Nowadays there are many opportunities to start a new business. You can get funding in the form of loans, crowdfunding, or from investors. Another option is to pursue small business grants offered by government or independent agencies.
However, being accepted to receive a small business grant can be easier said than done. The pool of eligible candidates can be big with many entrepreneurs vying for the same grants you are. Therefore, you need to be on your toes and make yourself the most attractive applicant possible. Below are 4 ways you can do so, receiving that grant that allows your business to be successful and get what you need.
1. Do your research
Grants can be offered by both federal and provincial parties in Canada, whether they be government bodies or independent agencies. Different grants have different requirements and therefore you may be eligible for some but not others.
Before applying for a particular grant, make sure you know all there is to know about the party providing the grant. Review all of the criteria that they specify. That way, you can ensure that you are not wasting valuable time applying for grants that you are ineligible for and that you are including everything that is being requested for the ones you can apply for.
2. Create a strong business plan
A strong business plan is the foundation on which your application stands. All the research in the world does not matter if you have a terrible business plan. Any party offering small business grants will always want to see a blueprint for success that can inform them of the chances of success in your venture.
To make a solid business plan make sure it includes an executive summary of your business, your goals, vision and mission statement, and future aspirations. Highlight all your strengths, experience, existing customer base, and the products you sell or the services you offer. That way, the agency offering the grant can see the potential in your company and make an executive decision.
3. Create a strong proposal
When an agency is offering a small business grant, they will more often than not put out a request for proposals or applications. This request usually states the information an organization or agency wants for submission. This typically entails a timeline, eligibility, specifications, and any additional documents needed.
It is crucial that you follow all the guidelines mentioned in the request and do not deviate from them in any way. To increase your chances of getting the grant, you should break your proposal into sections to make it easily readable and always relate it back to your goals and objectives. If you fail to follow the directions followed, it may show the agency offering the grant that you do not have the attention to detail to be successful.
4. Keep in touch
Many people that apply for small business grants make the mistake of applying for the funding then sitting back and waiting to hear if their application was accepted or rejected. However, this can be a fatal mistake.
Within a few weeks after the application deadline, it does not hurt to make contact with the agency offering the grant. Make inquiries regarding the status of your application and offer to answer any questions the agency employee may have. Thank them for their time and express your ongoing interest in receiving the grant to achieve your goals stated in the application. This demonstrates to the agency that you have initiative and the persistency that it will take to be a successful business owner.