The Beatles Aren't the Only Ones Who Need HELP!

Can anybody help you to start your business?

This entry is from guest blogger, Cindy Hartman of Hartman Inventory Systems.  a business and personal property inventory company

Most everyone – at least in my generation – knows the words to this popular Beatles song. “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. Help, you know I need someone. HELP!”

This current economy could easily become a mantra for quite a few people who have been downsized, rightsized, terminated – whatever you want to call it. And like I did 5 years ago, many are considering starting their own business rather than return to the corporate world.

That wasn’t a tough decision for me, and I’m sure the same goes for those who are making that move. Even with confidence this is the right thing to do, though, there is hesitation, concern, uncertainty, and many, many questions to deal with. The Beatles sum it up by talking about getting their feet back on the ground. They reminisce that in younger days, they didn’t need anyone’s help, but now they aren’t so self-assured and need help getting their feet back on the ground.

Yep – that about sums it up! That is a great explanation of the internal conversations I had and many of you are having as well. Thoughts like “can I do it all on my own” or “do I need constant assistance.” Or, are your thoughts taking you somewhere in between a solo act and a package all wrapped up in a nice bow?

There are 4 main options: 

  1. starting on your own.
  2. buying a startup kit.
  3. purchasing a turnkey package.
  4. or investing in a franchise (the package wrapped up in a bow). 
There are wide variances among them, but during my research before starting my own business, I found some key differences.

STARTUP. A true startup is a clean slate, to create exactly what you want without even a template to help you get started. Whether you have a business partner or not, you’re on your own, without guidance or knowledge from someone already in the business. You are responsible for creating policies, procedures and processes. All creation and execution are in your hands. This is a daunting task, and often takes much more time and money to get started because of the extensive ramp-up caused by the learning curve. This was the direction I took, and found that it takes more time, effort and money than I ever anticipated!

STARTUP KIT. These vary greatly from just a brief how-to guide on a 3-fold brochure to a comprehensive manual which often includes document templates. The cost can be from minimal up to thousands of dollars. The key here is the word “startup”, which indicates you’ll receive up-front help, but then you’ll be on your own. There is no contract, because the purchase of the kit is the end of the transaction. This type of purchase can be helpful for those who want to be completely independent, but want just a little help to get started.

TURNKEY BUSINESS or TURNKEY PACKAGE. If you want independence as a business owner, with no one telling you what to do, or when and how to do it, then a turnkey business, sometimes called a turnkey package, could be for you. The term “turnkey” comes from the premise that you can just “turn the key" and you’re open for business. The true turnkey can be favorably compared to a franchise because they include marketing materials, hands-on training and continued mentoring and support.

FRANCHISE. There are few people who don’t know what about franchises. An already successful business organization enters into a continuing contractual relationship with new ventures. These new business owners operate under the franchisor’s trade name. If you want to own your company, but know that you’ll need continued help and support, this is probably the best choice for you. The fanchisors determine your marketing materials, company policies and procedures, location of your store and more. This business model requires a % of revenue in exchange for operating under their umbrella. Most, if not all, require a background check and financial qualifications.

No matter what you choose, you usually get what you pay for. Compare before buying! Whether you start your own business from the ground up, purchase a franchise, or buy something in between, remember that the success of your business is up to you. It rests entirely on your shoulders. Your determination, hard work and perseverance create your outcome.


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