Those with children should make arrangements to attend an event every two or three months or when you can. The right networking event can bring in a large amount of business for you. An event every two months or so should suffice, as long as you stay in touch. It does not matter if it is by telephone, with just a quick hello, or a friendly FYI e-mail.
However, before you do anything, take a close look at your home business resume and see what is really there. If webmaster is listed on your resume and business card, you don't always have to think in terms of building a four or five page web site for a client. If you are talking to a business owner who already has a business web site up and running, mention that you can build them a virtual business biography or resume. What is a VB? I admit that I made up this term, but what it means is that you take the business owners biz resume and simply make it available, with clickable links, on the Internet. Most business people will welcome a second direct line to let people know who they are and what they do. If you can think outside of the "webmaster" box, you can make money building resumes online.
If you sell Tupperware or a similar product, go to your next networking event with an open mind. Think of other ways your product can be used. I have a Tupperware cereal container that I have used for change for many years. It is sturdy, indestructible, and easy to open when I need a couple of quarters.
One of the most important and valuable business tools is a proper business card. Your card should be available at all times, and most definately when networking.
You cards should be:
- clean and unmarked
- in a holder or clean pocket
- up-to-date with newest information; no hand-written changes
- suitable for your line of business
- available, you should not have to search for your card.
Handy items for your purse or pocket:
- A few 3x5 index cards to write information, becasuse networking events are more than passing out business cards.
- If you make your own biz cards, bring a few (10?) blank cards for those who do not have cards. Give them a blank card to write on, you are less likely to loose or misplace it.
Things to do the next week:
- Send a personal note to each person you are interested in networking with. Give an approximate date of next contact or ask for meeting. Follow-up.
- Send out a general note to those you have no interest in networking with. Just let the person know that it was nice meeting them. There is a better chance that you will be remembered if you do so.