For many entrepreneurs, starting a business with Kickstarter can help springboard their ideas. From Oscar winning documentaries to leather belt companies, this crowdfunding site is becoming the premier destination for new businesses to gain their first customers.
We caught up with PeerSpace Guest David Wolfe who founded OLIVERS, an athletic apparel company for men. He gave us some invaluable tips about starting a business with Kickstarter and how to run a successful campaign from start to finish.
1. Be honest with yourself. Is your goal to finish a project or start a company? Craft your approach accordingly.
After leaving a career in tech, Wolfe felt the calling to create a business of his own. He played around with different ideas, but ultimately returned to his true passions: the outdoors, sports, design, and clothing. He planned every detail carefully, knowing that he was laying the groundwork for a company.
2. Hustle! Figure out what your needs are and find collaborators. Start with your own network, see what you can leverage from there.
After defining the project, Wolfe started working on prototypes and a marketing strategy. According to Kickstarter, projects with videos succeed at a much higher rate than those without (50 percent vs. 30 percent). Wolfe used his friends and contacts in LA to help him create a high quality video for his campaign. The preparation paid off and he easily surpassed his initial goal, raising $271,000 in funding.
3. Jump in. It’s better to get started and figure it out as you go than not start at all. Get comfortable with the uncertain.
After the 30-day campaign, Wolfe dove head first into execution mode. He coordinated with factories, found supplies, dealt with customs, received samples, and found storage space.
Now, it was time to find the right office space. Wolfe didn’t like working from home so he turned to PeerSpace and became a Guest. Here, he discovered the perfect month-to-month location. The new office allowed him the freedom of not being locked into a long-term lease as well as a flexibility that many co-working spaces don’t offer.
Today, Wolfe continues to navigate through the exciting phases of being a new business owner. Post-Kickstarter, he has returned to sales and marketing in order to grow the brand and company.