Unless it’s a small business award, anyone promising you “free money” is most likely a scam.
Grants are technically free money, but there are a few fees associated with them:
- The time it takes to find a grant for which you are eligible.
- The amount of time it takes to complete the application and wait for a response.
- The limitations on how the money can be spent under the grant’s instructions.
Though applying for a small business grant takes time, the free money can help your business grow faster. If you need to raise money for your business, we’ve put together a list of resources to help you get started.
Small business grants are cash provided by an organization to a firm for a specific purpose. Small business owners can apply for grants to help with their beginning, expansion, and research & development. Grants, unlike small company loans or credit cards, do not need repayment, do not harm your business credit score, and do not require you to pay lender costs to receive your funds. Grants, on the other hand, come with conditions: the money must be spent in a specific way, as specified by the grant source. There may be consequences if you do not follow the rules. Small business grants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Grants are divided into two categories: public and private.
You can search government databases for federal and state grants based on your area and industry. However, these are frequently paid disorganized services and are out of date.
Small business grant programs are also offered by corporations. The application requirements for private grants are normally less strict, but there is more competition for cash.
A foundation grant can also be applied for. This is a different type of private grant, except instead of a corporation, you’ll get funding from a charitable foundation.
Everyone would do it if receiving free money was simple. Many business owners are put off by the lengthy application process, but even if the pool of candidates is small, the competition is fierce. It’s critical to stand out from the crowd if you find a grant that appears to be a good fit for your company.
- Before you begin the procedure, pay special attention to the conditions of each grant application. Are you a majority-owned business? Check. Have you been in business for more than three years? Hmm. You’ll have to wait until next year if you’ve only been in business for two years. You’ll wind up squandering time and effort if you try to hide the truth.
- Read the grant application carefully and supply correct and complete information. An incomplete application may be rejected during the screening process. If a section specifies a maximum of one page, don’t write one and a quarter pages.
- Get a feel of what the grant officer is looking for by contacting them. What are their requirements? Timing? The more information you have, the better.
- There will be a need for a well-crafted company plan. Make sure your business plan explains why your company will succeed, how the cash will benefit your company, and how you’ll meet the grant’s specific objectives. (For additional information, see our entire guide to drafting a business plan.)
- After you’ve submitted your application, maintain in touch with the grant officer—fine it’s to keep in touch in a non-intrusive manner. Inquire if they have any worries or issues that you can answer.