Did you know that 82% of businesses that fail do so because of cash flow problems?
Ask any startup company, entrepreneur, or budding business partner their stance of financing for businesses and you would receive the same answer. You need a good level of financing and money to effectively set up and start running your business.
But how do you do it if you don’t have any savings? Keep reading to learn about potential financing options for your business, such as getting a small business grant.
What Are Small Business Grants?
Small business grants are often government-funded or funded by an organization. These grants are designed to help small businesses and nonprofits set up their company and succeed.
Grants are more attractive to small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs because you don’t need to pay the money back, unlike business loans. Grants don’t require you to pay interest or fees.
Different grants might come with restrictions. For example, some might have requirements you need to meet to be eligible for them. Other grants might also have rules dictating how you can spend the money.
Failure to follow grant guidelines might result in fraud. If you fail to meet the guidelines then you will have to pay the money back. Further legal action may be taken too.
Where to Find a Business Grant
You might find that startup funding for small businesses is hard to come by. Especially if you’re looking for government grants. However, there are certain types of businesses and owners that might be applicable to these grants, including:
- rural businesses
- green businesses
- minority-owned business, or those owned by women or veterans
- nonprofit organizations.
Conducting a search on your browser might help you shed some light on what government grants for businesses are available to you. You might also find it useful to talk to financial professionals who are aware of grants that you can qualify for.
But there’s other types of grants available too, not just business grants. We’ve compiled a little list of some that might be applicable to your business.
The first place you should look for a business grant is Grants.gov. There are a number of federal grants available here. You can use the filters on the website to narrow down your search and find those that are suitable for you.
On the website, you can also find a range of information that can help your search. For example, you can find out how to apply for grants and how to write your application.
2. Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants
SBA mainly helps small businesses find funding such as loans and investment capital. However, they also have a handy few grant schemes that you might be eligible for.
These grants are targeted at businesses that are involved with research or exporting. For example, the Small Business Innovation Research grant is a funding program for research-based companies. Another example of the grants available is the Small Business Technology Transfer Program. This helps formal research institutions find the funding they need.
3. FedEx’s Small Business Grant
FedEx runs a contest each year known as the Small Business Grant. This contest offers the winner $25,000. The runner up receives $15,000 and the 3rd place winner receives $7,500.
This grant is difficult to win but definitely worth a try. You need to present an elevator pitch about how your business makes a difference to the community and environment. You also need to show that you have a need for the grant money.
Other countries have a range of grants too. For example, if you want to move to the UK and start a business over there, then you might want to consider applying for these innovation grants.
3 Tips for Small Businesses About Getting Grants
Grants are an important part of your business, so you want to be sure that you can obtain one. That’s why there’s no point rushing into the procedure! You don’t want to waste any opportunity, so follow our three tips:
Grants for startups, entrepreneurs, or small businesses require research. And lots of it.
Once you’ve found potential grant opportunities, which let’s face it will take lots of research in the first place. You need to then dig deeper into the grant.
Look into the history of the grants. Find out who has been awarded the grant in the past. Look at what type of business they are and if possible find their application.
If you don’t know how to already, research how to write a grant application. Learn about what you should and shouldn’t put in your application.
2. Write a Business Plan
Your application will most likely require a clear business plan. Your plan should involve everything they want to know and need to know about your business. It should also detail how the money will help your business.
If you work with other people, you might want to have a meeting and bounce some ideas around. If you work alone, you might consider asking your family and friends for help.
Remember to include data and metrics that support your application. For example, do include financial figures of your business when showing you need support. Another example is using metrics that show your business is performing well and benefitting the local community.
3. Personalize Your Applications
Don’t aimlessly apply for every grant that you see. Some might not be suitable for you, so ensure that the grant is right before you apply.
If you are applying for several grants over a year, then make sure you fully understand the conditions of each one. Some might have different instructions or requirements.
You also need to ensure your applications are different. You can do this by personalizing them. Before you send them out, ensure that your application is relevant for the grant and the government/business offering it.
Follow Our Advice on Getting a Small Business Grant
Innovative ideas are attractive to customers, businesses, and the economy. So if you’ve created a killer business idea but need to find some funding to get you up and running, then follow our advice on getting a small business grant.
If you found this article to be insightful, be sure to have a read of some of our other small business articles. You might also find our small business forum useful as you can chat with other business owners.