Have you thought about going it alone? The 4imprint quick-step guide to starting your own business could help you on your way!

4 : 4 Yourself

So, you’ve reached the top of your profession. You’re a senior decision-maker but quite frankly you’re a little bored. But is the grass greener on the other side? If you start your own business, you have to be sure it’s something you really want. That you’re willing to put the hours in and do all aspects of the job. Begin with a list of pros and cons. Be realistic. Here are some steps to take before you go into business ‘4’ yourself!

I : Ideas

Do you have a good business idea? Check out the competition and whether anyone else is doing what you’re planning. If they are, is there a way you can be doing it differently? Uber is a great example of a market ‘disrupter’, creating a new way taxis work. So, as well as original ideas, doing things differently and disruptively are also a good basis for a business. If you don’t have an idea, then keep working on it as you need to offer something different for your business to be a success.

M : Money

Have you got the money to invest to get your business off the ground? You need to draft a business plan that takes into account what you need to spend to get started and when you need to generate income, as well as how much income you need. In today’s virtual world, for example, do you need an office? Keeping overheads to a minimum until you start to generate income is key.

P : People

Invest in people wisely. They can bring in clients and some positions are crucial to a new business. Whilst it makes sense for you to take on as many roles as possible and keep the head count down, make sure you invest in an accountant or accountancy software as cashflow is king and you need to keep on top of billing. You may also need to submit VAT and tax returns.

R : Reach

Focus on building your customer database. It doesn’t have to cost the earth – word of mouth and social media are two very cost-effective ways of getting your name out there.

I : Instant

Remember that we live in a ‘need it now’ culture. Is your business 24/7? Do you offer next day delivery? Our research indicates that one in eight people in business want things instantly. You need to be efficient and agile. If you’re not, others will be, and your customer will move onto the person who can deliver ‘now’.

N : Need

Are you fulfilling a need? A great way to make sure your business stays successful is to fulfil your customers’ needs. Whether it’s a product or a service, think about how you can satisfy particular needs – ideally in a unique way to any competitors.

T : Tactics

How you sell your products or services and the marketing tactics you use will create a brand personality for your business.  Whether you focus on design (like Apple) or product innovation (like Dyson), it’s important that you start to build a brand presence for your business right from the outset.