Having an innovative product or solution and a robust business model are the key foundations of any promising startup, but an often-overlooked facet of small business success is access to the early-stage funding needed to turn promising ideas into a reality. This is where Grants Assist can help. We connect startups to funding sources that can get novel ideas off the ground, and we help small businesses secure the funding needed to grow and expand into new markets.
Grants Assist is Australia’s go-to group of small business grant professionals, and we have helped hundreds of clients win a wide range of funds and grants for everything from green energy/sustainability projects to business enhancing initiatives in IT, hiring, marketing, digital services, and more.
Irrespective of the industrial niche you operate in or the business vertical you face challenges in, funding is important for running important business processes, making value-added improvements in technology, finding and retaining the right talent, developing and running an effective marketing/outreach campaign, closing leads, and providing after-sales customer service. Without the funding required to effectively run any one of these functions, the very existence of your business can be in jeopardy.
Before we talk about how to go about finding funding sources and how to fill out grant applications, it would be worthwhile to take a step back to review some of the more important aspects of any business venture that existing or would-be entrepreneurs should have in mind as they launch or grow their business.
Your business model – and your business idea – must be scalable.
Business ventures are only worth the investment if they have the potential to deliver returns. This means your business or the idea you have must have the potential to generate revenues at a faster rate than the concomitant increase in expenses as you grow. Having a scalable business idea and a scalable business model means you should try to increase profit margins while lowering or stabilizing investments in teams, marketing, and infrastructure – all while retaining the level of service, customization, differentiation, and customer attention that sets you apart from the competition.
Outsource non-strategic business operations.
You can substantially lower your operational costs by outsourcing tasks that are not part of your core offering. For example, you may have the IT or design skills to run your SaaS business but not the accounting expertise needed to be tax compliant, but hiring an in-house accountant may not be cost-effective, so hiring an external consultant for accounts management would make financial sense.
Know how much funding you need.
Many people assume that they should raise as much money as they can from wherever they can to fund their business, but more money isn’t always better. There are costs associated with accepting funding from different sources. Loans will accrue interest, VC funding can lead to a loss of control over your business, and other funding providers may have strict growth or delivery requirements that affect your ability to stay true and focused on your business goals. Calculate how much you need in funding and only then should you seek funding from external sources to bring your idea to reality.
Perfect your business plan.
Your business plan is like a sales pitch for your business. You cannot justify to funders what you will do with their funds if you do not have a business plan in place. Your business plan must be realistic and should include a financial forecast of what investments will be spent on, where returns will be generated, and how successive funding rounds will help you reach successive growth milestones.
Identify the right funding sources.
There are many funding sources available for businesses and ideas of every type, and at Grants Assist, we will help you find the grant or award that best matches your needs and plans. However, competition for limited funds is fierce, and you must balance the costs of accepting grants or funding of different types with their expected outcomes. Bootstrapping, self-funding, raising funds from family and friends, using credit cards, taking out a bank loan, and small business loans are all common sources of funding for new and small businesses, but the amount you seek in funding – and the sources you ultimately choose – will depend on your line of work and what stage of business growth you are in.
Spending your funds wisely once you’ve secured them.
Business investments must deliver returns. You are accountable not just to yourself for the success of your business but once you have accepted funds from an external source, you will be accountable to your investors, a loan provider, or even the government when it comes to wisely using and repaying your funds. Many small business grants, however, are provided free of charge as long as you meet certain criteria, and securing these grants is what GrantsAssist specializes in helping startups and small businesses do.
Winning a Small Business Grant
The first step in winning a small business grant is identifying the grant you want to apply for and understanding the requirements for the grant. Different grants are awarded for businesses of different types, and there are many industry-specific and goal-specific grants that you can apply to depending on what you need the grant for. However, be prepared to face the competition and for a lengthy approval process.
At Grants Assist, we can help streamline the process for you as follows:
- Ensuring that you provide complete and accurate information in your application. Incomplete applications may be rejected during the review process or may lead to unexpected delays.
- Get in touch with your grant officer to discuss the shortcomings of your grant. Our team of specialists can also help you pinpoint areas of concern and we will help you prepare the documents needed to apply for the specific grant or grants that interest you.
- Make sure you stand out from the crowd with a thorough business plan that meets all grant criteria. You must demonstrate the scalability, revenue generation, and utility of your idea, as well as how the grant you are applying for will help you achieve specific goals.
Real-Life Reviews of Grants Assist
Our customers come from every walk of life and they take on challenges that have real impacts on their families and communities. From businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic to businesses struggling to find the workers needed to meet surging demand, we can help you secure the funding needed to grow, develop a product, access new markets, convey your message, lower operational costs, or enhance service options and delivery.
Many of our recent reviews highlighted the benefits of working with our professional consultants when it came to understanding the requirements of specific grants, identifying the right grant for a specific use-case, and making sure that you address critical aspects of the application process amidst the countless rules and regulations that must be met and followed to avoid costly delays or even a rejection.
The expert guidance of a seasoned consultant can be invaluable to you as you navigate the often-complex world of small business grants, application writing, and business plan development, but Grants Assist and our teams of consultants are just a call away. Please visit us here to contact us and to learn more about our service offerings and the business niches we can help you secure a grant for.