Crowdfunding – A Penny for Your Ideas
A Little Help Online Can Go a Long Way
by Korell Constable
There is nothing worse than having a wonderful unique idea and letting it waste away. Our pets inspire us to become innovators, even if it’s just for a brief period of time. Fundamental inventions such as a retractable dog leash or even the scratching post all came from something astounding that our pets did. And now, thanks to social media, reaching out to like minded individuals is as simple as sending out a text.
Crowdfunding is the newest trend to actually help turn dreams and innovations into reality. It’s the process of raising money for a project or product online in small donations. The best thing about crowdfunding is anyone can, and they do, help bring your idea to life. Family, friends, strangers and even celebrities can donate money to help you create the perfect day spa for dogs. You’re probably thinking, “There has to be a catch or con somewhere,” or “nobody gives money out for free these days,” and you’re not entirely wrong. There are four different types of crowdfunding you can use to help start your business. What donors receive in exchange for helping your cause varies based on the type of Crowdfunding you choose to use.
The first and most commonly used type is Donation-Based Crowdfunding. This method is tailored more towards the “pet-entrepreneurs” and small businesses, allowing specific goals to be set for funding. The most famous donation-based crowdfunding site would be “GoFundMe.” Its versatility has allowed it to become the go-to method for any fundraising situation.
The second most popular type would be Rewards Crowdfunding. This is a similar method to the donation based crowdfunding but it offers a variety of incentives as “rewards” for helping. People who donate are offered a reward which can range from a heartfelt “thank you” to specific perks or discounts towards the product itself. Kickstarter is a great example as it allows inventors to set realistic goals for their campaign, cementing the foundation for their vision.
The final two types are Equity and Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding which are tailored toward a more specific audience. With Equity Crowdfunding, small businesses can offer financial backers the opportunity to become shareholders within the start-up company. For Peer-to-Peer, you would reach out mainly to those in your social networks in order to raise funds. This creates a more personal bond between the brand and its supporters.
It may seem a little complex at first, but crowdfunding is the best way to create and maintain your idea as your own. Rome was not built overnight, and neither will a successful start up campaign. You will exhaust your social networks, the process will be time consuming and there will be some type of cost as your idea slowly, but surely becomes a reality. Trust the process because the success at the end of the road is worth the effort. For reassurance just ask your pet who will be with you every step of the way!