“Crowdfunding” is the latest catchphrase in the finance and funding world, but how relevant is it to the engraving industry and is it worthwhile option to investigate separate to the normal finance and leasing options? There are so many platforms out there, which is the best one to use? Australian business, Chocolate Brownie Leather (CBL) recently used the Kickstarter platform to successfully raise funds to purchase a laser machine, but is it right for you? Below are some considerations.
Firstly, it’s important to identify WHY you are looking to raise funds. Are you looking to raise money to start a business, upgrade your laser machine or looking to commence a dream engraving project that you couldn’t fund as part of your normal business operations? You must have an end goal in mind as many crowd-funding sites have limitations on projects and different types of sites are suited to different purposes. CBL need to raise some additional funds to secure finance for the purchase of her Trotec Laser machine. CBL had a set goal in mind and usage.
Secondly, what is the best platform for you to use? Kickstarter is focussed on creative industries, there are equity funding sites for start-ups (if you’re looking to establish a business) and even crowdfunding sites dedicated to helping raise funds for lawsuits! Google even has it’s own crowdfunding tool, Contributor for publishers. Thoroughly search the various sites and options before deciding on your preferred site. How long will you want to raise funds for as well?
Thirdly, ensure your project has suitable rewards for backers and is seen to minimise their risk. CBL offered a range of beautiful quality hand-crafted leather pieces as rewards for her backers (there was a range of rewards on offer for backers). Plus using Kickstarter, backers are not charged until full funding is achieved.
Finally, you still have to work for it! Backers won’t just come to you. Just like any other element if your business, you have to market and sell the crowdfunding component to ensure success.
Crowdfunding can be an out-of-the box way of raising funds from backers around the world, so it’s definitely worthwhile investigating whether it suits your business model.
Below is Chocolate Brownie Leather’s Kickstarter promotional video.
Our favourite guest Engravers Register blogger Jon from CNCKing.com is also part of the Kickstarter action. He has 8 days to go in his campaign – good luck!