Ninja Crowdfunding Strategies from FoodStart.com Founder Alex Sheshunoff | FTE Episode 017

It’s not just the capital. It’s creating buzz and it’s creating this group of people that feel like it’s their food truck too. – Alex Sheshunoff, CEO of FoodStart.com on the benefits using crowdfunding to help launch a restaurant.
 

This week we’re shifting our focus just a bit to focus on leveraging crowdfunding to launch a food business in this killer interview with Alex Sheshunoff the Founder and CEO of FoodStart.com. In this podcast we are diving deep into the strategies you can implement immediately to raise capital online and why there’s more benefits to crowdfunding than just the money. Below you can read about some of the things we talk about in more detail in episode 17.

Want to Raise Money Through Crowdfunding? Click Here to Learn the Exact 12-Week Process Anthony Salvagno Used to Launch His Campaign.

crowdfunding for food startups

How Improve Your Odds of Success With Crowdsourcing

1.) Plan ahead of time before launching your campaign.

2.) Pick a reasonable amount of funding as a goal.

3.) Post little updates about what’s going on with your business while the campaign is running. Even little things like “I got approved by the health department!” or “Testing our secret recipe for BBQ sauce!”

4.) You’re going to have to hustle a bit to make a crowdfunding campaign work no matter what platform you use: KickStarter.com, Indiegogo.com or anyone else. This helps keep people engaged and up-to-date on the process.

5.) Have a variety of perks to offer people. Give people things experiences that they typically can’t just buy. Think the name of a menu item. The name on a truck. Or get an event catered.

6.) How long should a campaign be? According to Alex you should run a campaign about 90 days. Expect to get the majority of your contributions near the beginning and end of your event.

Advanced Thoughts on Crowdfunding

Using a crowdfunded campaign to launch a business helps you build a longterm base of supporters or cheerleaders for your restaurant. If someone contributes just $10 – $20 toward a campaign they’re more emotionally vested in the company than the typical customer. This can help increase the word-of-mouth marketing within the local community and increase the number of repeat visits.

If you’re able to get funding from X number of people within your community on a campaign you can use that social proof to help get qualified for a loan. It shows that there is demand for your type of business in the area and will increase your odds of success with a banker.

These campaigns can help create anticipation for your business before the opening the hatch on your truck. It’s not uncommon for these campaigns to be shared across social media and even help you land press from traditional media outlets… All of which is a good thing.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Alex Sheshunoff was inspired to build a crowdsourcing platform dedicated to restauranteurs
  • How you can get $1,000 in seed capital for your own food business with a little help from FoodStart.com and FoodTruckEmpire.com
  • That 70% of KickStarter.com users only fund one project
  • How to use crowdfunding to get qualified for a traditional small business loan
  • Why the U.S. Small Business Administration supports businesses like food trucks
  • On average in the United States people eat out one out of every three meals
  • Why the traditional restaurant lobby often fears food trucks
  • Why you should focus on the story and not so much on the food in a crowdfunding campaign

Mentioned in the Episode

Prezi – If you don’t have good video skills. You can use this program to make a quick, cheap, and attractive video for a campaign.

DB’s Hotdog and Sausage Emporium Campaign – I interviewed Doug just last week. You can listen to his interview and experience with FoodStart.com here.

ME.N.U Allen Tan was kind enough to leave us a 5-Star iTunes review and was mentioned on the show. You can do the same at our iTunes page.

How Linda Jo Kushner Raised Over $20,000 – Learn how our previous guest raised a big chunk of change using KickStarter.com.

As always, thank you for listening and please pass our website on to anyone you think might be interested. See you next week!

About Support Staff

Brett Lindenberg is the founder of Food Truck Empire and Food Empire Pro. Brett's mission is help to entrepreneurs start and grow profitable food businesses. Since 2014, Brett has interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on the Food Empire Pro podcast and written hundreds of blog posts on all aspects of food business. Brett has been quoted in media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and The Washington Post.