Partnering your needs away
Imagine you are organizing an exclusive event. You have a venue to book, guests to invite, drinks and hors d’oeuvres to offer (including bartenders & servers), goodie bags to give out and let’s not forget you need to hire at least a photographer for posterity. How much do you think an event like this will cost you IN NEW YORK CITY? $15,000, $10,000, $5,000…
I paid $2000. That’s right, I organized a very successful launch party for one of my startups right in midtown Manhattan with only $2000.
Although, the budget covered only a few important things, it certainly was not enough. So how do you think I paid for all the rest? It was actually all done through what I call CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS. So here’s how partnerships helped me pull this off:
- Venue: I partnered with a friend of a friend of my PR Manager who had rented a midtown loft to showcase her moving art exhibition. The partnership was simple, we were to promote the exhibition in exchange for a few hours of the venue.
• Beverages: I partnered with two up-and-coming spirit companies: Balls Vodka and Kamoni Ice. I also partnered with Hint water.
• Hors D’oeuvres: I partnered with a local restaurant, which not only provided delicious appetizers, but also provided someone to assist serving them.
• Goodie bags: Most of our partners contributed with filling the goody bags.
• Photographer: I had already worked with this photographer on other “partnerships”. He does photography for a hobby. In this case, he got exclusive photography for his portfolio, with credit and link to his website from our site, and I, in turn, got professional images.
All of these partnerships were pretty straightforward, brand promotion in exchange for their service or products.
As seen, paying for things is not the only way to obtain them. With a little bit of creativity and work, there is so much that you can achieve. Better yet, “partnership opportunities” are not only for businesses; they are also for individuals. For example, there are the working moms who can partner with each other to take turns dropping off and picking up the kids to and from the school. There are also the co-workers who take turns picking up coffee or lunch for each other. Or the neighbors, on one side you have an interior decorator and on the other an Electrician; the Interior Decorator can help the Electrician decorate or make a nicer home for the Electrician, while the Electrician can fix up any electrical problems at the Decorator’s home. Yes, partnership opportunities are all around us and we could use them to make our lives easier.
Now, when creating your own partnerships here are three things to keep in mind (disclaimer, they will sound like marriage counseling, after all marriage is a partnership, but that’s a different topic):
1. Trust: No matter what the nature of your partnership, picking up the kids, your dog, even your coffee, you have to trust your partner. Would you ever allow a stranger to pick up your kids? No. Trust is a must.
2. Compatible communication styles: If you are the type of person that wants to solve things now and your partner likes to talk about it later, it’s going to be tough to solve problems once they arise. You got to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to communication and problem solving styles.
3. Complimentary benefits/skills: it is essential you offer each other complementary skills or benefits. In the example of sharing coffee-lunch pick up duties, it is obvious that if I don’t pass by a coffee shop on my way to work, but you do, I would be more prone to partnering and picking up your lunch at noon than if I have several coffee shops on the way to work.
I’m all about being practical and just making life easier. I hope that today you’ve learned a new way to make your life easier too. If you have a need and have identified a good partner that you can trust, communicate with and can exchange skills/benefits, don’t be afraid to reach out to them. I’m pretty sure they’ll be thankful. Plus, it will be one less item to worry about. Go ahead and partner your needs away.
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