Crowdfunding for Existing Businesses

Crowdfunding Existing Businesses
Lawnbrook Estate

Crowdfunding to give your business a post lockdown boost today 

Crowdfunding for new start-ups is becoming a well trodden path with many people being are familiar with stories about campaigns where new businesses appear to be an instant success whether it be Flowhive or a new craft brewer.

Many entrepreneurs and business owners, however, incorrectly assume that crowdfunding is only for start-ups and not existing operations.

If you are an Australian small business climbing out of lockdown and in need to a post lockdown boost you may want to consider whether a crowdfunding campaign could give you that new impetus and help you need to get back on track.

Check out our 3-point Crowdfunding Assessment for existing businesses to see whether a crowdfunding campaign may be feasible for you.

Crowdfunding for Cafes

Will a crowdfunding  campaign work for my business? The 3 Point Crowdfunding Assessment:

Crowdfunding Suitability Assessment 1 

Is your business a “B to C” or “B to B” business?

Reward-based crowdfunding has been more successful for “B to C” (business to consumer) businesses rather than “B to B” (business to business).

If your business is “B to C” give yourself a point and move on to “Crowdfunding Suitability Assessment 2”.

Crowdfunding Suitability Assessment 2

Does your business have a loyal customer base?

Crowdfunding for existing businesses with a loyal customer base cuts some of the time involved in the pre-campaign phase and has a higher success rate. 

If your business has a loyal customer base give yourself a point and move on to “Crowdfunding Assessment Suitability 3” 

Crowdfunding Suitability Assessment 3

Can I create some enticing rewards or experiences?

When customers or “backers” are supporting a crowdfunding campaign they are often foregoing receiving their purchase immediately in return for an incentive to back a project. 

In order to engage your supporters it is key that you can offer a great deal or discount that they cannot get at other times or a unique reward or experience.

If you have an idea of a great reward, deal, discount or experience you can offer backers give yourself another point.

Do you have 3 points ?

If so then a reward based crowdfunding campaign may be a possibility for your business. 

If you totalled 3 points and you are interested in exploring the opportunity further please e mail“3 Point Assessment Passed” and let us know what your business does. 

One business that met the 3 criteria and created a very successful campaign during the lock down was the Lawnbrook Estate. 

Their campaign, “TheLawnbrook Estate Vintage 2020 COVID-19 Rescue Package”is an excellent example of how crowdfunding can be used to help existing businesses survive the coronavirus crisis.

The Lawnbrook Estate, Crowdfunding through COVID-19

The Lawnbrook Estate, Western Australia
Lawnbrook Estate, Perth Hills

Rebekah and Bruce Wilson are the owners of a Bickley Valley vineyard, winery and restaurant. Their vineyard and home are all on the same property and like many small businesses they have everything on the line.

They generated income from the restaurant to help subsidise their  wine production. 

Their 2020 vintage was shaping up to be a “ripper” according to Rebekah after hot and dry growing conditions and an abundance of blossoms. 

Then COVID-19 struck and revenue from their restaurant came to an abrupt end. The Wilsons  had no other income from the property and a chain of people who relied on their wine-making process to make a living.

With the sudden loss of their revenue stream from the restaurant closure they were no longer confident they could afford to bottle their 2020 vintage.

Rebekah explained to us that the fruit had been amazing and it would be a tragedy if the wine did not get produced and make it to Australian’s tables. 

Time was of  the essence for Rebekah and Bruce.   When lockdown was imposed the grapes had been picked and their wine was already in production  but without the funds to pay for bottling their 2020 vintage it would all be going down the drain.

The Wilsons were quick to recognise that reward-based crowdfunding would help them generate the cash they needed to pay for bottling.  

“We have used crowdfunding platforms before (as a consumer) and it looked like an ideal solution that would allow us to pre-sell a vintage in an ‘all-or-nothing’ format.

Once we had made the decision we took a couple of days to evaluate various platforms, a day to work out whether it would be viable, and a further 2 days to write our story/build our rewards.

We evaluated various crowd funding platforms, some are geared around niche markets, others were non-starters as they don’t allow alcohol as rewards and many are overseas based.

ReadFundGo suited our needs. The fees were reasonable, the platform was flexible enough to do what we wanted, and the fact that it was Australian based, sat well with us.” Rebekah Wilson

On the crowdfunding campaign Rebekah and Bruce offer their most popular table wines that are close to being ready to ship at significant discounts. 

They have exceeded their campaign goal with their Rusty Pony, a French-styled rose leading the pre-orders. Crowdfunding saved their 2020 vintage. 

You can see their campaign here as an example: 

Crowdfunding existing business
Lawnbrook Estate, Perth Hills, WA

A New Professional Coffee Machine or Entertaining Space? 

The Lawnbrook Estate campaign is an excellent example of how crowdfunding can be used for a small family business to help them keep their operations afloat.

It can also be used by businesses for a new piece of capital equipment, for example if a café or restaurant needs a new professional coffee machine – this could be crowdfunded by the existing customers with creative rewards some ideas are in our guide.

The Mitta Mitta Brewery in Victoria used their crowdfunding campaign to pay for the completion of their client entertaining space and beer fridges.

Crowdfunding an existing business
From the Mitta Mitta Brewery
The Mitta Mitta Brewery, Victoria

If you have an existing small Australian business and meet the 3-point test we look forward to discussing how you can create a crowdfunding campaign to fit your needs.

If you'd like to see more of our essential tips for managing and promoting your crowdfunding project, you can grab our Guide To Crowdfunding here.

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About ReadyFundGo

ReadyFundGo is a crowdfunding platform and community of social entrepreneurs, business owners, change makers and innovators who have a great idea they want to get off the ground or grow. If you are interested in the world of innovation and ideas, or want to find strategies for raising funds for your own project or expansion, ReadyFundGo can help. To begin your own crowdfunding campaign, start your draft here.