Patchwork was designed to make celebrating big life occasions fun, engaging, practical AND meaningful for all those involved. With the world of work constantly changing especially post Covid, more and more people are deciding to start their own small businesses or pivot existing ones. So we decided it was the perfect time to combine the two! Find out below how Patchwork can help you launch and celebrate your new business idea with a little help from your family and friends.
What is a New Business Shower?
A New Business Shower is the perfect, FUN way to launch your new business idea and share your plan with family and friends so that they can celebrate and support you as you start out on your journey. Life is full of milestones that we are used to sharing with family and friends, whether it’s a big birthday, engagement or wedding, a new home or a new baby. These are the times when people want to send their good wishes, to buy a gift, to help out in a practical way or just share a celebratory drink or two. So we think it makes sense for the launch of a New Business to be included as a significant event too. Like having a baby or moving house, it’s a huge life event, often bringing with it a change of lifestyle, a high level of excitement, stress and sometimes risk too. It’s a time when we really value the network and community around us, whether it’s for their words of wisdom, a specific skill, a donation of some second hand office equipment or a cash gift towards some new gear.
How can Patchwork help?
With a Patchwork New Business Shower you can let your family and friends know how best they can help you, so that their well meaning actions can be channeled where they are most needed and appreciated! By creating a Pinterest board style “wish list” you can let everyone know what type of support or contributions are most welcomed, ensuring that resources and talents are put to good use. With Patchwork you can collect cash contributions to spend on the things you’ll need to invest in for your new business. You can also ask for donations of items that people might have lying around – spare kitchen or office supplies for example. Perhaps you know people who have expertise they could share with you over a coffee date – this can go on your Patchwork too! Or perhaps you’ve got friends who have neither money or expertise but are more than happy to watch the kids for a few hours or take the dogs for a walk to give you some much needed down-time. Patchwork makes supporting you simple, convenient, and inclusive, and can involve friends and family who are physically nearby and those who live overseas or who you can’t easily see face to face.
Who can throw a New Business Shower?
Absolutely anyone can. Firstly, Patchwork is completely free to set up and use for you and your supporters. We only make our money by charging a small 3% commission on cash gifts given via the site. If you are using your New Business Shower page to ask friends for non-financial favours or donations then Patchwork is completely free. At Patchwork we recognise that people celebrate different occasions at different times and in different ways. Patchwork is for everybody no matter what, when, how and why they want to celebrate. So whether you are launching a new career as a dog groomer, a dressmaker, a baker or a Virtual PA, a New Business Shower is a way of sharing your decision with your network, marking the occasion with a celebration, and welcoming your business in to your life! Much like a baby shower in fact.
What’s the difference between a New Business Shower and a crowdfund?
They are very, very different. A Patchwork New Business Shower isn’t for raising money from strangers or an equity deal. If you are looking for serious investment or funding for your business we would always recommend something like Seedrs or CrowdCube. Our concept is about sharing your plans, acknowledging the challenges and allowing friends and family to celebrate and support you on your journey. People contributing to your New Business Shower are not doing so because they are looking for a return on their investment – (well unless that return is you looking very happy with a huge smile on your face.) They are contributing because they want to show their support in a way that is meaningful, memorable and fun, and best fits with your wishes and their resources.
Is it awkward asking people to help?
For the reasons already mentioned above – no, not at all! If you send out an email with a request for cash then yes, but a New Business Shower is way of making the act of supporting you so much more than that. It’s bringing all the people that care about you together, not just to help you with cash gifts (they’re great!) but also to recognise and celebrate the steps you are taking, and to share in the experience – the ups as well as the downs – with you. The invite to your New Business Shower (whether it’s a real world physical party or a virtual event) is just that; an invitation, not an obligation. You’ll know instinctively the people who you’ll want to include. And they will be grateful to be given your guidance on how best they can help. Finding a way of gifting that suits both the giver and the recipient is the Holy Grail – and this is it! When you include options in your Patchwork to suit everyone, people can gift you in the way that suits their own circumstances, time resources and budget.
Cleverly, a New Business Shower also acts as a sort of protective bubble for you. In letting people know explicitly what you do need and what you would appreciate, you are also letting them know what you don’t need and won’t appreciate. So you can bid farewell to the unsolicited business advice and multiple stationery sets!
How does it work?
It’s easy! You can use one of our readymade New Business Shower templates or simply start your own page from scratch. Have a think about the kind of help you’d like, the things you need to fund or the skills you’d appreciate from your network. For example if you’re starting a work from home business and need to set up a corner of your home for an office space you could include options for people to contribute £50 towards a new laptop, £5 to keep the biscuit tin topped up, or some of their time to help you put up some shelves. When you’ve added all the patches you want to, just complete your personal and payment details and then you can share your URL direct to friends and family. When they arrive at your page, people can see at a glance all the things that you’d appreciate help with and they can choose which things they’d like to fund, make or do to help make your new business a success. If they choose to contribute a cash gift, money will be sent direct to you via PayPal or Stripe. If they are choosing to help you out with a pledge of their time or a donation of an item, they will simply be making a pledge via the page and you can follow up with them to arrange a time to suit!
Want to see how a New Business Shower worked in real life? Read the story of how Patchwork launched with a little help from our friends. If you’d like any tips or advice on setting up your Business Shower Patchwork please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.