10 Tips For Obtaining Grants
What is the point in having a great idea if you don’t have any cash to bring it to life? You will need the capital in order to move your business from an idea to a reality. One route that you can use in order to get the money you need is to seek a business grant. Below are a few great tips towards getting that grant approved.
1) Try to talk to your local grant agency, local council economic development officer and Business Link in order to see if there might be any grants which are available in your particular area.
2) Try to work out exactly what you might need the money for, because grants won’t be provided for general running costs, they will attempt support a specific outcome for example premises, training, trademarking, etc.
3) Grants are often tied to a very strict selection criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, unemployment or might have a specific purpose such as research and development or innovation. If your idea doesn’t fit the criteria then don’t try to force it.
4) Try to make some personal contact by phone or ideally try to come face to face with the grants officer and don’t just send in your application cold. Try to discuss your proposition with them in order to check whether your idea might be suitable and it will be worth applying for in the first place.
5) Try to prepare a thorough business plan in order to bring with it but make sure that it stands out from the crowd. Most importantly, you will be required to present a thought provoking vision, a passionate commitment, clear benefits and some robust cash flow forecasts.
6) Try to bear in mind that grants are quite often handed out on a cyclical basis. Research upcoming deadlines and be prepared to wait for several months before taking a decision, and don’t expect a quick answer because it won’t happen that way.
7) For larger amounts of funds, one grant won’t usually fund all of the proposed costs so you will likely have to find more funding from yet another source.
8) Try to ask yourself if this business could get off the ground without obtaining a grant. Observe alternative sources of finance, such as loans, 0% credit cards, credit unions, friends and family. Funders will want to ensure that there are no chances of you moving ahead without any of their support.
9) Don’t withhold from watching your business process. It’s quite easy to get distracted by the allure of grant money and this can become one of the main areas of focus of your energy rather than on the construction of your business.
10) Try to become steadfast as several people try to convince themselves that the only means to start a business is to raise large sums of money without realising that there are other, less conventional routes that can be taken. Try to consider finding creative ways to support your start-up business until it becomes profitable. The key trick here is to begin small, start selling and start generating your own cash in order to fund the growth of your business.
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