Cat Perkins Pre-sale launch party

8 Creative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Pre-Sales to Boost Cash Flow

funding tips how to find funding Mar 15, 2023

8 Creative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Pre-Sales to Boost Cash Flow

Hey there, fellow entrepreneurs! Are you looking for effective ways to generate cash flow for your startup – without giving up equity to investors? 

Look no further! Pre-sales are a fantastic way to achieve just that. By offering your customers the opportunity to purchase your products or services before they're officially launched, you can bring in some much-needed funds to keep your startup growing, while also gaining an understanding of which products will sell best.

For my company, Cat Perkins, we held a pre-sale of our innovative shoes with interchangeable tops by using our size 7 samples, and practically sold out of our entire first shipment.  

In addition to raising money to pay for the inventory in advance, we were also able to tell which styles were going to be bestsellers so that we could order more precisely. Gaining insights into our buyers was so important for our direct-to-consumer company.

So, let's dive into eight creative and exciting ways you can use pre-sales to give your cash flow a significant boost.

Limited-Edition Perks and Rewards:

Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity by offering limited-edition perks and rewards for early birds. This could be anything from a special color option for your product, a signed item by the founder, or even an exclusive piece of merchandise. Your customers will love the idea of owning something unique, and you'll love the cash coming in.

Early Access Passes:

Everyone loves feeling special, and offering early access passes to your product or service can tap into that desire. Whether it's a sneak peek of your upcoming app, a private beta test, or a special preview event, early access can make your customers feel like they're part of an exclusive club while helping you generate cash flow.

Tiered Pre-Sale Packages:

Offer different pre-sale packages at varying price points to appeal to a wide range of customers. For example, you could create a basic package, a premium package with added perks, and a deluxe package that includes a one-on-one consultation or a behind-the-scenes tour. This not only generates cash but also helps you better understand your customers' preferences.

Collaborations with Influencers:

Partner up with influencers in your industry to promote your pre-sales campaign. They can create buzz around your product or service, offer exclusive discounts to their followers, or even collaborate with you to create a unique product bundle. This can help you reach a wider audience and generate more pre-sales.

Personalized Experiences:

Give your early supporters the chance to enjoy personalized experiences. This could be anything from having their name engraved on a product, to a custom-made item, or a dedicated thank-you video from your team. By making your customers feel appreciated and valued, you'll encourage more people to participate in your pre-sales campaign.

Crowdfunding Campaigns:

Tap into the power of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to run your pre-sales campaign. These platforms can provide increased visibility, a built-in audience, and tools to help you manage your campaign effectively. Plus, with their reward-based system, you can offer exciting incentives for different contribution levels.  Most of these platforms will ask you to deliver product within 6 months of your campaign.

Gamify Your Pre-Sale:

Who doesn't love a little friendly competition? Turn your pre-sales campaign into a game by offering rewards, badges, or leaderboards to engage your customers. Use affiliates and encourage them to refer friends, share your campaign on social media, or reach specific milestones to unlock special bonuses. This approach can generate excitement, boost customer engagement, and ultimately, increase your pre-sales revenue.

Hold a Pre-launch Party

Yep, this is what we did with Cat Perkins. Using a launch party is ideal for a physical product since it allows you to understand customer behavior, identify bestsellers and generate cash at the same time.  Our amazing advisor, Suzy Johnson secured an outrageously beautiful townhouse on the Upper East side of Manhattan for our use (for free). We invited everyone we knew, provided champagne and snacks for 2 days, and took full payment for the shoes, which were delivered 6-8 months later. Not bad for a long lead time product!

Pre-sales can be a fun, informative and effective way to generate cash flow for your startup while building excitement around your product or service. 

So, put on your creative hat, try out whichever of these strategies would work best for you, and watch your cash flow soar.  More importantly, learn about your customers' behavior and how they interact with your product or service.

Remember, when your customers are happy, and your cash flow is healthy, your startup is well on its way to success!

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