When do you want to make time for a networking group?
One of the most valuable tools you have is your calendar. This tool actually rules how you conduct your day. If you take control of your calendar, you will actually be able to control most of what happens to you at work (and at home). You need to spend a small amount of time each day reviewing your calendar for the next 5 working days. Yes, you will have appointments beyond 5 days but the most important ones will be in the next few days. You should always plan your calendar so that it fits your travel and administrative time. A calendar cannot just be appointments and meetings, you must also schedule when the actual work of putting together a proposal or servicing a customer will take place. The calendar should also include "down time" for you to catch your breath, and don't forget that you need to keep up with the latest business developments in your niche.
A person that is not able to control their calendar will find that each day has a new challenge, how to get everything done in 12 hours or less. Quite often this challenge is never conquered unless the calendar is controlled by careful planning. You must plan your networking meetings and also plan to follow up and send out information you have promised. A good calendar will allow you to make better business relationships.
Planning is one of the keys to successful businesses. The plan does not have to be elaborate; it simply has to show you what your daily limitations are and also what extra "emergency" time you have built in. For example, some doctors will build in a little slack time for drop-ins or emergencies. They know ahead of time that there is a good chance that this will happen, and if it does not, then other things will fill in the void. Part of your planning should also include time when you can help others, and so maybe you have time to receive help too, occasionally!
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite. She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen". Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in 2005. For more information visit http://www.BlueprintBooks.com