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Business IQ

Andre Agassi on business: Five short-term goals for long-term success

Daniella Doughan
Business and Finance Journalist

Daniella Doughan is a business and finance journalist from Sydney, Australia.

Daniella Doughan
Business and Finance Journalist

Daniella Doughan is a business and finance journalist from Sydney, Australia.

Highlights
  • Social media and online forums can provide your business with the opportunity to listen to your customers.    
  • Offering customers the option of buying online rather than going in-store can give you a competitive edge.    
  • Knowing how your competitors operate and what they are offering can give you a benchmark for your business.    

If there is anyone who knows about goal setting, it’s an elite athlete. That’s why, when tennis icon Andre Agassi was speaking at the latest Telstra Vantage event, we paid attention.

For small business owners, the best short-term goals can be implemented immediately, are realistic and achievable, and can contribute to the long-term success of a business.

Image shows three business people sitting around a table at a meeting with the man’s shadow swinging a tennis racket. Setting short-term goals can lead to long-term success for businesses.

Here are five short-term goals with longstanding benefits that any business can put in place today.

Listen to your customers

Thanks to online tools and social media, listening to your customers has never been easier. It’s what you do with their feedback that counts. Surveys, focus groups, social media, online contact forms and in-store customer service can all help identify what your business is doing right and – more importantly – what it’s doing wrong. Establish some of these listening tools today.

Open an online store

According to a report by eMarketer, Australia’s total online sales are expected to reach over $32 billion in 2017. That’s a huge market your business could be tapping into. An online store isn’t for every business, but if your competitors are online and it’s becoming industry standard, it’s time to make the move from bricks to clicks. An e-commerce platform can help with this growth to online channels, including an online store or a cloud-based point of sale.

Focus on a marketing activity

Whether it’s search engine optimisation, social media, face-to-face networking, blogging or email marketing, focus on one channel and aim to build it up. The plethora of channels can be overwhelming, but it’s important to bite the bullet and just execute.

As Agassi says, all that matters is what is happening now. “Find your purpose so you can engage with today, not worry about what yesterday was and not solve for tomorrow’s worries either. They all work together.” Concentrating your efforts on one aspect of marketing today allows the opportunity for growth in other ways further down the track. 

Learn more about your competition

Understanding your competition is vital if your plan is for your business to provide a better service or product. Shop in their business, analyse their pricing and pitch, look at their websites and check any public information or media on them. At the very least, it should provide a benchmark for your business.

Cherish your employees

Employees are the cornerstones of a business, so it’s crucial to keep them engaged. Higher productivity, lower staff turnover and improved efficiency are just some of the business benefits that come from satisfied employees.

Empowering staff by giving them increased autonomy and responsibility helps them to feel part of the bigger business journey. Establish an employee recognition program to help them feel appreciated by recognising their achievements; it doesn’t need to have a big budget to be effective.

If communication has slipped, try tools such as Spark and Microsoft Yammer. These internal social networks encourage a more supportive employee community, through online chatting, shared documents and expertise, and smarter collaboration. Finally, don’t forget to emphasise work-life balance and lead by example. Employees are generally happier when they’re not working 60-hour weeks!

Find out what Andre Agassi has to say about building a great team around you.
Find out moreFind out what Andre Agassi has to say about building a great team around you.

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