Managing your assets is an important aspect of running a business. Your assets may include computer equipment, office furniture, company vehicles, buildings and inventory. Keeping these items documented, maintained and protected will keep them safe and also help protect your organization. There are many things you should take into consideration regarding your assets and how to manage them. Here are five tips to manage the important equipment that keeps your business running.
1. Document and Track
Keeping track of your assets is imperative to maintaining their value, knowing when it is time to replace them, and maximizing their resale value. You should start by making a list of all of your company's assets. Be sure to list every piece of equipment and inventory. If you utilize accounting software, you should make sure to enter each asset in it so that you can have an accurate snapshot of where you stand. You will also want to have a system in place to track where all of your assets are located, and the status of each one. For company vehicles, using fleet GPS tracking devices will make this a much simpler task. Update all of your documentation often in order to ensure you have accurate records. A precise record keeping system will save time and money when it comes time to buy or sell as well as at tax time.
2. Understand Value and Depreciation
Knowing what you have is only the first step to assessing your equipment and inventory. You'll also want to assign value to all items and determine a depreciation schedule for each. As you use your equipment, the value will steadily decrease and you'll want to be able to keep track of this so you always know their status. Different types of assets will depreciate differently so you'll need to do some research to properly assign each one. You can also consult with an accountant or tax professional to ensure that you are documenting and depreciating all of your assets correctly.
3. Insure All Your Equipment
Your assets are valuable tools that are essential to running your business. Therefore, you need to make sure that they are protected. You should insure them with business property insurance, which will cover replacements if anything is damaged due to a storm, fire or other disaster. Insurance will also protect you against accidents and theft. Discuss with an insurance adviser what types of insurance are best for the assets you rely on to run your company.
4. Assign Responsibility
If you have a lot of assets to keep track of, it will be very beneficial to assign responsibility for each one to your employees. Your office manager can be responsible for tracking your office furniture and computers. If you have a fleet of company vehicles, you'll want to make sure you have an employee dedicated to tracking the location, mileage, maintenance and damage to each of them. A warehouse manager can maintain documentation of your inventory and any equipment used to move or ship items out. Each employee should be clear on specifically which assets they are responsible for so that nothing falls through the cracks.
5. Have A Plan For Selling Or Replacing
Inevitably, you will need to replace older equipment or sell off assets you no longer need. Preparing in advance for this can help you to maximize your efficiency, as well as the resale value of these items. Decide at what point you want to replace equipment as well as how you'd like to sell it. If you have vehicles, you can decide at what mileage, or depreciation value you would prefer to replace them so you'll be ready when that time comes.
Maximizing the value of your business can be easily achieved by paying attention to your assets and managing them correctly. With careful planning and documentation, these tips can help you keep your business running smoothly and your equipment protected.