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Have You Inventoried Your Intellectual Capital Recently?

Copyright 2009 OnlineBizU.com

Many times when you're starting out in business, or changing direction in business, you become overwhelmed with just where to start, or who you can contact for assistance. You have many contacts, have belonged to a number of associations or groups over the years, and have spoken to numerous groups and associations in your career. The overwhelm often comes from knowing many people and many things but not having any centralized method to access all that information.

What you need to do is to start to inventory your non-tangible business assets, or your intellectual capital. While this information isn't an asset that may carry a firm price, like your real estate or office equipment investment, the value of this information in connecting you to a valued business contact or getting you in front of the group of people who comprise your target market can be priceless.

What do you need to begin this process? Start by assembling: --your contact database --all versions of your resume --proposals for all presentations you've conducted or of which you've been a part --any sales materials you've used in your business (brochures, speaker sheets, previous versions of websites, etc.) --copies of all mentions in the press and/or press releases you've submitted --copies of all articles, ebooks, books, white papers, etc. that you have authored --copies of all audio and video recordings of yourself

You'll want to determine how to begin tracking this info for your new intellectual capital database. This may mean creating a new group/folder in ACT! or Outlook to track contacts, a new Word document to cut and paste information info, or a central online repository where you can upload this information and keep it free and clear of your other business clutter. Two great online resources for this are CentralDesktop.com and OfficeZilla.com

Now you need to start paring down the information that you have and begin to categorize it. To help you, I've come up with 6 categories of information for you to evaluate. For all of this intellectual capital, rank their value to you from 1-3, with 1 being the most value. These are the ones where you'll concentrate your energy.

1. Contacts. Who do you know and where do they work? Do you have mailing addresses, email addresses, or both? Include both friends and family members, former work colleagues, current and past clients, and casual acquaintances you have met along the way. In order for them to make it to your new intellectual capital database, you have to note the value that they have for you, i.e. do they work in a company in which you want to get a foothold, can they connect you with someone of value, or are they just well-connected overall?

2. Associations/groups. To what groups have you belonged in the past or are a current member? To what groups do you have many connections but aren't a member? Include professional, civic, volunteer, athletic, and religious groups. Don't overlook any groups to which your child belongs where you know other parents -- these groups can be as valuable as professional associations for contacts.

3. Speaking. What talks have you given and could currently deliver with only a few moment's notice? How about presentations given to clients, or programs provided at professional conferences?

4. Writings. What articles or books have you written? How about ebooks, white papers, or other types of information products? Any writings in which you are the copyright holder should be included here. Electronic versions are the easiest to use, so if you don't have some of these writings available to you electronically, make it a priority to get this information converted to an electronic format.

5. Recordings. Do you have audio or video recordings of yourself presenting? If not, can you obtain copies?

6. Services. What services have you provided in the past? What about your current service offerings? Are there ways to tie sets of services together?

This inventory of your intellectual won't be completed in a day. Give yourself several weeks to gather the info that you need, record it as appropriate, and evaluate it. As you're evaluating business growth or a change in direction, take stock of patterns that develop in your inventory or possibilities of opportunities that present themselves. This inventory may enable you to tap into a new market or determine how to best spend any initial marketing efforts.


Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps independent service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at www.OnlineBizU.com . Ask Donna an Internet Marketing question at www.AskDonnaGunter.com .

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