Author Topic: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?  (Read 3667 times)

Detroitreprenuer

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Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:45:50 AM »
Hi everyone! I'm new here. I just stumbled across this forum this morning and have spent hours just soaking up all the great advice so thanks everyone. Ill make this as short as I can. Im a 31 year old. I've been wanting to start a business and a few years ago I was let go from a comfy corp desk job so I took a chance and tried getting my biz off the ground. Without great credit and a large amount of capital I started an online shop. It's been ok but I really want a physical store location, due to the fact that it would do much better than an online store given the location it would be in. To help realize this, I took a stab at getting a crowdfund going. Ive been getting tons of positive feedback and page hits but hardly any donations. I know the business plan is solid but Im starting to feel majorly disappointed. I know the statistics of successful funding with crowdfunds but still. You can find it here if youre interested in checking it out. http://igg.me/at/jivehouse/x/330055

I guess I'm really trying to find out what I'm doing wrong, if Im going about it the wrong way and if anybody has any better ideas of getting the capital I need to take my biz to the next level.

Im really motivated to become financially independent. Ive already cut a huge chunk of costs in my family's lifestyle. Im somewhat envious of everybody who's managed to get a jump start on being FI and sometimes feel I missed the boat but I try and use that as motivation to get my ass in gear.

Anyways, sorry for the long read and life story. Thanks for your time as well. I look forward to learning a lot form this forum.

Kaikou

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 09:21:29 AM »
No details about your business, just want us to click a link....





Yeah, no.

Louisville

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 09:59:28 AM »
No details about your business, just want us to click a link....





Yeah, no.
With an eastern european domain, no less.

larmando

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 10:15:48 AM »
I find crowdfunding like giving charity to a for profit. Why would anyone do that? Borrow your capital or use the one you have our find in earnest investors who want a cut of your business. The sector where crowdfunding works is (a) if you're creating something totally new and exciting and (b) if you offer it at a discount if you get funded. I still wouldn't donate, but at least I'd understand.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk


Detroitreprenuer

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 12:18:40 PM »
Its actually a shortlink for an indiegogo page. Here's the full link if it makes you more comfortable. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jivehouse-detroit-s-first-portable-art-supply--2/x/330055#/story
[/quote]

No details about your business, just want us to click a link....





Yeah, no.
With an eastern european domain, no less.

Kaikou

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 05:21:20 PM »
Its actually a shortlink for an indiegogo page. Here's the full link if it makes you more comfortable. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jivehouse-detroit-s-first-portable-art-supply--2/x/330055#/story

No details about your business, just want us to click a link....





Yeah, no.
With an eastern european domain, no less.
[/quote]

Yeah ...no. This is a forum. You have to engage not just try to get us to watch your videos.

Detroitreprenuer

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 05:53:52 AM »
Its actually a shortlink for an indiegogo page. Here's the full link if it makes you more comfortable. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jivehouse-detroit-s-first-portable-art-supply--2/x/330055#/story

No details about your business, just want us to click a link....





Yeah, no.
With an eastern european domain, no less.

Yeah ...no. This is a forum. You have to engage not just try to get us to watch your videos.
[/quote]

Which is what Im trying to do...

swick

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
I will offer some feedback, Not sure if your campaign is live, but there is no way I would support it - your perks (especially the 500.00 level) seems broken. You do need to actually make money off of it. Handmade anything is also very dangerous should your campaign actually take off.  There is no information, no story, no engagement with your funders, it is literally just the levels and zero information.

Now your concept, which I scoped through your profile and another post, is actually quite interesting. I can see it as a viable business model IF you had supporting documentation, a business plan, have done customer interest surveys etc.

You also need to have a very, very strong community around you. Do you have one? Do you have raving artists who are willing to support you? Do you have any experience with social media, business and the other skill sets you would need?

The major red flag for me is that if you can't get a traditional loan through a bank, credit union, or start-up support through government small business development (or even arts-related grants) Or personal loans from family/friends or supports then there is a problem with your business model, your financial viability, or there is some other major reason the banks aren't willing to take a risk on you. That makes me nervous it suggests you don't have the business background or money management or there is something that might derail your success.

An Indigogo campaign might be a great way to promote and launch your business - especially they type you are looking at -  but you are missing way to many key details at this point. It seems like you are shooting an automatic in the dark and seeing what you hit.
 
EDIT: Okay, I just went through your shortened link and the whole campaign loaded, the longer link I went through the first time has none of your story or updates info, only the campaign side-bar.....On that note:

Your story needs to be re-written so you are not using a passive voice.

People are looking for honesty and deep consideration in the "Risks and Challenges" section. It is how people gauge the likelihood they will get their perks delivered and proof a lot of thought has gone into the business planning.

"If we donít reach our goal, itís not the end of the world because weíre still pushing through."  - Gah, no! You need someone who has some copy writing or sales experience to go through all of your text.  Your using lots of words but your not really "saying" anything.

If you are asking people to help you get the word out and tell their local media and friends and family, you want to control what is being said. Having scripts people can use will make taking action easier and control what is being said about your project.

Now, I do think your idea of a mobile art supply is an awesome idea. My community would have KILLED for something like that (nearest art supply for anything was 4 hour round trip drive) you just need to really dig in and get super clear on the details.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 07:47:22 AM by swick »

swick

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 08:14:12 AM »
Also, you probably don't want to mention you got fired as an opening. It makes people question "why" you got fired, which shouldn't be relevant and distracts people from your pitch.  You "really" need a re-write on your campaign text.

Detroitreprenuer

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2015, 08:44:13 AM »
I will offer some feedback, Not sure if your campaign is live, but there is no way I would support it - your perks (especially the 500.00 level) seems broken. You do need to actually make money off of it. Handmade anything is also very dangerous should your campaign actually take off.  There is no information, no story, no engagement with your funders, it is literally just the levels and zero information.

Now your concept, which I scoped through your profile and another post, is actually quite interesting. I can see it as a viable business model IF you had supporting documentation, a business plan, have done customer interest surveys etc.

You also need to have a very, very strong community around you. Do you have one? Do you have raving artists who are willing to support you? Do you have any experience with social media, business and the other skill sets you would need?

The major red flag for me is that if you can't get a traditional loan through a bank, credit union, or start-up support through government small business development (or even arts-related grants) Or personal loans from family/friends or supports then there is a problem with your business model, your financial viability, or there is some other major reason the banks aren't willing to take a risk on you. That makes me nervous it suggests you don't have the business background or money management or there is something that might derail your success.

An Indigogo campaign might be a great way to promote and launch your business - especially they type you are looking at -  but you are missing way to many key details at this point. It seems like you are shooting an automatic in the dark and seeing what you hit.
 
EDIT: Okay, I just went through your shortened link and the whole campaign loaded, the longer link I went through the first time has none of your story or updates info, only the campaign side-bar.....On that note:

Your story needs to be re-written so you are not using a passive voice.

People are looking for honesty and deep consideration in the "Risks and Challenges" section. It is how people gauge the likelihood they will get their perks delivered and proof a lot of thought has gone into the business planning.

"If we donít reach our goal, itís not the end of the world because weíre still pushing through."  - Gah, no! You need someone who has some copy writing or sales experience to go through all of your text.  Your using lots of words but your not really "saying" anything.

If you are asking people to help you get the word out and tell their local media and friends and family, you want to control what is being said. Having scripts people can use will make taking action easier and control what is being said about your project.

Now, I do think your idea of a mobile art supply is an awesome idea. My community would have KILLED for something like that (nearest art supply for anything was 4 hour round trip drive) you just need to really dig in and get super clear on the details.

THANK YOU! Seriously, Im copying all this and really going to analyze my campaign and business model. This would be my first entrepreneurial adventure but I do have sales and management experience as well as a large network of artists who said they would spread the word and would definitely prefer to buy from a local independent person than a large retailer. I did do my own survey with the art students in the area which turned out to be very positively received and I have made a handful of bulk sales.

As far as the banks, from what theyve told me its because they either do not deal with startups, I dont have enough of my own capital invested, or that its because I was unemployed (at the time of me applying). I am however entering back into the workforce of corp American and should be hearing back next week about a position as a mortgage officer and its looking like I got the job, just no official confirmation yet. That at least will allow me to bank savings for my biz.

So, do you think the tone in the campaign is just not assertive enough? I dont want to come off as too whiny or needy. I guess Im having trouble finding the right way to say it. Also, the rewards, do they all basically suck and need to be rethought? I do plan on growing my audience. Even though I have a few hundred people following me on instagram and FB, I realize I need way more than that. A friend and I are launching a podcast about graffiti, street art, games, and comics soon (just for fun) so Im sure that will grow my audience even more.

Thanks for taking the time to write a really thoughtful critique of my project. This is exactly what I needed and one of the reasons I came on here; to learn. So honestly, thanks. Im a total noob at this entrepreneurial thing but Im motivated to not just create a business but a brand people can connect to.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 08:47:48 AM by Detroitreprenuer »

swick

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2015, 09:03:09 AM »
:) Happy to help, I would give you a bunch more feedback but I have a plane to catch. My background is coaching artists to  build their business so, that is where I am coming from.

Quick thoughts:

Pod cast - awesome way to build an audience - especially if you focus local. Need to have a website to go along with it. Feature the artists, leverage the community you are building to give them exposure and they will be customers for life.

Yeah - you need to re-think your perks. have you done all the research into costs for product fulfillment (especially the time for hand-made items!) shipping and associated fees.

If you have a large network of artists you have to leverage it - but - artists as a group are flakey. You really need to be putting time into creating marketing material that makes it really easy for them to share. Physical materials, digital materials, social media posts - everything. They like to share, but not take creative energy away from their own projects. make it easy for them.

Your campaign as it is written isn't exciting, it doesn't inspire people to take action. You don't want to be whiney! You need creative vision backed up by demonstration of solid business. Run your text through Grammarly to see what I mean about passive tone (and at the very least it needs some editing) but a rewrite by someone else would be better.

Also, I don't have the link handy, but Watson has a personality analyzer that allows you to input text and it will tell you your personality based on it, use it to see if you are getting yourself across as you would like to.

hope this is a start for you





neo von retorch

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2015, 09:14:47 AM »
Here's the Watson link: https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/

Thanks swick - for giving such good feedback to a budding entrepreneur and for opening my eyes to this analysis tool! :)

swick

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 09:16:33 AM »
Here's the Watson link: https://watson-pi-demo.mybluemix.net/

Thanks swick - for giving such good feedback to a budding entrepreneur and for opening my eyes to this analysis tool! :)

Perfect! Thanks Neogodless, it is a very insightful tool :)

Detroitreprenuer

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Re: Crowdfunding a business startup, good idea/bad idea?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2015, 09:19:47 AM »
:) Happy to help, I would give you a bunch more feedback but I have a plane to catch. My background is coaching artists to  build their business so, that is where I am coming from.

Quick thoughts:

Pod cast - awesome way to build an audience - especially if you focus local. Need to have a website to go along with it. Feature the artists, leverage the community you are building to give them exposure and they will be customers for life.

Yeah - you need to re-think your perks. have you done all the research into costs for product fulfillment (especially the time for hand-made items!) shipping and associated fees.

If you have a large network of artists you have to leverage it - but - artists as a group are flakey. You really need to be putting time into creating marketing material that makes it really easy for them to share. Physical materials, digital materials, social media posts - everything. They like to share, but not take creative energy away from their own projects. make it easy for them.

Your campaign as it is written isn't exciting, it doesn't inspire people to take action. You don't want to be whiney! You need creative vision backed up by demonstration of solid business. Run your text through Grammarly to see what I mean about passive tone (and at the very least it needs some editing) but a rewrite by someone else would be better.

Also, I don't have the link handy, but Watson has a personality analyzer that allows you to input text and it will tell you your personality based on it, use it to see if you are getting yourself across as you would like to.

hope this is a start for you

Have a safe trip! I actually just took a biz development class and our teacher also is a coach for artists who want to develop their biz. A thousand times, thank you!