Running a small business isn’t easy. Once you think you have your systems, all figured out, and you’re ready to rock, something in your industry changes or your business starts growing, and you find yourself back at square one. While small businesses will always be evolving, one thing that won’t change is the need for small business asset management.
A company’s assets are the glue that keeps the business going. No matter the size of your business, recognizing that asset management is a critical part of managing a dynamic and profitable business is vital. Consider this statistic … according to a 2012 study by the SBA Office of Advocacy, about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, and about half survive at least five years. IF those were the numbers in 2012, think about what they could be today with more small businesses popping up and competing against one another. Now it’s more important than ever to make sure that small business asset management plays a central role in your company’s path to success and survival.
Small businesses typically mean fewer employees. Sometimes employees wear multiple hats and take on a few roles. For those who are charged with tracking assets, it’s crucial that he/she is exceptionally conscientious and aware of three things:
- what assets the company owns
- where they are located
- what condition they are in/maintenance schedules
Not knowing these three things could potentially lead to financial loss, administrative burdens or even tax/legal trouble.
Small business asset management enables companies to track the complete asset lifecycle of each of their assets – from procurement to retirement. By having a continuous knowledge of your assets, companies can better focus on their core efficiencies and see how/where their assets are being most effectively used and how they do or do not contribute to the bottom line. Data collected in asset tracking and management platforms can be a powerful tool in conducting audits or making important financial decisions for budgets or personnel moves.
While they may not have the same resources as larger organizations, small businesses often have unique characteristics that can help overcome many business challenges. Small businesses need to be flexible able to quickly adapt to change. That also means they need to handle unpredictability. With low margins and tight budgets, a breakdown or one piece of equipment going out of service can bring an organization to its knees.
Here are three necessary steps to take when taking on the task of small business asset management that will help avoid potential challenges later down the line:
Take stock of all the assets and inventory you own. Do some of them have unique specifications or rules that need to be noted? How many of each item do you have? Include details about when they were added into your inventory, where they were purchased from and how much you purchased them for. Take advantage of asset management tools like built-in barcode scanners that enable employees to scan and track assets right from their smartphones or tablets. It’s a cost-savings tool as well as you can eliminate those pricey handheld scanners that are often lost or broken!
Know where your assets are and where they are going. Do you house your assets in one location or multiple? In some cases, you could have different distribution warehouses, storage rooms, job-sites, and offices spread all across the country. How do you plan to keep up with assets that are traveling from place to place? It’s helpful to create a “parent-child” association between locations to ensure you can accurately track an item down to the shelf it’s on! Again, this is where a barcode scanner is handy. Employees can scan the asset as it’s checked out and all allocated users know who checked the item out, where it is going, possibly what it is being used for and when it will be returned. With this knowledge, the workflow doesn’t stop, and everyone is in the loop about an asset’s whereabouts.
Know who is using what. How many times do employees simply take something they might not necessarily need? With small business asset management tools, companies can keep up with who needs or is using what. This keeps items that are reserved for specific uses, like construction equipment or AV tools in the hands of those who need to use it.
Asset Panda’s powerful, yet simple to use software for small business asset management is designed to work with you, powered by free mobile apps that sync with the cloud. You won’t need any additional hardware to use it – not even a handheld scanner; the app includes a mobile barcode scanner. All you and your employees need to access the complete lifecycle of your assets and inventory are the smartphones and tablets you already carry. Add as many users as you’d like. Track and manage your assets and inventory any way you want by selecting from Asset Panda’s robust and completely customizable features list.
To learn more about what Asset Panda can do for your small business, try it free for 14 days. Go to assetpanda.com for more information and to obtain a free quote.
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