Kickstarter: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

So I recently finished shipping out our 2 products from our Kickstarter back in May. It has been a serious and long road, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. With that being said, here are a few DO’S and DON’TS when it comes to Kickstarter:

DO’S:

1. Make sure to keep it simple

2. Make sure you can deliver

3. Make sure you have fun

UNPACK:

1. If there is one thing I could change about the way I started off my Kickstarter journey, it would be to simplify. In the beginning, I had 20 different rewards, of which only about 13 had anything to do with the actual product I was launching. Keep it simple and only sell/promote what you are launching, not tee-shirts and stickers.

2. Make sure you can deliver on your time tables, but make sure you can actually deliver! I had to drop our 1 and only manufacturer 10 days before the Kickstarter even ended. Luckily I had people in China knocking at my door wanting to make our product. We came out on top, but it was a RISK!

3. This is most important to me. If you aren’t happy with what you doing, if you don’t love the process, then don’t bother wasting your time. Business is all about putting out fires and talking to people about the same thing, over and over, 24/7, and that is not a joke. 99% of the people I meet on a daily basis ask “How’s Swayy doing”, and if that will get old to you, if you don’t like talking about the process or your product, don’t do it.

DON’TS:

1. Don’t pick more than 5 SKU’s

2. Don’t put all your manufacturing eggs in one basket

3. Don’t get too ambitious with your delivery times

UNPACK:

1. Minimum Order Quantity — that is about all that needs to be said about this line, really. We originally offered 2 sizes, in 4 different colors of 2 different products. That means there were 8 different SKU’s for 2 separate products. In the world of textiles, that means you better have a TON of cash. Our MOQ (Minimum Order Qty) for fabric is usually 1,000 Meters, and if we go below that we have to pay extra fees for literally everything under the sun. Word of advice: go with what you know you can sell a lot of. I had to change and call about 40% of our customers to persuade them to move to one color. #nightmare

2. I referenced this in “DO 2”, but make sure not to put all your faith into one manufacturer or brand partner. More often than not, people aren’t able to deliver on their word. Don’t get me wrong, I love people and often think the best of them, but when you are talking about tens of thousands of dollars, it’s best to have a clarity rate of 100% wherever possible, especially in the realm of product manufacturing. While we started with 1 manufacture in the USA, we ended up delivering products made in China by 2 different factories. And that’s not including the manufacturing of all our raw materials. Let’s just say our supply chain is incredibly complex!

3. This one I say with much confidence: Don’t feel like you have to deliver 45 days after your campaign ends. If you have that ability, then by all means, knock it out of the park! But, most Kickstarter backers understand that Kickstarter is a place of testing out ideas to see if they can work. We said we were going to deliver in October, and 1 of our 2 products made it by November, the other, however, didn’t make it until mid-January. It’s a long story, but the factory responsible for product #2 delivered WAYYY late, like 2.5 months late. But, it happens, and it’s out of your control, so you might as well give yourself some extra time for when stuff happens. Plus, people are never upset if you’re able to deliver early.

If you guys ever want to hit me up for some advice or have any questions about business or manufacturing, let me know! I’d be happy to chat.

Seth, Founder of Swayy

T: (828) 448–8767

E: seth@swayyhammocks.com