How to Build a Successful Virtual Assistant Business
Written by Janice Byer and Elayne Whitfield-Parr, this NEW book includes information and tips to help aspiring and established VAs with every aspect of starting and building a Virtual Assistant business.
From naming your business, to upgrading your skills, to expanding your business, we have put together everything you need to know based on our combined years in this industry and the input of successful VAs worldwide.
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Make the Most of Each Networking Opportunity
by Janice D. Byer, CCVA, MVA
Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services
Networking is one of the best forms of spreading the word about your business. From mentioning your company to neighbours to attending large networking functions, the opportunities to talk to others are virtually everywhere.
Chatting one on one with the neighbour is relaxed and easy. However, networking at large events can make many people feel uncomfortable. The more formal the event, the more apprehensive and shy people become.
If all functions could be as relaxed as one of our recent Brampton Board of Trade meetings was, networking would be so much easier. We were lucky enough to have the 'get-together' at a local bowling alley. There we all were, influential corporate executives and small business entrepreneurs trying to knock down ten little pins. Some were good at it, some not so good, but all were very relaxed and having a good time.
How can we feel as at ease at each networking event as it was at this function? How do we master the art of mingling?
Be prepared - Know how formal the event will be & who is likely to be attending. If you are unsure of either of these, contact a co-ordinator of the event to find out the specifics.
Don't be unfashionably late - Arrive within the first 15 minutes, especially if you are shy. This allows you to avoid walking into a room full of people.
Remember why you are really there - Don't look at the event as just an opportunity to over eat and drink, you want to mingle. If you are going to nibble, do it when you first arrive so your hands are free to shake others'. And, don't overdue the alcohol, it could come back to haunt you.
Know how to introduce yourself - Prepare a 10-second introduction to let people know who you are and what you do. Say it with energy, wear a smile and make eye contact.
Decide who you are going to approach - The easiest route is to find someone who is standing alone. Simply extend your hand, introduce yourself and find out what they do. Remember that you are both there for the same reason . . . to make new contacts.
Be ready with topics to talk about - When the business part of the discussion seems to lull, have some current event topics to talk about. Whether it is books, movies, sports or local happenings, be ready to jump in and get the conversation flowing again.
Know when it is time to move on - When the conversation seems to diminish, simply shake their hand and thank them for the enjoyable discussion by summarizing some of what you talked about.
Know when the conversation is simply not worth the effort - If the person you are talking to seems to be looking around for 'better titled' people to talk to or makes you feel like he/she feels they are doing you a favor by talking to you, it is time to say good bye.
Remember to follow up - During the event you will exchange business cards with a number of business people. Don't forget to follow up with a short letter and your brochure or with an email.
Lean from your faux pas - If you said or did something that could have been misconstrued or if you had just a little too much to drink, learn from your mistake and don't do it again!
Networking can be done just about anywhere. By being prepared for all circumstances, you can maximize both your input to the conversation and the results that will come from it.
We have written a 17 page ebook on Networking that we invite you to download at http://www.docutype.net/business_ebooks.htm. It provides you an abundance of additional information to help make your networking successful.
Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services, provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA) and Master Virtual Assistant (MVA). She is also the author of Surfin' The Net - Docu-Type's Virtual Collection of Links, which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.