The drawbacks of using crowdfunding to support growth

By February 26, 2017 Blog, Business help No Comments
53483105 - crowd funding supporters investment fundraising contribution concept

The most difficult part of developing a new product or to launching a new project after conception is finding the capital you need to get started. Fortunately, a huge number of different funding options are available to businesses today. Each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses, but one relatively new, popular, and high profile choice is increasingly attracting attention: Crowdfunding. It sounds like a perfect solution. Businesses or individuals can publicise an idea directly to the end consumer, skipping financial gatekeepers like banks and traditional investors to access raw market demand.

53483105 - crowd funding supporters investment fundraising contribution concept

Crowdfunding approaches investment from a very non-traditional angle, but that doesn’t mean it really lives up to the hype. Let’s take a look at the often overlooked weaknesses of crowdfunding, and why businesses need to approach it with the same level of care and planning that they do with traditional sources of funding.

Your project needs to appeal to end consumers

Traditional investors and banks have to be convinced of an idea’s profitability before they can be convinced to provide funds. With crowdfunding, on the other hand, profitability isn’t a major concern up front. Rather, the campaign itself acts as a type of referendum on whether something might be profitable. This can look like a benefit, but it turns into a major problem if your product is in any way mundane.

Revolutionary ideas like cleaning up the oceans, or visually impressive products like hydrophobic coatings can easily engage potential customers or small investors directly. This won’t work very well, however, if you’re trying to bring a more durable roof tile or something like accounting software to market. The idea might well be profitable in practice, but it won’t generate any excitement on social media.

You need a large audience to market virally

Some products can generate a lot of excitement, but only with a relatively small and specific audience. This can also lead to problems. Smaller target groups of people are less likely to share redundant direct or indirect connections on social media, making it more difficult for them to reach each other without serious effort on their part. A potential investor that shares your fundraiser on Facebook might never reach another member of your target audience.

This can end up diminishing or killing off any potential viral effect. Since crowdfunding largely relies on this as a way to reach the public, you might find it far more difficult to engage your audience effectively.

The campaign will require time and resources to organise

Many businesses approach crowdfunding as a simple way to share their idea online, and imagine that the public will readily understand the potential of it and rush to support them. Of course, it rarely works out that way, and it’s one of the reasons that nearly two-thirds of all Kickstarter campaigns are never successfully funded. Crowdfunding is, essentially, a viral marketing campaign, and it needs to be approached the same way.

You’ll need to work with your marketing team to determine who your target audience is, how you plan to generate interest in your campaign before launch, and how to get them to support and also advocate for your business once your campaign goes live. Doing this requires your and your employees’ time and labour, and therefore also money. You’ll need to assess whether this type of campaign has a reasonable chance of success before beginning, because it could be taking away resources that would be better spent on other tasks.

Your reputation is at stake

Failing to get financing from your financial institution, or being turned down by an investor can feel like a major blow, but it isn’t a very big deal in terms of your brand’s reputation. That’s because these kinds of negotiations generally aren’t conducted in a public setting.

Your crowdfunding campaign will be clearly visible to the public as well as your competitors and existing investors. After all, you’ll be spending months working to ensure that it is. This increases your chances of success, but it also comes with a significant risk. If your campaign falls flat for any reason, your business looks weak, and might suffer a loss in public and investor confidence.

Your ideas may spread too fast

Beside the risk of a failed campaign, a highly public outreach event like this can lead to another problem. Not every clever innovation can be patented, and smaller businesses may need more time and effort to realise their vision than a larger, better funded competitor. It’s important to assess how secure your business’ ownership of an idea is before you can safely publicise it.

Crowdfunding can be an excellent solution for small businesses in need of capital to fund growth opportunities, but it needs to be approached with care. Before you launch your own campaign, be sure that it isn’t vulnerable to these weaknesses. For alternative financing options, reach out to our representatives at Fifo Capital for a free consultation.

  • Terms of the website use

    Please read these Terms & Conditions before using this site

    This terms of use (together with the documents referred to in it) tells you the terms of use on which you may make use of our website www.fifocapital.ie (our site). Use of our site includes accessing, browsing, or submitting information through our site.

    Please read these terms of use carefully before you start to use our site, as these will apply to your use of our site.

    By using our site, you confirm that you accept these terms of use and that you agree to comply with them. If you do not agree to these terms of use, you must not use our site.

    Other applicable terms
    These terms of use refer to the following additional terms, which also apply to your use of our site.
    Our Privacy Policy which sets out the terms on which we process any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us. By using our site, you consent to such processing and you warrant that all data provided by you is accurate.
    Our Cookie Policy which sets out information about the cookies on our site.
    Our Anti-Spam Policy which sets out information about our anti-spam endeavours.

    Information about us
    www.fifocapital.ie is a site operated by Fifo Capital International Ltd (“We”). We are registered in New Zealand under company number 3856796 and have our registered office at 170 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1151, New Zealand. Our main trading address is 135 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1151, New Zealand.

    Changes to these terms
    We may revise these terms of use at any time by amending this page. Please check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we made, as they are binding on you. This terms of use was last updated on 18 September 2015.

    Changes to our site
    We may update our site from time to time, and may change the content at any time. However, please note that any of the content on our site may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update it.
    We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will be free from errors or omissions.

    Accessing our site
    Our site is made available free of charge.
    We do not guarantee that our site, or any content on it, will always be available or be uninterrupted. Access to our site is permitted on a temporary basis. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of our site without notice. We will not be liable to you if for any reason our site is unavailable at any time or for any period.

    You are responsible for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our site.
    You are also responsible for ensuring that all persons who access our site through your internet connection are aware of these terms of use and other applicable terms and conditions, and that they comply with them.

    Intellectual property rights
    We are the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in our site, and in the material published on it. Those works are protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. All such rights are reserved.
    You may print off one copy, and may download extracts, of any page(s) from our site for your personal use and you may draw the attention of others within your organisation to content posted on our site.

    You must not modify the paper or digital copies of any materials you have printed off or downloaded in any way, and you must not use any illustrations, photographs, video or audio sequences or any graphics separately from any accompanying text.

    Our status (and that of any identified contributors) as the authors of content on our site must always be acknowledged.

    You must not use any part of the content on our site for commercial purposes without obtaining a licence to do so from us or our licensors.

    If you print off, copy or download any part of our site in breach of these terms of use, your right to use our site will cease immediately and you must, at our option, return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made.
    No reliance on information

    The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

    Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.

    Limitation of our liability
    Nothing in these terms of use excludes or limits our liability for death or personal injury arising from our negligence, or our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation, or any other liability that cannot be excluded or limited by New Zealand law.

    To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all conditions, warranties, representations or other terms which may apply to our site or any content on it, whether express or implied.

    We will not be liable to any user for any loss or damage, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, even if foreseeable, arising under or in connection with:
    – use of, or inability to use, our site; or use of or reliance on any content displayed on our site;
    – loss of profits, sales, business, or revenue;
    – business interruption;
    – loss of anticipated savings;
    – loss of business opportunity, goodwill or reputation; or
    – any indirect or consequential loss or damage.

    If you are a consumer user, please note that we only provide our site for domestic and private use. You agree not to use our site for any commercial or business purposes, and we have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

    We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a virus, distributed denial-of-service attack, or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data or other proprietary material due to your use of our site or to your downloading of any content on it, or on any website linked to it.

    We assume no responsibility for the content of websites linked on our site. Such links should not be interpreted as endorsement by us of those linked websites. We will not be liable for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.

    Viruses
    We do not guarantee that our site will be secure or free from bugs or viruses.

    You are responsible for configuring your information technology, computer programmes and platform in order to access our site. You should use your own virus protection software.

    You must not misuse our site by knowingly introducing viruses, trojans, worms, logic bombs or other material which is malicious or technologically harmful. You must not attempt to gain unauthorised access to our site, the server on which our site is stored or any server, computer or database connected to our site. You must not attack our site via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of service attack. By breaching this provision, you would commit a criminal offence. We will report any such breach to the relevant law enforcement authorities and we will co-operate with those authorities by disclosing your identity to them. In the event of such a breach, your right to use our site will cease immediately.

    Linking to our site
    You may not link to our home page without our prior written consent.

    Third part links and resources in our site
    Where our site contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only.

    We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources.

    Applicable law
    These terms of use, its subject matter and its formation (and any non-contractual disputes or claims) are governed by New Zealand Law. We both agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New Zealand.

    Contact us

    To contact us, please mail to Fifo Capital International Ltd, PO Box 137375 Parnell, Auckland 1151, New Zealand, or email [email protected]
    Thank you for visiting our site.

  • Anti-Spam Policy

    What is spam?
    In the context of electronic messaging, spam refers to unsolicited, bulk or indiscriminate messages, typically sent for commercial purposes. “Electronic messaging” covers emails, instant messaging, SMS and other mobile phone messaging, but does not cover normal voice-to-voice communication by telephone.

    An electronic message may constitute spam if it:
    – is commercial in nature – i.e. it could be construed as offering a commercial transaction, such as goods or services for sale, or merely directing the recipient to a location where a commercial transaction could take place – is sent without the prior consent of the recipient;
    – fails to include accurate information about the sender; and
    – does not include a functional unsubscribe facility.

    Fifo Capital will take all necessary and reasonable steps required under relevant current Spam legislation to ensure that any commercial electronic messages sent to you do not constitute spam.

    Consent
    Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that it has obtained your express consent prior to sending you electronic commercial messages about Fifo Capital’s products and services. Express consent may come in various ways, including subscribing to our mailing list, filing in a form, ticking a consent box to receive advertising or messages on our website, or consenting over the phone.

    Where it is impracticable to obtain your consent before sending electronic commercial message to you, we may infer that you have consented to receiving electronic commercial message. Inferred consent can occur:
    – via an existing business or other relationship with Fifo Capital, and where there is reasonable expectation of receiving commercial electronic messages; or
    – via conspicuous publication of a work-related electronic address; and
    – it is accessible to the public, or a section of the public
    – the subject of the message is directly related to the role or function of the recipient; and
    – the address is not accompanied by a statement saying no commercial messages are wanted.

    Identification
    Any commercial electronic message sent by Fifo Capital will include a clear and accurate identification information about Fifo Capital, the sender of the message and how we can be contacted. Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that the identification information about Fifo Capital is accurate for a period of 30 days after the day on which you receive the electronic commercial message.

    Unsubscribing Policy
    Under Spam legislation, every commercial electronic message must contain a functional and legitimate ‘unsubscribe’ facility. This is an electronic address the recipient can use to tell the sender they do not wish to receive messages.

    Fifo Capital will take reasonable steps to ensure that:
    – all commercial electronic messages sent by us will include a functional way for the message’s recipient to indicate that they wish to unsubscribe from any future messages;
    – our unsubscribe links in any electric commercial message remain functional for at least 30 days after the original commercial electronic message was sent;
    – it allows the unsubscribe message to be sent to whoever authorised the sending of the message;
    the unsubscribe instructions are presented in a clear and conspicuous way;
    – a request to unsubscribe is honoured within five-(5)working days;
    – unsubscribing is at low or no cost, to the recipient.

    If you receive a message from Fifo Capital that is not in accordance with the above, contact us and the matter will be promptly investigated and resolved.

    Fifo Capital Unsubscribe Process
    The e-Marketing systems Fifo Capital uses for electronic communication allow recipients the option to automatically unsubscribe from any electronic commercial message.

    All manual unsubscribe requests go through the Marketing Manager or Operations Manager (as a secondary person). The necessary details for unsubscribing from any electronic commercial message sent by Fifo Capital are as follows:
    SMS: Subject Line: ‘Unsubscribe’
    Mail: Subject Line: ‘Remove’
    Post To: The relevant office as listed on the email
    Email: Subject Line: ‘Remove’
    Fax: Subject Line: ‘Remove’

    Fifo Capital Marketing
    Queries that are made with Fifo Capital through our marketing channels are gathered and kept confidentially. Fifo Capital may use some of this information to market its current and new products to customers. All marketing sent by Fifo Capital allows the recipient to opt out (unsubscribe) at no cost. If the recipient chooses to exercise that right they will be removed from any further marketing communication from Fifo Capital. Fifo Capital will not use electronic address harvesting software, or lists which have been generated using software, for the purposes of sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

    Contact Fifo Capital
    Please contact our Anti-Spam officer at [email protected] if you have any concerns or complaints about this policy or about our use of personal information or other privacy issues.

  • Information about our use of cookies

    Our site uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our site. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our site and also allows us to improve our site. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

    A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree. Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive.
    To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

    You block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site.

    If you have any questions or comments regarding this Cookies policy, please email [email protected]

  • Data Protection Policy

    See and print Fifo Capital’s data-protection-policy.

  • Terms and Conditions

    Fifo Capital understands time is critical when it comes to managing your cash flow – so our process is aimed to be as simple as possible.
    A Fifo Capital facility approval typically takes around 24 hours to set-up and depending on the required information supplied by customers, transfer of funds can take place in as little as four hours.

    The following covers the terms and conditions required for a four hour funds transfer to take place;

    1. Fifo Capital will tell the proposed client if the application is successful to receive funding. We can accept or reject the application at our sole and absolute discretion. If we accept the application the cash flow finance services will be provided solely in accordance with the documents we agree with the proposed client.
    2. Fifo Capital reserves the right to reject previously approved applications without notice and/or consultation.
    3. Fifo Capital’s application consists of a number of forms, however, not limited to fully completed and signed; Application, Receivables Finance Facility Terms and Conditions, Guarantee, Offer to Sell, and Privacy Consent forms
    4. To be eligible for a four hour funds transfer in relation to an approved application, the proposed customer must request or apply to Fifo Capital in writing before 12noon on the same business day. Such a request doesn’t guarantee the transfer will take place or funds cleared in the customer’s bank account within the four hour period.
    5. Should a four hour funding transfer request be approved, such a transfer can only be facilitated on a business day. A transfer request is not available on public or bank holidays, or weekends.
    6. Four hour funding transfers may incur a fee as detailed within the application.
    7. Fifo Capital’s aligned banks or financial institutions have the right to reject a four hour funding transfer request. Fifo Capital and its aligned banks are not liable for any loss or damages resulting from a funding transfer request not taking place or funds being cleared within a four hour period.
    8. Fifo Capital is a franchise business operation. Fifo Capital UK Ltd is the master franchisee and is therefore not responsible for the actions or inactions of its franchisees in relation to any funds transfer timing.
    9. Fifo Capital is not responsible for any loss or damages incurred or to be incurred by the would be or existing customer should a transfer not take place within or cleared funds not be received within a four hour period.

    To find out more about the full terms and conditions relating to our 4 hour funds transfer please contact Fifo Capital on 07812 334 564