Building a successful business is not really that difficult if you know how to set the proper foundation. One of the basic building blocks of business is defining your target group, whether you are interested in finding new customers, employees, partners, investors, experts or a new job.

Here are some parameters to use to help you define your target group:

  1. Geography: Where do the people you want to reach live? Which country, region or city? What is the best way to reach these people?
  2. Industry: In which industry or industries are the people you want to get in touch with active? Are you seeking to reach people working in a certain sector of the economy? How can you go about finding them?
  3. Function/Profession: What role do these people have in their industry? Are they leaders in their profession? Where are you likely to run into them?

Before you can design a plan of attack to reach the people you seek, you must know how and where to find them. The clearer the answers to these questions are for you, the easier it will be to find the right networking events, to make better use of LinkedIn and to “teach” your contacts who it is you want to get in touch with.

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Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach, author of the best-sellers “Let’s Connect!” and “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” and a well-known international networking and referrals speaker. For more information, go to his blog at http://www.janvermeiren.com/.