The world of start up funding, at least in the media, is heavily technology-focused. It's all 'Silicon Valley' this and 'cloud-based' that...
In fact, if your start up business isn't tech-related, it's enough to make you want to switch off.
So where does that leave you? You're in the process of setting up your own fashion shop, selling a mixture of your own designs and creations and bought-in pieces. You've got the foundations in place and you've been receiving some great feedback. You have a big database of potential customers, a big social media following, and big plans for your business' future growth.
You're not talking about the funding of a single dress design, here - you're heading online, both nationwide and globally, and maybe offline with a store or chain too. You can see that your business model has high growth potential and want to see it reach the same dizzy height as Facebook or Google, only in its own (non tech) sector.
Success of technology companies
If you google something along the lines of "top crowdfunded projects or businesses", chances are it'll take you to a list of tech-based products, services, or businesses, all of whom have raised capital through one of the different types of crowdfunding.
Perhaps you've approached banks but decided that that's not the route for you and are now seeking an alternative finance solution in order to answer the question of how to raise money for your start up.
Lots of non tech start ups have (very!) successfully raised capital, from brewaries to board games and property developers to product design. So let's take a quick look at some companies who've raised capital through donation, reward, peer-to-peer lending, and equity crowdfunding:
- LOVESPACE: a storage facility which allows you to pay-per-box and recall items online.
- POLAR pen: an executive-style talking/ball point pen made up of magnetic elements.
- Happy Days the Musical: a production based on and written by the creator of the original TV series.
- Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium: a cafe where you can enjoy a cup of tea in the company of 11 rescued cats.
So, now you've seen the proof, - that you don't have to be tech-based to be successful - it's time for you to start researching crowdfunding more deeply. The different types suit different ventures better, so it's up to you which type you choose as the best fit for your business. I'd like to help you out on your research into equity crowdfunding and point you in the direction of this post.
You've already got your "crowd" in place and it's time to start warming them up for a fundraising campaign. Gather feedback from and engage with your social media followers and (potential) customer base. For this approach to have maximum impact on your campaign, you'll need to start at least 6 months in advance of your pitch going live.
Raising money can be both stressful and time-consuming but online crowdfunding platforms aim to make the process much simpler and more streamlined, meaning that it's more fun for you!