VeloVision magazine has been running for nearly 20 years, and covers recumbent bikes, velomobiles, trikes, hand cranks, cargo bikes and adapted transport as well as other “uncommon” modes of human powered transport.
Established in 2000 by Peter Eland from his base in York, he created the magazine with the intention to encompass a more diverse range of cycling than ever before seen in a single publication or website. In 2015, after producing issue 48, Peter passed over the running of the magazine to Howard Yeomans – long term reader of VeloVision. Following Howard’s time at the helm, Simon Webb then took on the publication.
Simon turned to crowdfunding to cover the initial print run and other associated start up costs, increase contributors, embrace digital alongside print and also develop a contributor base across the world.
Beyond this, he also wanted to simply get the name out there and spread the word.
Simon, project owner of VeloVision, shared his insights into crowdfunding with us.
£4,203 • 131 supporters • 28 days
When I turned to Crowdfunder as a way to finance my idea, I had a few key objectives (that were all met through the process of crowdfunding).
- Ensure that there is a legitimate demand for VeloVision.
With a successful Crowdfunder project that was supported by 131 people, and with continued subscriptions since then, there is absolutely a demand for the publication still.
- Confirm that printing VeloVision was a viable option.
My instinct was that ‘print is dead’. Good thing I tested my assumption! Print subscriptions outweighed digital, though there is a definite demand for online content too now.
- Ensure that the publication’s future was not simply restricted to the UK.
VeloVision needs to be Brexit proof as much as possible. The international subscription base should help this a great deal and ensure that the publication can ride the uncertain tides to come.
- Widen the pool of contributors.
As you read this I am appointing editors for different sections! Not only that but I am fielding calls and emails from people asking to contribute. This will ensure a broad spread of topics and widen the talent pool to foster better quality.
Here are my top three tips for anyone that is looking to use crowdfunding.
- I needed to be sure that there was a legitimate need for VeloVision, so I deliberately avoided targeting my friends and family. I didn’t discourage them from donating, of course, and I could have made more by doing that. However, to ensure that this is a viable, long-term business, I needed a fair and real measure of the relevance of VeloVision. Instead of begging for donations, I simply asked them to share the initiative and it did reap rewards.
- “Just get the bloody thing launched!”. One of my favourite bosses, Jon, used to say this – he was right! Even at the time of launch I wasn’t actually happy with what I had done. It wasn’t perfect, but I just got on with it and it went well!
- Be a bit selfish. I’ve got a part time job while I get this going – for my family’s sake. I took the first few days of crowdfunding off from this job, so that I could focus on promoting my project. I did see the two peaks that I anticipated, almost 50% of the total raised came in the first three days and final three days combined.
Prior to launching my Crowdfunder project, I found that I was met with uncertainty by a fair few people when I suggested that I might use crowdfunding. However, it has absolutely served the purpose of what I needed it to do.
It has confirmed vital information to me (that there is a demand for VeloVision), raised the funds and it has also been an incredible learning tool.