In many forums with my peers from the small business community, there is a constant theme about raising capital and how hard it is – especially small to medium amounts of capital.
Investors want too much and banks don’t do it without taking scary collateral guarantees. So the third option is investigating crowdfunding, here’s how.
1. Work out what works and who has succeeded
Whilst it feels new, it’s not. So before you begin, go and find out and search out other people who have gone before you and had success raising funds from crowdsourcing. There are many success stories in Australia of businesses which have grown and thrived that you can reach out to. You can read about some of them here to get you started. Dig deep and read as much as you can about successful case studies and why they were successful. Contact them and ask questions!
Investigate the different platforms and why they may work for you, from Kickstarter to Crowdfundit to Indiegogo. Consider the size of the crowdfunding platform and whether you will stand out, or get lost as a small player. Ensure you are a good fit for the average funder. They tend to be generally male and slightly younger, so make sure your product will be attractive to that audience type.
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2. Never forget good implementation counts for everything
Learn from the best when planning your pitch. To get attention, great video content is a must, with clear objectives and a pitch message. The devil is in the detail, ensure you cover off your whole operating model to present yourself as a professional, established business that is viable, regardless of whether you are in startup phase or not. Funders want to have faith in your skill set. Show your product in all its glory, even investing in 3D CAD design on your video, use creative graphics to showcase and excite.
3. Be ready for the cash
Market yourself, be active on social media, market your pitch, be interesting and be ready to take cash immediately. Have the phones manned and social media posts streaming. Promote how you are reaching your goal and reach out to both social and traditional media channels, by making your pitch interesting to read about. Look at every marketing avenue the crowdfunding platform has to market you, from e-newsletters, to positionals on the page. The more you invest in “shouting out” the more attention you will get, from funders and also from the platform itself.
Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.