Book Review – 24 Assets by Daniel Priestley

24 Assets ssubtitled, Create a digital, scalable, valuable and fun business that will thrive in a fast changing world by Daniel Priestley is about how we can build assets to create successful businesses. Priestley believes that the key to successful businesses is having digital assets that give businesses an advantage and allow them to keep growing.

But Priestley starts out challenging us to think about what type of business we want to build. Do we want to build a lifestyle business or a performance business? He defines a lifestyle business as one that is lean, dynamic, portable and geared towards maximising income for the owner with overheads and stress kept low.

While a performance business is focused on achieving a high valuation, fast growth and acquiring market share. Both of these business types can be made successful with Priestley’s 24 assets.

Priestley also takes the time to explain the entrepreneurial journey through the businesses in the follwoing stages:

  • Startup
  • Wilderness
  • Struggling boutique
  • Lifestyle boutique
  • The desert
  • The factory
  • Performance
  • Unicorn
  • The corporation

So what Daniel is really telling us in this book is that income follows assets. Build digital assets which will make your business more attractive and valuable.

Seven categories of assets are discused and these categories contain the 24 assets. Each category is briefly reviewed below.

INTELLECTUAL ASSETS

The assets described under this category are:

  • Asset 1 – Content: This first asset includes things like text, images, multi-media, articles, books, blogs. The advantage of these assets are that they are cheap to create and scalable. We can all create content. It can be repurposed and used for different things which add value to a business.
  • Asset 2 – Methodology: This is the next asset in this category which is a specific way of getting an outcome. An example is Google whose methodology is it’s search algorithm.  A methodology allows you to codify a process you use to generate value to your business.
  • Asset 3 – Registered intellectual property (IP): This includes legally defensible intellectual property that must be documented and registered in order fo a business to think of it as an asset. It can include things like registered domain names, social media profiles on social platforms, logos and business names.

BRAND ASSETS

According to Daniel, being known, liked and trusted follows assets.

Strong business brands have more value and to build brand assets there are three areas to focus on.

  • Asset 4 – The Philosophy: a philosophy is centred around the vision and values of a compnay which often don’t change and help to guide the company in the right direction. According to Daniel, Companies that have strong values end up with more empowered employees, more loyal customers and fewer stupid decisions. They innovate more easily and customers understand why the business is evolving.
  • Asset 5 – Identity: The way your brand looks, feels, sounds, tastes, smells and behaves on a consistent basis forms an identify in people’s minds. This asset is about building consistency so people recognise what your brand stands for. A business brand must maintain a distinctive identity across all of it’s platforms.
  • Asset 6 – Ambassadors: Associate your brand with influential people.

MARKET ASSETS

A strong place in the market follows assets. The assets in this category are:

  • Asset 7 – Positioning: Any effort to influence consumer perception or awareness of your brand or product relative to competing brands or products is referred to as positioning. You can can position yourself based on quality, affordability, convenience, reliability and being delightful. Fours A’s which describe what you can do to position yourself are, Awards, Accreditations, Associations and Acknowledgement.
  • Asset 8 – Channels: A channel defines how you get your product to your customer. There are two types of channels, owned channels, which are the ones you develop yourself to reach your customers and earned channels, which are channels that others have developed that you can utilise.
  • Asset 9 – Data: Daniel writes that, data is the key to personalisation. Good data can allow you to create personalised relationships with people. Aim to collect data which makes your business more valuable.

PRODUCT ASSETS
Focus on what you create for your customers.

  • Asset 10 – Gifts:  These are products given free with no strings attached to capture the attention of potential customers. They are usually digital and easy to distribute anywhere in the world at very little cost.
  • Asset 11 – Product – for prospects (P4P): After capturing a prospect’s attention with a gift, the prospect’s first purchase will be a product for prospect. These are products that require low committment and can be used to build trust.
  • Asset 12 – Core Product: This is the product that generates the main revenue for a business. It should be a product focused on delivering real value to customers.
  • Asset 13 – Products for clients: Products that are extension of the main core product offering customers extra value.

SYSTEM ASSETS

System assets allow a business to be predictable, they make a business simple, repeatable and predictable to run. Systems will have things such as forms, checklists, scripts and manuals that make it easy to get things done.

Asset 14 – Marketing and sales systems: These are systems set up to drive business leads, sales and referrals. This systems helps to put your message in front of potential customers and attract them.

Asset 15 – Management and Administration systems: This asset helps you to understand how the business is performing in a straightforward way. They should also help basic administrative and management tasks to be carried out without wasting too much time and energy.

Asset 16 – Operations systems: Daniel describes ‘operations systems’ in this context to be, any system that ensures your customers get what they paid for in a predicable and delightful manner.

CULTURE ASSETS

Businesses need highperforming teams and high performing teams are partly a product of a strong and progressive culture. To be successful, businesses need assets that help to create a good and strong culture. This category of assets is about the key people that businesses need to succeed

Asset 17 – Key people of influence: These are people in the business who can make things happen. They can do deals, open partnerships, lead teams, inspire, innovate and represent the brand. Basically, they add value to the business above and beyond your average employee.

Asset 18 – Sales and marketing: This asset refers to people who are great at sales and marketing.

Asset 19 – Management and administration: This asset refers to people who can manage effectively and apply proper administration to the business’s financial management.

Asset 20 – Technicians: These are the problem solvers who build great products and services that provide value to customers.

FUNDING ASSETS

Funding assets help to access funding for a business. With good funding assets you are able to get funding to build your business further. Following are the type of assets that fall under this category.

  • Asset 21 – Business plan: Defines the direction of a business. A good business plan is a great tool for accessing funds from investors.
  • Asset 22 – Valuation: A proper and professional valuation of your business will allow you to attract the right kind of funding from investors.
  • Asset 23 – Structure: The right kind of structure for your business is important. Various business structures include, sole trader, limited liability company, partnership, unit trust and charity-for-profit. Choosing the right structure for your business is a key asset.
  • Asset 24 – Risk mitigation: Every business has opportunities and risks. Things must be put in place to mitigate possible risks. These risk mitigation actions are assets and they can include things like, good shareholder agreements, insurance and experienced board members.

The final part of the book focus on how to create assets and some key lessons discussed here are:

  • Finding your core assets. These are your two or three most important assets.
  • Building your assets. Good advice here is to work with others who can help you to build strong assets.
  • The asset creation cycle which goes through a number of steps to create assets.

Generally this is an interesting book with lots of great ideas. It can feel scary when you read that you need all 24 assets to build a successful business. From a side hustle perspective, I don’t think you need all the assets but rather choose a couple that will help propel your hustle and work on them.

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