Start Your Business with Value

When you start a business, the first thing you have to have is a product or service that solves problems for people. You have to have something that people actually want, that they can use. Once you have that, you have to provide people with great value.

Many businesses that find themselves leading the way in new markets and strategies try to overcharge their customers. After all, they have a product or service that people want, and there is nobody else comparable in the same space, so they take advantage of that.

But that strategy will not work in the long run. If you really have something that people want, then other competitors will find their way into that same space, and they will beat you by selling essentially the same stuff for better prices. And when people realize they’re getting ripped off, they don’t just start “considering” the other competitor. They will abandon you and be understandably angry that you weren’t treating them right. That customer might just be lost for good.

You can’t gouge your customers. You have to build relationships with customers, and relationships are built on trust. There can’t be trust when one party is ripping the other party off. Real trust is built when you give people products they want while offering the most competitive prices in the marketplace.

That doesn’t mean you have to get caught in a race to the bottom and give your products and services away for nothing. You have to make a profit, or you don’t have a business. But price your products reasonably. If you’re offering extra features that your competitors don’t have, you can absolutely account for that in your pricing. But don’t exploit your customers just because you have a temporary advantage. That might work for a little while, but you won’t last.

Treat people right, and they’ll treat you right in return.

Fran Tarkenton

About Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of and Tarkenton Companies. With a passion for small business, he’s started more than 20 businesses during and after his NFL career. Fran is a small business coach for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing advice and guidance through sites such as,, and more. He has written about business issues in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. New and World Report, and USA Today, along with regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. You can follow Fran on Twitter @Fran_Tarkenton.