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Use Your Former Job to Network

Connections can mean the difference between startup success and failure.

By
This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Start Up.

On that fateful day when you walk out of your office for the last time, gleefully carrying your personal effects in a cardboard box, you will probably hear good wishes and vows to keep in touch from the people you're leaving behind. Take note of those promises. They'll come in handy when it's time to launch your new business.

Past contacts can be a good source of future business, according to Paul Edwards, co-author of The Best Home Businesses for People 50+. "Most self-employed people get new business through word-of-mouth, especially when they have had good, strong relationships with people and have benefited from reciprocal favors for years," he says. "Overall, networking is a much more effective way to get business than putting yourself in the position of constant rejection with cold selling."

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