A Start-Up’s Introduction To…Crowdfunding

A Start-Up’s Introduction To…Crowdfunding

The following post has been written by Justin Grainger, Managing Director or crowdfunding consultants, CrowdFundMe2… Let me start by dispelling a Crowdfunding myth. In general the key rules of successful business are not different in Crowdfunding, despite the hype. To succeed your start up must solve a problem for which customers will pay enough to make you a living – it really is that simple. Crowdfunding or otherwise, it really doesn’t matter how brilliant your idea or elegant your widget, this rule must be obeyed. In fact the crowd are really cruel and more likely to spot a turkey than the bank manager – crowds may have less individual expertise but together they have precision. And perhaps somewhat surprisingly, herein lies the key opportunity and benefit of Crowdfunding your start up. The crowd will tell you faster and more honestly whether your beloved idea is a turkey or the next Reggae Reggae Sauce. And what’s more, the crowd will lap up the sauce or tell your turkey to get stuffed for far less of your scarce start up fund than expensive professional market research. I am talking about good value, rapid product or service validation and feedback – that’s the real value of Crowdfunding your start-up. In theory, equity, debt or reward Crowdfunding is available to start ups. In reality debt crowdfunding generally requires a two year track record and start-up equity Crowdfunding tends to succeed with business star studded, serial entrepreneur management teams who have a big chunk of the raise lined up beforehand. Reward (aka perks) Crowdfunding succeeds when your start up offers a genuine problem solving,...
A Networking Strategy For A New Business

A Networking Strategy For A New Business

Whether you’ve started trading or not – now is the time to start networking, which can easily be done through networking groups, social media or coworking spaces. I’ve even made a connection, who eventually became a customer, from a conversation in the pub. If this is an area you’re either new to or uncomfortable with (the networking, not the pub), then a structure can often help. One effective tool that I’ve come across is featured in the book “Networking Is a Contact Sport” by Joe Sweeney. In it, he mentions his “5:10:15” rule, which he developed over 30 years ago and suggests that for every day, for the next month, you complete the following: 5 – Meetings/encounter This is simply a task to make even a face-to-face contact with a person (rather than setting aside hours of your day and go to the expense of hiring meeting rooms). For example, I recently visited a B2B exhibition and, while waiting in the long queue for a much needed coffee, I started talking with the person stood in front of me, which was a conversation that proved beneficial for us both. It’s this type of encounter that the author refers to. 10 – Pieces of correspondence to be sent This is targeted and specific email to an actual individual. Newsletters and “impersonal e-blasts” do not count and nor does copy-and-pasting the identical message to each recipient. And remember: we’re talking 10 letters or emails every single day. 15 – Phone calls to be made Like the author, your phone may be your best friend in business and 15 phones call to your network can help to enhance relationships...
A Freelancer’s Guide To… Intellectual Property

A Freelancer’s Guide To… Intellectual Property

The World Intellectual Property Organisation describe IP as the “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” In this guide, Phil Coldrick from IP Scope, provides us with an overview to IP and answers the most common questions received from new business owners… Q: What IP should I be considering when I start a business? A: Typical things to consider include your business name – your name and brand is a valuable asset to your business so think about protecting it by registering it as a trade mark. Remember, if you have registered your company name with Companies House this does not mean you are protected. Someone else could still use it. Other IP aspects include copyright for your website and any other promotional literature you create. Copyright is automatic but beware of who owns the copyright when a third party is involved such as a website designer. You might want to consider having the copyright assigned to you through any contract you arrange with them. Q: How can I determine if my business needs IP protection? A: The UK Intellectual Property Office provides a free IP Healthcheck service that takes you through a series of questions to determine how to safeguard your IP assets and provides a confidential report with recommendations for next steps. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse/business/iphealthcheck.htm Q: I have an idea, but don’t want to tell anyone in case they steal it. What can I do? A: It is important that you do not make your idea public before you apply for IP Rights, if you do, you...