Starting a new company can be scary business. More often than not, it’s easy for a new venture to fall along the wayside before it’s ever even had a chance to really take off. Here are 10 tips for small business growth courtesy of Balboa Capital.

1. Concentrate your efforts.

Small companies tend to have limited resources, so it’s best to serve niche markets. Spreading yourself thin by offering more will put you in direct competition with large retailers. By specializing in a particularly narrow market, you will be able to focus on what you do best. Not to mention, you and your company will be thought of as an expert in your field.

2. It’s not the size that matters.

You may think the size of your business will limit your advantages over bigger businesses – not always so. Smaller businesses are typically more flexible, which allows for superior customer service. You can really maximize your customer relations with a quicker response time and a personalized experience.

3. Be a stand-out.

Really take the initiative to inform your customers on the benefits of your products and/or services. Know your competitors, but strive to do what they’re not.

4. Assume you won’t get a second chance.

Do your very best the first time around. Customers will always remember their first interaction with you, your staff, store, product or service. Think of everyone you come in contact with as a potential customer or referral. A good first impression can pave the way for a lifelong customer.

5. Build a solid reputation.

Success of any business is built upon quality goods and superior service. Perfectly satisfying your customer lends to repeat business and positive word of mouth.

6. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

A growing business demands continuous adaptability and improvement. Resisting change may leave your business in the dust of newer ideas and technology. Your customers crave the very latest solutions quickly and efficiently.

7. Customers are king.

Your customers are the most integral part of your business—listening and focusing on their needs will gain their trust, and more importantly, their loyalty. Keep in mind that your best customers are your number-one source of free advertising.

8. Plot a course.

When you have a plan of action, you increase your chances of success. A well-structured business plan may help you to predict and focus on concepts, costs, sales and customer service. You’ll have a clearer picture on where you want to go and how you want to get there.

9. Keep it fresh.

Stay abreast of technological change by continuously reinventing aspects of your business. Explore new avenues of efficiency as well as innovations in pricing, promotions, customer service and distribution. You may not just discover easier solutions, but cost-saving ones too!

10. Manage yourself.

True entrepreneurs know their own strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them. Recognize when new skills are required to move your business forward, and when it’s time to recharge your batteries. A constant drive to develop your ideas and expert time-management are keys to working smart.