Organizing anything is a lot like death and taxes: we know we’ve got to do it, but jeez do we wish we could avoid it. And yet, we’re a nation obsessed with organizing: from tech cords and sock drawers to folding t-shirts (but only the ones that spark joy) so they stand up. But what about your business’s online assets?
As a business owner I’ve read lots of articles and heard lots of small business gurus talk about knowing your numbers (financial organization) and creating processes (systems organization). But almost no one is talking about organizing your intangible assets: your domain name(s), your content, your social media accounts, and your overall online brand presence.
Recently I read a stat that claims 53 percent of thriving/surviving small business owners describe their workplace as very organized, while only 23 percent of struggling/failing small business owners say the same. Wow!!
As if that’s not reason enough to get serious about organizing your business assets, here are five of my top reasons to get your online house in order.
1. Getting organized actually saves you time.
Surveys consistently show that the number one reason why people don’t get organized is, they think they have no time to do it. But here’s the screwy thing: taking time saves time!
The truth is, if we want to maximize our productivity and prioritize achieving our goals, then we need take the time to organize our resources. Or, as Benjamin Franklin put it, “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
Look at this as an investment in your business. An investment that pays dividends. And, it’s not going to take that long. Take 30 minutes and see how far you get. You might be surprised!
I finally sat down a couple of months ago to put all of my monthly expenses and debts on one spreadsheet. I’d put it off for months. Months! Thinking, “I don’t have time for this!” And you know what? It took all of about 15 minutes.
So, sit down and do this! You’ll be glad you did. Honestly, I use my Online Asset Organizer spreadsheet literally every day. There’s always some piece of information that I’m glad I have written down. Now I don’t have to hunt for it … I know exactly where I can find all my online details.
2. You’re protecting your assets.
Many times when we think of business assets, we think of physical goods or products, like furniture, vehicles, inventory, cash in the bank, etc.
But if you’re a small business or online entrepreneur, chances are a good portion of your business assets are intangible: things that don’t exist in three dimensions but have value.
Intangible business assets include your domain names, your websites, your content (i.e. your intellectual property), your online memberships and software apps, and of course your brand! These assets are just as important as tangible assets and inventory. In fact, one study I read showed that a solid brand can increase a business’s value by seven times.
By putting all of your intangible assets in one simple yet thoroughly organized place, you’re better able to manage and control these assets. Plus, you might be spending money on things you no longer use, like subscriptions for photo editing apps or pop-up box plug-ins.
In other words, getting your online business assets organized can save you money! When I did this, I identified no less than seven apps and subscriptions that I cancelled and saved hundreds of dollars!
3. It makes life easier for you and your team.
If you have a team, an online asset spreadsheet will answer a lot of their questions before they have to come to you. You’re no longer the company brain or memory. There’s a document—a system—to take your place.
Instead of them asking you, “Hey, do we have a company LinkedIn account?” or “What was that blog you wrote about squirrels?” they’ll have all the information they need to do their jobs better and more efficiently.
Think about how much time you spend answering questions like that. Think about being able to bring someone onboard and using this as an orientation tool for your business! How cool is that?
4. Having systems in place makes your business more valuable.
I’m calling this spreadsheet a system. This is a system.
In his new bestselling book VICTORY, award-winning entrepreneur Larry Broughton says that, “Systems that exist only in your head aren’t very attractive to buyers; many will shy away from companies that don’t have documented systems in place.”
Systems make your business more valuable. It’s as simple as that.
5. You’re being kind to your family should the unthinkable happen.
Okay, this reason is a little bit morbid.
Recently I was driving to Chipotle to pick up dinner and my friend Betty popped into my head. Betty was a beautiful person, and a wonderful life coach. Like most solopreneur coaches, she had a website, a Facebook fan page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn page.
My lovely friend passed away about three years ago. Her husband wasn’t involved in her business. He posted the sad news to her personal Facebook page. Eventually he closed down her website, but a few of her accounts are still open. He probably doesn’t even know they exist or how to get into them.
Imagine being a client of Betty’s, who maybe worked with her years ago and has no idea she passed. What if that client is emailing and messaging her and thinking she’s being ignored?
And, from time to time I’ll still see Betty’s profile photo pop up here and there online as someone I know, and I have to say while it’s nice to see her smiling face, it’s also a teensy bit creepy.
It’s a hard enough conversation to have with your spouse, partner, or next of kin, to talk about your wishes for your funeral arrangements and estate planning. But we’re grown ups so we do it, even though it sucks to think about it.
You probably have a document somewhere that tells people where to find things, like the life insurance or safety deposit boxes. (And if you don’t have an estate plan or haven’t had the conversation, please do!) I often call my brother the night before a big trip to remind him where my Trust binder is located, just in case.
We think of this for the big things like deeds and life insurance and “final instructions” for our personal life. However, it’s rare that a small business owner or solopreneur will even think about what happens to their businesses after they die, especially if their spouse isn’t involved in the business
Dealing with death is hard enough—combing through a loved one’s records for clues just adds to the pain.
So, once you create the spreadsheet, it’s a good idea to share it with your spouse/partner or next-of-kin, just so they have it. They may never need it, but they’ll be glad you took the time to get organized.
And on that happy note, are you read to get organized?
Lucky for you, I put together a Google spreadsheet that you can use to gather all of your important online business information in one place. It will soon become the hub of your business. Click the graphic below to get access to The Online Asset Organizer mini-course in my Brilliant Brand Academy. I’ve made it super affordable so any business owner can use it.
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