A turnkey web site is one where you pay a hosting service to provide you with an empty web site template that you can put your products into. It still runs under your domain, and is your site, but is “pre-fab” and ready to go. Many people shy away from this approach when considering how to start their online business. They want very much to stand-out from the competition and think that turnkey web sites will not facilitate this.
Additionally, there is an emotional attachment that many bring to their online business sites, particularly when starting out. As I’ve watched this behavior over the years, I have to question it. In my experience, the most successful business people, both online and off, are extremely analytical. They don’t bring emotion into the money-making equation. For them it is simply a matter of what brings the profits. This is the attitude you should take when considering a turnkey web site solution for your online business.
Put simply, you need to remove emotion from the equation altogether. If the number one objective of your online business is profit, then you need a logic-driven decision making process to decide if your web site will be home-grown or turnkey. Here are the criteria I use in making this decision:
1) Is there something about my product that won’t work in a turnkey web site?
2) Do I have a cheaper way to build a professional web site over buying a turnkey web site solution?
3) Are there reasonably priced turnkey web site platforms readily available?
4) Does the look-and-feel of the turnkey web site platforms meet the professional standards I have?
If you walk through each of these criteria and think critically about your options, you are likely to make a solid decision. For example, perhaps you are technical and can build your own web site from scratch. While this may take longer than buying a site, time is free. You may opt for this path because you view time as more available than the few hundred dollars it requires to launch a turnkey site. This is a reasonable conclusion. In another scenario, you may simply enjoy the process of building a web site. Here you are getting an intangible benefit of enjoyment from the activity. I personally place a high value on enjoyment as an important outcome of my work. Again, this is a reasonable conclusion.
However, if you are not technical and don’t think you’d enjoy learning how to do computer programming, then walk through the other criteria. If your product doesn’t have any funky requirements than a turnkey web site is probably the right way to go. Moreover, if you don’t have specific products selected for your online business yet, a pre-built site is even more appropriate because many are built with specific revenue streams built-in.
IncomeStores.com, for example, is a turnkey web site with revenue streams from Amazon, Google and Commission Junction (including eBay) built right into the product. This product is well suited for beginners looking for their first online-business venture who do not have vast product distribution networks set up. These stores require no programming and are configured through administration panels, making them easy to deploy. Your job is to add valuable content in the form of articles and product reviews and then market the store.
In summary, the decision to buy a turnkey web site over building a site yourself depends on many factors. But it’s important to be clear on the criteria for making this decision. If you enjoy building web sites, be clear that the satisfaction from building the site is part of the reason for doing it. If you are simply starting an online business for the sake of making revenue, you may well find that a turnkey web site will get you there faster.
Al builds enterprise software and helps small businesses with their IT and online marketing challenges.
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