Have you ever wondered which crowdfunding platform to use? There are more and more options out there. From places like GoFundMe where you can raise money for anything including person needs, to Republic where you are raising a crowd funded investment round. The one most people are aware of for funding projects is likely Kickstarter. They are one of the first really well known platforms and lead the way. However, there are many options today providing different options that will fit different projects and people better.
Of course, raising money for a project isn’t always best for crowdfunding. There are other options beyond crowdfunding platforms and we’ll cover a few of these as well. Now let’s get into 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. There are many to choose from, so do your research. Make sure you look at the types of platforms for the kind of fund raising you are seeking. Here’s a few types:
- Person based – such as Go Fund Me
- Product Project based – such as Kickstarter
- Company/Product Project based – such as Indiegogo
- Investment based – such as Republic
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. There can be requirements to raise a certain amount, transactions fees, platform fees, and others. It’s important to compare fee structure when selecting the right platform for your project. Beyond just the fees, some have requirements to meet a certain goal, or you can only keep what is raised if you reach your set goal, others allow you to keep anything you raise. While some , 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 wonderful 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.
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.
This isn’t necessarily as hard as you might think. While it can take cash upfront, many successful businesses have been started in a garage building small amounts of a product and building from there.
Friends & Family
You are going to ask them to chip in any way 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 a family that could fund a new product business venture.
Incubators & Accelerators
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.