Crowdfunding has proven an effective way for female founders to generate funds for a business of any size — a welcome development, since women struggle to access capital through more traditional routes.
But do some women think too small when designing their campaigns?
Concetta Rand, chief revenue officer of female-focused crowdfunding site IFundWomen, offers her two cents on how — and why — women should look beyond fundraising goals:
1. “The secret to crowdfunding no one tells you about [is] the ability to generate demand ahead of building supply,” Rand says.
A crowdfunding campaign provides an opportunity to gauge market interest even as a woman raises startup capital, Rand says. “We see entrepreneurs using crowdfunding campaigns to build passionate customers, to involve people in the development process, rather than waiting to have a product ready.”
By approaching crowdfunding with this kind of mindset, Rand says founders can refine their prototypes to truly fit what the market wants. “If you’re early stage enough, crowdfunding is an amazing way to figure out if there’s a ‘there’ there.”
2. Rand has another message for female founders: “Perfect is the enemy of done.”
Many female entrepreneurs get stressed out about every detail, to the point where they often delay sharing new ideas and products with the world. “It’s a common pitfall,” she says, but “the truth is, nothing is fully formed until the customer — the market — reacts to it.”
Rand hears frequently from women who have ideas that they have been nursing for several years, “who are waiting for everything to line up, but it never does.” She encourages women to use a thoughtfully constructed crowdfunding campaign as a tool for organizing those thoughts. “There is never a perfect time where everything is buttoned up and ready to go. You have to just push it out there.”
Related: This Video-Driven Fundraising Site is Making Stars Out of Women Entrepreneurs
Related: Our “5 Crowdfunders to Watch” Column