Do you know why approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of operations? Some may say that it is the lack of planning, limited funding sources, or marketing approach, which are valid reasons. However, beyond that, part of the business journey is the investment you make in yourself and the bold actions that are needed to scale your business. 


Here are five key reminders to help you make that mindset shift as you start your new business: 


1. You are not just making a commitment; you are making an investment. Investment goes beyond the dollars and cents; you also need to invest in yourself – knocking down any potential personal barriers that can influence whether your business will fail or thrive. Doing what is best for your company will force you to deal with your fears and insecurities. Do yourself a favor and get ahead of the game. For example, take a public speaking class, sign up for pitch competitions, apply for accelerator programs  – confront the things that hinder you personally so that you can grow with your business. 


2. Authenticity is key, so be vulnerable and share. YOU are the business which ultimately means that, particularly at the start,  people are "buying" the person and not the company. People want to know your story – they want to know who you are and why they should buy your product or service. Even if your product or service is something already in the market, no one will ever have your story or the experiences that you do. Your lived experiences matter, so show up authentic, be present, and be you.


3. Avoid doing it alone; leverage strategic partnerships. The best way to increase your brand’s visibility is to partner with established companies aligned with your mission and where you can add value to the market. This will also give you a chance to tap into their network and establish brand credibility.  


4. Don’t stop at word of mouth; build an online presence. Much of your credibility comes from what people can find online about you and your company. When I first started my business, I did not have a social media presence. I was afraid that if my business failed, it would be a poor reflection of my leadership for everyone to see. So, I made an investment that forced me to confront my fears and then set up a professional website and now have profiles on social media. This ultimately helped my company grow. The more you tell people about your business, the more you will see the impact of your work. 


5. Progress does not lead to perfection. Progress leads to more progress. What your business will look like in five years will likely change from how you see it today. Remember that not every business ends up how it started, and that is okay. When you think you have it all mapped out, be ready to adapt quickly because not everything will go exactly how you expected. Therefore, make plans that allow mistakes while letting progress continue to make way. Many companies were not prepared to move to a virtual platform during COVID-19. Will your business survive if another pandemic happens? As they say, don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Continue to make progress forward, learn and adapt. 



This article was written in partnership with getWise - a technology platform that provides on-demand expert advice for small businesses and women to accelerate their business or career.  

Jessica's getWise profile