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Microsoft® Access® Small Business Solutions: State-of-the-Art Database Models for Sales, Marketing, Customer Management, and More Key Business Activities by Brent Spaulding, Leigh Purvis, Larry Linson, Truitt Bradly, Teresa Hennig

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Chapter BONUS CHAPTER I. Knowledge: Intellectual Property, Structural Capital, and Intellectual Capital

Knowledge, the intellectual aspect, plays a much more important role in today's business environment than it did in even the relatively recent past. This valuable knowledge includes intellectual property—what you, your employees and, thus, your organization know; quality (sometimes called structural capital)— how well you do what you do; and intellectual capital—relationships you have with your customers, suppliers, vendors, and employees. These, singly or in combination, can often be more important to your organization's success than what you do. For example, you wouldn't pay several hundred dollars an hour for just anyone, but that might be a bargain for the expertise of the right consultant.

But how do you record, track, or account for this type of information, especially if you are a small business? Changes in the environment in the post-industrial age have somewhat leveled the playing field between the small business and the huge enterprise. While the enterprise may have funds and infrastructure to support its own research organization, staffed with well-credentialed experts, it does not have a monopoly on ideas and invention. Individuals and employees of smaller-size organizations are often the ones who make the intellectual breakthroughs—and benefit accordingly.

In fact, it is often the "little guy" who benefits more than his better-financed counterpart in the enterprise, ...

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