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Sorting the wheat from the chaff: Australian business owners/leaders reveal their highest priorities

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What are the most pressing issues facing Australian business owners and CEOs? To find out, The CEO Institute polled its members on a range of questions during the month of October. Here are the issues that business owners and leaders deemed most important:

Economic conditions

  1. Do business results reflect we are coming out of the economic downturn? … it’s a mixed message
  2. What is the likelihood of a ‘double dip’ early in 2010?
  3. Irrespective of what phase the economy is in — push ahead
  4. Rising value of the dollar and its implications for business
  5. Where to for interest rates?
  6. Government stimulus package — will its affect run out soon?
  7. Impact of the Investment Allowance has been positive
  8. Expect unemployment levels will stabilize at higher levels and not likely to fall until overall business activity increases

Business opportunities

  1. How to identify new market opportunities
  2. Importance of getting accurate market intelligence before embarking on new market projects
  3. What steps or preparation can be done to achieve market success

Evaluating staff performance

  1. Discuss what the company can do for the employee — and what the employee can do for the company
  2. Written documentation will clarify mutual expectations
  3. Performance reviews should be conducted annually — at a scheduled period for all staff or on the anniversary of the staff appointment
  4. Quarterly mini reviews can monitor performance progressively
  5. Great benefits of setting values — but combine with 360 degree review
  6. Performance appraisal and salary review/bonus should be linked — but should be discussed separately

Business sales

  1. Importance of having good sales people who can close the sale at the right price
  2. When top performers become bottom performers. How long do you support them in the hope they will return to their old productive performance
  3. Client relations — the importance of trust, relationship building and client education
  4. Documenting pricing strategies
  5. Take on a new customer ‘safely’ and avoid bad debts by seeking a personal guarantee in the credit application

Corporate social responsibility reporting

  1. Understand its purpose and target audience
  2. Be able to substantiate claims or intentions
  3. Valuable for employee attitudes

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