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Already existing brick and morter, needs crowdfunding advice

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by krhodes09 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:02 pm

Here is our indiegogo page. We have an unusual situation and need some help on how to make indiegogo work for us.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help ... /x/6580097


I have read lots of online advice on using indiegogo.com, but our situation seems to be different from the majority of people using crowd funding. We are an already established brick and mortar business, but a very new one - 18 months old. We have grown quickly and made a very good name for ourselves in our very small town of Amherst Ma.

After investing everything we had in opening our business, we found out just 1 month ago that our building is going to be sold and demolished to make way for a new development. We found a new space, but cannot afford to move there without help. We have not yet earned back our initial business investment. We turned to crowd funding to try and raise the resources necessary to move and stay in business.

It seemed perfect, we have a fantastic customer base, over 1000 facebook fans in the 18 months we have been open. Amherst is a very liberal, very small town place with lots of people very outspoken about small local business. The town has 26K residents and UMASS that is located 1/2 mile from us has an additional 30K students. So we thought that with media exposure and speaking with the hundreds of customers who walk through our doors each week we would be able to raise the money we need. We are a favorite hang out place for the students, and have already developed a regional reputation as a must visit destination when in town.

While the verbal support has come in spades, the financial support has not. We have been in all the local papers, on the local news and everybody I run into in town tells me they heard we are being forced to move, they heard we are trying to raise money. But the donations are not coming in.

Can you offer any advice that is more specific to this somewhat unusual situation.
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by krhodes09 » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:06 pm

I forgot to mention that we partnered with several other local business that we are friendly with, use their products etc. And all have posted us to their own facebook page encouraging their followers to help us out. I would say that about 6 other businesses have voiced support, and 2 local schools.
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by sbriggman » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:52 pm

So basically, you're seeing a lot of traffic/interest, but it's not converting into financial contributions. I think it comes down to the rewards. What kind of feedback have you been getting on your specific reward tiers?

Not related to Indiegogo, one idea I had (as you kind of hinted at with your rewards) is to essentially pre-sell your products and services by offering in-store credit, which will be used to sponsor your move. You could offer this service to local office businesses in the area that would like to treat their employees to free coffee and donuts each morning for a month.

You could also try doing some kind of a joint fundraiser with the student body. When I was in college, we would form a relationship with a local business that would agree to pledge a certain amount of money towards a cause if the students would refer X number of people to their sandwich shop (the people would need to use a ticket to show they are supporting the student effort so the pledges counted). This is a low cost way to increase sales in a short amount of time.

Other ideas:
- You could try peer to peer lending. https://www.lendingclub.com/
- You could look for an angel investor.
- You could ask if the owner of the new property offers financing options.
- If you really believe in the business, you could use credit cards, but I wouldn't recommend this.
- You could try to get commitments for catering events to finance the move and then fulfill those commitments after you move.
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