How to Apply for Business Grants


Home Based Business has been getting a lot of attention from the media and the government has followed suit. There are now grants available for anyone seeking to start a home based business. Before we get into where to apply you should understand the basic mechanics of applying for a home based business loan or grant. In either case you will be required to file a business plan. Business grants are a bit of a sticky topic. The government really only gives out a few types of grants: grants for school, grants for organizations, and business grants. To even have a chance of getting a business grant, you are going to need to have a solid business plan.

Step1: Draw Up a Business Plan

What is a business plan?

A detail plan of the future strategy you intend to implement to make the business a success. This plan should encompass the first five years of the business.

What is included in a business plan?

The typical business plan is anywhere from 20-50 pages in length but they all must have the same sections. We are including an overview of the sections for your convenience.

A typical Business Plan will include:

The Executive Summary – This is a 1-4 page summary of the key points in each of the other sections of the plan. This summary should be able to stand alone on its own a complete original document.

Business Overview – Describe the nature of the business include in this the legal structure, formation history, type of business and the location of the business. They will want to know how you plan to do business for example are you going into a storefront type of business, online business or mail-order.

Operation Plan – Explain how the business will function, including a description of the physical set where you will be working and the responsibilities of you and any employees you might have.

Market Analysis – Loan and grant givers want to know what the market you are going into is like. You will need data, charts and graphs to define your target market and your plans for reaching them and catering to them.

Products/Services – What are you selling or going to do to make a successful enterprise. If you are going into retail list all of the products you plan to sell. If you are starting an online enterprise say in detail what your service will be promoting.

Marketing and sales – What is the price of the goods or services, how are the values calculated. Also they will want to know how you plan to market yourself and your business. You have to make a detail marketing strategy as a part of the business plan.

Competitive Analysis – Analyze the strength and weaknesses of your competitors both the ones who have a direct impact and those who impact the business indirectly. You will want to show how you will have an edge over the competition.

Management Team – If you are working with others provide pertinent and concise background information on all of them.

Financial Plan – This section will outline how much is necessary for the actual start up the business and keep it running. It should also include these projections for the next few years. Any anticipated need for additional funding, also include business expenses, including salaries, insurance and balance sheets for at least the first two or three years.

After you have finished all of the above you will need to attach any supporting documentation, i.e. resumes of all personnel that are key to the business, articles of incorporation, etc.

Step 2: Find a Business Grant Program

There are a number of ways to find business grants. The government website is a good place to start:

http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbir/index.html

There are also some websites that do specialize in helping women get business grants such as: http://www.womensbusinessgrants.com/grantsforsinglemoms.shtml

This URL is linked to a site that has grants for women seeking to go into business they generally have some specifically targeted to single mothers. At present all the ones with expired deadlines have been removed but this is useful tool to have in your toolbox.

Step 3: Apply for the Business Grant

Each grant will have a different application process that you need to follow. Generally, you are going to have to include a business plan, some proof of your income and finances, and additional supplemental information the grant requests. You are going to have to look at the grant you are apply for to find out the exact specifics of what to include with the application.

Applying for a business grant can be somewhat complicated. If the thought of applying for a grant gives you nightmares (and it did for me when I first went about trying to find out how to get a business grant a few years ago), there are a few things that can make the process easier.

The first is to look at joining a government grant assistance program that will help you find and qualify for a grant through the resources and training they provide. The other option, if you want to go the free-do-it-yourself route is to get an up-to-date book about how to get a business grant. Visit the library or buy a business grant help book on amazon.

It is our sincere hope that you have found something useful here we are committed to bringing you the latest information for the betterment of your life.


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