By Rachel Rueben CrowdFunding Beat Guest contributor, For those who maybe aren’t as savvy or up to date, crowd funding is a way to raise interest or funds for a project through a group of strangers – usually done via online campaigns. Now, crowd funding can be used for almost anything and everything – and it is a well of inspiration and a source of hope for entrepreneurs everywhere. But sometimes it’s not so sensible. For example, recently there was a storm online all about a man who made a kickstarter campaign for potato salad and raised a staggering $55,492. So if potato salad can make that much – why couldn’t your new idea?
Well, with crowd funding the pitch matters almost as much as the project – so to get started, you need a good pitch to wow your audience with.
– YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
When pitching to a group of complete strangers, you need to make sure your value proposition is really easy to see and understand. A crystal clear proposition that is only a few sentences long is absolutely essential. If you can’t summarise your idea in 2 short sentences, then it might be too defuse and you should address it.
– SET AN ACHIEVABLE TARGET
This will give your sponsors more faith in your project. Gauge the reaction from other pitches around, and think carefully about who might want to invest in your business. With this in mind, it’s usually better to set your first target at a lower level, but have a plan on how you would use additional funds.
– HAVE A REALISTIC VALUATION
Now, valuing a business is by no means an exact science – and it can often be very wrong. As a general rule, for those with some trading history you could use the discounted cash flow or net present value methods, or those with limited trading history, try looking at some successfully funded pitches similar to your own to get an idea for the value.
– BUSINESS PLAN
This is an element that cannot be skimped on. While not all investors will want to see your business plan – having a solid and sound business plan prepared is a must. This is because it will be the basis for your pitch page, and the place to include all the ‘complicated bits’ that you don’t want to include on your main page. Make sure everything they could want to know is there.
– FINANCIAL FORECASTS
Again, this is an absolute must for investors. Having a clear financial forecast gives investors faith in the project and shows you’ve really thought everything through. Without this your pitch might struggle.
– EXIT STRATEGY
And no, we don’t mean how you will run away. This means how you the investors will make a return on their investment. Obviously this is the bit a lot of investors will be most interested in, so you need to make it thorough. Don’t just copy and paste ‘Exit is trade or sale of IPO within 3-5 years’ – people will see right through that. Make it unique and show the investors that you have spent time considering your options and where you want the project to go.
– PITCH PROMOTION PLAN
Once you have prepared all of the information for your project, you need to start thinking about you how will promote your pitch, Crowd funding is not a place for the meek or passive – so make sure you draw up a very active marketing plan that demonstrates how you will promote your pitch. This will help you get it off to a running start before your pitch has even goes live. Make sure you think about attending events, getting your friends and family on board, networking, customers, suppliers, social media and PR.
– FIRST IMPRESSIONS
And finally, work on your first impression. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one. Craft a really stand out logo to catch people’s attention, design an up to date website for your customers, active social media accounts and a professional profile for yourself. Combining these elements you are able to craft your first impression to say anything you want – make it count!
Now that you’re fully prepared and have your project laid out – it’s time to create your pitch! Come back next month for the second instalment in Crowd funding 101 – Your Pitch.