Building your business is all about leveraging your strengths within the context of your prospects’ needs, then networking with as many of those people as you can.
The most successful networkers have developed a thorough strategy planning process. Key aspects of this process include: identifying the major components of the broad, deep network you hope to establish; studying the different types of networking organizations and how they fit into your overall strategy; and identifying the types of businesspeople that make up your target market.
There are also some subsequent aspects of the process that are extremely important to note. The first of these is directly related to you: how do you fit into your own strategy? Second, where will you find the people you want to interact with and make part of your network?
To start, let’s identify some of the strengths and skill sets that you bring to the table as a business professional. I’ve discussed these before but they are no doubt worth repeating as answering these questions truthfully and thoroughly will really help you discover important things about yourself.
- Are you a “people person”?
- Do you enjoy public speaking?
- What kind of professional background did you have before starting your business?
- How long have you lived in the area where you do business?
- What other natural skills do you have (such as time management, staying organized, keeping clients focused) that don’t fall directly into your business expertise but are valued by people?
Once you’ve got these answers written down, ask yourself, “What group of people or target market is best suited for my services?”
Follow these steps and you will build a great foundation to ‘start’ understanding and developing your target market.