Increasing the Value of Assets Not on Your Balance Sheet

Feb 20, 2018

IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities.  Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog article has been provided by Earl Bell (

Increasing the Value of Assets Not on Your Balance Sheet

One definition of an asset is that it provides future economic benefit.  Last time I checked… the value of employees cannot be found on any balance sheet.  The irony is… your company would likely not survive for long if all of your employees quit today.  The reality is that employees do provide future economic benefit.  The opportunity is that this asset class can dramatically increase based on actions you take as a leader.

3 ways to increase the value of assets NOT on your balance sheet

Make work meaningful

According to an January 11, 2018 article in Harvard Business Review, the top reasons employees leave their job is because the work given wasn’t enjoyable, the employee’s strengths weren’t being used, and the employee wasn’t growing in their careers.  Good employees become great employees when they are effectively coached and guided towards realizing their potential, which sometimes means create a role where individuals can meaningfully contribute and thrive.  Good employees become ex-employees when the opposite is true.  The choice is yours to make!

Don’t be a jerk

A common saying is that people don’t quit their job, they quit their boss. Sayings become sayings for a reason. To increase your company’s net employee asset value, begin by Identifying the jerks on your payroll.  Invest in coaching for those on your team who have the potential and desire to change their behavior and then fire the remaining employees in this group.  Un-coachable jerks are liabilities that are an emotional drain on your team and financial drain on your business. Cut your losses quickly!

Deliberatively increase team effectiveness

Many companies are effective at teaching employees how to do their job but fail when it comes to teaching employees how to be an effective teammate. This is akin to coaching baseball players strictly on how to play their position and failing to invest time building team chemistry.  To take a positive step towards increasing the value of your company’s team chemistry, decide what personal values and behaviors are requirements and develop a culture that protects these values.  For example, if honesty and transparency are foundational values, then hire/retain employees that can behave in a manner consistent with these values. Build a company for longevity instead of immediacy.

To read more on the subject, check out

Earl Bell works with company owners and leaders like you who want to learn how to compete and win in the game of business. Earl truly cares about the companies and people he works with; and knows that big business and big government make it more difficult to own and operate a company than ever before.  Fortunately, there are rules of the game that turn this fact into a competitive advantage.

Seeing your company from a unique perspective comes easy to Earl, because with tens of thousands of hours of business and leadership experience, he identifies opportunities and obstacles that others do not. Working with Earl is always collaborative and reflective, meaning expect to work backwards and deconstruct what works and doesn’t work before defining future success and developing your game plan.  Clients and colleagues will say that Earl is upfront, honest, funny, brilliant, quick witted and sincere; words he would never use to describe himself.

Earl is the author of Winning in Baseball and Business, Transforming Little League Principles into Major League Profits for Your Company. He is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a Past President of the NSA Northwest Chapter. Earl also serves on the board of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce. When it’s time relax, you’ll likely find Earl golfing, hiking or fly-fishing near home-base, which is now Snoqualmie, WA.

If you would like to contact Earl Bell to learn more about the information in his article or the services he provides his clients he can be reached at (206) 420-5926 or

IBA, the Pacific Northwest’s premier business brokerage firm since 1975, is available as an information resource to the media, business brokerage, and mergers & acquisitions community on subjects relevant to the purchase & sale of privately held companies and family owned businesses.  IBA is recognized as one of the best business brokerage firms in the nation based on its long track record of successfully negotiating “win-win” business sale transactions in environments of full disclosure employing “best practices”.