Small businesses generate half of America’s Gross Domestic Product, and also help in the employment of half of its private workforce. It is one of the main reasons why the government gives financial assistance in the form of grants to start small businesses.
The federal government as well as the state and local governments extend a lot of help through special financing programs to start or expand small businesses. These programs offer capital at low interest rates. To acquire the best grants, you need to consider the following factors.
Objective of Your Business
The first step is to decide whether you intend to start a non-profit venture for a community service or a technology-related business. This will help you apply for the type of grant you require for the business start-up. Read through the government websites that provide information on innumerable government grants or loans available to start small businesses. Ensure that you have gathered updated data on an everyday or weekly basis.
Kind of Grants Released
Initially, one has to gather information on the kind of grants available pertaining to a business. You may not be able to procure the grant or loan provided by the government, if you are not well-informed about it. You can also approach the special programs directly that provide financial assistance, specific to a particular venture. Some of the grants that are offered by the government are rural economic development loans and grants. The intended goal for such a program is the creation of employment and business opportunity. Other grants include loans for women business entrepreneurs. For instance, if a woman plans to start a daycare center or a home-based business, the chances of getting a grant or a loan to start such small businesses are the highest. You should not write a grant proposal for a non-profit venture to the government agency which aims at technology-related business. If you do so, your proposal will be rejected. This draws the importance of being well-informed about the kind of grants released by different government agencies.
A Course on Grant Writing
A course on grant writing will help you write a very noticeable proposal. You would want a response on every proposal that you write. To ensure that your proposal is accepted, it has to be effective and stand out from other proposals. Your writing has to be personalized, since different government agencies have different criteria for acceptance. For instance, if a government agency offers grants for technology-related businesses, you will have to write your proposal with facts and demographics to establish the need of such a business in the economy. This can be aided by a course on grant writing. The grant proposal is the first impression of the individual applying. As it is rightly said, “First impression is the last impression”. Hence, a course on grant writing will help you cater to this need.
Continue to Apply for New Grants
You can apply for new grants on a weekly basis. Make sure that you apply as soon as the new grants become available. You can choose the grants that would best suit the business you plan to start. If your grant is being rejected very often, you will have to work on framing your proposal.
Flexibility Should be Your Key to Success
One of the major keys to the success of achieving a grant is to be flexible. If you find out that achieving a grant from the government is not working well, you could try other primary options available to apply. Loans are also available with a fewer restrictions on how to use the money.
Availing small business grants can be difficult, as these funds may be released only during a certain time period in a year. The government aims at fulfilling certain objectives, which keep changing over time depending upon the type of grant. For example, let us consider a situation when the government aims at offering grants and loans for rural development. Later, the government may aim at offering the same to small businesses for scientific development. In these cases, it becomes difficult to keep oneself updated, due to the ever-changing nature of the grants offered by the government. The funds can also be used for the creation of jobs or for agriculture, farming or fisheries assistance, etc. Moreover, you will not be allowed to use the grants for just any purpose that you wish.
The government also aims at increasing overseas exports and offers grants or loans for research and development. Be well-informed about the government’s objective in providing a grant or loan to start a business venture.