How to Deliver on Your Crowdfunded Product’s Promises

by Alex Feldman

May 15, 2018

Crowdfunding is both a way to validate your idea and fund it. However, the moment you’ve met your crowdfunding goals, the work is just beginning. After all, you’ve just promised all of these people that you’re going to deliver a product, and you can’t afford to alienate your new fans. Here are a few tips on how to deliver your crowdfunded product’s promises.

Consider All of the Costs

When someone is planning a crowdfunding campaign, they too often look only at the cost to make the product. They neglect to consider all of the things that go into manufacturing, distributing and developing a product. For example, they don’t take into account the labor costs associated with fulfilling orders, shipping costs and billing. Or they overlook costs associated with designing a website for processing orders, hosting the website, and customer service. When developing software or an app, they may overlook the costs associated with bug fixes and testing. Yet all of these expenses need to be factored into total per-unit costs, or else you’ll lose money.

If you want to cut on the development process, you could go on a site like Extensivelyreviewed.Com and look at products like yours and see where you can improve. This will allow you to cut development time and get a clearer view of what customers really want.

Be Realistic on Delivery Dates

Don’t promise backers a product delivery date based on optimistic assumptions. Instead, promise delivery after a date that you could meet even if production problems arise. If you deliver earlier than this, then you’ve delighted your customers. If there are problems with production or delays due to issues with logistics, then you haven’t alienated your customers. Give yourself time to package and ship products. In fact, the more successful the campaign, the more time you’ll need to allocate for logistics as you figure out how to package and ship that many products and work out how you’ll handle orders in the future.

Trust but Verify

You may trust your manufacturer, but you should request proofs to review before they ship products to the supplier. Then you can ensure that their final production run meets your standards and customer expectations.

While you may have a great software product or website design, invest time in beta testing and bug fixes. It is far easier to make tweaks before you’ve gone live rather than afterwards. Have backup plans, as well, such as a list of fulfillment centers that can help you fill orders if the final list is longer than what you could pack and ship yourself.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Crowdfunding is too often seen as “collect money, ship product, done”. In reality, it is an interactive process of cultivating your followers while learning from them. You need to give them a way to report bugs with the product or failures with your business plan like late packages. You want to receive feedback on what they thought of the product and how well it fits their expectations. Give them a way to send you feedback. Ensure that those who have placed orders know how to get customer service or technical support.

Delivering products to your campaigners is the first test of your business plan, though you need to plan for things going wrong. Fulfill your promises, and you’ll have proven that you can indeed deliver as expected.