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The term “first time australiabusinessblog.com” describes someone who has never owned or run a business. This can be an individual, a couple or a group working together outside the usual corporate framework.
Start-up entrepreneurs are often driven to start their own business by an idea they strongly believe in. They may have worked in a different field and now want the freedom to create something completely new. Or they have researched other successful products or services and decided that there is room for improvement in the market.
Related: The 10 Most Reliable Ways to Fund a Startup
Entrepreneurs have many ways to fund their startups, including pursuing private equity (e.g. venture capital), seeking business loans, crowdfunding, contests, and reaching out to accredited personal connections. However, getting grants is one of the most overlooked ways to get a commercial business off the ground. This is an excellent way to start as you don’t have to pay anyone back reward collateral or give away property. There is only an advantage when applying for grants. The worst that can happen is that your grant is turned down. But rest assured, there are grants for everyone.
Here’s the process to get started:
1. Assess and Research Small Business Grants
If you’re interested in applying for a small business grant, it’s a good idea to learn more about the requirements and how the grant process works. The first step is to do some research. At this point you should:
- View the deadline to apply. Some scholarships have short submission deadlines, so if there isn’t enough time left before your application period closes, consider waiting until next year or applying for another funding source.
- Research your potential partners carefully and make sure they are legit organizations that can help you fund your business. This will also give you an idea of what kind of projects they usually support – ideally similar to yours.
Related: SBA Loans: A Complete Guide for Small Business Owners
2. Take a good look at your business plan
A business plan is the cornerstone of your business and should be updated regularly. A good business plan helps you set goals and determine the vision and direction of your startup. It should also establish a timeline for achieving those goals and metrics to track progress.
The best way to start writing your business plan is to talk it through with someone who’s been there before, especially if they’ve had some success in their industry. The person you select should be able to provide constructive criticism, from the lack of organization or clarity to sections that are too cumbersome or confusing. They can also help you with crucial elements such as financial projections, marketing strategies, staffing needs – anything that can affect how fast (or slow) your business grows over time once launched in business mode.
It is not only important because other people can read this document later when they decide whether or not to invest in your start-up business; but mostly because you want them to see how well thought out your plans were before moving on to anything else.
3. Make Sure You Qualify for Grant Requirements
The government provides grants for small businesses, but these are only available to certain types of organizations and individuals. Some programs have age requirements, while others have geographic restrictions and require you to be a minority business or disabled veteran. You should understand the criteria for any grant program before applying so you don’t waste time filling out an application that your organization can’t use.
4. Make sure you meet the application requirements
After you determine which federal grants are right for your business, make sure your project plan adheres to all specific program guidelines. For example, one program may require applicants to submit detailed budget plans with cost estimates; another may want proof of previous experience with similar projects; another may request copies of articles written by those involved in the proposed work.
There will usually be some formality required beyond just submitting an essay detailing how much money should go into each category listed within the overall budget. Depending on who is reviewing applications, other documents such as resumes or letters from third parties may be requested during this process.
Related: 3 Mistakes When Applying for Business Loans and How to Avoid Them
5. Practice the Application Process and Apply for Multiple Scholarships
The final step in preparing a grant application is to get into the habit of creating and applying for one. Start small for the first time – a $1,000 grant can be a good place to start practicing with an application that doesn’t require a lot of work or time investment. You can expand as you become more familiar with the process and start applying to multiple grant providers, but it helps to start small and build from there, both in volume and dollar amount. Grantwriting is a valuable skill to master, and once you get to grips with your interview stories, you’ll be raking in the cash. Just make sure you do what you say you will do. Integrity is everything when applying for grants.