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Congratulations! You’ve successfully gotten your new business off the ground and made it through the first year. Of course, the hard work isn’t finished. As you approach your second year of being in business, there are new challenges to meet and overcome.

That’s why we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council to share their best advice for new entrepreneurs who are entering their business’s second year. Below, they share 14 actions you should take to help your business grow and thrive after year one.

Forbes Coaches Council members advise businesses entering their second year.
Forbes Coaches Council members give their best advice for entrepreneurs entering their second year in business.PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Set New Goals And Milestones

Create new goals with measurable milestones. That first year is a learning curve, and you will likely play it “safe” because you are not sure what the outcomes will be. By the second year, you should be finished testing the waters and ready to move full speed ahead with tangible goals that have a positive impact on your bottom line. – Kimberly Buchanan, The Buchanan Group – Professional Coaching for Professional Women

2. Take Small Steps Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to sit back and cruise for a bit when you’ve had a successful first year. The secret to success is taking small, incremental steps. Have quarterly and annual goals for your business, your employees and yourself. Make sure they are in your “discomfort zone.” Then, clarify the incremental steps to reach your goal. Have your team design and clarify their goals and the intentional steps to take for success and growth. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC

3. Reset To Your ‘Day One’ Mindset

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of getting so invested in the path they’ve taken and the ideas they’ve had so far that they forget to reset. Even as you begin your second year, keep your “day one” mindset. Ask what the landscape is like today. If you bought this business today, what strategy and actions would be most optimal? Fearlessly pivot and reset. – Shefali Raina, Alpha Lane Partners

4. Be Willing To Fail

One thing newer entrepreneurs should do as they begin their second year is be willing to fail. If they can get over the paralysis that their fear of failure creates, they can achieve substantially more in year two and beyond. – Jennifer Helene, Purposeful Ventures, LLC

5. Introduce Corrective Plans

Make an analysis of the results achieved during the last year, comparing it with the strategic plan to see the differences that have occurred. Next, carry out new planning for the second year, incorporating the experience of the previous one, corrective elements and learning from the first year. During the second year, introduce 90-day plans to focus on what has gone wrong. – José Luís González Rodriguez, ActionCOACH

6. Watch Your Cash Flow

Second-year businesses face a big challenge: taking care of the money. Be sure you’ve got support or staff to help you pay attention to cash flow in and out. Plan not only for the year’s revenue growth, but also for profit growth. What can you do to keep lean and generate cash? You’ll need to do more of this as you scale up. – Christine Rose, Christine Rose Coaching & Consulting

7. Revisit Your Strategy

Revisit your strategy. Assess and analyze its performance to ensure that you are in alignment with your vision, mission, values, goals and objectives. Keeping your state of mind constantly focused on your strategy will enable you and your team to continue your journey, maximizing excellence and realizing positive results and business success. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting

8. Determine What Worked And What Didn’t

Revisit core values and goals and look at what was both successful and unsuccessful in year one. Ensure that you’re refining your target customer and doubling down on your marketing list, repeat customers and automation. That will help drive clients in without you having to do the heavy lifting. And pat yourself on the back. You made it through year one! – Lauren Cooney, Spark Labs

9. Stress-Test Your Enthusiasm

You want to stress-test your early enthusiasm. Don’t glide. This means you anticipate, create and solve problems that you know you are going to face as the energy of the first year in business wears off. Enthusiasm in a new enterprise can last a year, for sure, but once the airplane hits glide mode, there may be turbulence. Create some of your own potential problems and try to solve them before they appear. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

10. Ask All Past Clients And Consumers For Feedback

As humbling and intimidating as it is, reach out to all past clients and consumers to engage them further. Ask the following questions: How can we improve? What did you find beneficial in our services or product? Can you give us direction on how to level up the user experience on our platform? – Natasha Ganem, Lion Leadership

11. Create A Plan To Scale Sustainably

Think about the sustainable scaling of your business, which should include a focus on the people functions of the organization. As companies grow in maturity and complexity, they need skilled and knowledgeable leaders who can focus not only on employment-law compliance issues, but also on developing and maintaining a healthy, people-centric organizational culture to drive innovation. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

12. Systematize Your Workflows

Systems, systems, systems! Look at your operations and the tasks that are required to get the work done. If they can’t be systematized, then you are not quite clear about how it should be done. It’s now about looking at your workflow and documenting the steps it takes to complete it. It will help with training, efficiency, clarity and quality across the business. Get everyone on the same page. – Tyron Giuliani, Selling Made Social

13. Assess Your Culture

Assess your culture using a variety of tools: online surveys, one-on-one meetings and focus groups. Are you being the leader your employees want and need you to be? How familiar and aligned are your people with your purpose, policies and procedures? What needs to change? How committed are you to making changes? And how will you measure your success? – Lee Eisenstaedt, Leading with Courage Academy

14. Revisit Your Customer Avatar

Revisit your customer avatar. When starting my coaching practice, I had a very clear vision of who I believed my customer would be. At the end of the first year, I realized that my vision was a bit off. Taking the time to analyze the clients who sought out my services and what that meant for my future offerings was critical going into the second year—and all years moving forward. – Cheryl Czach, Cheryl Czach Coaching and Consulting, LLC

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