By Vicky Whiter, Owner & MD of Peters’ Cleaners
At Peters' Cleaners, we're on a mission to change dry cleaning, one pod at a time. To drive this mission and continue growing our business we have started an equity crowdfunding campaign on a platform called Seedrs. The journey to getting to the funding stages on the platform have been quite a learning experience for us, and so I share below our top three tips for anyone else considering raising money this way.
Preparing for a crowdfunding campaign takes considerable time and involves significant work, from building business plans, to projecting financials, writing a pitch deck, writing video scripts, filming, posting on social media, and building up a catalogue of evidence to support every statement you make. In addition, you need to be meeting and connecting with potential investors daily. But all this work is essential so that when you launch your campaign, you don’t hit any setbacks and can effectively answer questions from all interested parties. On average I spent at least an hour on crowdfunding prep every single day.
At its heart, crowdfunding is essentially a major marketing exercise, and as such it helps hugely to have a marketing expert onboard who understands your business and your objectives. They will lead your campaign’s communications and branding, as well as create all the assets you need to effectively ‘sell’ the offer, from creating pitch videos and presentations, to managing the social media channels, to management of the website, and much more. And all this activity needs to start at least a few months before you launch the campaign, not on the day you make it public. Having a marketing expert onboard means I can concentrate on the numbers and all of the documentation required to evidence our business plans, as well as focus on finding investors.
Before you launch your crowdfunding campaign, it’s vital that your potential future investors already know about your business. After all, you don't want to go straight to asking for funds if you haven't already built a strong affiliation with them. Think about sharing stories of how the business got to where it is today, what's the ambition behind the product or service you're offering, and your success stories such as winning awards. Take at least four to six weeks to build up an organic understanding for who you really are as a business before you start teasing the fact you'll be crowdfunding soon. By building this brand warmth you should be able to convert more followers into investors when you launch your campaign. We used an advisory service called ISQ who helped keep us on track and guide us through all of the work that needed preparing for Seedrs. If your business can afford to onboard this type of company, it is definitely something I would recommend. They provide you with examples of successful campaigns, weekly check-in calls, and templates for best practise. They also can help navigate
conversations between you and your crowdfunding platform.
I hope that's helpful and if I can offer any more support, please let me know.
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