All of us, at some point, may have dreamt of being an entrepreneur. Whether it is a local café or a franchise of departmental stores, we may have envisioned ourselves making deals, and managing the cash register.
Amidst all this dreaming, there is one challenging goal – finding the funds to make your vision a reality. Especially when we are talking about small local businesses. Maybe a sizeable chunk of the capital will come from the entrepreneur’s pockets. But there is still an amount that typically needs to be raised to start your business or keep it running.
Thankfully, there are ways to raise funds, which will make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
Let’s take a look at some of the best fundraising ideas:
Host an event
If your business has a physical address, you can host an event to generate some talk about your venture. If it is a café or a restaurant, you can host a buffet or something similar. You can consider inviting a stand-up comic or local band to do a set at your business place. You can take the stage to speak about your vision for your business. You can highlight how the industry can add value to the community to get the attendees to give to your venture generously.
Reach out to local news channels or print media to see if they would like to cover your event. Give them a reason to showcase you. For example, if your business will employ only local youth, then talk about that. The more coverage you get, the more customers and funders you will get.
Start a crowdfunding campaign
The biggest tech companies in the world have run crowdfunding campaigns. When you are making a product or service for the people, why not let them support you? A crowdfunding campaign is where you seek funds from a diverse group of individuals who donate different amounts of money to fund your venture. Two types of crowdfunding can work wonders to raise funds for your business. Here is an intuitive blog that lists top 9 crowdfunding sites in India for startups.
Here, the donors donate an amount of money to your campaign without any expectations of returns.
As the name suggests, you offer a specific reward to every funder. Let’s say you are raising funds for your Italian restaurant. So, if someone donates between ₹5000- ₹10000, then you can offer a reward such as two coupons for a free Sunday brunch. You can decide the rewards based on the donation amount.
Smaller donations could probably mean a coupon for a free appetiser. Make sure you mention the rewards and any terms and conditions that go with it. This type of crowdfunding also ensures that you have a donor and a customer in them.
Regardless of the type of crowdfunding campaign, you will need to promote it everywhere. Share the links on your social media, tag other businesses in the area, and comment on influencer posts talking about a similar topic. This will help you garner more attention among the people.
Make sure you give a shout out to all your donors to appreciate them. This will also encourage others to donate and help increase your credibility.
You can spread the word about your upcoming business venture and take pre-orders. This will help create buzz around your product and get you some cash flow that’s needed to get your business up and running. You can even offer some discounts to these customers for pre-orders. Ensuring that you already have buyers for your products, you may not have shelves of the product lying unsold.
It’s a win-win for you and the customer, assuming you deliver on your promise. Fair warning: just like a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign, this too can create an immense amount of pressure on you to follow through or risk customers losing trust in your word. Ensure you know how much you need to raise and how many units of a product you can provide in that amount.
Make it a co-working space
This is one of the most unique fundraising ideas, which is now fast gaining in popularity. Get your creative and resourceful brain working to figure out just how much space your physical business space will need. Rent out the rest of the area to another venture. This rent money can go towards funding the rest of your operations. In case you don’t have a physical space to rent out, you can rent the machinery or paraphernalia you use to make your product. For example, if you use sewing machines to create clothing for your store, then you can rent out the sewing machine to another business that needs it. Make sure you work out the logistics well.
Fundraising for business is not just about raising money, but it is about how well you plan your campaign. Use your business skills to design an effective fundraising campaign and put your sincere efforts. Don’t forget to add the ‘fun’ in fundraising by including people you trust to go on this entrepreneurial journey.