Module 4 - What It Takes
To Get A Business Grant
What You'll Learn
After reading reading this module you will have a full understanding of what you will need to demonstrate and endure in order to be awarded a business grant. You'll also be well informed on how to approach business grants for existing businesses and business ideas.
A. The challenges of pursuing business grants
4. Matching up
B. Existing business
1. The competition
2. Your business venture financial needs
C. Business Ideas
1. 10 ways to of Improving your changes to get grants to start or expand your business
3. The stack method
The Challenges to Winning Business Grants
Hundreds of applicants are being submitted during the time period you are submitting yours, so always keep in mind the business grant process is very competitive and it will take persistence and time to successfully achieve your business grant goals.
More than any anything else you can offer, applying for business grants successfully will not take up much of your time. Without dedicated time to research and apply for the grant to the extend that you meet each and every eligibility requirement you will never be awarded a business grant. On average you will have to spent several hours a day searching and applying for small business grants.
Even More Time
Some grants will take additional time to win due to their two-step application process, in this case after your application has been approved and the grantmaker is interested in learning more about your business venture, you will be invited to present your business venture orally to the gratmakers in what is called a pitch forum. For this, you will need to practice standing in front of a group, convincing them why your business should receive the business grant.
Keep in mind that all grants involve prep time, research time, and delivery time for each grant you choose to apply for.
Average Time Spent On Applying for Business Grants
that fit your business
120 Hours to Find Business Grants
Pitching Your Business Venture
For business grants that call for a two-step process in order to receive the grant will require additional time. Some pitches will be given in front of a panel that will select a few business ventures to be in the running to receive a business grant, while other pitches will be given in front of a committee that is part of the grantmaking organization, and the committee has the power to select which business ventures will receive the grant. A business pitch will involve prep time, practice, as well as delivery, some grantmaker will request that you travel out of your area to present your pitch to them, the instruction will inform you of this if that is a requirement of the grantmaking organization.
What Should I Say In My Pitch
Your pitch should be designed in such a way it gets across all of the vital information necessary to convene the grantmakers or panel to provide your business with a grant. What information should be included in a business pitch? For a great pitch touch on each of these aspects:
The differentiation factor – How does your business differ from your competitors? Is your product more reliable? Is your customer service superior to others in your industry? Illustrate why customers will choose your business over someone else.
Successes to date – If you’re already conducting business, mention your success. Have you achieved any business goals, or hit key revenue benchmarks. Past successes demonstrate proof of concept, that people are willing to pay, and have paid, for what you offer.
Target market/market analysis – Who will purchase your product or service? Describe your ideal customer: demographics, location, why they’ll buy. Also include, the size of your potential market and your projected market share, too.
Customer acquisition and retention – Your plans to get new customers through the door and to your website? This is essentially the building blocks of your marketing plan. How will you spread the word out about your company to entice consumers into patronizing your business?
Competitive data – Who else is operates in your same business space/industry? Who's your competitors, what they're doing, and how well they are doing it? Your pitch should touch on how you plan to out compete your competition and gain ground in the market.
Revenue model – How will your business generate profits? This is important because grantmakers will not award money to business ventures that can not make money. Talk about your products, variations, and pricing strategy, show that you’ve done your research and know what customers are willing to pay you.
Financial projections – What are your financial projections over the next year, 5 years, and so on? How will your revenue grow and your bottom line increase? Since this can vary, it’s good to include projections for the best, moderate, and worst case scenarios.
Funding needs – How you plan to spend the business grant is important. How it will further your business. It’s okay to be a little more detailed here; grantmakers will want to know how it will help the business grow.
The AltCap would be the perfect organization to test your Pitch, being you can upload a video of your pitch to them, and therefore do not have to worry about traveling.
Although some grants you will be able to apply for directly online, there are a significant amount of business grants that will need to travel for to pitch your business idea, and there are even an smaller amount of business grants you have to apply for through U.S mail as you to do with The Downtown Shareholders Business Grant Program.
Some grantmakers will require only local travel, just a few miles within the city you live in, and other grants will need you to travel to other cities, and there will also be business grants that are available to you in other states like the Cartier Omens Initiative that awards $100,000 in business grants, so be sure to check the grantmakers application process to consider if travel is required and is doable before applying.
As your spending hours researching grants, be sure to take note of the type of industry the grantmaker is looking to fund, this way you waist very little time applying for business grants that grantmakers are not interest in. Make sure your business industry matches up well with theirs.
There are certainly plenty of business grants entrepreneurs can apply for to get their businesses started, but more business grants are available to expand and grow businesses. Existing business are often favored because it is in a position to show proof of profitability by the business history, something that is absent when your starting a new business. It also proves that you know how to run a business successfully, which makes grantmakers comfortable giving away free money. The Motor City Re-Store gives $10,000 or $25,000 to existing businesses, the Boost Grant Program awards $100 to $1,000, and $150,000 from the Alabama Launchpad also gives business grants to businesses already operating.
You must beat out your competition when vying for business grants, only exceptional and perfectly written grant applications will receive the full attention of grantmakers, always keep in the forefront of your mind that other entrepreneurs are applying for the same grants you are, and grantmakers on on the alert for mistakes or ineligibility to eliminate the number of applications they will need to read. Applicants that lack uniqueness ans an emotional connection are also commonly ignored.
Business grants are necessary due to the financial demands of starting and running a business. As you As you complete your business grant application, be sure to do a thorough job in expressing the financial needs of your business venture, giving the impression, with out the gratmakers financial help your venture will not be able to progress.
Describe and Justify Needs
Be specific and clear about how the business grant will fulfill your business needs. The more you convince the grantmaker there is a need the better your chances are to receive the grant if your business aligns with there mission. Please, make sure your explanation go beyond the obvious. For instance, if your care giver business needs money to add a technology department to provide computer training to clients, explain how your clients would benefit from computer training, not just why your in need of a technology department.
Consider how to best convince grantmakers that there is a need that can only be satisfied with the help of a business grant. What information will be more likely to move the grantmakers to your emotional corner? Generally, relevant quantifiable data such as statistics and other numerical data should be included, if available, to help describe and justify a need. However, choose to describe the need using a brief story that is related to your business venture and what your asking for, or by quoting those who have been recipients of your products or services, or any business relationships of the past.
It's best to detail the needs in such a way that will be or can be difficult without a business grant. For example, if there is a tight time constraint, limited assets, or staff. Possible obstacles to the success of adding a new technology department that are easily identifiable, don’t neglect to mention them to your grantmakers. Instead, mention them, then lay out your counter plan briefly. Minimize them by showing the competency of your business.
Because business ideas lack the proof of success that existing business do, it is imperative that you provide specific details that presents your business as clearly as you possibly can, to the point that your business can be envisioned as operating and benefiting you and the community.
Grantmakers should know exactly what your business venture is all about, and how the grant will be used. For example, if you are requesting a business grant to purchase equipment, the grantmakers should know how much the equipment cost and how it will function in your business. Even if you are willing to take any amount, state the amount that's needed to make the purchase. Being unspecific may give the impression your business will be unorganized, unprofessional, and will make grantmakers less likely to award you a business grant.
Its a good strategy to ask different grantmakers for different elements of business needs, based on their resources and funds they are offering in the grant (business grants not only include money, but business resources as well for free). Remember that certain sections of your grant application should be modified to fit the type of grant being offer or the type of ventures the grantmaker is interested in funding.
What Else Will I Receive When I Win A Business Grant?
10 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Winning Business Grants
Receiving a business grant will not come easy, it will take a lot of work and time to achieve any business grant goals you may have for your self, but there are several strategic steps you can take that will increase your chances of winning a business grant.
1. Only apply for business grants that give grants to your businesses in your industry, you can verify the industry the grantmaker favors by looking at their past winners, this information is usually found on their website, if you find the grantmaker they funds a variety of industries that is also a perfect fit for you to apply for.
2. Follow all instructions and directions step by step.
3. Read the applications of the past winners from the grantmaker you are planning to apply for.
4. Apply for several business grants, the more grants you apply for, the more likely it is for you to receive at lease one of them.
5. Apply for multiple grants using the stack method.
6. Have your grant application proofread by a second person with an academic background.
7, If possible already have your business up and running.
8. Add an emotional short story tat explains why you decided to start your business, make sure the story is related to your business venture.
9. Turn your application in ahead of the due date
10. Make sure there is an element of your business that benefits the community your business is located in.
State the Benefits of Your Business Venture
Ultimately, the business grants you receive should clearly benefit not only you and your business, but your customers and community as well. Make sure that you state clearly and in concrete terms what the the business grants will do for all parties involved, particularly if you are writing to a business grant proposal.
As you complete your business grant application, make it clear what the grant will do. After all, you have just convinced them of the problem your business will solve, and now you must show how their business grant can and will meet that need. It is important to provide concrete, specific details to help grantmakers imagine the impact of their grant and to support your professional ethos as an organized entrepreneur or business.
For instance, if your applying for a $10,000 business grant to add new technology and certified Tutors to your tutoring center, tell the grantmaker how far $10,000 will go with detail: “A $10,000 will our center with 15 new apple computers and 1 new head Tutor in charge of technology instruction, also include details about the benefits of having the new computers and a technology instructor.
Keep in mind, ultimately issuing business grants is a business transaction. Specific budgets are set aside for grantmaking, and as said before, you certainly won’t be the only one vying for their grants and resources. Therefore, it is vital that grantmakers see how their grants will benefit them directly. The benefit for the grantmaking entity should be clearly identified and should meet their particular values mission and needs. Possible benefits are:
Future Applicant Recruitment
Whatever you promise to do after the grant is spent, be sure that you can deliver, and be sure to show your grantmakers that you can deliver. For instance, if you promise publicity, provide statistics related to how many individuals, businesses, etc. have used your or products in the past. You need to be able to not only provide these benefits, but to convince the grantmakers that you can provide them.
The Stack Method
The Stack Method is a strategy of applying for multiple grants within the same fiscal year. Start by hunting down as many business grant you meet the eligibility requirements for as possible, if you need help with this step you can always purchase a Customized Grant List from Online Business Grant Training Academy for $99, our grant Researchers will find business grants that you are eligible for and your business venture aligns with, create a list of them and send the list to you through email.
Once you have found several grants your eligible to apply for or have ordered from us, arrange the grants in order from nearest due date to the due dates furthest away. For those business grants that have a rolling application process, apply for those last. Once you complete your application with the nearest due date, move on to the next one. Aim to apply for at least 2 grants per month, this will increase the likelihood of receiving a grant.