Crowdfunding campaigns are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes. While traditional investors or backers can be difficult for a company to get, crowdfunding allows future customers or clients to invest in something they would like to see happen.
Through a crowdfunding campaign, you ask customers, donors or excited mini-investors to contribute a certain amount of money to your idea. In exchange for their contribution, you provide them with an exclusive deal or item. The more money they contribute, the larger the “prize.”
There are a number of reasons why crowdfunding has gotten so popular, with one of the largest being that it gets the target audience involved and excited about seeing a project come to life. Crowdfunding builds excitement around an idea and gauges customer support before a company invests in an idea.
Companies that run successful crowdfunding campaigns may see many different benefits. If you’re considering using a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for your next project, here are a few benefits you may experience.
Crowdfunding Boosts Brand Awareness
While you may already need a solid following to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, this kind of fundraising strategy can really get your business noticed. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo feature popular campaigns and allow visitors to search through specific categories or ideas, increasing your chances of getting noticed by donors.
A crowdfunding campaign can also help boost your brand awareness by giving your loyal customers something to share. When they’re excited about the product or service you’re hoping to create, they’ll get their friends and families excited as well. This boosts your exposure and can bring in some new long-term customers.
Crowdfunding Minimizes Risk
When you introduce a new product or service to the world, there is always some level of risk. If you don’t do proper market research, your idea may flop – meaning you’ve wasted precious time and money creating something no one wanted.
But crowdfunding minimizes that risk. Because you’re asking for donations directly from the individuals who would eventually purchase the product or service, you know whether or not the demand is strong enough to follow the project through. If you reach your crowdfunding goal, you can expect to see a successful project. If you fall short, you’re not terribly inconvenienced.
Crowdfunding Allows You to Stay Out of Investors’ Pockets
Many entrepreneurs struggle to get the money they need to grow their company without having to forfeit part of their ownership to an investor. The more an investor owns, the more control they have over the way the company is run. If an entrepreneur gives up too much, they may see their business slip out of their fingertips.
Crowdfunding presents an alternative to traditional investors. Because crowdfunding donors only expect to see the project come to life, entrepreneurs can get the money they need while holding onto their company. Many non-profits also turn to crowdfunding to raise money for their services. Because crowdfunding gives the community an opportunity to contribute, it can help many non-profit organizations meet their goals.
Crowdfunding Gives Your Community a Say
Traditionally, businesses would create a product or service and then create a marketing campaign telling their audience why they need to purchase that product or service. While this process has worked in the past, the internet has made it more accessible than ever for customers to discover what they really want. This puts the power back in the customer’s hands.
Crowdfunding allows a company to collaborate with their audience to create a product or service their audience is truly looking for. Because the product is not completed and the customers are funding the project, they can provide feedback, tips and questions. The entrepreneur can then apply this opinion to their final product.
Crowdfunding Helps You Stay out of Debt
Going into debt can be a death sentence for many entrepreneurs or small businesses. While some debt may be necessary for getting off the ground, if you’re unable to pay off your loans, you may find your business being shut down before you really got a chance to get started.
Crowdfunding allows you to minimize your debt while you’re in the growing stages. Through pre-selling items, offering low-cost incentives for donating and gauging the amount of interest in your new company or product, you can better budget and plan for the company’s start. This can prevent you from needing to borrow money from a bank or business loan provider.
Creating a crowdfunding campaign has the potential to completely change your business. If a campaign really takes off and becomes viral, you could have a stream of loyal clients before your company really gets off the ground.
When deciding whether or not crowdfunding is right for you and your business, consider these benefits. While they are not guaranteed to every entrepreneur that runs a crowdfunding campaign, the right strategy, marketing and planning could bring your business the boost it needs.