Whatever brand or size outboard you have, use the maintenance schedule outlined in your owner's manual.
Over the last few weeks I’ve encountered half a dozen anglers at the boat ramps early in the morning that are dealing with an outboard motor problem that can be easily avoided (and help protect your outboard from permanent damage as well).
Back in the day, flushing an outboard with fresh water was done only one way. A set of "ear muffs" or "flush muffs" was fitted around the engine's gearcase to cover the water intakes, connected to a garden hose with a good water supply, and the engine was run for five to 10 minutes. But today's outboards can be flushed using other, sometimes easier methods, without even starting the engine.
Outboards come with two types of starting systems, electric and recoil. Recoil starters are similar to those in power equipment such as chain saws, lawn and garden equipment and small generators. Electric starters are the analog of the starter in your car. Many outboards with electric start systems come equipped with recoil starters as a backup system. Check your engine operator's manual to determine if your engine has this feature.