Around my office, at American Management Services, we use the term “Gravity” to represent the unavoidable forces drawing on a business. These forces include paying taxes, funding insurance, and dealing with competition, but most importantly it includes protecting intellectual property/processes and controlling the loss of key personnel.
The intellectual property and established processes of a business is an asset that makes each company unique, and determines success in their particular market. An example of this process becoming a company’s most valuable asset can be seen in the franchised fast food industry.
Companies like McDonald’s have become masters of their industry by streamlining food delivery, and establishing a tightly controlled production and managerial process in their franchises. They deliver quick service and value to their customers, economic growth and training programs for key employees, and opportunities for franchisees to buy into their system.
Their restaurants do not sprout out of the ground because of their frozen beef patties; they open because they deliver a quality product through a proven delivery process that has been fine-tuned over the course of nearly 70 years!
Each business, regardless of industry, must keep a strong focus on protecting their intellectual property from the impact of losing employees, particularly ones who have played an essential role in day-to-day operations. It’s why we stress the importance of retaining your people through career growth and pay-for-performance programs, but unfortunately, turn-over is inevitable.
Because many businesses, mine included, are entirely based on intellectual property, we enforce non-disclosure and non-compete agreements upon hiring with our staff. It has protected our processes, and kept our organization competitive in our industry.
As an owner you face many challenges (gravity!). Approach your challenges head-on, proactively addressing them, and the gravitational pull on your business will be minimized.