How to Make Crowdfunding Work for Your Small Business

A small business dream is just that until it has the basic funding to launch. Finding that initial cash flow is one of the toughest obstacles to overcome but it’s possible with the right business plan and direction.

There are many avenues for small business funding, from traditional banks to loans from family and friends. Contemporary small business owners also have the option of crowdfunding their endeavors on a number of platforms. Think you may want to try this outlet for funding your small business? Here are some suggestions to help you wind up successful:

Be conversational.

Most people won’t understand your small business or product idea without some guidance. Remember that you are playing to people’s emotions and to the potential of what your item can do to improve their lives. If you want them to click that donate button, explain your concept in a way that is exciting and about them, not you.

Offer incentives.

One of the signatures of crowdfunding is the ability to give back, even slightly, to your donors. This isn’t usually in a monetary way. Instead, allow your funding angels to be the first to try your product when it is manufactured, or read your book, or do whatever makes sense for what you are asking. Not sure what to offer? Read through similar crowdfunding profiles to see what they are offering to their donors.

Brand Yourself.

Give funding visitors an exact snapshot of what your business has to offer through smart branding. This includes a logo and any other contact details you may already have (like email and social media handles). Branding yourself will instill more confidence in potential donors because they will see that you have a plan that is bigger than the initial offering. You should also consider using an email signature to increase your brand presence. See ZippySig for some great examples.

Research your competition.

If your small business idea is similar to something already on the market, explain why yours is different (and better, naturally). Crowdfunding is about new, innovative ideas so you must present your small business as cutting-edge. What part of the market needs are you meeting? Who are you as a small business owner? Winning your customers over takes the same type of psychology as winning at cards. Know where you are in the competitive pack, relative to your competition, and market your company as the alternative.

Give yourself time.

Crowdfunding isn’t usually the best option if you need the money on a tight time schedule. If you need to launch your business within the next few months, then you may want to look for a funding source that gives you an immediate answer. Give yourself at least 6 months to 1 year to raise money for your small business goal on a crowdfunding site. Best case, you’ll have the funds even earlier than planned.

Crowdfunding can be a powerful resource for potential small business owners when harnessed correctly. With the right combination of a good idea and excitement from consumers, crowdfunding is a smart way to get a business idea off the ground.