That’s right, it’s official, Pip & Nut will be going live on Crowdcube this week. This is both terrifying and exciting in equal measure.
I’m hoping to raise £100k which will go towards completing the first production run in October, marketing the brand, and maintaining working capital as the company grows.
I have 60 days in which to do it – no pressure.
Why crowdfund it?
I’d say crowdfunding is a fairly common place these days. With an ever growing number of platforms launching, offering a host of different methods for raising capital for your business. Examples include; Funding Circle, an online marketplace offers loans to SMEs, and non-equity sites such as Indigogo or Kickstarter. Crowdfunding has become incredibly popular and something that’s certainly here to stay.
Personally I think the reason for their rising popularity is that they’ve democratised the whole process of raising money. Business owners no longer have to rely on traditional methods, such as bank loans or VCTs, and instead can look to raise the funds from a bigger pool of people sourced from a mixture of places, whether that be your aunties and uncles to serial angel investors. They can all contribute to you to help you reach your goal.
Additionally the technology behind the platforms has made the process so much more efficient. In Crowdcube‘s case they provide a secure, clear and succinct format to present your business proposition. They sense check everything and do their own due diligence on behalf of their investors so that information is not hyperbole. Then, once the campaign is live, your page acts as a channel through which interested investors can ask you questions. This saves time both from an investors and business owners point of view as information is easily accessible and transparent.
Finally, as crowdfunding campaigns are time sensitive (with Crowdcube you have 60 days to raise the money) you have a clear time-frame within which to work. Investors are given a period of time to decide if they want to invest, there’s no too-ing and fro-ing, and as the business owner you can be secure in the knowledge that if you are successful in reaching your goal that the legal aspects are all neatly managed by the team at Crowdcube. This means you know exactly when the money is likely to hit your bank.
Plan, plan, plan and GO!
Whilst crowdfunding sites have the ability to streamline the whole process, it’s certainly no walk in the park. Most people I’ve spoken to who have been through the process have said it’s a pretty stressful affair. You have to plan meticulously, campaign hard and be prepared to roll with the punches. You can’t just sit back and passively watch the money roll into your bank account. You have to be on your feet and ready to shout about your business to everyone and anyone.
There is also timing to to think about. For me I wanted investors to be re-assured that when their money hits the business bank account production would start straight away, to limit the lag time before the business would start to earn money. So making sure I had the right partners in place and knowing exactly the time scale needed to get up and running was key in terms of deciding when to launch my Crowdcube fundraising campaign.
But having said all that, planning does only get you so far. It’s a daunting prospect putting your business out there so publicly but there does ultimately come a point where you simply have to see what happens and accept that what you’d planned might not pan out quite how you expected.
Crowds, as we all know, can be unpredictable.
I’ll be announcing when Pip & Nut is live on the site via this blog, so please do head over to Pip & Nut’s crowdfunding page, have a browse of the pitch, spread the word and, if you’re feeling inspired, invest and come on board as a partner.
News from outside the shed (and inside Escape the City HQ)
Charlie, the other winner of the Escape to the Shed competition and founder of Nood cold-pressed juices, joined the gang at the Bank offices – you’ll be hearing from him soon I’m sure!
Rob put a ring on it – congrats – I bet the wedding was bloody brilliant.
Dom, aka Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, has taken over the interior design of the Esc school.
And, if I didn’t make it 100% clear from the article, I’m now crowdfunding!
POST EDITED BY CELIA STATON
Follow Celia’s blog “Dared,Determined, Done!” about making big life and career changes.