Thursday, October 27, 2011

Women in Business Networking

Sterling silver bangle with blue topaz, fabulous jewelry for fabulous parties!

Okay, many people are familiar with networking. This is when business people get together and help each other out. It can be business to business networking or it can be business to consumer networking. The premise is, you need something or you know someone who needs something and because you are part of this group, the group can give suggestions on whom to use. Brilliant! The best part about this particular networking group is we are all women.

With women so influential and instrumental in purchasing decisions, it seems only right that the networking group I should eventually join is an all women’s group. As a retailer in the jewelry industry, my main and most predominate customer is a woman. Women are by far the most significant individuals in a jewelry purchase. Additionally women are making many of the purchasing decisions for their own households. According to the article Boomer Women and Affluence – One huge, affluent segment wields more spending clout than any other: Baby-Boomer women. Born between 1946 and 1964, these women represent a portion of the buying public no marketer can afford to ignore. With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women.[i]

This is amazing news; women are taking the financial reins. They are also taking the entrepreneurial reins. More women are starting businesses. In this down economy many women have been laid off or have suffered wage and benefits cuts. Starting a business on the side is quite common. Additionally, women are still responsible for a lion’s share of the work “at home.” While men have made great strides, women are still doing more non-paid work in the family. I’ve met women at these networking meetings who have young children at home and are starting a business out of the home to supplement their income. Since my business sells jewelry through trunk shows, private showings and home parties, it fits well.

 Another beautiful bangle that I sell at my jewelry parties

The home jewelry party is perfect for women looking to help out financially. It’s a fun way to make a little money. The business woman doesn’t have to work full-time and can arrange the parties based her own schedule. This allows for attendance at school functions and more time at home. I’ve found that I work some evening and weekends with my jewelry business. There is the occasional during the week show, but overall I still have time for family obligations. This is the difficulty of being a woman who works. It is hard to find the time to balance the kid’s homework while making some money. I believe women entrepreneurs are innovative enough to create nontraditional work environments. Women are finding a need and filling it.

[i] – Mary Brown, Carol Orsborn, Ph.D., Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer—The Baby-Boomer Woman

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