Crowdfunding for business: How to raise funds for your start up

NatD

Jordan successfully crowdfunded £5180 to launch his business: Natural Dermatology

After suffering from acne for 15 years, and with no end in sight, Jordan Marc Sully decided to take charge. He took a holistic approach and developed a range of natural skincare products, which he used alongside lifestyle changes. The results speak for themselves: in just six months he was free of acne for the first time since he was a teenager.

With a with a degree in Computing for Commerce and Business from Plymouth University, an MBA from Cardiff University and six years of experience running his family business, Jordan was no stranger to the world of business. Inspired by his own results, he decided to launch a business to help other acne sufferers. He had the results and the statistics to prove there was a growing demand for his product: “54% of people aged over 25 have some form of facial acne and the reduction of acne and acne scars is classed as essential or a high priority for 43% of skincare shoppers.” And so the idea of Natural Dermatology was born.

Jordan decided to use Crowdfunder because: “Crowdfunder is the UK’s No. 1 crowdfunding platform for a reason. The website is extremely easy to use and I had built my campaign within minutes. The best thing about this platform over others is the support you receive throughout the campaign process.”

Jordan set a target of £5,000 which he planned to spend on product development, the website and insurance. The results? Jordan managed to secure £5,180 from 103 backers in 53 days. We caught up with Jordan to get his advice on successful crowdfunding for business. Here are his top five tips…

Top Tips for Business crowdfunding

1. Set a realistic target

It’s tempting at first to try and get as much money as possible; after all, you want your business to succeed. However you need to balance this with actually achieving your target, which you’ll need to do to receive your funding.
Jordan says research is key to this: “I spent some time going through some successful and not successful campaigns and looking at their target. Particularly projects similar to my own. This enabled me to gauge what was achievable as opposed to leaving it as guesswork.”

He also suggests setting a stretch target to allow for overfunding. This way you can set an achievable target with a larger stretch target “to maximise the funding if your campaign becomes really hot.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.45.062. Use rewards to get feedback

Natural Dermatology is a product centred business, so it made sense for Jordan to give away his products as rewards. Not only is the product likely to be of interest to the backer, it also allowed Jordan to receive valuable customer feedback on his product. He also points out: “If they like them, they may purchase them in the future.”

3. Be you – not a dodgy TV presenter

Creating a campaign video is a great idea — but Jordan is keen to point about the importance of being yourself: “Don’t think that because you are on camera you have to be a certain way. For the first few takes I was guilty of acting like a TV presenter and a very bad one. I realised after watching back a few takes that the best approach was to talk normally and relaxed.”

Top tip for a successful video? Rope in a professional! He told us: “I had a friend who records and edits videos for a living. He had all the equipment and knew exactly how to set the camera in sync with the natural light. He helped me produce a professional video but keeping it natural and stripped back at the same time.”

4. Write a press release

Getting press coverage spreads the news of your campaign and could catch the eye of potential backers. One of the quickest ways to get the story out to multiple publications is by writing a decent press release.

Jordan suggests hooking your campaign into a news story that is current and relates to your project. So scour the newspapers and set up google alerts for relevant stories. He also suggests starting locally, then once you’ve got a few stories in the local paper “use that exposure to share with the national press, by sending them links of the coverage. Start small and build it up.”

5. Don’t give up

Jordan warns that there will be times during your campaign where the target seems far away or you experience a lull in pledges. But as he points out: “It is surprising how things can quickly change. If there is still time on the clock, you can still feasibly make it. You’ll be surprised how many people are watching your campaign and have not pledged. These people like to leave it to the end, so stick with it.”

If you’ve been inspired by Jordan and his crowdfunding business success, get started on raising the funds for your great idea today.

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