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Turn-Key Franchises: WARNING

Frequently you may hear the term “turn-key” when a franchisor is advertising or promoting a franchise system. You may hear advertisements on the radio promoting the sale of their franchise and encouraging people to buy their turn-key operation.

The implication is that all you need to do is sign a franchise agreement, pay some money and then just “turn the key” to start up your profitable and successful business. They make it sound as simple as buying a fancy car and just starting the engine. Well, this is nonsense and the truth is that when it comes to business and business success, nothing is “turn-key”. Work, thought and planning is always required and no matter how good a franchisor is, as a franchisee you must be prepared to work “smart”. When I say work smart what I am referring to is not physical labor or long hours (actions that I would assume you are prepared to do) but, rather, to focus and work on developing and implementing business and marketing “systems” that will allow your new business to attract, convert and retain new customer. Just providing service is not enough and just “turning a key” and opening your door is certainly not enough.

The Bottom Line. If you are looking for something that is “turn-key” all you need to do is pay a franchise fee, spend some money, open the doors and work “in” your business, then chances are that you are making a big mistake.

So, when you are buying a franchise understand that:

  • Nothing is truly turn-key;
  • The franchisor is not going to do everything for you;
  • You need to investigate before you buy a franchise; and
  • Nothing is guaranteed.

Watch: Support Franchisees Should Expect from Franchisors and Are Royalty Fees Negotiable?

Charles Internicola

by Charles Internicola
National Business and Franchise Lawyer

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