictability to the operations.

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Getting more people makes sense when you are capitalising on their work, not for a clean-up job, which is clearly an expense. People can only be as good as the systems and tools they use in your business. However, if things are in place, i.e., your business assets are in place, the business will scale in proportion to the number of people working those assets.

So now the key question is: What steps can you take to build those assets? Until the previous article, we discussed various assets, their importance, how they work and help you. But if you were to develop each of them from the ground up—how could you do that? What’s the process? Let’s talk about that…

Prioritise concepts or ideas

As always, all such things start with an idea or a concept. Ideas are fun and exciting, but anyone will tell you that they are worthless.

I do not go as far as calling them worthless; there is indeed some value in having an idea. But the point is that mere ideas or concepts are not as valuable as execution.

The first step is to check if your idea is good enough for you to keep working on it. Especially, when many flashy things keep happening around you. If the next big thing on the internet distracts you and takes you away from its execution, then it is not attractive enough to you. And if that is the case, you are unlikely to see it through.

However, the second step is more critical from the leverage standpoint. Check if it is something you can leverage with what you already have or if it will need too many scaffoldings to be effective. Anything that can ride on what is already there must get extra points, while others can take lesser priority.

Get ready for the briefing

Preparing a briefing is one important step that most people miss because everything is in their heads. They think they can explain it better.

In some cases, you may be the one implementing it—and that does not matter. You still want to create a briefing document.

A briefing document essentially covers the idea or concept in detail, the expectations you have from its implementation, and all other details that you can pen down for future reference.

Whether you are doing it yourself or outsourcing its development, it does not matter. In both cases, having things noted down is extremely helpful.

When people approach us with their ideas and want us to help them make it a reality, they often struggle to explain clearly. Eventually, the execution suffers.

Being able to clarify your vision and idea or concept is essential so others can help you, whether they are your employees, or external suppliers. Once you have a briefing document, you can reference it to start developing proof of concept.

Select right partners

Any business is a team sport. A one-person army is not a thing. That is why DIY does not work all the time, especially in business situations.

Often you need help. So get it when necessary and avoid being bogged down or slowed down by penny-pinching working style. Instead, leverage the speciality of each partner you choose. Each partner can bring valuable skills from design to manufacturing, content to marketing, and so on.

Test – improve – repeat

The first outcome of any idea is almost always underwhelming. But there is no way to make it better in theory, only implementation will help.

Of course, implementation at scale is not a good idea to begin with. And so we need testing. Testing with smaller samples, small groups of people or a select few customers.

So the key is to test, get feedback, make improvements and repeat the cycle a few times. I will avoid saying, “Repeat until you are satisfied.” Because that can send you in an infinite loop of improvements. However, repeating a few times until it is good enough will be the key.

Once it is good enough, go ahead and put it to use.

Put to use

Assets are only useful when used. If you create a captivating marketing video and keep it on a hard drive, what is the point? You want to put it to use. The same goes for all other assets.

Once your assets are ready, put them to use and make the most out of them. It is the time to sweat every asset to its fullest. Avoid getting into the trap of asking for feedback at this time and trying to improve. Even if you get feedback, hold onto it. Do not act on it just yet. This stage is to exploit the asset you built.

Build a better version

Once the asset is in use for quite some time, enough feedback will have come through. You would also have gathered enough intel on it. Then is the time to go and rebuild it into a better version.

This asset-build cycle is, obviously, a continuous one. Keep improving aspects that need fine-tuning and see continuous improvements.

The point is…

With every asset that you build, you will see that bad problems start diminishing and good problems start showing up. For example, not having enough leads is a bad problem. Having too many leads is a good one.

Finally, the goal of any business is to create value for everyone. For customers, for stakeholders, and the owners. People value things differently. Customers value you solving their problems, while stakeholders and owners would appreciate monetary returns.

Many good businesses can raise large sums of money or be valued highly because a valuable business is indeed hard to build. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, right?


Anand Tamboli, serial entrepreneur, speaker, award-winning author, and an emerging-technology thought leader

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