Don't Stay Home Alone

Set Goals

Before attending a meeting, consider what you hope to give and receive. Plan ahead to present this information in a way that will make your business memorable. Williams believes you will be most successful if you're able to say, "I do this, and if you need this, call me."

Williams recently did this at a Chamber of Commerce meeting she attended. There were many desktop publishers at the meeting and she knew she would have to say something unique about her business in order to stand out. She had recently found a printer who offered recycled paper at the same price as regular paper, so she stood and said, "As a desktop publisher, I've always wanted to be environmentally safe. I am now able to offer affordable recycled paper in my business." At the end of the meeting, at least three people were ready to place orders with her.

However you choose to go about it, networking offers opportunities to build your business by discovering new resources and building your client base. By planning ahead, joining groups and actively sharing your ideas on a daily basis, you will continue to make contacts who will add ideas--and customers--to your business.

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This article was originally published in the November 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Don't Stay Home Alone.

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