If you run a small business, you undoubtedly spend a lot of time and energy looking for and implementing cost-cutting ideas and ways to increase cash flow and profits. This is an essential part of being an entrepreneur and ensuring your business is around for the long term.
You likely focus on critical factors such as increasing sales, buying cheaper materials and supplies, being marketing savvy, hiring the right team, etc. Yet, don’t forget that a better business financial position comes not only from thinking big picture but looking at finer details, too.
For example, if you run a venture with lots of assets you’ve invested in, such as computers and vehicles, how well do you track them? Asset management is something not enough entrepreneurs pay attention to but should. Here are some tips for handling this element in your organization more effectively in 2021.
Delegate Asset Management to One Person or Team
The first step is to decide on one person or a single team you can put in charge of asset management within your business. It’s important to delegate the role to someone or a group to oversee the whole project, so you don’t end up with many people knowing just a little about your assets and their status. Assigning the role makes it easier to ensure processes, tech, and employees align, and everything is as streamlined as possible.
For most small businesses, a single person is usually adequate for asset management. If you run a rapidly expanding company, though, or one heavy on the asset side of things, you may need to delegate the task to two or three people who can work together on this area.
Understand Asset Lifecycles
A crucial part of proper asset management is understanding the lifecycles of devices over time. Computers, vehicles, and other assets tend to involve a process of tasks that link together. For example, you need to plan out the exact tools you require for your business, then purchase them (sometimes all at once but typically in bits and pieces as needs change).
After buying goods, you must deploy them around the organization, manage and maintain them over months or, more likely, years, and finally retire them when they break or become obsolete. To best manage your firm’s valuable items, you need to know where each piece of equipment is in its lifecycle at any time.
It’s also vital to dispose of outdated or broken wares carefully. They need to be wiped clean so no company or employee data remains that others may access, and you should abide by legal regulations and sound environmental practices, such as recycling.
Take Advantage of Software Tools
These days, managing assets is easier than ever, thanks to technology. Utilize software to track and manage goods to save money, time, and energy and reduce manual errors about asset status or maintenance needs. Invest in handy RFID tracking tools to monitor assets, so you can locate them ASAP in real-time if they’re misplaced or stolen. Also, enable remote control of assets where possible to patch into them from anywhere. This allows you to investigate software or other issues that employees or others might be having with the products.
Use tech-based asset management systems, too, rather than basic spreadsheets or hand counts. These digital solutions can help you keep track of the equipment you own and where it is, and make it easier to handle audits, print and analyze reports, and send notifications about maintenance needs or other updates.
Look online, and you’ll find many software options for this job, with many features and price points to choose between. Select tech that can scale over time as your business and, therefore, asset numbers grow. Cloud-based systems are a good option since they can be accessed by team members worldwide and stay synced at all times.
Pay Attention to Depreciation
For financial purposes, it’s also essential to pay attention to the depreciation of the assets your business owns. Track this data carefully to enable wise decision-making about when to decommission older gear and invest in new tools, and ensure you don’t end up paying more than you need to on things like maintenance, tax, and insurance.
Take advantage of the asset management software you use to help you calculate depreciation, too, provided purchasing information is inputted correctly in the first place.
Asset management becomes a massive and stressful job if it isn’t looked after carefully and consistently. However, if you set up and follow helpful systems, life will be easier, and there’s much less likelihood of problems popping up along the way.