Countless of entrepreneurs struggle to keep afloat, unable to scale their businesses to the right level for the want of funds. The early-stage investment landscape is extremely challenging. Traditional sources of funds, like bank loans and angel investors, may not be forthcoming, especially for highly innovative projects. On the other hand, extensive paperwork, stringent regulations and high cost deters many companies from even approaching these sources.
Here’s where ICOs come to the rescue, providing a relatively quick and inexpensive way to raise capital. However, this form of fundraising also requires some preparation. So, here are things you need to have in place before your ICO Launch.
#1 – Core and Advisory Teams
The strength of the team behind the project is a critical factor considered by investors in their decision-making process. Since the entity has no past performance to showcase, the reputation of every individual member goes towards building credibility and confidence.
Your team needs people with knowledge and proven expertise in related fields. If you don’t have these members in your core team, try to get professionals to join your board of advisors.
#2 – Legal and Financial
ICOs and token sales are outside the traditional financial sector and most countries are still struggling to frame a clear set of regulations. Depending on where you’ve set up your firm and the structure of your token sale, different securities law and banking law may apply. You need to ensure that you’re not in violation of these.
Regarding the financials, your business model should clearly define:
- The percentage you’d be giving your team, investors and partners
- The minimum and maximum presale caps
- Whether you’d be offering early-bird discounts to investors
- The duration of the presale
- What happens if the ICO target isn’t reached
- Terms for investors
And, finally, your financials should be compelling.
#3 – Whitepaper
It’s practically impossible to have a successful ICO without a good whitepaper. Ensure that your whitepaper clearly defines:
- The problem you aim to solve
- Current market data
- Your proposed solution / product
- The system architecture
- Your value proposition
- Growth projections
- Need for and use of tokens
- Token pricing
- Token deployment plan
- Team members and advisors
Remember to use charts, tablets, infographics and diagrams wherever possible. Visuals help keep people engaged. Also, a well-designed whitepaper adds to your credibility and the excitement around your ICO.
#4 – Marketing
Begin strategizing your marketing campaign at least three months before your ICO launch. Define your target audience and tailor your messaging accordingly. Marketing is more than just reaching out. It’s about knowing what’s important to your target audience and connecting with them.
It’s also important to ensure consistency in every communication you send out, whether it’s your website, whitepaper, any marketing collateral, guest posts, social media posts or press releases. And, your marketing communication needs to be continuous and use each platform to its fullest. Ensure that the social media profiles of each individual team member highlight their expertise as well as the key strengths of your project.
#5 – Cyber Security
Hackers are on the lookout for ICOs, since this involves huge transfers of cryptocurrencies. You could safeguard against theft by collecting contributions in a multi-signature escrow wallet and having people hold some of the keys. Consider engaging a security company to safeguard your website and the token sale.