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From marketing to your audience, recruiting effectively and leveraging technology, there are several crucial facets to creating a successful business, not the least of which is utilizing the resources at your disposal to grow business accomplishments.

As a real estate professional, you have to think outside the box in order to thrive in the competitive housing ecosystem. One of these innovative ideas involves working with the government. As a real estate professional dealing with properties in your community and county, you may not think you’re suited or qualified to work with the government, but you may be.

From selling Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homes to becoming an approved corporate vendor, the opportunities for real estate professionals are wide-ranging. Property management alone, an area in which most real estate agents are experienced, makes you a valuable candidate for these government agencies that often require help from businesses to take care of their wealth of properties from acquisition, disposition, buildout and facility maintenance.

How can you seize these business avenues? Preparation, knowledge, experience, superior service—and with the help of the government itself.

One of your resources is the Small Business Administration (SBA) and their extended family of free services that will help you create or enhance your business to best service your clients. From writing a winning business plan to assisting your company in the federal arena, the SBA can prove to be a valuable partner on your road to success.

The SBA’s SCORE is a national mentor network comprised of over 11,000 entrepreneurs, executives and business leaders who volunteer their time to mentor America’s small business owners. In SCORE, small businesses have the opportunity to receive advice directly from business owners with decades of experience who understand their struggle first-hand.

The mission of the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) is “to build, sustain, and grow small businesses; promote small business development; and enhance local economies by creating businesses and fulfilling its mission of creating jobs.”

There are over 900 SBDC locations across the U.S. that offer free one-on-one expert business counseling and low-cost training by experienced small business professionals. In a nationwide evaluation study, 80 percent of program participants responded that the SBDC’s business assistance was worthwhile.

Equally important to capitalizing on the tools at your disposal is doing the work. All the help and guidance in the world won’t be enough for your business if you do not prepare for success.

Make sure you have a strong business foundation from the start:

– A product or service
– A target market or audience
– Clear objectives
– A budget
– Drive and determination

If you do not have the work ethic or groundwork for your business, the resources won’t have the power to make you an overnight success. If you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, and all you need is a small boost or helping hand, your resources have the potential of being pivotal in your development as a prosperous businessperson.

Desirée Patno is president and CEO of the National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB). For more information, visit