How to Start a Turnkey Business

by MiShaun Taylor; Updated September 26, 2017

A turnkey business is an excellent business idea for someone who is entrepreneurial, motivated and hard-working, yet does not have the technical knowledge or specific expertise to start a business from scratch. The great advantage of a turnkey business is that it includes everything you need to get the business up and running. No extra work is required on your part to start it up; all you have to do is “turn the key” and it is off the ground. An alternative to hig- risk businesses, a turnkey business uses reputation and goodwill to fuel its momentum and earning power.

Step 1

Learn About the Different Types of Turnkey Businesses Available. A franchise is the most common example of a turnkey business. In this situation, an established company (Franchisor) gives individuals (franchisees) the right to operate independent businesses which provide the same products/services as the Franchisor in a particular area and use the Franchisor’s name and logo. The Franchisee signs a contract and pays a fee for these rights, and pays the Franchisor a percentage of its sales. Though not a strict example of a turnkey business because the independent operator must still do much start-up work, there is less risk as the franchise is a part of an established business with a successful history. Turnkey websites are another example of a turnkey business you could start. Several websites provide you with an online business which is fully set up and ready to go. It does not require special expertise or even a particular software other than what the turnkey website provides you with. Because everything is already in place, you can save a lot of money and avoid hiring outside experts. Although such a pre-packaged business is a wonderful and simple idea, you need to be careful about paying high prices for the turnkey website that seems too good to be true. You also must be willing to devote time to marketing your business and cannot expect a huge payout without putting in effort.

Step 2

Decide What Type Of Turnkey Business Suits Your Expertise and Interests. There are turnkey businesses available in many different areas of interest. For example, there are turnkey businesses in jewelry, restaurants, and many other product and service industries. The type of business you decide upon should be one in an area of which you have a good understanding of the business. Also think about how much time you have to devote to this business, and whether you want a business that you can pour your heart into or one which will “run itself”.

Step 3

Research the Type of Business You Have Decided Upon. You should research not only the type of turnkey business you have decided upon, and how other similar franchises or turnkey businesses are doing. Look at not only how your particular potential turnkey business tends to fare, but also how similar businesses are doing in the location that you will be operating in. Make sure there is no undue markup on the franchise or business package you are interested in purchasing.

Step 4

Decide Upon Your Financing. Look into how much you must pay for the business and whether it the asking price is affordable. Additionally, you will need to decide whether the cost of operating the business is reasonable. Determine whether you can fund the purchase of the business out of your own money, or whether you will need to take out a business loan. You will need to apply for a business bank account and business insurance as well.

Step 5

Research the Governmental Requirements Necessary to the Business. Although turnkey businesses should come with all the necessary components to start up your business, you must make sure that you comply with all requirements regarding the organization of your business, insurance, and taxes. Certain lines of business will require additional permits or inspections by government agencies, such as those required in the food service industry.

After doing your research and putting a great deal of thought into the type of business you are interested in and able to handle, you should be in great shape to start your turnkey business.

About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in legal- and wedding-related articles. Her work has appeared in "Pediatrics for Parents," "ISBA News" and Recipestoday.com. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.