Funding Your Small Business: Advice for Securing Startup Grants
So you’ve got a great business idea, and you’re ready to take the plunge and become your own boss. Congrats! Choosing to start a small business is an accomplishment in itself. But one of the first hurdles you’ll face is how to finance your new venture.
Don’t worry—there are plenty of grants and programs out there to help you get the funding necessary to get your business off the ground. Here, we discuss returning to school, establishing an LLC, types of grants and programs to consider, and more.
Getting a Business Degree
One option for funding your small business is to return to school for a business degree. This may seem counterintuitive to use your time and money, but hear us out.
Many small business owners don’t have the formal education in business that they need to be successful. And while on-the-job experience is invaluable, classroom learning can give you the theoretical foundation necessary to make smart decisions about your business. Not to mention, many employers are more likely to trust someone with a degree over someone without one.
So, if you’re serious about getting your small business off the ground, going back to school might be a good option. Whether you study business, management, or accounting, you can equip yourself to handle the forthcoming challenges and flourish long-term. If you haven’t looked into your options yet, check this resource out to see your opportunities.
Set Up an LLC
Another option is establishing an LLC (limited liability company). This is especially critical if you’re planning on applying for grants, as many granting organizations will only award businesses that are LLCs.
An LLC protects you and your personal assets from liability in case your business fails, or an issue arises, making you a less risky investment for potential grantors. Research formation services that can quickly set up your LLC according to state regulations.
Research Grants and Programs
There are many different types of grants and programs available to small businesses—you just have to know where to look. Federal, state, and local governments offer grant money that can be used towards starting or expanding a small business.
There are also private foundations and non-profit organizations that give money; these tend to be more sector-specific (for example, there are foundations that provide grant money specifically for women-owned businesses). The best way to discover what’s available in your area is to do a simple Google search or ask other entrepreneurs in your community.
Apply for Relative Grants
Once you’ve found some grant opportunities that are a good fit for your business, you’ll need to start putting together your application. Remember, each grant has different eligibility requirements, so read the fine print before applying. In general, most grant applications will require some combination of the following:
● A detailed description of your business
● Your resume
● A financial statement
● Letters of recommendation
You’ll also want to ensure your application is well-written and free of errors; after all, first impressions count. If you’re not confident in your writing skills, there are plenty of online resources that can help you sharpen them before submitting your application. Finally, remember that even if you don’t get the grant money you’re applying for today, you can try and try again!
Applying for grants can seem like a daunting task, but it’s definitely doable with some preparation, and the payoff can be significant. By getting a business degree, establishing an LLC, researching the grants and programs available in your area, and creating top-notch applications, you’ll improve your chance of getting the funding you need to make your small business dream a reality. And remember that you might face intimidating obstacles on your journey; believe in your mission, and keep moving!
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