In many cases, people who want to start a new business venture—and even those who already own businesses but want to expand them—will avoid the process of obtaining grants because it seems daunting and time-consuming. In fact, obtaining part of the more than $40 billion set aside for this purpose is quite simple, and it may mean the difference between the long-term success and failure of the company.
Is Getting Grants a Difficult Process?
Getting financial help for a small business is not process that should be described as difficult; if anything, the best word to describe it is competitive. There are many people in the United States these days who are interested in starting or expanding a small business, and as a result, the number of people who are applying for federal assistants continues to grow each year exponentially. However, by understanding the requirements associated with getting such assistance, existing and potential business owners will have a better chance of obtaining the help they need to enjoy true success.
Finding Financial Help
The first step in making use of government funding to start or expand a business involves searching through databases and determining which offers best fit the business type. In some cases, a small business may be eligible for more than one grant; for instance, if the business is agricultural in nature and ships products overseas, there are options for farming and international export that could be sought out. One of the best places on the web to search is the Grants.gov website which lists plenty of opportunities for new and existing businesses of all types.
Preparing to Apply
Thousands of hopeful small business owners apply for grants each year and only hundreds are awarded. This makes the business of obtaining financial assistance a highly competitive one. Before applying, it is important to read all of the terms and conditions associated with it. For instance, while one offer may be available for a business anywhere in the country, others may only be available for businesses in smaller rural areas in need of economic stimulation. Many people have even relocated in order to take advantage of such offers.
The Application and Business Plan
The applications associated with small business grants should be filled out carefully and thoroughly. Attention to fine detail on the application may be what separates one business owner from the competitors. In most cases, applicants will also be required to provide what is known as a ‘business plan’. This is essentially a breakdown of the purpose of the business, the applicant’s qualifications, and what the applicant hopes to achieve with the money if it is awarded. Applicants who are unsure of what to write can hire an individual known as a grant application specialist to help them with the process.
In conclusion, prospective and existing business owners who are looking for federal funding through grants should never put the idea on the back burner simply because it seems difficult or complicated. They exist to help boost the economy by allowing small businesses to thrive, and everyone is entitled to apply.