QUESTION:

When should I look for a manufacturer – before or after the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign I plan to do, to raise funds, to launch my business?

Astrid, Oslo (Norway)

 

Hey Astrid, great question!

Launching via a Kickstarter type of crowdfunding campaign is a great new way to leverage the power of the internet and use as a fuel to propel your business forward.

However, it is extremely important to understand that in this day and age when we are all used to instant gratification, keeping up the momentum in your launch and business, in general, is of utmost importance.

For this reason, as well as many others, it is important that before you launch your Kickstarter campaign, you have not only made a sample to use in your promotional materials but also:

  1. You’ll need to have secured and know exactly from where you’ll be purchasing your raw materials for production. Have agreed on prices and checked up the MOQ is workable for the worst and best case raw production scenario.
  2. You should have not only sampled but also have approved, final samples ready. That also means that you should have signed off pattern, grading set and potentially even a marker made (if you are launching garments), all ready and waiting for you to press the button on production.
  3.  You should have a manufacturer for your production ready in place. Not only that, but you should have also spoken to your manufacturer and discussed the project and your plans with them.They need to know what your plans and have also accommodated your production plans into their production schedule. Unless you speak to them and bring on board, you’ll most likely face a scenario where you have an order (fingers crossed have promised delivery dates and yet, there is no space for your production run for weeks or months to come.Look on your manufacturer as a partner in the project and let them know in advance what you’re doing, the dates of launch and campaign close, so they can plan too and support you.
  4. Work out with your manufacturer best and worst case production scenarios in advance. Put a plan in place for the different potential orders you may place, based on the success of the Kickstarter campaign.Again, I repeat, being on the same page for clarity’s sake is important, but also in case, there are costing side effects.

    Related reading: Business Crowdfunding for Fashion Brands

  5. Finally, the minute your crowdfunding campaign closes you should be in a position to press the button on an order with your manufacturer, based on the product orders you secured ( as well as perhaps some extra units which you can use for additional sales, press, and marketing, repeat orders,.etc).Being able to react fast and deliver on time to your customers will mean you are able to keep the momentum of your campaign, deliver on your promise and make the best of your campaign and hard work putting it all together.

Good luck with the campaign and keep the momentum going.

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