5 Lessons Learned From Million Dollar Mistakes

By: Shanza Anwaar

If you’re an entrepreneur, you will attest to how financially draining the initial stages of a startup can be.  Cash-strapped entrepreneurs don’t have the financial capital that medium-to-large sized businesses do and have to come up with resourceful methods to create profit.  Moreover, entrepreneurs simply cannot afford to make mistakes that will cost them more money and damage the business’s growth in the long run.

Canadian entrepreneur Greg Isenberg, the CEO of Fiveby.tv and an angel investor for startups, candidly gave the audience of GROWtalks in Montreal advice on how to prevent million dollar mistakes. At the young age of 24, Isenberg has lost a total of $1.5 million dollars over his budding career of building and investing in startups.  Here are the five lessons Isenberg learned along the way:

1.     Compelling copywriting is a must:  In order to sell your brand or product, a great copy must engage the audience and future customers.  Good marketers are key in communicating a brand’s vision.

2.     Building relationships with significant influencers:   Schools, trading rooms, and blogs are a gateway to the community your business is trying to reach.  Isenberg states that “the best way to onboard influencers is by building a real relationship.  Pick up a phone, email them or best yet, take them out for drinks.”

3.     New technology means new opportunities:  The app ecosystem, CSS3, iOS are just a few examples of technology that can create opportunities for growth.  Isenberg suggests questioning how a new innovation can impact your business and open new prospects.

4.     Using exclusivity to your advantage: Techies and entrepreneurs alike want to be in-the-know of the latest innovations and services that can change the way they do business.  Creating an “exclusive club” feel generates hype and word of mouth about products, events and services your business offers.

5.     Being prepared for conferences:  Isenberg rushed the launch of one of his startups in order to showcase it at Finovate 2011.   The features of the product were built more for show rather than adding actual value for future customers.  The CEO suggests building strong products that not only add value, but bring necessary SEO for the business.

With these lessons in mind, entrepreneurs can avoid financial hurdles, create valuable products and services, and generate profit without having to pay for costly mistakes.

Shanza is a Social Media Intern at Altitude Accelerator. Pursuing two undergraduate majors in anthropology and professional writing at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Shanza is also a co-editor and content writer at the Digital Enterprise Management Society. She hopes to make her mark as a Social Media Consultant.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit Altitude Accelerator for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

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