Dear Shopify Community,
I launched my business 7 months ago, Mint Ultimate. It has become globally known as selling the best frisbee gloves in the world. I am going to be releasing arguably the most important piece of gear that all frisbee players needs but don't have, and my designers and I came up with a unique design that is specifically for frisbee (I cannot say which gear it is).
I need to raise $60,000 USD for the stock order, but I am afraid to crowdfund. I want to give my competitors the least amount of time possible to copy and counter. I should have a prototype ready by October to November 2015. I want to place the order sometime in November-December so the factories can have it out by March-April 2016.
Getting a loan is not easy for me, since I am just 22 and the startup is launched 7 months ago with no property to sign on. I would prefer a loan of course. Not invesment.
Now the question is, WHEN do you think I should start this crowdfunding campaign, if at all?
Atlas Prime - President, Mint Ultimate
Crowdfunding is quite tough from Strangers. So your first strength for crowdfunding is your own Circle of Friends/ Customers / network. In your case, Since your product is ready and that is specific to Frisbee, Your strength is how you can raise funds from Frisbee Clubs you know off.
But nothing wrong in trying, as most of them are free, and you can get to know the project cycle. Instead of $60,000, break it down to $10,000. In any case you have to justify why you need to raise funds. If you mean that you already have orders on hand. then you can project a copy of the order and current sales report ... on your website only. You can just put up weekly visitors report, sales report etc from your website, as a product and keep adding images to it.
I recently got to know of patreon.com http://bit.ly/FMCLUB2020 which is kind of good and long term.. where you can get some micro loan each month from your circle.
Another thing you can do is to have tie-ups with few other stores for cross- selling. For instance, you just have 1 product, and my store has some 10 products (ebooks).. and we both can have each other's products or package them .. just to increase our offerings.
Here are my thoughts
1. If at all possible lower the initial investment. $60k is a lot to try and crowdfund. Can you do a smaller batch order? Maybe make some sellable initial samples? Try to get your Crowdfunding to around 10k like New Father of Nation stated.
2. Sell to your existing customers. I'm assuming you already have made some sales with your existing product, you'll want to market to your current customers, once you get crowd funding campaign going you can market to those customers who are already intersted in Frisbee products and your brand.
3. Sell to leagues, clubs, and orginizations, offer them awesome perks for funding the project.
4. Don't be afraid to show off your design. Go ahead and do all the legal copyright & whatever else you feel is nessassary but don't bo too afraid to share your design because you think people will steal it. The reality is if it's really good people will steal the idea anyway, it's not about who did it first it's about the execution and quality of the product.
If you need even more help with the specifics of crowdfuning your best source is Kistarter and Google.
Check out some of the most funded fashion projects of all time. This will give you an idea of what your campaign should look like.
Hi Andrew. I suggest you do a quality video and take quality pictures for your campaign. Once you launch your campaign; Put the video on facebook and youtube and link to your kickstarter.
Create a facebook page and upload the video. Share your video on your personal page and tag anybody else interested in frisbee; as well as your closest friends and family and ask them to share..Also post your crowdfunding video wherever "frisbee" enthusiasts congregate (facebook groups, instagram, twitter, forums, reddit, other frisbee related facebook pages and websites). If there is a frisbee news site tweet or email them a link; also ask famous and influential people in the industry what they think and share the link in their social media.
If you're on a budget ask around on facebook for a photographer and a video guy to help you put your campaign together.
Just don't forget to ASK FOR THE SALE in your video and in your campaign.
Best of luck!
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