Crowdfunding is a great way to validate and get funding for your project idea.
But your work doesn’t end the moment you’ve met your campaign goals.
Whether you choose the Kickstarter or Indiegogo platform–or both with the InDemand option, delivering your product should be top of mind.
You need to start thinking about how to deliver the product you promised in a timely manner.
Despite what your initial impressions might be, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
For example, it may take 30 days or more to get your money after the campaign closes, so if you aren’t thinking ahead and keeping your contributors updated on your progress, you could end up upsetting them.
Here are some other factors you should be thinking about when you’re looking to succeed in crowdfunding fulfillment:
Allow For Delays In Production
Product production tends to follow a conveyor-belt like process where at each stage a small portion of the product is completed. Unfortunately, you never know at which stage a bottleneck might exist.
The production process rarely goes perfectly, and slowdown is almost inevitable.
When you don’t budget for a little bit of leeway, you might end up having to disappoint your backers.
Once you have promised your backers delivery at a certain time, they’ll expect you to deliver it on time. It’s better to promise delivery at a later date, and give them a pleasant surprise if you’re able to deliver your product to them earlier than they expect.
A good policy is to under-promise and over-deliver. That way, you’ll come out looking like a hero.
Review Your Product Before Shipping
With physical products like books or CDs, make sure to request proofs for your review. You’ll want to ensure that every detail is perfect before approving designs.
With software or digital products, you may need to spend additional time in beta testing, making sure to work out any bugs that might exist.
No matter what kind of product you’re creating, it may be necessary to make some tweaks to it before calling it “done.”
Unless you’re well into the production process upon the completion of your crowdfunding campaign, you’ll need to create a significant margin in your schedule before you can deliver what you promised your backers.
As mentioned earlier, allow a sufficient time buffer to have your products ready for delivery.
Communicate With Your Backers
Make sure to leave some time to collect backer information:
Even if you think you have it all in place, you’ll still want to review it and double-check its accuracy. Either that or you’ll need to allow for a certain number of lost, returned, or undeliverable packages – this isn’t a bad insurance policy to have in place regardless.
Also keep in mind that your backers aren’t always going to respond to you right away.
You can definitely expect there to be some back-and-forth. For clothing items, or for any product that comes in different styles or colors, you’ll need to get feedback from your contributors too.
Schedule Time For Packing & Shipping
If you’re sending out physical products, you’ll definitely need to give yourself margin for packing and shipping.
The more successful your campaign is, and the more backers you have, the more time you’re going to need to allow for logistics activities, especially when you have backer from multiple countries.
Don’t forget that you’re also going to require a budget for shipping boxes and packages, and depending on how you plan on handling the orders, you may have a lot of back-and-forth to do between home and the postal office.
Getting your product into the hands of your backers could take as long as six months to a year and it’s your responsibility to determine a realistic date of delivery.
This largely depends on how far along you are in the production process, volunteers and resources available to you, how much time you have in your day to work on the project, as well as how efficient you can be.
As you’ve already seen, you’ll also need to set aside some money for product development, packaging, shipping, and other miscellaneous contingencies.
When you have more than 500 units of a product to ship and when that shipping involves international orders it’s worth your time and money to utilize an order fulfillment warehouse–and even more, one that specializes in shipping crowdfunding.
This will streamline your packing and shipping process, allowing you to focus on getting the product right and communicating with your backers.
Floship has dealt with some of the biggest crowdfunding campaigns in the world. We’ve shipped to over 170 countries for our crowdfunding clients. So, when you are ready to ship your crowdfunding rewards to supporters worldwide–and you have more than 500 individual backers to ship to–Floship can help.
To find out how Floship can ease the challenge of shipping your projects, click here to see how our crowdfunding logistics can help you.
More from the Crowdfunding Success Library
- 3 Key Phases To Know Before Launching Your Kickstarter Campaign
- How Much Does It Cost to Run a Crowdfunding Program
- Does Your Crowdfunding Logistics Plan Meet This 7 Point Check?
- Perks You Can’t Offer in Your Indiegogo Campaign