For the crowdfunding campaign, the company is working with Community Wealth Builders. The Baltimore organization launched a program called Maryland Neighborhood Exchange in December to help connect businesses to grassroots crowdfunding. The idea, said Stephanie Geller, director of Community Wealth Builders, is to turn community members who want to buy into local companies and support them into investors. There are some of the best practices you'll want to consider when using crowdfunding to raise capital for your business.
Deanna DeBara is an entrepreneur, speaker, and freelance writer who specializes in business and productivity issues. These can range from charitable and educational projects to creative projects, such as funding movies, or supporting scalable companies. Yalcin joined a growing movement in Baltimore and across the country to raise capital outside the traditional banking system through what is known as crowdfunding. In traditional investing, your company may have one or two investors who have a large amount invested in the company.
Companies have the opportunity to crowdfund, both from their audiences (for example, social media followers) and from a network of individual investors, making it an excellent one-stop shop for small business owners who want to explore both crowdfunding and more traditional investments. This crowdfunding supports different types of crowdfunding, including reward-based crowdfunding and donations for small businesses. So, instead of a small company generating investments from one or two major sources, it draws on a larger group of potential investors to obtain the capital they need to move their businesses forward. Crowdfunding has become very popular in recent years, which means that more small businesses than ever are using these platforms to raise money.
They also offer users a lot of support to launch their campaign, including access to the platform's more than 120,000 followers on social media. Once you've drawn up a business plan, invested your own savings, and worked on your business as a side hustle for a few months, it's time to raise real funds. There are more than 70 businesses, mostly small and minority-owned, in the Baltimore area that have turned to a crowd-funding platform through the local nonprofit organization Community Wealth Builders, which helps entrepreneurs navigate platforms regulated by the federal government through the Maryland Neighborhood Exchange. Geller offers this opportunity to companies and investors “who love Baltimore and now go to farmers' markets, buy local produce and wear purple on Fridays, but don't know that they can have this kind of impact on local businesses.”In exchange for their investment, investors expect something in return, and what that “something” is will depend on the type of crowdfunding the small business decides to use to raise capital.
But regardless of which type of crowdfunding you choose for your business venture, there are some key steps you should take before launching your campaign. The first step is to create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals and objectives for your business venture. This plan should include detailed information about your product or service offering, target market, pricing strategy, marketing plan, financial projections, and any other relevant information that will help potential investors understand your business model. Once you have created your business plan, you should then research different crowdfunding platforms that are available for your specific industry or sector.
When researching crowdfunding platforms for your business venture, it's important to consider factors such as fees associated with each platform (including any setup fees), success rates for campaigns on each platform (including average funding amounts), customer service support offered by each platform (including response times), and any other features or benefits offered by each platform that could be beneficial for your specific campaign. Additionally, you should also consider any restrictions or limitations associated with each platform (such as geographic restrictions or industry-specific requirements). Once you have identified a few potential crowdfunding platforms for your business venture, it's important to create an effective marketing strategy that will help you reach potential investors and build awareness about your campaign. This strategy should include tactics such as creating engaging content (such as blog posts or videos) about your product or service offering; leveraging social media channels (such as Facebook or Twitter) to promote your campaign; utilizing email marketing campaigns; and reaching out directly to potential investors who may be interested in investing in your venture.
Additionally, it's important to create an effective rewards system that will incentivize potential investors to contribute funds towards your campaign. Finally, once you have launched your crowdfunding campaign it's important to monitor its progress closely and make adjustments as needed throughout its duration. This includes tracking key metrics such as total funds raised; number of contributors; average contribution amount; total number of shares; total number of views; etc., so that you can identify areas where improvements can be made in order to maximize the success of your campaign.