By: jdevore on January 11th, 2013

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How to Increase Productivity At Work By Creating A Turnkey Business

Turnkey Business


When folks talk about a turnkey business, they're most likely talking about a franchise - all the owner has to do is "turn the key" to begin operations; however, the term doesn't just apply to franchises.

What makes a franchise a turnkey business is that somebody has defined all of the processes, the inputs, the outputs, etc., and all they need to increase productivity is some investment capital and labor. Just plug them in and they're off!

But any business can replicate that, even if you're not selling burgers. All you have to do is incorporate the turnkey business concept - break down your business operations into mini repeatable processes that can be performed consistently by somebody else.

The turnkey business concept

The purpose of implementing the turnkey business concept is so you can add resources that can immediately begin to increase productivity. If you've developed mini-repeatable processes, you can scale your business whenever you have the need - if you have more work than you can handle, you can easily identify what needs to be done and then task that out. Just plug them in and they're off.

Even if your entire business can't be built around this concept, you can certainly find one or two operations that could. The more you can adopt the turnkey business concept, the better your chances of being able to effectively bring on more team members and have them instantly be productive.

Could you successfully add a new employee?

So, what about you and your team? If you added another employee or two, what would it look like? Would they be productive on day one? Or would they be sitting around waiting for you to show them what to do and how to do it - wasting their time and your money.

I have a friend who, a few months ago, added two contractors to his team and it drove him crazy. He had to come up with jobs on the spot to keep them busy - he hadn't identified what he did everyday, so he couldn't hand off those jobs. He then spent most of his day sitting next to them at their desk showing them what to do - he hadn't documented how he did anything, so he couldn't delegate it out.

At the end of the day he was exhausted. He also felt that he was probably less productive, even though he had more people on his team.

His operation was not a turnkey operation.

3 things to build a turnkey business

I recently wrote an article that spoke to how effective the Hurricane Sandy clean-up effort was because they could take volunteers and immediately begin using them - they had been able to use the concept of a turnkey business so that all they needed was some labor. Just plug them in and they're off.

We think that this is how all businesses can, and should, operate. And all you need to begin building a turnkey business are these three things:

  1. A list of all of your jobs
  2. Documentation that shows how to do those jobs
  3. A system that manages who's doing what

These form the foundation for building a turnkey business. Every other productivity hack you come up with will succeed or fail depending on how well you've implemented these three things.

See how we're building our turnkey business

Creating a turnkey business is an ongoing process that needs constant work. Everyday we define a new job, refine a process, and update our documentation to accurately reflect what we do. We've built a pretty good system though, and we want to show you how we're doing it so that you can replicate it in your business.

Check out our free webinar where we show you step by step how to build a turnkey business.

Watch the Free Webinar: How to Build a Turnkey Business

About jdevore

Jonathan (Jay) DeVore is the Director of Marketing at Blue Mango Learning Systems, developers of ScreenSteps. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Accounting, and is a licensed CPA in the state of Virginia. Right after graduation, he worked for his dad's private medical practice in Pasadena, CA auditing the efficiency of billing and collections. After 9 months of living in the golden state, he moved his family to Virginia to begin working at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). As an accountant at PwC, he actually did very little number crunching (which surprised him), and instead audited government information systems for compliance with government requirements (e.g. NIST 800-53). During his time with the Big 4 Accounting Firm, he helped large organizations improve their documentation both from a compliance perspective and instructional perspective. His favorite aspect of work was training/teaching, so when Greg and Trevor approached him with an opportunity to create educational content for ScreenSteps, he jumped at the chance. Jonathan lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and children, and enjoys the beautiful weather the D.C. area offers 9 months out of the year.