Which startup entrepreneur did not dream of borrowing Cinderella's fairy godmother or Aladdin's genius to realize all their dreams? Although they did not necessarily want it, that's exactly what happened to Will and Erica Messmer of Jersey City, New Jersey.
Before the couple got married earlier this year, they decided to pursue their dream of entrepreneurship. They had just moved to Jersey City and were looking for an opportunity to start a business that would add value to the community. They both shared a "passion for food" and realized that their new home would be the perfect place to open a butcher shop, Darke Pines, named in honor of Will's grandfather, who was a butcher. years ago in Darke County, Ohio.
Their fairy godmother? Intuit. Yes, Intuit.
They started to develop a business plan. Will leave his job in New York to spend more time on startup. Of course, they needed start-up funds and, like many entrepreneurs, asked for a loan for their family. Read an article in Wired magazine about crowdfunding and they decided to raise money on Kickstarter.
Will and Erica realized that one of the secrets of crowdfunding success was not to present a business plan, but to tell a fascinating story. Thus, they redesigned their priorities and created a battle plan that included the use of videos and articles to better present themselves and a component of rewards for attracting funders (and future clients).
Telling Stories for Crowdfunding
They explained how to create a butcher shop "dedicated to locally produced and durably bred meat" was their personal, not only related to Will's grandfather, but also to Erica's memories of his childhood in Alabama.
Erica says the process was "difficult, but good for us, [in that we learned] to go in the right direction." If you're thinking about crowdfunding, Will says, you have to do your homework. "It's not just about" I have an idea, "but about how everyone will benefit from this idea.
The couple admits that putting everything together – developing a marketing plan, creating a brand and designing a logo – has required more work than expected. Erica insists on the challenge of using the video to "show the heart of the business – what it will be".
Opening a butcher shop is not an easy task. Will and Erica spent two years visiting butchers in New York and across the country. They visited farms and slaughterhouses. They even volunteered to work behind butchery and moonlight counters in restaurants.
And then on October 22, the magic happened. It was the last day of their Kickstarter campaign and they had not reached their goal yet. And then, with minutes to spare, Will said, "out of nowhere, the money was there." We received notice we reached our goal – and it was such a good feeling. "
The money they discovered, came from Backed by QuickBooks, an Intuit program launched this fall, where a panel of small business experts are searching crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter, Go Fund Me and IndieGoGo, looking for companies worthy of spontaneously funds. They evaluate the crowdfunding campaign, review the funding requirements, and then select the winning companies.
Winners receive more than just money. They also receive:
- A One Year Free Subscription to QuickBooks Online
- 5 free hours with a QuickBooks Advisor
- A PC or Mac or a laptop
- QuickBooks SWAG, Including a Hoodie and QuickBooks Stickers
- A free one-year subscription to ShipStation
- A $ 300 gift card to advertise on Facebook
Erica compares the whole process of winning the lottery. But she adds, getting funding was more than that. It was the validation "that maybe is a good idea.We were inspired and encouraged by that." Will add, being funded by QuickBooks "made us believe that it will work. We can – and will – do it. "
Image: Erica and Will Messmer