Twelve years ago a teething baby gave me a million dollar idea.
My daughter eschewed teething rings in favor of jewelry. Necklaces, bracelets, whatever she could get her hands on. My mom’s trademark thick gold chain necklace with a diamond pendent was a particular favorite of hers.
Before I get a thousand comments, yes, I know it is a terrible idea to let a baby chew on real jewelry. The baby could choke, not to mention that jewelry is crawling with bacteria and dead skin.
My brilliant idea? Why doesn’t somebody make a stylish necklace or bracelet that a mom can wear that is safe for her baby to chew?
Since I am still a lawyer and writing this blog, you know where this idea went. Nowhere.
But judging by the prevalence of “chewelry” in baby stores, a lot of other parents, far more creative and entrepreneurial than me, had the same idea. Heck, I even came across a chewable rosary last week. I wonder what Sister Pam, the nun who ripped off her veil in frustration of my kindergarten classmates wearing of rosaries as necklaces, would have thought of that one.
So do you have a “million dollar idea?” Or at least an idea you are passionate about and you think you can make some money with? A baby product? A children’s book series? A new spin on an old solution? True story. The lady behind Spanx got the idea from wearing control top pantyhose under her work pants (something every woman since the invention of control top panty hose has done).
Assuming you have an idea, you have tested it out with friends and family, and gotten positive feedback, how do you get the financing to turn your idea into a successful business?
More and more MOMpreneurs are turning to crowdfunding, it particular, rewards-based crowdfunding, to get their businesses off the ground.
So what is “rewards-based crowdfunding?” It a nutshell, it’s soliciting financial donations from people in return for a product or service.
How does it work?
Here’s how it works. You describe your project or business idea and fundraising goal on a crowdfunding platform. In return for donations, you provide rewards. For example, for my science-loving daughters, I donated to the Kickstarter campaign for the book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed in World. In exchange for the donation, I got a copy of the book.
The process is relatively simple and doesn’t require financial or legal help.
So what’s the catch?
Crowdfunding platforms charge a percentage of the donations, ranging from 5% to 13%.
Also, if you fall short of your fundraising goal, you have to forfeit all of the money you have raised.
Finally, it’s not just potential donors who are looking at online pitch. Competitors are too. To avoid having your idea stolen, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding patents and copyrights.
You knew there had to be a role for lawyers somewhere in there.
What is your favorite MOMpreneur product? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
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