There are many people who choose to start their own business. Most know they need some type of help, so they seek opportunities that will assist them. Two options are start-up kits and turnkey business packages. Let’s look at why people want to start a business; then we can see which option is best.

Some of the reasons people seek entrepreneurship are freedom, flexibility, the desire to be their own boss and having the pride factor you receive from being a business owner. Other’s have been downsized, terminated or laid off and can’t find a job (or at least not one they want). Still others have retired and choose to do something new. Self-employment provides the ability to work the hours they prefer from part-time to full-time.

Once the decision is made, most are anxious to get started right away. They are people of action who don’t want to spend months researching, planning and preparing. Purchasing this type of assistance through a start-up kit or turnkey package makes total sense. After all, why reinvent the wheel when someone is ready to help you eliminate or shorten that learning curve?

A start-up kit is exactly that – a kit to help you get started. They normally include a manual or guide that includes tips to help you get started, business templates and some general information about the business. Prices commonly range in the hundreds of dollars – or more, depending on what is included.

Turnkey business packages vary greatly. A true turnkey package is a complete, thorough business that provides all you need to open the box - or “turn the key” - and you’re ready to go find customers. Some people refer to them as a business-in-a-box. These can range from being comparable to a start-up kit to an all-inclusive business model that is similar to a franchise. The cost of a turnkey is more than a start-up kit, but much less than most franchises.

Often a turnkey is assumed to be more expensive than a start-up kit. Therefore, to make the right financial decision, it’s best to compare the two. Do an apples to apples rather than an apples to oranges comparison. List all the items provided in the turnkey package, then create a second column and list all the items you’ll receive in the start-up kit, plus everything else you’ll need to purchase to start your business.

Assign the costs to each line item. Some things normally included in a turnkey that are not in a start-up kit are:
- website
- newsletter
- logo creation
- business card design
- brochure design
- business plan
- business coach (yes, everyone needs a business coach)

Total all these costs. Now, compare them to the investment in a turnkey package.

Also complete a benefits comparison. There are intangibles that also must be taken into consideration. A business coach was listed above. Does the turnkey include mentoring, support and coaching? Start-up kits rarely do, since their purpose is to help you “start” while a turnkey that offers support will help you start and also develop and grow your business.

Another factor to consider is the cost of your time. This is two-fold. The time it takes to get started. With a start-up kit, you’ll need to create your processes, procedures, write your website and newsletter (or hire someone, which at this point you’ll need to add those costs to your list), create your own marketing materials, etc. The second time-cost factor is while you’re spending months creating and preparing, you’re facing the potential of lost revenue.

Start-up kits and turnkey business packages offer different levels of assistance and support. What do you need? Which do you want? Only you can decide, but don’t let the initial cost be the deciding factor. Create your cost comparison (time and money). By doing your due diligence, you can make an informed decision. This will result in the right choice for you, which will, in turn, help ensure your success.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Hartman is President of Hartman Inventory, a woman-owned business that provides business and home inventory services. She and her husband Mike also own Hartman Inventory Systems, a complete turnkey home inventory business package for those who want to establish their own inventory company. She is also an owner of Business Continuity Planning Specialists, which was created with the small business owners' needs and budgets in mind.

Cindy writes a blog and is also a freelance writer on topics of disaster preparedness and recovery, small business, product reviews, marketing and networking.