You have an amazing idea for the next big thing, but how do you launch your startup? Not too long ago, the traditional start-up path involved accelerators, incubators, tons of networking and pitching to VCs that would tell you no 9 times out 10. Today, entrepreneurs have another option to launch their companies: crowdfunding. In fact, the crowdfunding industry is on track to account for more funding than venture capital in 2016.
Because your crowdfunding campaign plays such an influential role in your company’s establishment, you definitely want to choose the right platform for your goals. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the path for your startup.
The building blocks for successful companies
Securing funding for your idea is just one step on the path to retail. In addition to raising money, you’ll want to consider how you’ll launch and support the entire lifecycle of a company, not just a product.
Want to discover the right audiences and validate your idea? Make sure you investigate how your crowdfunding platform handles analytics, as data is crucial for helping you determine where you’re succeeding and where you can improve. Also, be aware of the footprint of your platform as well. Indiegogo’s global platform reaches 223 countries and territories, giving you the chance to tap into markets worldwide.
Equally important is how your platform is set up to continue raising money after your campaign ends. Indiegogo InDemand is a unique feature that gives you the advantage of growing your existing community, collecting pre-sales, providing social proof and receiving exposure on the Indiegogo platform.
But capital serves no purpose if you don’t have the resources available at your disposal to manufacture your product. More and more, crowdfunding platforms are forging relationships with partners that can help accelerate your path to market. Indiegogo collaborates with Brookstone Launch as an end-to-end product development program, offering expert guidance, manufacturing support and retail distribution from Brookstone. We also linked up with Amplifier to make it easy for you to fulfill physical perks.
Excited to see your product in real, live stores? Our partnerships with major retailers like Amazon, Brookstone and Target provide opportunities for your product to be sold on retail shelves and online.
Wherever your idea is in the lifecycle, make sure your platform of choice can support you every step of the way. It’s no longer enough to launch a product, you need the resources to launch a company.
Personal support to guide you to crowdfunding success
Support may seem an odd thing to bring up, but for most startups, this is their first introduction to the complex world of fundraising, so making sure your platform is there for advice is vital.
Are real, live people accessible when you need help? What types of personalized tips and insights can they offer to help you maximize your campaign? What kind of knowledge is available on a blog or help center to help educate the community on best practices for every step of the way? It’s the human side of crowdfunding; the personal touch that keeps people coming back for their second, third and fourth campaigns. No matter how far along you are in getting your startup off the ground, you need comfort in knowing you’ll have support.
Flexible or fixed: funding options tailored to your business
Setting a realistic goal for your crowdfunding campaign is key to your project’s success; you need enough funds to execute your idea, and contributors want to know that their money is going to be put to good use. Let’s say you do the math and determine that you need $10,000 to launch your business, but you end up raising around $9,000. On most crowdfunding platforms, falling short of your set goal is defined as a failure. All of the money gets refunded to contributors and you lose that chance to bring your idea to life. Seems a little extreme considering you raised a substantial amount of money, right?
But on Indiegogo, you have the option to choose flexible or fixed funding for your campaign. Fixed means just that – your goal is fixed and you must meet it to receive any funds. This option is good for people who have a strict minimum amount of money required to accomplish their goals. Flexible funding means you get to keep all the funds raised, even if you don’t meet your goal. So if you chose flexible funding for your $10,000 campaign and raised $9,000, you’ll still have a shot at using that money to bring your idea to life. Chances are, you’ll still be able to make a lot of progress towards creating your company with such a large percentage of your original goal. When you’re ready, our field guide can help you get started.