Sunday, August 17, 2008

Small Business Assets -- Evaluate Yours

A variety of assets are required to start a small business, but you don't have to personally possess all of them to get started. The recipe of skills, experience, and money will vary according to business and will frequently change with the growth of a business. It is important, however, that you consider what you bring to the game and are able to articulate it.

Money is the first asset many people consider. Some believe it's the salve for just about any challenge. Not so. As a professor I knew in school said, "You can always find money for a good idea." Don't get me wrong. Money doesn't hurt, but even if you have it, success is certainly not guaranteed.

For most people, the assets you bring are not financial. You bring a set of skills and experience that are tailored to small business success. The more you talk to people in the small business realm, you can identify the skills necessary and how yours fit. It is also the reason that ghosting or a mini-internship can help you get a better a feel for combination of skills in a small business and what you can bring. I wrote an earlier post about that topic.

Be proud of the assets you bring. Those who bring money can often overlook the other assets. If you bring the money, beware this mistake. If you do not bring the money, defend your assets, but you must acknowledge the value of the money. Although, remember that good ideas can find the money and price is negotiable.

Considering and building your assets takes some planning to be prepared. Build your experience, build a financial base/cushion, and identify the fit of yours with potential partners. The recipe will vary based on the business, but you may be surprised at the value of your assets.

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