It’s a Catch 22.
Small businesses need funding to make the next big leap forward, but getting that funding is next to impossible. Banks don’t want to lend unless you can prove you don’t really need the money. Family and friends can only be tapped so many times before they say no. And the availability of personal loans is usually limited.
Facing this blank wall of no funds, many small businesses focus on surviving for now. They know what they need to do to grow or expand successfully. But they have to wait until some miracle sales run gives them the boost they need.
There is another option. Grants.
You may have heard of grants before. When I was younger, I thought grants were meant for high school kids who wanted to go to college. Then I went to work for a college and learned grants were also used by major educational institutions and giant corporations to develop new technologies and research new medical treatments (among other things).
But did you know grants can also help small businesses? Even tiny mom and pops?
What are Grants?
In case you don’t know about them, grants are sums of money earmarked by various types of organizations to achieve specific goals. This can mean the government looking to revitalize a depressed area, charitable groups trying to develop new approaches to addressing poverty, or even large companies looking to help grow smaller companies and boost the area’s economy.
There are tons of reasons an organization might decide to offer a grant. The possibilities are only limited by the imaginations of the organizations that offer them. The best thing about grants is, once you win the funds, you don’t have to pay them back!
What Can Grants Do?
Writing for larger companies in the green technology sector, I’ve won millions of dollars for for-profit companies. These companies use these funds to improve their services, grow their companies, and expand their reach. This is millions of dollars they never have to pay back. The only catch is they have to fulfill the promises they made in their proposal. There are many ways a company will benefit from winning grants.
Why Doesn’t Everyone do This?
Another problem that keeps most small businesses from considering grants as a solution for them is the idea that there are no grants available for the little guy.
Once you start looking, though, you’ll see there actually are a number of grants available for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The real problem is that it can be expensive to go after them with little or no guarantee of winning anything.
Hiring a dedicated grant writer means adding someone to the payroll when you may not have room for in the budget. Hiring a freelancer can be even more expensive.
What Can a Small Business Do?
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take on your own, even if you’re not a writer and don’t intend to become one. These steps will help your business in many areas and will keep your overall costs lower when it comes time to hire that freelancer.
To help you determine whether your small business is a good candidate for grants, head over to the free presentation, Is This Business Fundable?, and learn more about it.