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These Entrepreneurs Succeeded -- But Only After Failing Once Before

For a second act success, credit lessons learned at early go-arounds.

This story appears in the October 2016 issue of Start Up.

Sébastien Dupéré thought he'd stumbled on a winning idea with Les Dégommeurs. At first blush, the steam-cleaning business -- which Dupéré launched with two friends in 2006 -- looked successful. Customers were happy with their service, which removed gum and other gunk from public places such as the airport and theaters. References kept new business rolling in.

David Yellen
Entrepreneur Sébastien Dupéré of Dupray knows how to blow off steam.

Les Dégommeurs had one big problem: While it was bringing in a ton of cash, a lot of it was lost due to an inefficient operation. Compounding the issue, the Montreal 'treps had no strategy to remedy that. "We really didn't market ourselves in a way that was conducive to growing our business," Dupéré says. "We were taking one job here, another job there -- we didn't have a clear and concise business plan."

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