As a business owner or manager, you deal on a daily basis with a wide range of expenses – some large and some small, but each one impacting on your bottom line. And, no doubt you often stop to reflect on the worth of each overhead to your ultimate performance.
Membership of an industry association is no different, and this week I’d like to talk about what the National Retail Association (NRA) does with the revenue we receive from members. You’ve probably heard me talk in the past about the NRA being the largest and most diverse retail industry association in Australia. But it’s useful occasionally to consider what that means in reality for NRA members.
Firstly, it means we are able to speak to politicians and policy makers from a position of great strength, with the confidence that we have a strong understanding of the issues confronting businesses in our sector. And we do this on a daily basis. I share our interactions with government with you from time to time, including on big topics like the commitment this year to reform the GST low value threshold for online imports.
But these discussions are taking place at all levels of government and across a range of issue far too broad to canvas on every occasion. These range from local government planning and approval processes to advertising regulation, carpark rules, packaging and labelling, workplace relations, tax reform, credit card charges, business red tape and dozens of other topics. There will be more to say again next week after some imminent announcements in Canberra.
The NRA’s size also allows us to employ in-house experts on subjects such as loss prevention, leasing and tenancy, rostering, award requirements, retail and consumer research, digital marketing, trading hours, consumer protection, human resources, workforce planning and work health and safety. Many of these experts are employed through our wholly-owned law firm, NRA Legal, which means your confidential information is not given out to third parties outside your association.
The NRA also has its own registered training organisation which develops and delivers training tailored specifically for our industry and trains jobseekers looking for careers in our sector. We do this through general course offerings, or specific in-store training at the request of members.
Throughout the year we hold seminars, roundtables, committees, workshops and other information sessions to ensure NRA members remain up to date with the latest legal requirements and operational challenges for the industry. Some of these attract a fee to cover the costs of delivering them, but where possible these services are offered free to members.
Our POD summit is an opportunity to hear from the best in the business about how to fine tune your offering and gain every competition edge you can. And of course, we have our annual awards which recognise the very best in the retail sector across Australia – including the Young Retailer of the Year. This is an important part of helping continually lift standards across all retail, attracting talent to our industry and making a stronger sector for everyone.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback on the services provided by the NRA, and any suggestions on additional work we can do to help your business grow.