Is Crowdfunding Right for your Company?

Is Crowdfunding Right for your Company?A decade ago, independent-minded entrepreneurs might have scoffed at the idea of asking the public to fund their latest project. Today, more than ever companies are turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Fundable to help turn their start-up dreams into reality. These sites allow companies to connect with potential investors by making them part of the development process, whether they’re a tech start-up building a new product or a chef opening a restaurant.

There are plenty of benefits to crowdfunding, but it’s not necessarily the right choice for every company. Here are four questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign.

1) Are you in it for the right reasons?

While the main goal of crowdfunding is to raise money for your project, don’t make it all about the money – it’s about more than just getting something for free. Benefits of a campaign include promoting your company and product, connecting with new customers and learning about their needs and wants. Savvy customers will sense whether you’re truly invested or just out to make a quick buck.

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How Profane User Content Impacts Your Brand

How Profane User Content Impacts Your BrandIn today’s marketplace, branding via company websites and social media pages is the name of the game. By engaging in conversations with real people online, you take control of your brand’s web image and make your customers feel confident that they can expect great service and individual attention from you both in the physical and digital worlds. However, when you start to interact with those real people, you’re also going to find out very quickly that some of them are a bit more… colorful in the way they express themselves.

This kind of thing didn’t matter when it happened in a one-on-one interaction in a store or over the phone with customer service, but the internet works differently. A profane or otherwise inappropriate comment is something that lives on your site or company page once someone has posted it there. Leaving it there for the world to see is a way of saying, “I’m okay with having my company seen like this.”

Depending on the goals of your business, that may be a big mistake. Here are several ways that profane user content can impact your brand.

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Guest Post: Can Your Small Biz Use Crowdsourcing With the JOBS Act?

Recently, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) passed amid much hoopla about how this legislation would be the stimulus that jumpstarts the economy and enables people like you and me to invest in all of these startups without becoming accredited investors, as was previously required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now if you’re a small business owner, the floodgates will open, and you’ll be able to raise tons of money to accelerate your business, right? Probably not. While the SEC is still in its evaluation stage and the actual regulations have not been written, some things are already clear from the text of the JOBS Act bill itself. First, you will only be able to raise a total of $1 million in the course of 12 months, and individual investors will only be able to contribute the greater of $2,000 or 5% of net income if they make less than $100,000 per year or have a net worth of less than $100,000, and they will only be able to contribute the greater of 10% of the net income or net worth of the investor if the investor makes or is worth more than $100,000 and not to exceed $100,000 (see Section 302(a) of the text of the bill for details). So, raising $1,000,000 will require either at least 10 high income/net worth investors or at least 500 lower net worth investors, and probably many more than that.

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