The Globe in Fowey, Cornwall is a 500 year-old restaurant that was refurbished in 2015 by its new owners. After nine successful months’ trading they wanted to overhaul the guest rooms — but their bank wouldn’t give them a loan.
The big idea
Give backers double their pledge in vouchers to redeem at the restaurant, and make The Globe a brilliant place to stay.
Landlord Tony Goodman’s newly refurbished restaurant The Globe had a great first season, even featuring in the Michelin Good Food guide. He wanted to open up the guest rooms, which hadn’t been touched for decades. Tony approached his bank for a loan, but because he hadn’t been trading for a fully year they wouldn’t offer him one. So Tony looked for alternative finance. He decided to start a Crowdfunder campaign to raise the money he needed by offering some incredibly generous and ingenious rewards that created even more loyal customers.
“My biggest fear was that it would be too successful and that I’d end up giving vouchers to every person in Cornwall. But I knew it would work — great value, for great people,” said Tony.
With a meticulously planned social media campaign at the ready, propelled by Tony’s infectious enthusiasm, the project won pledges from over 180 people — and beat its target of £10,000 in under a week.
The pledge rewards
Tony decided to give customers what they really wanted — to enjoy more visits to The Globe. He offered vouchers for meals and overnight stays (after the rooms were refurbished) worth double the pledged amount. This was such an appealing idea that more than 130 people pledged £50 in return for £100 of vouchers. Tony also offered other pledge amounts from £10 to £1,000. As an added incentive, the first 40 backers were also promised a branded mug and their name featured in a mural in the entrance celebrating the project.
In the press
The campaign gained a lot of support on social media and in the local press: Tony even wrote an article for the St Austell Voice, telling his story and highlighting the lack of support for small businesses from high street banks. This gave the campaign a compelling David-and-Goliath edge that motivated local people into pledging.
Having raised £11,422 (and written out hundreds of vouchers) Tony has enlisted a team of builders to bring the rooms back their former glory, all ready to welcome staying guests — and the project backers are naturally at the front of the queue.
What they said
“Tony’s campaign is a brilliant example of how loyal customers can help business owners achieve their ambitions, for everyone’s benefit.” Phil Geraghty, Managing Director, Crowdfunder”
With schemes like this and a bit of imagination we don’t need to be tied to the big banks any more.” Tony Goodman, Project owner
Tips to project owners
“I hyped the campaign up on social media, but I made my project page well in advance and then spent a good amount of time thinking about the video. Do all the admin bits in advance and then tweak it when you’re good to go. Importantly, you should build up your social media profile before you even attempt crowdfunding.”
- Visit Tony’s project page to find out more.