Guide

Business assets: value, manage and protect

Why assets are important to your business

Tangible and intangible assets add value to your business. They can help you to secure finance, if you need it. However, this is not the only reason for looking after your business assets.

Protecting assets

Protecting your assets can help reduce risk to your business. For example, maintaining tangible assets like production machinery in good condition can help to protect your business from health and safety risks, inefficiency and lost working time. Protecting intangible assets, such as your brand or trade secrets, can help to safeguard your business against risks like competitors using your ideas.

Being clear about what your assets are could also highlight potential savings. For example, it may be cheaper to sell a tangible asset, such as a piece of equipment or machinery, and then lease it instead. This could also allow you to have more up-to-date equipment than you might have been able to afford.

Identifying and protecting assets when starting up

This may be a matter of protecting intellectual property, or of making accurate valuations of your business' buildings, equipment and machinery for insurance purposes. SeeĀ how to protect your business assets.

Identifying and protecting assets when businesses are growing

This may involve managing risks, such as the loss of knowledgeable, trained and skilled staff. Owners of smaller enterprises often find they don't have time to fully document and share their knowledge, skills and business processes with others.

This can cause problems with effective management and the future development and security of their business. Therefore, it is important to find a way to identify this information as a useful intangible asset, share the knowledge, skills or processes and make it readily accessible to others within the business.

Once any unique assets are properly identified, you may also be able to sell or license them to other organisations. See licensing intellectual property.

If you are selling or closing businesses, then identifying and valuing assets will be vital when you come to value your business, whether for sale or bankruptcy purposes.