Can You Spot an Asset Versus a Liability in Your Business?

Vanagon as an Asset

Today, I wanted to draw an analogy around assets vs. liabilities. Don’t worry, it’s a relatively entertaining analogy. … Hang with me here.

Sometimes in life and in business, we consider things that are assets to be liabilities. This can happen because of the time and money we continually have to invest in them – it can feel like a bottomless pit.

Take my Volkswagen Syncro Vanagon for example. …

My husband and I like to call this our third child, and it’s definitely the most expensive kid out of the whole crew. If we didn’t love it so very much, we might actually be annoyed at how much money we pour into keeping it rad. My husband might be upset at the fact that he spends a lot of time fixing it.

But know this, dear reader. … Our 1990 Syncro Vanagon is an asset! It appreciates every year. That’s a fact.

Let’s compare our Syncro to your businesses’ email list. When people give you their email in exchange for something your business offers that’s valuable to them, that’s your list.

I bet you spend money trying to grow your list. I’d also venture to guess that you grow frustrated at the amount of time it takes to grow your email list. This is especially true if you’re communicating to the people on your list regularly.

It begs the question. … Is your list an asset or a liability?

If you’ve been following me for any time, you’ve likely picked up on the fact that I am a true believer in the power of building and being remarkable to your list.

It goes in the asset column, actually, Asset with a capitol A.

No matter what size your business is or where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s very important to spend the time and money needed to build your own audience – this is your list. Not only is it an asset, it’s a business asset that you own.

Wouldn’t you want to build your house on land you own, instead of on land you’re renting? Let me explain.

If you’re renting your list now (meaning, your fan base resides on a social platform) let’s consider your landlords (Facebook and other social platforms would be just that). How often do they change the game on you? These platforms change algorithms faster than Kim Kardashian changes outfits for photo opps.

Build your house on land you own!

No matter what size your business is or where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, it’s truly imperative to build your own audience – this is your list. It’s a business asset that you own.

Here are a few more reasons why investing time and resources in growing your list can be a game changer for your business.

  • Email list marketing is effective – 68% more effective than most other marketing channels, according to Email Monks (a great resource, btw).
  • Building your list and developing a relationship with those individuals on your list by delivering value consistently gives you a customer base. How about that? Your very own pond to fish in!
  • Be remarkable to your list and you’ll gain permission to tap your list for their advice around how you should evolve your products and services.

A note on moving boulders. …

I realize that capturing emails is not easy. Keep in mind, it’s not about growing a huge list (numbers) it’s about building a list of people who are engaged with you, who you have a relationship with. A smaller list that’s responsive is much more productive to your business than a giant list that’s largely dormant.

Once you’ve earned a person’s trust and they’ve given you their email, thank them for entrusting you with their email and assure them you’ll take great care of it (you won’t share it with anyone, right?). Also, let them know what to expect being a member of your list and invite them to refer others to you who they think might get value from what you’re offering. Then, deliver!

Keep in mind, you need to develop an ongoing relationship with them – this will keep them on your list and keep them engaged with you and what your business offers. Just like in traditional sales, people trust and buy from those they like. Your list is no different.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

  • Develop an ideal customer avatar (a fancy way of saying identify who exactly your target customer is). Doing this will enable you to know how to provide value to them. On the front page of my website, there’s a downloadable worksheet that will help you do just this
  • Make sure your list is “cleansed” at least a couple times a year. Even if this makes your list smaller, it’s important to have people on your list who are engaged with what you’re offering. Any email service provider offers analytics on your emails. Take the time to look at who is opening your emails. Drop people from your list who haven’t for a few months.
  • Keep your list warm by being consistent. The worst thing you can do is not deliver what you promised to the people on your list. Be consistent and strive to be remarkable!
  • Thank your list regularly and give them a lot of gifts (value). Surprise and delight them! Call out exceptionally engaged list members, as they are power members of your community (your community is your list). Treat your list like the royalty they are!

What do you think about this topic? I know that we have a LOAD to manage as entrepreneurs but, do you see the value in care taking and investing in your list? Let me know via email: