How to Pick a Crowdfunding Platform – Or Not?

09 Feb 2018 Mr. Peterman Business, Product

Have you ever wondered which crowdfunding platform to use? There are quite a few now that are growing. Kickstarter is seemingly the largest but not your only option. There is also the option of not using a crowdfunding platform. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at your launching options.
 
Do products like yours have success on the platform? You should look at each platform and see if any products similar to yours  have been successful. If you find one platform that jumps out as having more successful campaigns on it for your area, then that’s a good indicator to use it.
 
What does it cost you? Look at what the fees are, and if there are any requirements to getting the money raised. Factor this in when you compare campaigns.
 
Are there any limitations to the platform? Not that there are limitations on all platforms, but there may be restrictions on products or categories you can enter into.
 
Is crowdfunding the right platform in the first place? Crowdfunding works for some products, but as most people have seen, some really good ideas have “failed” with crowdfunding, while some seemingly terrible ideas have made thousands if not millions through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding can be a very fickle and hard to nail down system. There are other options you should also consider, especially if your end customer isn’t the general public.
 

  1. Angel investors. Yes, this means you will present to people and sell your idea, but this is a great way to launch something that is more proprietary, or doesn’t meet the general needs of the public.
  2. Self-launch. This isn’t necessarily as hard as you might think. While it can take cash up front, many successful businesses have been started in a garage building small amounts of a product and building from there.
  3. Friends & Family. You are going to ask them to chip in anyway if you launch a crowdfunding campaign. Sometimes it’s worth asking family and maybe they’ll be more financially supportive than you thought. This of course doesn’t apply to everyone, even I didn’t grow up with family that could fund a new product business venture.
  4. Incubators. Many start-ups don’t think about this option at all. Incubators are organizations that take in businesses that look promising, and help them to grow. They work with them in a number of capacities including financial help (though not always directly) they often have connections with investors of many different types.

 
These points will help guide you as you go through selecting a crowdfunding platform, or not. Making sure you select the best option will help create success for your project.