is open to all types of projects. Companies can resort to crowdfunding to support the launch of a product or innovative service.
What are the benefits of crowdfunding? What are the risks? What are the crowdfunding solutions available to small and medium enterprises?
Crowdfunding is to request funds from individuals or investors. It is an alternative to bank financing. This type of financing can be used by individuals to achieve a humanitarian project for example. It is also increasingly used by companies (including startups), to launch a new product or service. This type of financing has grown significantly over the years and there are several platforms to manage the relationship between the project owners and investors, whether individuals or professionals. The operating modes they offer may vary:
- Donation based
: popular for sports or humanitarian projects.
- Reward based
: Financial support in exchange for rewards related to finished product or derivative.
- Equity based
: investors become stakeholders in the company.
- Lending based
: The company repays the load over a period of time.
Crowdfunding offers an interesting alternative for financial and banking companies.
Several significant advantages:
- An affordable solution for any type of project and all sectors (high-tech, fashion, sport, web).
- It can be used in addition to or instead of conventional bank financing.
- It helps finance the development of a prototype before starting any expensive and large scale development
- It provides a portion of the funds needed to convince banks or private investors to fund the rest of the project.
Crowdfunding will also have several advantages in terms of marketing and advertising. For it to reach its objectives, the fundraiser must be accompanied by a advertising campaigns on social networks and traditional media. This allows users to learn more about the company and its projects!
Crowdfunding may present some risks:
- For the project owners: Risks are very limited due to the low cost of a campaign.
- For the investors: The risks will vary based on the type of crowdfunding solution adopted.
Choosing the right platform:
Some crowdfunding platforms are specialized/recommended for specific types projects. Before choosing a platform, you should check the following points:
- The type projects supported
- The results for similar projects
- Are the financial goals being met
- How does the contributors behave and what are their expectations.
Some popular platforms:
A crowdfunding campaign can be seen as a communication campaign around the company and its project. Therefore you need to emphasize on several aspect of the campaign for it to be successful:
- An attractive project page on the platform is vital to any crowdfunding project .
- Propose an interesting reward to the contributors.
- Communicate with the contributors of the platform to engage them in the project.
- Use social networks to involve communities in the financing of your projects.
- Communicate on traditional media.
- Communicate with the contributors after the project completion (improve customer loyalty/retention).