What Happens When You Can't Deliver Your Kickstarter Project to Backers?

After realizing he'd lose money by fulfilling all his Kickstarter orders, an entrepreneur had to change course.

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What Happens When You Can't Deliver Your Kickstarter Project to Backers?
Image credit: Cleancult
Entrepreneur Staff
Editor-in-Chief
3 min read

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A successful Kickstarter campaign is exciting, but it can also be a curse. New entrepreneurs routinely miscalculate how much money they need to fulfill orders, and get drowned in unexpected costs. How can someone survive that?

Related: From a Garage to Its Own Warehouse, How Boxed Grew Fast

Ryan Lupberger has faced exactly this problem. He raised $10,585 on Kickstarter for Cleancult, his “non-toxic laundry detergent.” Then he learned that manufacturing alone would cost double what he anticipated. To fulfill all his orders, he’d lose more money than he’d earned -- a recipe for going broke.

So what did he do?

First, he looked at the positives. “We lost a fair amount of money,” he says, “but it was essentially, like, okay, we know that there is a market validation. My customers like the formulation.”

Kickstarter may have cost him money, but it also proved that he’s onto something. Now he just had to figure out how to get his costs down -- and he did. However, it took him to very unexpected places, and required a major life change.

Related: How Yogurt Brand Noosa Thrived By Cancelling Its Biggest Retail Deal

How did Lupberger recover from a Kickstarter setback, and why (spoiler alert!) is he suddenly soaking up a lot of sunshine? Follow his path to success on this new episode of Problem Solvers.

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