There are seven secrets to running a successful ICO.
Your goal is to raise money for the company that is looking for funds, while at the same time ensuring a profitable return for token investors.
The status of a project can be measured against the following key points which, if not adhered to, could result in failure.
Stage 1 – The Company & Product
It has to be understood at the very outset, that the most important part of running a successful ICO is having a product/service that customers in the real world would want to buy.
Be sure to clearly identify the problem that you are solving and explain why your product/service provides the solution to it.
The solution must show a clear vision for company growth – on a global scale – with short, medium and long-term growth strategies in place.
Without this, you will not be able to attract investor interest internationally.
Stage 2 – Token Value and Blockchain Integration
ICOs by their very nature are about businesses raising money.
However, this can often lead people to think that they are only about raising money.
The reality is that an ICO is
- (a) how a business uses the blockchain within its ecosystem and
- (b) how it has established the token economics to ensure that the tokens issued will generate value for investors in the long run.
If you don’t already know the answer to both of these questions, then you will need the right advice in order to help you.
Without these facts being made crystal clear, the ICO is doomed to failure.
Stage 3 – The White Paper
The White Paper is the single most crucial marketing document for a successful ICO.
As recent as six months ago, a speculative 24-page document that loosely detailed what the business hoped to achieve with the funds raised may have been enough to raise the money required, but this is no longer the case.
A competent White Paper should now be thought of as being akin to a prospectus document for a traditional IPO.
Every aspect of the business’ strengths and weaknesses should be addressed in a format that is detailed enough to convince the most sceptical investors of the potential of the project.
Have you got the team in place to provide this?
Stage 4 – The Team & Corporate Set-Up
Before commencing an ICO, you must establish the corporate entity for the business in a jurisdiction that permits ICOs.
Ensure too that you have the relevant permissions if running a security token, as well as banking facilities in place with an institution that is willing to accept funds raised via a cryptocurrency crowd sale.
Of crucial importance to a successful ICO is the team and advisors who make up the company itself.
Do they have the relevant experience in the sector you are working in? Is there sufficient corporate experience and gravitas amongst the board of directors? What blockchain expertise is there within the company?
Subject to the answers to those and other relevant questions, there may be a need to establish non-executive directors or a board of advisors to plug the gaps.
Stage 5 – The Marketing Strategy
The success of most ICOs hinges on the marketing strategy as much as it does the business concept and the White Paper.
You may well have the greatest offering in the world but if nobody hears about it then they’re not going to be able to invest.
The cryptocurrency world has developed its own ecosystem involving community-building, airdrops and bounties.
If your advisors cannot set out a clear path as to how they intend to get your ICO out into the public eye, then you have the wrong advisors.
It’s important to note and understand that successful marketing of an ICO involves a skill-set that is not found around traditional PR and marketing companies.
Stage 6 – Technically Running the ICO
You have a great product and you’ve had an overwhelming response to your White Paper.
Now you have a multitude of interested investors waiting to give you money, but that money is still in their accounts and not in yours.
To make an ICO successful you actually have to receive the currencies, distribute the tokens and transfer them to a fiat bank account.
This involves doing KYC and AML checks on your customers, writing smart contracts, setting up servers to cope with thousands of simultaneous visitors, handling wallet security and being able to convert the received funds into fiat money.
If any of these individual elements go wrong, then the ICO can fall apart, and at this point, there’s a very real risk of all the money raised being lost or stolen.
Stage 7 – Post-ICO Planning
The ICO has finished and the money is in the bank – all your problems are over right?
The hard work is just beginning. Every dollar invested in your ICO has a real person behind it and all of them want to know when their investment will start making them money.
They’ll want to know when your tokens will appear on an exchange, what exchange it’s going to be, why there is no liquidity and why the token price is not as high as they were expecting.
Crucially, they’ll also want to find out what you are going to do about it.
The planning about how to deal with all of these elements needs to have been done before the ICO even starts. A successful ICO is not just one that raises you the money that you need, it’s one that also makes your investors significant profits both in the long and short term.
These seven stages are, in short, how to run a successful ICO.
If you know that you have all of these bases covered, then congratulations you are ready to go.
If not, consider getting in touch with WGP and allowing us to help you get ready for a successful campaign.