In today’s economy, small business owners are facing more capital and cash flow problems than ever before. Many entrepreneurs today are more skeptical than ever if they will even have the necessary cash to even get their businesses off the ground. Alternative funding sources are a necessity for small business owners in today’s economy and finding government grants for small businesses is a great way to establish necessary funding that today’s startups desperately need. The government has several grant programs established to help small businesses; however many of today’s entrepreneurs have no idea how to access this money.
It goes without saying that just because you apply for a government grant it does not mean that you are guaranteed funding. There are limitations such as grants only for specific regions or industries, as well as grants specifically designed for minorities or charitable organizations. However more and more small business owners are finding success with getting approved for small business grants which have helped them get their business ideas off the ground and immediately making big profits.
How It Works?
In order to be approved for a government grant for small businesses you have to understand how the grant process works. Preparation is the key as many grants have a short window of opportunity. It is important to put your best foot forward and give the grant administrators all the reasons in the world to help your business grow. It is important to understand the specific forms and documentation that is needed when applying for a government grant. It is also very important to adhere to the deadlines established for the various grants.
The most important part of getting any sort of grant for small businesses is the grant proposal. This is essentially your reasons for needing the grant, why you would be the best candidate to receive it, and how the funds will expand or establish your business.
Here is a basic outline of a standard grant proposal
1. Summary – Most grant proposals should start with a basic summary of why the grant funds are being requested. This is essentially a small preview of the more expanded parts of your grant proposal.
2. Introduction – In this section you should outline your business and credibility. Many businesses will include their business mottos, mission statements as well as short and long-tem goals.
3. Funding Assessment – In this section you need to outline exactly what problem your business is facing due to the lack of necessary funds and how the grant funds would solve that problem.
4. Marketing summary – In this section many businesses will outline their marketing strategies. This is essentially telling the grant administrators how your business will grow after their funding.
5. Staff details – Many grant administrators like to see a comprehensive list of your company’s staff, their qualifications and experience, as well as their responsibilities. This is especially important for a single proprietor business as the business’s success or failure will fall totally on the shoulders of its owner.
6. Budget and sustainability – In this final section of the proposal it is important to back up your ambitions and expectations of success with hard numbers. Most businesses have a 5 to 10 year outline of estimated expenditures, profits and growth. It is important to outline these figures here.
Writing a grant proposal and applying for a government grant for small businesses isn’t as easy as sending a letter and waiting for a check, however it is not an extremely hard process either. There are many grant programs available from the government that are waiting for the next great idea. With a little planning and a little persistence, anyone can turn that idea into a profitable business.