Crowdfunding got its start as being a vehicle to help individual entrepreneurs and small businesses create structured startups and targeted products. Over the last decade, however, this platform has evolved into a structure where large businesses with developed infrastructures are benefiting.
Despite this fact, small businesses are still able to carve out their own niche on sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to write their own success stories.You can write your own success story beginning today as a small business or individual entrepreneur as well. Here is how you can make it happen.
1. Begin With a Solid Business Plan
Far too many small businesses get started because they see dollar signs in front of them. To collect those dollars, you’re going to need a structured plan that can keep you centered. Only a business plan is able to do this. Even if you haven’t created a formal business as of yet, a business plan can help a crowdfunding campaign stay on task and show backers that you’re committed to a long-term relationship.
There will inevitably be barriers that must be crossed during a live crowdfunding campaign. Having your mission, goals, and budget in writing not only makes these tough decisions easier to make, but it becomes a road map that every backer can follow along with you as well. It becomes the GPS of your business and without it, you will be lost.
2. Tell Your Story
Your story must be authentic to attract backers. No amount of spin or grandeur can make up for the negative impressions that a work of fiction will leave your visitors. Your brand must stand alone because the uniqueness it provides will be what resonates with potential customers.
We see this happen every day. We shop based on this fact. Yet many entrepreneurs ignore this point when creating their own campaign. Think about why you choose specific brands when you shop for the things you need. What causes you to buy one brand over another? It’s your story that will separate you from the 6,000 other campaigns that launch at the same time you launch your idea.
3. Be Passionate
The idea that you want to turn into a small business success story has to dominate your attention. It must be something that you are passionate about. Your visitors and customers are going to match your passion levels when it comes to your product. If you only give your crowdfunding campaign some part-time love, then your backers are going to be yawning more often than contributing.
It can be difficult to convey passion through words, so use all of your content medium options to communicate the love you have for your ideas. Video especially can show backers that you’re ready to move forward with gusto.
4. Get Involved Locally
Your small business is going to have a footprint in your community. Even if you don’t have any backers that are local, you’re still going to be interacting with local vendors. You’ll still have people who are curious about what it is that you do. By getting involved locally, you can begin to build the relationships you’ll need to sustain your success.
Local involvement also means you’ll receive some critical feedback about your product. This is information that can be used to improve your product, reduce costs, and see other benefits that you may not have seen on your own. Your backers are going to join you on your journey. Local involvement just makes that journey sweeter.
5. Ride the Wave of Success
When you have one successful crowdfunding campaign, the chances of a future campaign being successful will nearly double. Pebble Technology turned a $10 million success into a $20 million success. Maybe you only raised $10k for your small business, but what could $20k do for your next idea? With crowdfunding, that could be your reality.
Why does success help to bring about more success? It’s because backers like to support proven winners. This is also why a campaign that has met their funding goals are more likely to raise additional funds. A met goal reduces risk and uncertainty, even if the crowdfunding is based on rewards instead of equity.
Crowdfunding is still going to be dominated by large businesses with structured administrative supports. By following these key points, a small business can also find the success they need to begin building their own local empire within their industry. Get started today with your next great idea and there may be no limit to the amount of success you could experience.