A BUSINESS-OWNER’S MOST IMPORTANT ASSET (IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK)

Read time — 7 mins
Read time — 7 mins |
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What is a business-owner’s most important asset? Here’s a hint: it’s not their property, their equipment, or even their income. 

A person’s most valuable asset is their ambition. The inbuilt drive and motivation that helps them overcome obstacles, withstand setbacks, and pursue new horizons. 

Why is it that we are we so quick to protect our things, but somehow forget to protect the part of us we most rely on to succeed? 

A tale of uninsured ambition

Take Thea Mendes, for example. The first time she launched her business she definitely had ambition in spades, but she lacked the support she needed to weather the tough times. In other words, her ambition wasn’t insured, and because of that she almost lost it. 

Almost. 

Let’s go back to the early days of Thea’s business:

“Really, my son Marcus started all this because he wanted a dog. Neither of us could have imagined, at the time, that this crazy idea would turn into a successful business. 

“When Marcus was 11, he convinced me to make a batch of donuts that dogs could eat. He was going to try and sell them at our local market, and use the money he earned to buy his own dog. We cooked up a batch of two dozen doggie donuts, calling them Domuts, and carried them to the markets on Saturday. 

“To our surprise, they sold out immediately, so I made more the next time. Within weeks, we were selling around 250 Domuts every weekend. I could tell we were really onto something so I launched a website to take orders from all over Australia, and cafes and dog groomers started stocking our Domuts too.

“From there, things just got bigger and bigger. We started thinking about new products. Doggie ice cream! Doggie pizza! It was an exciting time and I was really motivated. The media started paying attention to our idea, and I couldn’t believe it when a major supermarket chain reached out.

“But as it turned out, all that growth was the easy part. It’s kind of ironic that our big success was also our biggest hurdle. I was working full time, caring for my family, and making Domuts on the side. Something had to give and I just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Then the oven blew up, and that was the final straw. I was ready to pack it all in. 

“Looking back, I can see that I really needed help, but my business had grown organically, not strategically, and you don’t know what you don’t know. You know? Where was I even supposed to start?”

How Thea got back on track is another story, which we’ll share next.

(And you can also find out how you can reignite your business ambition.) 

Insure your ambition

Every year, nearly half a million ABNs go dormant. That’s a lot of good ideas that might never see the light of day, and a bucket-load of personal ambition stopped by hurdles and setbacks. 

And when you think about it that way, it’s a bit of a no-brainer that protecting ambition should be just as important as protecting property. But how do we go about doing that?  

Thea saw an opportunity to resurrect her business and her ambition. After all, customers and stockists were still regularly asking when they could get their hands on Domuts again. The product was well-loved; she just needed a helping hand to get the business back on track. 

And when she got the practical help she needed from CGU, Thea found her ambition was reignited too. She regained the motivation to relaunch Domuts to Australia, bigger and better than before. This time around, Thea’s ambition is insured by the advice, help and planning she needs to succeed in the long-term.

Three ways to insure your ambition 

  1. Plan ahead- If you've got a great business idea, don't jump in before you're ready. Write a business plan before you launch to maximise your chances of success. “In your business plan you need to clearly define the value proposition,” says business mentor David Stefanoff who advised Thea on the relaunch of her business. 
    “Define what you are doing (product or service), why you are doing it (your purpose, such as to make money or make a difference), and for whom (your customers).” Next, outline your operations, finances and marketing activities – with timelines that you’ll stick to. 
  2. Get the insurances you need –Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the insurance packages that suit them. For example, cyber insurance can protect you against everything from copyright infringements to hacker attacks. Mistakes happen to the best of us, and professional indemnity can help protect you from claims made against your business if there’s a slip up. 
    And what if you’re sick and need some time off work? Personal accident and illness insurance will ensure the bills get paid, and that your business will still be waiting for you when you return to health. 
    Chat with an insurance professional and to learn more about what cover you need to keep your ambition alive visit https://www.cgu.com.au/small-business
  3. Choose the right people– You don’t have to do this alone: if you need help, ask the experts. “Successful people rarely achieve what they set out to do without support, and usually lots of it,” says David. “Surrounding yourself with likeminded people definitely assists, but having a reliable and honest sounding-board or mentor is invaluable.” To get you started, there’s a host of free advice and inspirational stories at https://www.cgu.com.au/ambition