Some dishwashers run better if you run the hot water in a nearby sink first to get the hot water into the pipes.
Check occasionally to make sure nothing has fallen to the bottom or to clean out any bits and pieces that may have collected and block the drain.
Occasionally run some vinegar or bleach through an empty, hot cycle to clean the dishwasher. (Do not use bleach if the washer has a stainless steel interior.) Baking soda may also work. Another popular option is lemon kool-aid. (Use a light color as the dye in the red or purple colored flavors may stain.)
If you have a garbage disposal unit, run it before running the dishwasher. (This will also give you a chance to get the hot water running first.)