by Remmi Smith, founder of Cook Time with Remmi

When I started my business I thought I understood the concept of a partnership. With my partner (my mother) we formed Cook Time with Remmi LLC. With my talent and dream and her money and hard work…we got the business off the ground. I didn’t think much about partnering with others as a means to get much closer to achieving my dreams and goals. After a year in business, I was getting requests for appearances versus me requesting to make appearances at events. It was at this point I realized I had something to offer and people and organizations were interested in me. It was at this point we realized we needed to hire a professional production company to help create a show that was worthy of getting on TV. Money was tight. After creating a “pilot/sizzle reel” with the production company, they became interested in me and approached us about doing a series. We could not afford their fees but ultimately worked out a deal where they became partners and a percentage of the business was given to them for a lower cost of production. With this partnership arrangement, I achieved what I dreamed of…a TV series. It was at this point we focused on partnering as a means to accomplish our goals. And, literally, everything we wanted to do going forward we looked for partners.

The other cool thing about this partnership (Blue House Media), they had a vested interest in my success. So now my dream was being boasted by another entity. People and businesses get involved in “partnerships” in a variety of ways…… but, the common denominator is they see it as a opportunity for their business. So, the most important factor in a partnership is you need to bring something to the table that benefits the potential partner. Before we even started production of the series, I had brought on 5 additional partners. We partnered with Oklahoma State University Culinary Arts Program who gave us access to their curriculum-instant credibility for me… credibility for them as they were partnering with a child chef who promotes healthy eating. We partnered with a regional appliance company that gave me my TV set free of charge….. they in turn got credits and were promoted as a sponsor of the show. Beyond those, I had a financial sponsorship from a national appliance company, and trade sponsorships with a national grocery chain, and kitchenware company. Bingo…. I had a show concept, credibility with a university, a free set, free food, free kitchenware, financial sponsorship, and a production company… my dream was coming true. Before I even started filming I had gained 6 partners….. partners that had a vested interest in my success. I was no longer alone in accomplishing my dream and now had a strong support system that was going to ensure my dream came true.

Beyond reaching my initial goal…. what these partners did for me allowed me to produce my show with a quality way beyond my imagination. The quality of the show has led me to more and bigger partnerships. Through these new partnerships, I am now an author of a cookbook, a national ambassador for a huge corporation, named “Top 20 to Watch” by The Century Council, I am getting involved in product development and currently have a product sold in grocery stores,  and I am under a selling contract for a potential national cooking show.  I am sure there is an element of me somewhere in all of this, but my partnerships are what has made me incredibly successful.

“There are three vital steps to partnering success:

  1. Determine what it is you need but don’t have: customers, capital, special expertise, products, production capacity, or distribution channels,
  2. Determine who has what you need,
  3. Ask them for it, but, first make sure you have something they want or need. (this last point is the most important)”

Curtis E. Sahakian, Managing Director of the Corporate Partnering Institute

It’s just like the Teen Entrepreneur Network….. it’s a great resource for me and I value it as a partnership….. I have gained huge opportunities by being part of this incredible network. Partnerships are powerful….make sure you look for some as you approach achieving your dreams.

<3 Remmi

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