Small business grants are a great alternative for entrepreneurs who are trying to raise capital without having to apply for a loan. At first glance, the process of finding and getting accepted for a small business grant may look simple, but there are a few things that you have to understand before you start seeking for a grant.
Who is eligible for small business grants?
First of all, you have to understand that grants for small business start ups are often awarded to people in need or from particular ethnic groups. However, there are some grants available to the general public. Before you apply for a grant, make sure that you understand thoroughly what the requirements are to make sure that you’re eligible.
Some grants are only awarded to people in specific industry sectors, such as medicine or new technology. Other factors that may be considered are sales revenue, sex, race and the location of your business.
Where can I find a small business grant?
Well, finding a grant that may be suitable for your business isn’t as easy as it seems. As I mentioned earlier, requirements for grants can be very specific and hard to meet. Running a Google search for small business grants is definitely not the way to go since there are so many grants available and people trying to scam you out of your money.
The best place to start looking for a small business grant is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. There you’ll find tons of grants for small business start ups all in one place. However, you have to understand that the application process is not easy and is very time consuming, so be prepared for that.
How to get accepted for a grant
Getting approved for a small business grant is not as easy as it may seem. First, you have to file an application. Filing for a grant online is the easiest way to go. Most documents required for small business grants can be found on the Small Business Association’s (SBA) and Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) websites.
Make sure that all the information on the application is accurate because one simple error could destroy your chances of getting your grant. When you apply for a grant, you have to show the officer that you understand all the aspects of your business and that the money will truly benefit your business.
The best way to stand apart from the crow is to come thoroughly prepared. Hire outside experts to give more credibility to your application process. Make sure that you have a well thought out business plan and grant proposal letter.
If you don’t know how to write a grant proposal letter, it’s always better to seek professional help. Contact your local Small Business Association to see if they can give you some help. Even though you will be charged for this service, keep in mind that a nice grant proposal letter and professional business plan can significantly improve your chances of getting your grant approved.
Remember to keep in touch with your grant officer. A lot of people overlook this fact and forget that grant officers are people too. They can make a huge difference in the approval process, so make sure you keep in touch with the grant office in a non-obtrusive and respectable manner.
So, now that you know more about grants for small business start up, make sure that you remember the tips I just gave you in this article. Make sure that you thoroughly understand the requirements of any grant before you apply, prepare a nice grant proposal letter and business plan, and contact your local Small Business Association for help. This way, you’ll significantly improve your chances of getting a grant for your small business.