Do you feel lost and insignificant in the corporate world? Do you have an independence that screams, “I want to do my own thing!”? Then possibly owning your own business is the answer.

But where do you start? Can you do it all on your own, do you need constant assistance, or are you somewhere in between?

There are 4 main options: starting on your own, buying a startup kit, purchasing a turnkey package, or investing in a franchise. There are wide variances, but during my research before starting my own business, I found some major differences.

A startup is a new business, started without assistance. Whether you have a business partner or not, you’re on your own, without guidance or knowledge from someone already in the business. (Of course, a business coach or mentor could provide this, but that’s another topic.) You choose what you want to do, and where and how you want to do it. You create your policies, procedures, processes. You create your marketing materials, decide who your target market is and figure out how to market to them. All creation and execution is 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.

The first step above starting on your own is purchasing a startup kit. These vary from just a brief how-to guide to a comprehensive manual and often document templates to help with the processes. Many times other items might be included; for instance, a website, resources or shared information. The cost can be minimal up to thousands of dollars. The key here is the word “startup”, which indicates you’ll receive upfront 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 the assistance to get started.

Are you wanting independence, but also prefer help with the startup plus continued support? Then a turnkey business, sometimes called a turnkey package, is most likely for you. states that a turnkey business includes everything needed to immediately start running the business. The business can be implemented with no additional work required by the buyer (just by 'turning the key')". Normally you’ll receive a contract because of the association that continues beyond the startup phase. Some turnkeys have options to renew, which brings additional benefits. You’ll find turnkey packages that are barely more than a startup kit. Others can be favorably compared to a franchise because they include websites, newsletters, marketing materials, equipment, hands-on training and continued mentoring and support. There is a wide variation in turnkey packages; the pricing can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

A franchise, according to, is a business organization in which a successful firm - the franchisor - enters into a continuing contractual relationship with franchisees operating under the franchisor’s trade name. Usually with the franchisor’s guidance is in exchange for a fee. The assistance you receive from most franchises is all-inclusive from marketing to office procedures to location of your store to how you conduct your daily business. If you want to own your company but know that you’ll need continued assistance and support, this is probably the best choice. 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, and your determination, hard work and perseverance create your outcome.

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.

She also serves on the Advisory Board of the International MasterMind Group with Success Coaches Institute where she shares her knowledge and experience on topics of business ownership, entrepreneurship, having a positive attitude and the law of attraction.