When you set out on the entrepreneurial highway, you'll be bursting with innovative ideas. The problem is, all too often disappointment, even failure, lurk around the corner, waiting to bump you. It's about getting things into balance (hah, isn't that the magic key to so much in life). Well, the road ahead may be long and winding but win or lose, make it a great learning curve experience.

1. Easy reasons to ‘give up'

Write these down in a neat, pencilled list, read through once, laugh at them and fill the bin. The recycling men will love you which will add a bit more cheer. Now rev up on the accelerator, feel the adrenaline surge, thoughts of success will zoom.

2. Foundation team build

Get your team together and make it a strong and reliable one, with those you like, admire and trust. Bounce ideas off each other, balance the emotional rollercoaster. Build for the future; brake when the lights show ‘red' and slow down occasionally.

3. The pyramid of growth

Look up at the dizzying height of the tip then recognise you're sitting at the base. Financial success needs sales, need marketing, needs people power. With a healthy engine, business sense and sensibility, profit and growth will follow, quick fix will not.

4. Advice Line

Learn from every experience, good or bad; seek and take advice, listen to those who've travelled the same route, and arrived with a full tank; constructive criticism is motivating, accept tough talk, drive on, move into the fast lane and overtake.

5. Fuel for thought

Pass your test, yes; take an advanced test, yes. Be wary of qualification-collecting beyond this. Courses are often just that and no more; it doesn't make you an expert or ‘fully trained'. Hands-on experience is worth a mountain of files, notes and study.

6. The importance of being in business

It's your business and the idea behind it is the bud, not the flower; it's a living, breathing thing so, if success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, innovative ideas and enthusiasm need wheels, signals, movement and drive time action.

7. Time isn't money

Time is a free gift, we're all handed out the same portion; use it wisely because it's your most precious asset. If you're stuck in a no business jam there's plenty of things you can do to get you moving again http://www.autoalert.me.uk/blog/?p=199

8. Who knows you exist?

Promote your business and great service. Signpost the way to the showroom; let the world see you, like you, admire you and buy into you. Marketing is rarely wasted; so many different methods are available, choose your budget range and go for it.

9. Image or imagine

In today's increasingly image conscious world, it's worth spending time and funds on the way the world views your company; it may be paramount to your success. A motorway worn Merc isn't nearly so tempting as the shiny, unscratched model.

10. It's a risky business

Go for risk, accept the consequences, it may be standing at the tip of the pyramid, gazing down...

Richard Harris, AutoAlert Ltd