I’ve spent the week educating myself on all the world of food funding and I have to say I’m super disappointed over the disparity between funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where small businesses are least likely to reach their fundraising goals and larger investment groups that require you, the small business owner, to have
stolen, confiscated, obtained, made between $100,000-$500,000 dollars in seed money before they will help you raise your next million. If I were making $500,000 dollars a year I wouldn’t need an investor in the first place. Nor do I feel entirely comfortable asking for the entire cost of my small start-up from strangers — albeit, presumably pie loving strangers, but strangers nonetheless — in a crowd.
Admittedly, I still have a small understanding of everything that is out there and I’m still in the early stages of learning about micro-financing vs. crowdfunding vs. straight up investment, but there seems to be a distinct lack of helpful funding for someone like me; someone in the in-between. Someone from modest beginnings, in the pursuit of pie happiness, who is not looking to make a million dollars by shipping teeny, frozen treats of delight halfway around the world. Despite the idea being hugely tempting — think of all the kitchen gadgets I could buy — I think simply being the proprietor of a lovely little shop where they sell handmade and heartfelt pies is more my speed.
I know the statistics. I know 95% of these businesses are funded solely by friends and family. I know that these are the types of businesses that most often fail, which tends to make financial institutions want to run in the opposite direction, alternately laughing and screaming as they tear up my business plan and use it to mop up their hysterical tears.
Because of the lack of options, over the last few weeks I’ve been made to feel alternately that my dream is too unstable for banks and too small for the rest of the world. My business model doesn’t fit in with the current trend of billion dollar businesses bursting onto the scene overnight. With platforms like Shark Tank and Circle Up looming large in the background, I’ve had countless people suggest I change my plan to become the next biggest, best, buyable business and while that could be something to consider for the future, it’s just not at all what I dream of doing.
Every morning I want to wake up at 5am and open the doors to my very own neighborhood pie shop. I want to bake pies that take time and use seasonal produce, procured from local farmers who have also become friends. I want to serve fresh pies that make our customers think of home when they take their first bite. Most of all I want to continue to grow this company with the slow thoughtfulness and hard work that has made it a success so far and have that not seem small.
Slow and steady wins the race … right?