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Be relevant to stay competitive
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How I see it, is that we need to be relevant in order to stay competitive in the marketplace.

When business owners and entrepreneurs are asked, “What do you want to be in your business?”, answers range from being liked, being loved, being important, being the best, being reliable, being ethical, being honest — the list is long. Being rich is often mentioned, but is surprisingly down on the list.

What we really need to do to achieve our goals is be relevant; closely connected, and appropriate to the matter at hand. Focus on what matters most. Don’t try to be all things to all people.

Are you relevant?  Is your business the right kind of business for the time? For the marketplace? Is your product or service of value to the rest of us? Can we identify with what you’re saying — with what you’re selling?

Being relevant is not about having the latest and greatest. Relevancy is what we are now, as a large collective (a cooperative enterprise) such as a society and a small collective such as our circle of personal and business contacts. Offering the latest and greatest option may not be the right choice when the group you are trying to reach and relate to is looking for a product or idea that is tried and true, full of old-fashioned value.

This is how we develop strong business relationships; relationships based on relevant feelings, real time opinions, and solid business practices. Ask yourself: “Am I making sense; am I giving and receiving benefit from what I’m saying and practicing?"

By being mutually relevant, we can extend our trust to a higher level and a bigger collective, and fear less about unexpected changes in relationships and subsequently in our business dealings.

Geography plays a role in relevancy. What is of importance to one part of a nation may not be pertinent or important to another part of the same country, much less from one country to the next. Relevance is considered based on needs, wants and desires of the populace at hand.

Do you want your business to prosper, and to stay prosperous during an up economy or a down economy?

Be real, be relevant — pay attention!

Alan Seaton is a small business consultant for the SBDC for local start ups and business owners that have an issue about their business. SBDC assistance is provided free of charge. Sign up for services at, or stop by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. Contact Al at 585-9508, or email  Al is also an Area Director Consultant  for BNI.