This was very challenging. In an already busy season of life, we added this new project because we felt called to do it. During the last few weeks of the campaign, we were a little short staffed at our retail business, so I was basically playing "master multi-tasker" at Dee-O-Gee. But, it did force me to hand some things off to staff at Dee-O-Gee that I probably should have done a long time ago. It was also hard in the evenings at home. I really tried hard to ignore my phone and email until after the kids were in bed ... this was virtually impossible to do near the end of the campaign when there was a flurry of activity.
Success: The reach of a crowd funding campaign resulted in a much farther "reach" than I could do on my own.
There ended up being a number of people support the project that we don't know and there is no way I would have been able to raise that much $ support by just calling all my friends and family and begging them to help.
Success: unexpected contributions from people that we didn't expect
It was so encouraging (and, in my opinion, a blessing from above) when a few folks stepped up and supported us a very big way when we had no idea it was coming!
Success: a platform to gently express my view on why I feel called to do this project
Like, I've mentioned before (here), I felt called to do this project. The timing didn't really make sense and the $ still doesn't make total sense (i.e. we don't have enough to complete the project, but we are much closer now) ... but, I know in my heart that this is something God wants me to do. The crowd funding campaign gently hinted at my calling to help others and give away profits in a startup company to do so.
Success: raised $ that we didn't have to invest in this project at the current time and gave us a much better "temperature" of the interest in the project
We probably would have hit "pause" on the WO Bone had we not raised the pre-sales funds through RocketHub. Now, we get to jump further into the exhilarating phase of starting something new and write a nice check to Bring Love In to help orphans in Ethiopia!
Success: press coverage
~ Explore Big Sky feature article (here)
~ Bozeman Daily Chronicle article (here)
~ Crowdsifter.co - listed as "best new crowd funded project on the web" for week of April 14th
~ RocketHub direct blog post ... 5k-10k views (here)
Success: personal email "asks" were the most effective
Even with all of the press coverage and social media push, we found that the most effective way to get people to engage in a meaningful way was a personal ask email.
So, am I glad I used a crowd funding platform to launch the WO Bone? Yes, for sure. Would I do it again? Yes, if I was in a place where I didn't have the financial resources to launch something new, I definitely would. We have plans for more products through WO Design, and, if possible I'll use alternative financing methods this time around because we have been so encouraged by the response to the WO Bone so far.