Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Imagine you own a $1 million house that you don’t live in. You leave it sitting empty, you don’t tell people about it, you don’t put a listing on a rental website, or show anyone through it or give people any indication of how much you are prepared to rent it for — it just sits there empty.
Someone says to you, “I have a $1 million house and I get about $30,000 a year in rent from it.”
You scoff, “What nonsense, I’ve had a $1 million house for years and it’s never given me any benefits at all, it just sits there doing nothing, getting older!”
This is what it’s like when your business has assets that you aren’t sweating.
A business asset is anything that has the potential to add value when you are not around. Your website, your brochures, the awards you’ve won, your culture manual, your sales training documents, your database, and your brand guidelines are all examples of soft assets that add value to a business. These assets can be leveraged to produce value or you can leave them sitting idle.
You might have won an award that you don’t tell people about. You might have a flagship customer testimonial that you haven’t put on your website. You might not run any introduction events with your excellent demo slides. You might not have any brochures or materials for your amazing services. Maybe you aren’t running any ads that showcase what you do. You’ve possibly stopped promoting the book you wrote a few years ago.
And then someone comes along in your industry and says “I’m making great profits in this industry” and you scoff at them “I’ve been in this industry for years, I’ve won the awards, had great results with clients, I’ve written a book and my work is world-class — I’m not making anywhere close to that much!”.
It’s not enough to have valuable assets in your business, you have to sweat your assets too.
Business is pretty simple. At a fundamental level, you must develop quality assets and then sweat them as best you can. If you stop doing either of those things, you are probably headed for a decline.