What does it take to become a successful small business? Obviously, it requires a realistic business plan, a unique product or service, a good business credit score, and an adequate amount of capital. Equally important, small business owners and their employees need to be motivated for long-term success, and provide customers with the high level of service they expect. Here at Balboa Capital, we compiled this list of four tips for small business success.

Hire the best employees.

The most important people at your company are your employees. They are the ones who will speak to your customers and prospects on a daily basis, and they need to provide the best service possible. If your small business provides a positive experience for your customers, they will be more inclined to come to you for repeat business instead of going to one of your competitors. Having talented, well-trained employees helps ensure a consistent brand experience for your customers, and this is necessary for small business success.

Promote your small business.

These days, your small business needs more than a sign and business cards in order to reach your intended audience. It needs an integrated business marketing plan that covers a variety of offline and online media. Once you come up with a brand platform and strategy for your small business, look at various types of advertising strategies to see which ones give you the most for your marketing dollar. Common forms of small business advertising are flyers, direct mail, coupons, websites, targeted email campaigns and social marketing. If possible, contract with a local branding company or freelance marketing professional to have your advertising materials developed and implemented.

Save your capital.

Cash is the lifeblood of your small business, so establish systems and/or protocols that enable you to save as much capital as possible. For example, you should avoid unnecessary spending or hiring more employees than are actually needed. Saving capital is a smart financial practice, and it prepares you for things like an unexpected slow sales period.

Get affordable business funding.

Some small businesses might not have longevity in the marketplace, or have the luxury of a nice-sized customer base that helps generate repeat business. Additionally, a sudden dip in the stock market or unexpected down economy can present a whole host of challenges to any small business. If you need growth capital, choose a lender that offers competitive rates and flexible terms. The last thing you want is to get into a risky financial situation.