If you’re a regular reader of my column or my e-magazine Small Business News Monthly, you’ve probably read the following”partnering with a larger business entity is great for bringing in more business”. Well, I recently decided to put this theory to the test albeit in a subconscious way. Most of you know that I’ve recently published my second book “The Single Person’s Cookbook” (which by the way has received rave reviews). My first book launch party was a successful but smaller venue at a friend’s house in the beautiful town of Alameda Ca and featured around 30 dishes and attended by approx. 35 people. For my San Francisco debut I wanted to do something on a larger scale since most of my business is conducted within the city. For this venue, I opted to hold it at the funky yet upscale Minna Gallery located 111 Minna in SF. This trendy art gallery features local artist and their work and hosts a daily happy hour from 5-9pm. Here’s the kicker, Minna like many other galleries, restaurants, etc. are always looking for ways to attract more new customers. So Minna offered me this deal. Normally they would charge around $2500.00 for a private party, which wouldn’t include the alcohol, band, etc. However, they would waive that fee if I agreed to hold it during their Happy Hour. That way it wouldn’t cost me anything except the food (it was a launch party for cookbook after all) and wait staff. And Minna would make their money from drink sales as well as attract a new group of customers for Happy Hour. Once the date was booked and invites went out something wonderful happened. I received an e-mail from Minna asking if it was ok to have a local band play the same night as my gig? What would it cost me I asked? Nothing they replied. So I agreed that the space was certainly big enough to accommodate both of us (the space fits well over 1000 people.) Then something hit me. By partnering with Minna, I was paying nothing to hold a swanky party in a great location that would garner me more exposure than the people on my mailing list. I figured by doing this I added 25-30 people to my list. And by partnering with the fabulous Billy Riggs Band www.Billyriggsband.com I would probably reach another 25-30 people (along with my 40 or so attendees). By the end of the night we estimated about 300 attendees, which is almost 3 times as many people as expected. Most people don’t think about bringing in a much larger and well known establishment to bring more exposure to their services or product. But the truth is partnering can be mutually profitable for all parties involved. Large companies do it all the time. Perhaps it’s time for smaller firms to get with the program. My next partnering venture? I am partnering with a nationwide kitchen cabinet firm to hold my third book launch party to help bring in more customers to their showroom. I get to sell more books and get more exposure and they get some much needed potential customers into their showroom. All in all a win/win situation.