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As with any new business, capital is a necessity to not only launch a new business, but to grow it. And many entrepreneurs are tied to a job they don’t like because they can’t find the capital they need to start their new business. The solution to this dilemma is small business grants. The advantage of a small business grant is that they are tax-exempt and interest-free. Believe it or not, there are sources of money available to business owners that amount to a free lump sum of money that you can use for start-up costs when opening your own business.
Grant Sources for Business Owners
There are two main sources of grants for small business owners. The main source is from the government. But there are also private grants available. Yes, the government and private equity companies are interested in growing your business. They want you to succeed!
Extensive information about government grants is available online at grant.gov, which is the federal government’s website that is maintained to provide relevant information to people looking to find and apply for federal grants.
Once you choose a grant to apply for, be sure to follow the grant proposal instructions exactly and adhere to all guidelines and deadlines. Visit your state’s website to find out what state government grants may also be available.
Grants from private foundations
Private foundation grants are an excellent source of funding for small businesses. You might wonder … why would a company offer to “give away” money? The truth is that many foundations NEED to donate money to charities for tax reasons, and these foundations establish trusts or donations for specific charities or new businesses through grants.
Finding a grant from a private foundation is not as easy as getting a grant from the government. To find a grant from a private foundation, you might consider hiring someone who is experienced and familiar with the grant process. Most importantly, you need to find someone who is familiar with the grant process in YOUR industry. This can be a major hurdle for some businesses. If your business isn’t ready to hire someone to do research and write a grant proposal, do some research on Google and possibly take a class on how to write a grant proposal yourself. It can be done and the grants have been obtained by business owners who have no prior experience in obtaining grants.
Drafting a grant application
The grant application process is lengthy and competition fierce. You want to make sure your application stands out. Therefore, when writing or preparing to write your proposal, you will need to keep in mind that the objectives of grants are not only to help business owners, but also to society. Therefore, keep this in mind when writing your request. How will your company help society? Is there a way that your business is tied to the interests of the organization sponsoring the grant? How can you show the grant sponsor that your business will be a good investment for the country? Most business grants are awarded to research and development or non-profit businesses, because these types of businesses benefit the whole of society.
Must-have website hosting
Get started with a website hosting account. Don’t rush through the grant application process before you’ve established a website.
And keep in mind that just because you THINK you have a good idea, you do. Spread your choice of friends and family. Do they “get it”? Do they understand why you chose it? If so, it is probably a good fit for a business. If not, keep working on it. If so, start by setting up a professional website. Your application process will require a URL and a professional web presence.
Before you do anything, before you develop a business model, a revenue model, a company purpose, before you establish your brand core values and develop a company tagline, think carefully about the best website for your new business venture.