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Are You a Business Owner, but Getting Owned? Let’s Find Out.

June 30, 2017
Wes Davis

First, let’s play ‘Would You Ever?’

Would you ever … deposit a million bucks into a bank account then hand over the debit card and account passwords to a person you’ve not known very long, or will only know for a short period of time?

No, probably not. Seems like a no-brainer, right?

Would you ever … set up an email account housing important information and documents involving your business, a personal project – whatever – and give the password and credentials to someone else? You’d have to contact them every time you wanted to access YOUR information.

It doesn’t make sense.

Now, have you ever found yourself in this position?

Someone you’ve hired to help create your company’s digital presence owns all your passwords and credentials. Your domain, your hosting site, social media accounts, LinkedIn, Google Analytics – everything.

At some point, you’ll need to log in, or want to make some changes. But the person you’ve hired is busy with other clients, not making your relationship a priority – or worse – the relationship has run it’s course and now they want to charge you to access YOUR accounts or have completely locked you out… OF YOUR OWN ASSETS.

Whoa. This should never happen. Unfortunately it is more common than you’d think. These types of shady and unethical practices are difficult for us to witness. We care about our clients, and can’t help but step in. You should have full ownership and access to ALL OF YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS.

What are my digital assets, you ask?

Your digital assets include your business website(s), content management system (CMS), domain, hosting – and social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Your Google Analytics and Adwords accounts are also digital assets.

Think of any digital route you’d use to enhance your website or reach customers — those are your digital assets.

How to Own Your Digital Assets

  • In every case, each digital account should be set up by YOU, the business owner.
  • Once an asset is established properly, you file usernames and passwords for each account, like inventory.
  • The person or agency you hire to help optimize these accounts can simply be added as a temporary user, editor, or manager, as long as they’re not the sole owner.
  • If FOR ANY REASON the relationship changes, or is severed, you – the master account owner – can remove users as necessary.

Run Down | Tips

If you decided to skim over all the knowledge we just dropped, know THIS:

  1. You SHOULD own your digital assets from the beginning of the build phase.
  2. Set up accounts with you, the owner, as the master account holder.
  3. Ask questions – and be hands on! Your agency or developer should work WITH you and not on their own accord. The assets should be setup so that YOU own them, not the developer. If for some reason they push back, hold firm. THESE ARE YOUR ASSETS, NOT THEIRS.
  4. Credentials and passwords should be set by YOU, the owner.
  5. If necessary you can provide temporary access to your account passwords to anyone you’ve hired.
  6. Add other users to the accounts as needed from this stage on.

Your business is your livelihood. The people you hire work for you, not the other way around. Keep it that way. If you don’t own your digital assets, you don’t have control of your company – you’ll forever be at liberty of someone ELSE controlling you, and your business.

Properly setting up accounts, asking the right questions and filing passwords and credentials is the only way to ensure the time and money you’ve invested in an online presence isn’t forfeited, or lost.

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