When was the last time you received capital or free money for your company?
When you’re a startup, or you’re a small business that is still trying to boost the numbers, it can be difficult to get your hands on private capital from angel investors. This is especially true if you’re not involved in the hot industries, like social media, mobile applications and robotics.
Well, it doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth to get funding for your corporate endeavours. It just takes a little bit of research and writing to garner money to expand your firm.
Whether it is from the government or from private sector competitions, there are many small business grants available. It will be immensely competitive, but you can succeed with some hard work to get that level of funding. The one area you need to focus on will be the writing aspect.
Here are five writing tips to get approved for small business grants:
1. Search for Appropriate Small Business Grants
A simple Google search will yield plenty of results that can help you make a list to ensure you narrow your options. Of course, you should expand your search engine horizons by utilizing government resources and social networking events that highlight the grants.
The key is to determine the appropriate small business grants. For instance, if you’re in the energy industry, then you can’t really apply for a grant designated for education or tech.
2. Focus on the Business Plan
As you would even if you didn’t consider small business grants, you need to focus on the business plan. The business plan is the end all be all for funding – if you apply for a loan from the bank, you will be required to submit a business plan.
Ditto for small business grants.
In addition to your application, you will likely be required to attach your business plan as well. And you need to ensure this is an exquisite business plan that hones in on a wide variety of elements crucial to the grant, like what you would be doing with the funding, how you want to solve issues of the day (see below) and why your business is better than others.
3. Highlight Problems You Want to Solve
For the most part, businesses are meant to solve problems or satisfy consumer demand. If you don’t concentrate on either of these aspects then you won’t attract customers.
Inside of your small business grant application, you must convey to the staff how exactly you will solve specific problems. But you must remain honest and realistic at all times – you can’t say that you will solve world hunger within three years. That’s just not going to happen.
4. Spelling & Grammar Count
Remember in high school when teachers would assign projects or examinations and a couple of students ask if spelling or grammar count? Well, the teacher back then may have said no, but the real-world suggests that it does.
Let’s be honest: it is essential to have correct spelling and grammar from the first word to the last word, from the first page to the last page.
Yes, you can utilize the word processor’s spellcheck, and maybe you can take advantage of applications like Grammarly. However, there is nothing better than using the human element – nuance is not a thing in AI – and you can find a proofreader or editor on a small budget.
5. Double Check, Triple Check Your Application
Finally, it is imperative to double check, triple check (and maybe quadruple check) your application. Everything from the spelling and grammar to the facts of the business model, you need to make sure that the application you’re submitting is error-free.
Indeed, $5,000 or $25,000 are on the line. You can’t risk it.
Money is out there, but it is up to you grab it. The federal, provincial and even municipal governments are offering small business grants. Universities and corporations are extending similar grants. But there is a ton of competition out there, which leads to the question: are you ready?
Well, if you have an incredible product and excellent leadership, then the only obstacle in your path may be your grant application. With the correct writing protocols and measures, you’ll win.