A small business grant is a financial award given to small businesses that have the potential to grow and provide jobs. To be eligible for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, you must meet specific requirements outlined by the SBA.
How to Apply for a Small Business Grant?
If you’re interested in applying for free start up business grants, the first step is to contact the grant body. The next step is to know the grant objectives and make a professional business plan. Then, focus on the grant use and check your funding:
- Identify the objective of this program.
- Make sure that your business plan complies with all regulations.
- Ensure that you meet all requirements.
Contact the Grant Body
Don’t be afraid to contact the grant body and seek advice. It’s essential to be clear about your needs, objectives, budget and project timeline. It would help if you also asked them how they can help you achieve your goals.
Beware of the Grant Objectives
When you plan to apply for a small business grant, carefully read the grant’s objectives. You might think that you could use money from this particular grant to update your website, but if updating a website is not listed in the purpose of the given grant, then it’s highly unlikely that your application will be approved.
If the objective of your project is not one of those listed in it, please do not apply for this grant because it would be a waste of time and effort on both parts.
Make a Professional Business Plan
A professional business plan is your roadmap to getting funding for your small business. It will tell you how much money you need, why you need it and how you can use it.
When making a professional business plan, there are two main ways to get started: use an existing template or create your outline using checklists as guidelines. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses; whichever one works best for you should depend on what kind of entrepreneur you are.
Focus on the Grant Use
While it’s true that some grants require a certain level of experience or education to qualify, most do not. The key is to focus on grant use. Remember, you are using this grant to achieve your objectives, not just to pay yourself or your employees.
If your nonprofit organization has a grant for operations or equipment funding, you must use the money following its stated purpose.
Check Your Funding
It is essential to check that your funding is still available. This can be done by contacting the organization that administers the funds and asking if they will accept your application. You should also ensure that the funding is relevant to you and your industry and business.
- Apply early.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for a grant. The sooner you submit your application, the better your chance of getting it approved on time.
- Submit an application not just once but multiple times throughout the year. This will allow more opportunities for those who review applications to read yours first (and help them remember it).
As per Lantern by SoFi experts, “Grants may have very specific requirements in order to qualify. But those willing to put in the effort could be rewarded!”
A small business grant can be a great way to finance your startup, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into.