When you’re already working endless hours on your company, thinking about kicking off a complicated crowdfunding campaign can be daunting. It is a complex course of action with a potential, but not guaranteed, payoff. By breaking it down into smaller steps, however, it is possible to see past the complexity, into the crowd, and through to the capital boost you may enjoy.
The common thread is planning. Careful, meticulous and detailed planning won’t remove the complexity, but it will make the entire process more manageable.
Choose Your Method
What type of crowdfunding campaign is going to suit you, your startup or project, and your objectives? A reward campaign? Equity? Debt? The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released rules with respect to securities-based crowdfunding options. Check out the article examining two of these models and the rules that may apply to you.
Choose Your Platform
There are many platform options beyond the headline grabbers like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo. In fact, those platforms only allow rewards based crowdfunding at the time this article was written while many others allow you to offer equity or debt or an investment return to investors. Do your research to ensure you select a platform that suits your industry, your goals, your user group and audience, and your project.
Read the Fine Print
Make sure you are clear on all the terms included in the deal with the platform you’ve selected, and any third party vendors you might have to deal with. What are you responsible for paying and when, what percentage does the platform take and when can you expect to get paid once your campaign is over? Get your own legal advice and take care of protecting your intellectual property, if appropriate, before you launch.
Plan Each Campaign Day
Advance planning for all the operational details that will need to be take care of during the campaign is a must. Who handles media attention, responds to social media, answers phones, works on fulfillment (if it’s a rewards campaign)? It’s a mistake to assume that all the work is over when your campaign goes live. Before your campaign launches, you need to have a detailed plan of attack for each day, and for the first few days, even each hour.
If All Else Fails, Hire Help
There are many crowdfunding consultants out there who boast teams of marketing people behind the scenes. If you choose to go this route, ask for references, check their track records including how much has been raised on campaigns they’ve orchestrated, and whether they have specific industry expertise.
Accredited investors may require verification in some types of crowdfunding campaigns. VerifyInvestor.com has secure, swift and confidential verification processes to address all of your verification needs.