Many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t know how to get access to grants. Every year, thousands of grants are given away to small businesses in need of financial assistance. If you are a business owner, it is time to stop thinking about grants and actually start looking in the correct places to get one.
In the list below, we’ll highlights 5 key factors that can make your grant search a success.
1. Do Your Homework
Prior to searching online, it is important to understand the terminology used in grants. Keep in mind, if something sounds too good to be true, often times, it is. This is the same for grants, as many businesses, and organizations, will rarely ‘give away’ money without any stipulations.
Prior to applying for a small business grant, read through the entire terms of conditions. You may be surprised to know that some grants are only given if you can match the amount of money put in. Therefore, if your strapped for cash, you may find yourself in a bind to meet the contract.
2. Know the Terminology
Not every grant is the same, and some are even labelled differently. There are many additional terms used to describe grants, so it is best to know what these are. Otherwise, you may unknowingly ignore money that’s available to you. These terms include: awards, contributions, subsidies, rebates, tax credits, and non-repayable loans.
3. Be Aware
Knowing your business can help you identify where to narrow your search to. For example, some businesses fit well into what the government deems as ‘priority’. While others, for example retail stores, don’t. This means if you have a retail store, it is in your best interest to avoid applying to government grants, and to target other areas.
4. Look Within your Field
Begin your search by looking at the industry you are in. There are many grants that are given out by companies, or individuals, looking to grow the industry they became successful in. Not only can this help narrow your search, but it is a great way to increase your contacts, promote your business, and potentially get hands on mentoring.
5. Get Smart
There are thousands of dollars that can be claimed on your taxes each year as a small business owner. This is essentially like getting ‘free money’, simply by educating yourself as to what you can write off. For example, if you work from home, you are able to write off a portion of your monthly rent, and utility use. Plus, any other item, or program that is used to run your at- home business (such as internet, utilities, or home office equipment) can be claimed. Keeping a detailed tracking systems of receipts related to the business, can seem tedious. However, when it comes to filing your taxes, you may be shocked to see the thousands you can save.