Not sure how to bankroll your next business idea? Crowdfunding is a worthwhile option for the self-employed to explore. Read on to learn about what it is and how to use crowdfunding sites to take your business to the next level.
Crowdfunding is a fundraising strategy in which you raise money from a large number of donors over the internet. The approach can be used to fund projects ranging from the personal to the entrepreneurial. It has caught on among the self-employed as an easy and effective means to launch or expand a business.
In exchange for their donations, donors can receive rewards or equity in your business. For rewards-based crowdfunding, donors usually receive products or services. An equity-based crowdfunding scheme involves donors receiving shares in the business.
The main advantages of crowdfunding for the self-employed are:
Below are some popular crowdfunding sites for the self-employed:
Take these steps to start crowdfunding your business.
1. Choose an incentive type. Decide whether you prefer a rewards- or equity-based crowdfunding approach. Keep in mind that your choice may limit which crowdfunding website you can use.
2. Pick a crowdfunding platform. Select the crowdfunding site you want to use to operate your crowdfunding campaign and receive donations. Be sure to factor in the fees the website collects from your funding and any fees imposed if you don't meet your funding goal.
3. Start a campaign. Use the crowdfunding website you chose to start a new crowdfunding campaign. If the website allows you to choose between rewards or equity, be sure to select the incentive system that meets your needs.
4. Set a funding goal. How much do you hope to raise and by when? Establish a goal amount and target date. But be sure it's a realistic one.
5. Make the campaign live. Publish your campaign to the web to set the donation process in motion.
6. Spread the word. Your crowdfunding campaign will usually come with a shareable link. Be sure to share it via social media and e-mail to reach as many potential donors as possible.
Here are a few of many small businesses that have gotten their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding: