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Preparation is the key to crowdfunding success – the RunRev story

08.19.2013
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On Tuesday I was in Edinburgh to attend the RunRev crowdfunding seminar where Kevin Miller, CEO of RunRev, went through in detail the steps involved with their successful campaign to raise £493,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter.

The successful RunRev campaign is a case study in our recently published report Crowdfunding – The Scottish Perspective (a work commissioned by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce), and it is a terrific tale of the art of the possible with crowdfunding. Not only was a significant sum raised in just 30 days – at the time the UK’s largest technology fund on Kickstarter – but it speaks directly to the transformative power of crowdfunding by empowering RunRev to develop an entirely new business model, to take their product open source, and to take so many of their passionate fans on that journey with them.

Key to their success, as with most crowdfunding campaigns, was the level of preparation and analysis that the team at RunRev did before even thinking about starting their campaign in earnest, and Kevin shared a good deal of the detail of that in his presentation.

In our workshops and client engagements we use the TAMP process to help people prepare a crowdfunding campaign.

It is a logical sequence of steps that guide you through the often complex process of considering and preparing for a crowdfunding campaign. It prompts you to address the key questions in the optimum sequence so as to have you in the best shape to run a successful campaign. And this is important. Far too many campaigns fail and too often we hear about those that don’t prepare and are surprised and desperate to resurrect a failing project that is already running. Generally it’s too late.

The old maxim that “failure to prepare is preparing for failure” has seldom been more apposite than in the context of a crowdfunding campaign.

The TAMP process is an acronym standing for Targets, Audit, Method, Plan/Preparation

In the Targets section we are considering things like the monetary targets you have and how firm accurate and realistic are they; when it needs to be available, how flexible is that timing; what is the outcome you are looking for, how does this fit in the strategic context or life stage of your firm? These things alone can throw up many interesting decision points and considerations which will radically inform later steps in the process.

Audit looks at the tangible and intangible resources that you can use for this campaign, which might include things skills, tools, social and relationship capital, time and physical assets that are available to you.

It’s only at this point that you consider making decisions on the best crowdfunding Methodology to use. So are you best suited at this time to equity, reward, loan or what? This is not just a function of personal preference it is based on the output of the previous steps. If you have a preference to one methodology but the first two steps suggest you are not suited to it then it may be possible to work backwards to develop a plan to adjust the targets or develop alternative and further assets from those identified in the audit. Of course time constraints set out in the target section might make that challenging, but that is all part of the mix. All of these things are factored in to the process before you start to pull it all together to prepare and plan.

The Planning/Preparation phase includes steps like evaluation of other similar projects, developing key messages, testing and seeking feedback, communication plans, team development, identifying key influencers, video production, finance preparation, consultation. In fact there is a very long list of steps developed from what has been learned from the earlier stages of the process.

The final execution of the campaign once it is live however is down to you!

RunRev’s experience demonstrates how great preparation and great execution can deliver tremendous results. Kevin and his team will be running a similar event in Glasgow on Tuesday the 3rd of September and if you would like to attend to hear more about their story please contact Mildred Foo to register your interest. If it’s anything like the Edinburgh event I expect a good turn out.

If you want help with preparing for your crowdfunding campaign or expert guidance through the TAMP process, or to attend one of our workshops please contact us.

Published at DZone with permission of Daniela Castrataro, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)