4 General Guidelines When Applying for a Business Grant

4 General Guidelines When Applying for a Business Grant

While starting a business is no doubt exciting, it is not without its challenges. These can include uncertainties regarding sales that can make overhead and inventory costs difficult as well attempting to remain competitive with larger companies. As a result, it is not uncommon that small business apply for grants provided by government agencies on a regular basis. These grants allow small businesses to stay afloat by allowing them to pay for things such as inventory items, office space and supplies, staff, and equipment.

Since these things are essential to the survival of most businesses, owners must guarantee that their application for a grant is competitive with others applying. Below are tips when applying for grants for small businesses and abiding by them will put you in the best position to obtain the funding you need.

1. Make sure you are eligible

A lot of timing and planning goes into a proposal to receive a small business grant. As a result, you want to confirm that your business is eligible for approval. Otherwise you will be setting yourself up for disappointment when your application ultimately gets rejected.

Before completing an application for any given government grant for small businesses, read the eligibility criteria. This will explicitly state which businesses will be considered for approval. Examples of eligibility can include being part of a particular industry, location, sales volume, race, and years in business. If the eligibility list excludes you on even one ground, do not bother applying and attempt to find grants where you meet all criteria as this will maximize your chances of being approved.

2. Be mindful of information

The information on your application will be the sole determinant of whether or not you will be approved for a small business grant. Therefore, everything needs to be perfect to be competitive with the other applications the agency will receives.

When completing your application, use professional language and grammar and refrain from using slang and information that has no substance. Provide accurate and honest information because if the grant officer determines that you have been untruthful you can bet you will be excluded from the process. Also ensure your application is completed in full as sections that are blank or parts that are missing information will give you the impression you are careless and not diligent enough.

3. Have a great plan

Your application may be fantastic with all required information, perfect grammar, and sentences that articulate your business and what it has to offer. However, government agencies that offer small business grants want to see that the money they give businesses will be put towards useful things that will benefit the public. Therefore, you need a great plan that will portray this.

The business plan that you include with your application should have a detailed outline about how your business will use the grant is approved. This will demonstrate to the agency that the grant will be helpful and used as intended. Many businesses use grants for new equipment, hiring additional staff, inventory, expansion, and office expenses. These are all smart investments but they definitely need to be articulated in your application.

4. Check in

Government agencies that give government grants for small businesses get inundated with applications. As a result, you definitely want to put yourself front and centre and avoid being forgotten about.

A few weeks after the application deadline, it is advisable to check in with your loan officer. Use this opportunity to reiterate how you could use the grant and offer to address any questions or concerns regarding your application. Follow up every few weeks. This will demonstrate your ongoing interest in the grant and allow the opportunity to supplement your submitted application.

Doug

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