AGHA meets with Strategic Partner and Membership Manager, Tatiana Urrutia-McDonald, to discuss how AGHA’s Business Partner network supports businesses in the gift and homewares industry.
Tell us about your role and responsibilities at AGHA?
“I’ve worked at for over 11 years and my role here is to directly oversee the Business Partner program, which ensures AGHA Members receive valuable deals and discounts. Ultimately, it’s my job to decide how AGHA’s Business Partner program can provide tangible benefits on the day-to-day costs of running a business by negotiating and advocating on their behalf.”
How does AGHA support the Australian gift and homewares industry?
“As the peak industry body, it is our responsibility to support the industry to grow. Part of this is providing wholesalers and retailers with a huge selling and buying platform at AGHA Gift Fairs, which are timed ahead of the incoming Winter or Summer retail season. We also provide education and advice, starting from the basics of merchant trading through to networking opportunities. We understand that it can be difficult to go out on your own, so we try to support these endeavours as much as we can, where we can.”
Why should I become a member of AGHA?
“AGHA holds the same ethos as many Australian small business owners and understands that retail can be a tough environment. By working cooperatively, AGHA helps businesses feel that they’re not alone and have access to tools and resources to make their business a success.
“As a not-for-profit Association, we have the ability to offer competitive exhibition rates so that wholesalers can get the exact same advantages for less than commercial rates. We also cater to individual retail proprietors, who can become an AGHA Retailer Member for full access to the Business Partner Network and a better overall buying experience.”
What are the key benefits retailers derive from AGHA Business Partners?
“Popular benefits include preferential pricing provided through the Commonwealth Bank and insurance through Austbrokers ABS that covers all your business needs. Other great benefits are educational videos and webinars, HR advice from Workforce Guardian, discounted freight through TNT Express and foreign exchange from OFX. On top of all that, you also receive a free subscription to Australian GiftGuide.”
How has AGHA evolved to reflect recent changes occurring within the retail industry?
“Over the years, consumer technology and the wider retail industry has changed the way people do business, for example, nearly all transactions are now conducted electronically. The gift and homewares sector has become an industry that never sleeps, and people are doing deals all over the world. AGHA’s Membership offering has been designed to help Members become more efficient with this in mind.”
In what ways will AGHA’s Business Partnership program continue to deliver value and benefits to retailer members?
“Looking to the future, AGHA Business Partners are going to be much more involved with the Association to ensure that our Members are winners across all categories. We’re looking very closely at what’s going on to enhance businesses and are working very hard to develop a brand-new range of benefits and business solutions, so the sky is the limit! If there’s something your business needs, please let us know so we can negotiate a preferential deal on your behalf.”