When was the last time you drew up a list of every “hidden asset” in your business?
“Hidden assets” are the things that your business takes for granted and does little or nothing with.
Things that, with a bit of creativity and lateral thinking, can be used to create exciting new opportunities and profits.
In other words, they are your “Rembrandts in the attic”
Classic examples of hidden assets include:
- Old products – For example, the manufacturers of Johnson’s Baby Powder were able to create a profitable new market when they started to emphasise that their product was just as good for mothers as it was for their babies.
- Old stock – There are many different ways of turning this into cash
- Patents and other intellectual property rights – Can these be used, recycled or sold?
- Systems, software and other proprietary ways of doing things – If you have created systems, software or other tools to do what needs doing in your business, could you sell them to others with similar problems and needs?
- Ideas and experiences – Why not share your ideas and experiences with others – perhaps via articles, books, reports or speaking engagements – either for a fee or to raise the profile of your business
- Expertise – Can you become mentors, trainers or consultants to others who will pay to share in your expertise?
- Customer, targets and contacts lists – Can you rent these to other non-competing suppliers? Can you swap your lists for theirs? Can you promote and endorse their products to your list – in return for a commission? (This can be very effective since people value recommendations from people they trust)
- Ex-customers – Many businesses are very successful at reactivating ex-customers by, for example, writing to them saying something like: “To show you how much we’d love to have you back and/or we have changed, please accept this special offer and/or free trial”
- People who have turned you down – Just because somebody says they don’t want to buy from you doesn’t mean all is lost. Can you introduce them to another supplier in return for a commission and/or a reciprocal arrangement? (Let’s face it, they are going to go to somebody else whatever you do – so you might as well get something out of that fact!)
- Meetings rooms, car parks, warehousing, land, spare capacity, vehicles, and equipment – So who else might want to use them when you aren’t? And how can you create mutually beneficial ways for them to do so?
- The list goes on and on. So what hidden assets do you have in your business?
Emma Slack – AVN PGE