Not every new young entrepreneur has the luxury of having a mentor to help guide him or her on their first business venture. So finding guidance is up to them and it usually requires a great deal of research. Even if a new entrepreneur can find a mentor, he or she still needs to do research and learn about the market they are about to enter.

It is not uncommon for first time entrepreneurs to want to jump at every opportunity that passes in front of them. They start off with one business idea and along comes a distraction, or they think they can handle more than one business idea at the same time. The problem is that they lose focus on their first business and their productivity eventually suffers.

Choosing the right business is important. But choosing a business to start because it is the current trending idea, could end in failure. Yes, having a trending business can be great. But if you cannot get fully behind that effort, then failure may be looming. Any business you start should be one that your heart is in – and you must have knowledge of your product or service offering.

Learn your elevator pitch. You need to tell a potential customer or an investor what you do within 30 seconds! Have two different pitches – one for customers and one for investors. Each pitch should hit the points that your audience wants to hear.

If you do not know something, seek out an expert to help you. Besides using professionals like accountants and lawyers to get everything set up, you also need to surround yourself with expert mentors and advisers. A mentor can answer a lot of questions and save you from making the same mistakes they made when they were starting out.

Do not try to act like a ‘fat cat’ when you are just starting out. You may have excellent cash flow, but you can quickly lose customers if you start spending fast on frivolous items. That fancy new car and that lavish office might feel good, but are you really benefiting your business with those expenses? Sometimes running your business from a virtual office can make you look big and save you a great deal of money at the same time.

Be prepared for bumps in the road ahead. When you start your first business, you never know what to expect. Even with solid business planning, bumps can still slow you down if you don’t anticipate them. When a mistake happens, do not just try to fix it – learn from it! You will learn more from your mistakes than you will from you successes. You will learn not to make the same mistake twice before you will learn to duplicate your successes.

The health of you new small business can be great, but not at the expense of your own physical personal health. If you are not healthy and find that often elusive work/life balance, you will soon discover that your business will suffer. Take the time to exercise and choose the right foods to eat. Taking the elevator all the time and eating poorly will not help your health – and will likely impact business in a negative way.

Knowing when things are just not working in your first business venture can be rough. But knowing it is time to find an exit strategy can be tougher. Sometimes your first entrepreneurial venture just does not work out. Do not take an unsuccessful business venture as a failing. Look upon it as a valuable lesson for your next business idea.