Friday 4 November 2016

Effectively Managing Meetings

“Meetings: Where minutes are kept and hours are lost.”

This little proverb can be prophetic if your business meetings are not effectively managed.  It is not surprising that many business people will do most anything to avoid a meeting, as they have the ability to devour hours in your working day.  The effective management of a business meeting is a vital skill for every business person.

The simple definition of a meeting is a face-to-face gathering of two or more people.  The face-to-face need not be in the same room as teleconferencing is also considered a meeting.

This article is not aimed at meetings such as big annual conferences or other meetings of that nature.  Here we are going to talk about the daily business meetings that underpin the day to day business decisions, which ensure the smooth running of a successful enterprise.

Why have a meeting?

Many business decisions today are made using alternatives such as telephone or e-mail, but there are times that sitting around a table will benefit everyone.

Meetings will roughly fall into one of three categories. The first type of meeting is designed to make decisions regarding business processes. This could be to decide on projects, new products or staffing issues. Strategic planning also falls into this category. 

Secondly, there are informative meetings.  These are usually regularly scheduled and can become tedious if they are allowed to drag on. 

Lastly, there are meetings called to review and analyze feedback. An example would be after the launch of a new product or service; the meeting could be used to analyze the performance of the product, review the costs structures and feed the information gathered to a decision-making body. Alternatively, you could be going through a post-mortem on the failure of a large piece of equipment. These meetings are used to gather information and analyze that information. It may or may not make decisions.

Plan your meetings carefully

Human beings have difficulty in paying attention for considerable lengths of time. On average, after an hour people start to think of other things so plan carefully what you want to achieve and keep a tight rein on the proceedings.

Here Is a Guide to Preparing

Step 1- Define the objectives of the meeting

Spend some time to define clearly what you want to achieve from the meeting.  Make the objective concrete and achievable within the time that you have.  Vague objectives such as ‘Status update’ may get you few acceptances whereas the objective set down as ‘Status of XYZ Project as at end-June 2016’ will gain you far more participants.

Take care that the objective is achievable. For example, do not set your objective to approve sales targets for the entire country if you only have a 30-minute time slot. Rather make your objective to set the sales targets for a particular section, or choose an area of the country. 

Ensure that the objective is clearly spelt out at the top of the agenda that is distributed for the meeting.

Step 2 – Preparation for the meeting

This is one of the most important steps, and the rewards will be commensurate with the amount of time spent in preparation.


Think of the people that you want to attend. Choose your participants wisely and ensure that they will be able to contribute to the set objective.  

Pre-Meeting Discussion

If this meeting is to agree serious and far reaching decisions, take the time to meet individually with the attendees before the meeting, and discuss informally the major decisions that will be made.  In this way your attendees are given time to think on the points and more importantly you know what the position each attendee will take.  You do not want to walk blindly into a meeting where far reaching decisions are to be made.

Minutes of the Meeting

The minutes are a true reflection of what transpired at the meeting. 

You need to decide how to record the business discussed at the meeting. It is extremely difficult for the facilitator or Chair of the meeting to try and record the minutes as well.  Engage someone to record the minutes on your behalf. 

Apart from pen and paper, a recorder could also be used as a tool to record meetings.

The most basic information that they will have to record is:

·       Who actually attended

·       Record any decisions taken – as facilitator or Chair ensure that the decision is recorded

·       Record any next steps or action items – the task, who will undertake it and the date due

Seat the minute taker as close to the facilitator or Chair as possible.  In this way he/she can request clarity on any item directly to the Chair and likewise the Chair can ensure that the points are being accurately recorded.

If there is infrastructure to record the meeting, ensure that all attendees are aware they are being recorded.  After the meeting, take possession of the tapes or recorder and arrange for the minutes to be transcribed from them.


Take care of these issues:

·       Meeting room – book this well in advance and ensure that it is the correct size for your meeting. If you cannot reserve a meeting room where everyone can sit at the table, rather reschedule the meeting than have people sitting several deep around a table.  If people do not sit at the table, they will not feel part of the proceeding and will not contribute fully. 

·       Refreshments - if the meeting is scheduled for longer than an hour, try to get refreshments served after an hour.  People find it difficult to concentrate for longer than an hour, so arrange for refreshments to be served to give everyone a short break. 

If this is a day-long meeting, remember to organize lunch. Do your best not to serve lunch at the table, arrange for another room and serve lunch there. Again, get people out of the meeting room and give them a chance to refresh themselves.  Remember to ask participants to advise you of any special dietary requirements.

Review the quotations given for food and beverage service at hotels. Read the fine print as the quote may be for the food only and will exclude taxes and service charges.  These missing costs on your quote can add up to 30% extra to your bill.  Do not over feed the attendees, that they may not end up sleeping during meetings.

·       Equipment – ensure that projectors, microphones, flip charts, network connectivity, paper and pencils are all organized and that you know how to operate them.  If you cannot operate the equipment, arrange for a person to be present to operate on your behalf.   Take the time to find out the name of the technician responsible for the equipment and save his/her telephone number. If you have a breakdown, you can minimize the delay by knowing who to contact.

·       Toilet facilities – take the time to find out where the ladies and gentlemen’s toilets are situated and at the opening of the meeting tell people where they are.

·       Hotel rooms – if you have to organize overnight accommodation, insist that participants requiring this accommodation tell you in good time so rooms at convenient hotels can be reserved. Be sure to arrange transport if participants do not intend to hire vehicles. This transport may have to include airport pickups.

·       Ground rules- in some cases, these may need to be re-emphasized, to ensure law and order, and the smooth running of the meeting.

Risk Assessment

Visit the meeting room and assess risks to the participants.  All or some of these risks may be assessed on a daily basis by the section responsible for the room.  Check with them before undertaking your own assessment. Here are some items to consider:

·       Tripping hazards – Look for things like loose carpets, trailing cables and spilt liquids.  These must be dealt with by building maintenance before the start of the meeting.

·       If you are expecting disabled persons, is the entry to the room and movement around the room suitable?

·       Furniture – look for broken legs on chairs and tables, sharp edges and torn seats.

·       Temperature – does the air conditioning/ heater work and does it work correctly?

·       Electrical equipment – is the electrical equipment in good working order. Are there sufficient electrical outlets without the danger of one being overloaded?

·       Lighting – is the lighting sufficient for the needs of the meeting.  If you have to dim the lights for the projector, are there small desk lights to allow the participants to write with ease?

·       Spare Pen/ paper- for those who may require them

·       Illness – what will you do if one of the participants is ill?  Is there a room that they can use to recover?

·       Fire Evacuation – are there clear instructions in the room that show where the fire escape is and where the fire assembly point is located? Are the locations of fire extinguishers clearly marked?

Behavior of attendees

It is a good idea to have some idea of how you intend to deal with the aggressive or abusive behavior of one or more of the attendees. Verbal abuse is the intention to disrupt or hurt and must never be mistaken for constructive criticism. Signs of verbal abuse include name-calling, racial slurs, swearing and attacks on a person’s gender, religion, sexual preference or age. 

Any sign of verbal abuse must be stopped immediately by trying to focus on the root cause of the abuse.  Was it caused by unfair criticism? Was it caused by a perception of poor performance?  If the abuser is not prepared to halt the attack, remove that person immediately and call a short break.  Take the abuser to another room and give them a chance to explain what the problem is.  Listen and try to establish the rationale behind the attack.  If the abuser cannot calm down and return to the meeting so issues can be discussed calmly, suggest that he/she goes back to their office and continue without them, if that is possible.

If the abuse is a regular occurrence, bring in the Human Resources staff and deal with the matter through the company’s policies and procedures. Abuse should never be tolerated.

Prepare the Agenda

This is a very important step in preparation for any meeting.  The agenda will spell out clearly what topics are to be discussed and the length of time allocated to each topic.

Be realistic in the selection of topics and how long you will allow the discussion around a topic to continue.  Try to limit a normal business day meetings to no more than an hour.  Conferences and seminars are by their nature longer.

If there is to be a presentation around the topic, lay down the time limit for the presentation and then allow sufficient time for discussion around the presentation. Each topic must have time allocated for agreement on the decision made or for next steps to be taken. Do not progress to the next topic without a clear agreement on the outcome of the current topic.

Allow time on the agenda for networking and greeting. If your participants come from different branches or different cities, they may only meet face to face at company meetings so give them some time to network. These informal networks are vital to the smooth running of any organization and providing some time for networking can be valuable to the organization.

Send out a draft agenda and ask participants to add any items that they feel are important or to adjust any plans that you have laid down. You can review these requested changes and decide to accept them or not depending on the value add, that they have to your stated objective.

Indicate, at the top of the agenda, the date, time and location of the meeting.

Request that any pre-meeting material must be submitted to you and give a deadline for that material.  This material must be distributed in good time so that the participants have the time to properly study it.

Send the agenda and pre-meeting material to all participants.

Step 3 – Running the Meeting

Opening and Introduction

Welcome everyone to the meeting and briefly indicate the purpose of the meeting. 

Introduce any guests or people that are attending for the first time.  It is very frustrating to attend a meeting and not know who the other people are.  Do not forget to introduce the person recording the minutes.

Request that all attendees turn their mobile devices off, not to silent, but off.  Buzzing telephones are highly disruptive and not conducive to everyone engaging in the discussion. There must be no texting or messaging of any kind whilst the meeting is in progress.

Explain any logistical issues. For example, when you intend to break for refreshments and where the toilets are located.

Decide what you intend to do if people come late.  There are two ways to deal with this; some facilitators refuse to admit late comers as it can be very disruptive or you can allow them to take their place at the table, but do not be tempted to rehash business already discussed. If they could not make the meeting on time, they forfeit the right to be part of the decisions taken before they arrived.

The issue of starting or ending the meeting with prayers is dependent on the company’s policies.   In the modern business world, where diversity is valued it may be extremely difficult to insert a prayer when the religious affiliations of the attendees can be diverse.  However, if the attendees have common religious affiliations, prayers may be said at the beginning and end of the meeting.

Timing each Topic

Prioritize topics to be discussed, ensuring that the most important discussions come first.

Make it clear that everyone’s time is valuable and in an effort to respect the fact that people have allocated time to the discussion, ensure all attendees adhere as closely as possible to the allocated time slots. Your attendees may well start to withdraw, mentally, from the proceedings if you allow the meeting to run on interminably. 

This is not to say that you cannot be flexible.  A particular point may be generating considerable discussion, all of which is valuable. If you reach the time limit for the point, stop the discussion and ask the attendees if the discussion should continue and something else will fall off the agenda or should this full discussion be taken to a new meeting. 

At the end of the topic, ask the minute taker to read the decisions taken and the action points raised.  Ensure that there is agreement that these points are correct and reflect the views of the attendees.

Give everyone a chance to talk

You are the facilitator or Chair of the meeting, do not allow it to degenerate into several discussions around the table or allow people to simply interrupt.

Avoid a dictatorial manner. You are not going to make all the decisions yourself, and you are not going to complete all the action points on your own. Both you and the organization need the other people sitting around the table so treat them with respect. 

Be firm about one person talking at a time.  It is impossible to follow several discussions and the minute taker will not be able to follow what the decisions are.

Give everyone that wishes to contribute a chance to do so but do not be afraid to step in to shut down attendees that are repeating points already made. Some people are naturally hesitant to speak in a large forum so take the time to bring their ideas out into the open.

If one attendee seems to be taking over, step in and ask them to summarize what it is, they wish to say.  Bring them to the point as quickly as you can and do not permit any one attendee to monopolize the discussion.

Do not lose your temper but keep control of unruly attendees. Under no circumstances permit and abuse to take place and if tempers flare call a break and let everyone cool down. Take the protagonists aside and try to resolve the issue before returning to the meeting.

Divisive discussions

It is highly likely that a point will arise that the attendees are unable to agree upon. In these cases, you have a couple of options.

·       Put the decision to the vote.  A simple count of hands raised will decide what action to take.

·       Record all the options and request a senior manager to decide which of the options is best.

Ensure the decision is recorded as an addendum to the minutes, so everyone is aware of what the final decision is.

Step 4 –Closing the Meeting


Bring the meeting to a close by summarizing the discussion.  Ask if anyone has anything further to add.

Closure and thanks

Thank everyone for attending and let them know when they can expect the minutes to be distributed.

IF there is to be a follow-up meeting or if this is one of a regular schedule of meetings, inform everyone of the next scheduled date.

Step 5 –Minutes

It is very important that minutes are written and distributed as quickly as possible, within 24 hours is best practice.  The list of action points on the minutes are tasks that must be performed, and it does not help productivity if the minutes are distributed weeks after the meeting closed.

Meetings are an essential part of any organizations daily life.  Becoming skilled at facilitating or Chairing a meeting is an invaluable skill to acquire. Effectively managing meetings need not be an alarming task if you follow these simple steps. As the facilitator or Chair, you must take full responsibility to ensure the meeting runs smoothly and you do not waste the valuable time that your colleagues are giving you.  It is interesting to calculate the total cost of any meeting by simply adding up the approximate hourly remuneration of all the attendees.  It will be clear that having these people attend and give up their time costs the organization and recognition must be given to this fact. Gaining a reputation for running meetings effectively and efficiently will enhance your standing within the organization and enhance the organization’s productivity.

Thursday 13 October 2016

The Crux of Crowdfunding

What is Crowdfunding?


When you have a business idea or product and you want to gather outside funding, you can, go to the bank and beg for a loan, borrow from a friend and possibly spoil the friendship; or obtain venture capitalists funding.  But many do not know or think about crowdfunding.


Crowdfunding is a simple but very effective way of raising funds to grow and even produce a product or service.  Essentially, crowdfunding is the process of appealing to the masses and collecting money with the aim to eventually supply each person that has contributed with the product or service. They are basically pre-ordering your product even though it hasn’t yet been manufactured.


They are buying into the idea with the hopes that they will receive the product in the near future.  You generally ride off a prototype and a good marketing campaign to promote and sell the product or service.


However, crowdfunding isn’t just about products.  You will see this as we delve into the crux of crowdfunding.

How did it originate?

Crowdfunding has been around for centuries and while it wasn’t given a name, it has been used many times over.


Very commonly, authors would use crowdfunding to promote an unpublished or unprinted book.  They would put it out to the market with a teaser paragraph or two and then wait to see whether there was a big enough interest before they went down the costly and lengthy process of printing and publishing.


Today, crowdfunding has built up fast momentum with the assistance of social media. One of the first well-known modern crowdfunding campaigns was for a U.S. rock band Marillion, who promoted their want to tour and drew in enough donations to eventually sell actual tickets in lieu of actually arranging the entire tour.

The Pitch

Of course, the pitch or marketing arm needs to be pretty decent as this is what you are selling your product or idea on.  What you put out there to the public must be grabbing, catchy, and easy to understand.


People, nowadays, don’t have time to wade through reams of information. They want to get it in the first few seconds or at least be intrigued enough to read or watch further. The pitch or advert you put together is your sales person. This needs to hook people in and make them want to spend money. Simple!  But not so simple!


Investments from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have dropped by 20%.  However, crowdfunding has increased by 91% since 2011.


That in itself tells us a story and one that should be taken seriously.

What are the Benefits of Crowdfunding?



Crowdfunding raises capital.  Period!  And that is what you need in order to take a potentially lucrative product or service from just an idea to becoming the real deal.

Risk Hedging

Taking well-earned money or savings, or even a loan from a bank, can mean you are hedging your bets very high.  You are hoping that your idea will reap in the money and be a raging success.  But you don’t know.  By crowdfunding you push the risk away from you.  There is no risk.  The contributors know that what they are investing in may just not come to fruition.


When you send out a message about your idea, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, email, text or even word of mouth, you are advertising.  Crowdfunding, by utilising social media today can have huge repercussions in the good sense.  It can go viral within a few minutes, and that is the beauty of crowdfunding in today’s modern world.


One good idea can lead to more.  You may have a rude and rough prototype of a “sort of” idea, but putting it out to the world, to the many brains out there, you may just receive further ideas back in how you can make that product or service better.  People do, on a base level, love to help other people, even if it’s for no gain for themselves.

Building Customer Bases

You are building a customer base when you send your idea out to the masses.  Some may not like it but those that do will remember it and even if they don’t invest upfrontstraight away, they will look to spending their dough down the line.  There is more than enough to go around out there and take your share from.


And the real perk is that it’s completely free.  Sure, there is a little investing to be done on a prototype and an advert of sorts, but essentially the concept is free.

Types of Crowdfunding Options

Here we will cover the two main crowdfunding types, although there are others like Debt-based, Donation-based, Litigation-based and Software Value Token types.



This type of crowdfunding can be two-fold.  Either a Keep-It-All (KIA) or an All-Or-Nothing (AON).  The former, meaning that the company or individual raises funds for their goal and keeps the funding no matter whether the goal is met.  The latter works on the same principal however they do not keep the funds should they not meet their goal parameters.


With this type of crowdfunding, individuals support an effort by the initiator or organisation in the form of equity.  The creator must produce the product or service at the end of the day as well as accumulate equity through the company.

Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding


There have been many a debate around crowdfunding and whether it is a good thing or not, whether it is destroying the notion that building a business takes hard work and real effort, or whether it’s the next best start-up idea since the Wright Brothers took to flight.


So, let us break it down for you.


        Super Fast Super Funding

There is no denying that you can raise a load of funds in a short space of time.  So, dependent on what you are developing, it can be a good push in the right direction.


        Instant Gratification

You will know within a lightning time period if your idea is the bee’s knees or the idea that should have been flushed down the toilet. Today, social media allows everyone to have their 3 seconds of opinion, and this is exactly what a crowdfunder wants. You then have the opportunity to adjust your idea or goal, keep it exactly as it was advertised or scrap the whole thing, without having to fork out any meaningful cash.


        Create the Hype and Following

What better way to create a fan base? Crowdfunding duals as a free space for marketing as well as creating that following that you want.  Whether it is this idea or another idea that takes off the ground, you will forever have a group of people that will be interested in what you think up next.  And in addition, you can reach the entire world with good social media usage.  A few years ago it was unheard of to be able to touch the lives of millions in a matter of minutes, or even seconds.



       The market is limited

The SEC (Security Exchange Commission) has put a cap on how much funding a crowdfunding donator can invest.  That equates to about $2,000 per year.  So effectively this limits the initiator of a crowdfunding venture quite substantially.  In addition, the creator of the crowdfunding operation may not accept more than 500 investor’s donations in total.  They may as well call it Limited Crowdfunding, right?  But, there is some talk of the SEC cooling it a bit and that they are stating that they needed to put some constraints in place until they know what they are dealing with for the bigger picture.


       Lenders are in turmoil

We are deciding still whether this is, in fact, a Con.  The financial institutions are trying to counter this crowdfunding trend, well, they think and hope it’s just a trend; by providing personal and business loans to these start-upentrepreneurs.

But, we all know the cons to taking out a bank or lender loan – high interest rates, inflated benefits and long-term issues should your business plan not come to fruition.


       Complicated falls short

In this we mean that if your idea or product is a complex setup, then generally leveraging it via crowdfunding doesn’t work. As you are utilizing social media most times to push your idea, we all know that people will move on if the initial engagement is complicated and takes time to wade through. It, essentially, needs to be simple and to the point, which is not always the case with a new project idea.


       Inflexible Irritations

Once you have detailed and set your parameters for your idea you generally cannot adjust it down the line, at least not to drastic measures.  You also need to stick to the timeline that you propose upfront in delivering the product or service; otherwise you will land up looking like a ‘wannabe’ and in effect hurt your brand and good name.


The Pitch Process


Just like a good elevator pitch, so your Crowdfunding intro has to be very impressionable!  You want to grab the public in the first line and keep them reading on or clicking through to watch your video advert.


On that note, what should your pitch entail?



They need to read something in order to get the feel and energy of your pitch.  So, make that first line the best line you have ever created.  Short, sharp, to the point, and built to make them want more.

Easy-peasy, right?

Mmmm – not so much, but very doable.


Video Link

Next, it would be advisable to have a video link which shows them exactly what your product or service is all about.  Again, keep this short, precise, and credible.  Don’t go over 3 minutes and have a call-to-action at the end.



Whether you use Skype, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other social media avenues, you want to keep the KISS philosophy at all times.



There is much to say, we understand, but you need to get it all out there in a systematic and easy manner.  Here is a tick list to follow:


        Hello, I am …                   -         tell them who you are

        What it is …           -         what is it that you are wanting to fund – your product or idea needs to be fleshed out

        Due Date …             -         when do you plan to launch?  This helps the public know the level of urgency

        Why you need it … -         tell them why you need to raise funds – be honest

        What they can do …         -         the call to action – how they can get involved and what benefit, if any, there is to them



What are the Benefits of Crowdfunding?


ü  Increase in entrepreneurial activities

The world needs more entrepreneurs and crowdfunding gives those small fry a chance to have a real go at it


ü  Increase in business opportunities

From a small idea, so can big opportunities arise.  Putting it out there will open up the many business opportunities that can stem and grow


ü  Increased developmental opportunities

Even though your small idea or product offering may seem like it will only benefit you, you may find that from that many others will benefit and grow, developing their own ideas and gathering inspiration from your progress


ü  Investment opportunities

The world is full of eager investors and by putting your plan out into the public, you never know who may be watching.  Your crowdfunding plan may just turn into a venture capitalists dream


ü  Conversion of raw talent to opportunity

Never underestimate a small idea or a seemingly mediocre person.  Those little ideas and raw talent can explode into the next best thing in seconds


How can Crowdfunding Benefit Developing Countries?


Crowdfunding was built for developing countries!

Where the loan market is just too high risk and of course high in interest, a crowdfunding venture can take a small wanna-be into the global market, outside of his developing country.


This will expose him to so much more than if he were to just focus in on the population within his community or just in his own country.


A developing market cannot always fund a project as a developed nation can. From idea to prototype to customer engagement, a crowdfunding initiative can start a rolling stone of opportunities, boosting those that thought their idea would always just remain an idea.


While you may be thinking that most developing countries don’t have access to the internet, never mind a mobile phone, you would be very wrong.  Developing doesn’t mean poverty stricken. It just means that their capacity to produce the volumes that developed country’s produce is much lower. Many see a country labeled as developing as this rural setup, where everyone lives off the land and animals roam wild.  Think about South Africa, a developing country, where one of the biggest business hubs in the world exists.


How can Crowdfunding Benefit Developed Countries?


The developing countries need to be the epitome of a good example.  Sharing best practice when it comes to the Crowdfunding way of marketing a product or an idea can boost even the most downtrodden nation.


The Franchising opportunities that can stem from a small project and even into neighboring countries can be a saving grace for the entire population.


The Players Involved in Crowdfunding


The Administrator

The person or persons who put the crowdfunding campaign together.  This may be the same person as the beneficiary, but not always the case.

Benefits?  The Administrator will have some kind of a stake in the entire campaign for their involvement.  This would normally be negotiated up front before it goes live.


The Investor

The people or person (s) who invest into the crowdfunding venture.  Yeah, you the public.

Benefits? Well, depending on the model of Crowdfunding, the investor i.e. the public, may not receive any benefit or at least not initially.  The model will prescribe what type of benefit, is available to the investor, which could also be shared equity.


The Beneficiary

Beneficiary is the person benefiting from the crowdfunding donations.  He or she is normally the inventor of the idea or product and may very well also be the Administrator.

Benefits?  The beneficiary receives the most rewards but also can take the most losses. There is no sure fire guarantee that the Crowdfunding venture will take off the ground, but when it does, the beneficiary will see the benefits. If successful, all parties will benefit.


What are the Risks for each Party?

Simply, loss of time spent on the venture, loss of any monies contributed to start up the Crowdfunding project, and sometimes loss of face, i.e. Reputation in the market place.


Is their Training Available for Potential Crowdfunders?


Crowdfunding, as mentioned, is a relatively new concept and while there is plenty Intel on the Internet, there is no official training per say.  Having said that there are a few innovative companies that are realizing that the potential to helping out those “good idea’ guys out there, and essentially getting to know what they have to offer before anyone else does, is a worthy business platform.


So, in a nutshell, yes, there are some training facilities and programs online.  One that comes to mind is Crowdfunding Heroes.  It is inevitable that someone will make money out of this fabulous way of launching your ideas.


Notable Crowdfunding Testimonials



Kickstarter was one of the first platforms to boost Crowdfunding and many a success story has followed from their early days.



Scott Wilson only asked for $15000 initially to kick start his innovative TikTok and LunaTik wristbands, but ended up being one of the biggest success stories in the world to hail from Crowdfunding.  In the end, he managed to raise an impressive 1 Bar of interest.


Elevation Dock

A docking station for iPhone’s, the Elevation Dock team also made a screaming success, pulling in around $1,4 million from their small startup in Oregon, USA.


Double Fine

Eight hours and $3,3 million later, Double Fine comes up as one of the fastest crowdfunded ventures in all time.  The computer game company won its place in history by even getting their own “day name” – “Double Fine Day” on the 13th of March.


Crowdfunding Business Opportunities


So, you ask yourself, after reading all this Intel – How can I get involved?  How can I find a business opportunity within Crowdfunding?


Well, you will be surprised to hear that it isn’t as difficult as you maybe thought.

There are a few websites out there that give you the “investor” or even “co-collaborator” an opportunity to get involved in the next best idea.  The likes of FundingTree in the UK shares, with the world, projects looking for investments and funding.


The most popular campaigns to date are those involving restaurants, design type businesses, gambling, wedding planner, clothing brands, property and anything related to IT and gaming.


Take your pick!


A Snapshot of Crowdfunding Regulations and Legislations


The rules are pretty simple and have been put in place, as with any initiative involving money, to curb over-abuse.


Here is a quick snapshot of the regulations:


ü  A maximum of $1 million can be raised via a crowdfunding venture in a 12 month period

ü  If the investors have net worth or annual income below $100,000 then they may invest greater of either:

-                  $2,000 or

-                  Five percent of the lesser of their annual income or their net worth

ü  If both net worth and annual income, collectively, is above $100 000 then it will be limited to 10 % of their annual income or their net worth

ü  In that 12 month period the total investment amount may not exceed $100 000

ü  When it comes to company’s investing the rules are slightly different but with limitations based on their company tax returns


Who can Benefit from Crowdfunding?



The governments can gain great benefit because of the increased revenue generated through more tax.

In addition, the GDP will be increased in the long run as well as an improved and more powerful economy.

By creating a new platform for potential earnings, if all goes well, this can reduce the % of unemployment throughout the world.

If we want to push the envelope further, we can even say that by creating more jobs and possibly a good investment for all, one can reduce crime.

The empowerment of micro communities will definitely be on the rise as the world sees smaller, developing countries, as well as entire sections of the public getting on the bandwagon and improving their situations.



Of course, the crowdfunding vendetta started off with an individual and will continue to do so, allowing fresh new entrepreneurs to explore and build their skill sets.

A successful crowdfunding campaign will empower all those looking on and in turn build up productivity across the nations. If one person can do it, why can’t many others?

The opportunity for gainful occupation gaps to be filled as well as huge financial gain, is what many are seeing the crowdfunding hype to be all about.


Many corporates are seeing this as another way to increase their profits and while sometimes it can be a risky investment, so can many other avenues of investing your capital.

Crowdfunding Administrators

The administrators that get involved in a crowdfunding venture are often the beneficiaries or start-up guys, but not always so.  Nevertheless, the idea is to make a profit out of the product or idea and in turn possibly empower communities to do the same.


The investors or funders that are sold into the idea can reap great financial returns even if they see themselves as the common man on the street.  Everyone can benefit from a great crowdfunding venture.


The business potential rewards for anyone that considers themselves an entrepreneur can be huge.  Maybe not the first time but down the line with consistent persistence, anyone can benefit.


What Kind of Budget is Required?


As with any business plan you want to make sure you have worked out your budget or funding goal upfront.  You need a clear idea of what it is you want to raise and by when.


The experts tell us that you need to work that out and then add on about 30% extra.


There are many aspects to your budget:


ü  Labour Costs

ü  Office or factory space rental

ü  Design work

ü  Marketing and Advertisement

ü  Costs of permits, licenses and or Rights to your idea/product

ü  Sales Costs

ü  Distribution Costs

ü  Equipment and Machinery

ü  Materials

ü  Admin and other overhead expenses



This blog is a guide. Those who partake in the opportunities this blog offers, do so at their risk. You are advised to do your findings before embarking on any activities.


The Crux of Crowdfunding