Grants can help small businesses grow, but there is information your start-up needs to know before you start to apply for grants. The competition for start-up business grants is fierce and many funders require your organization to be in business for at least six months or more. Researching and applying for funding takes time and effort, but the payoff can be worth it if you secure a grant for your start-up business. Here is a list of what your start-up business needs to know about grants before you apply.
Track Your Metrics
Establishing a budget for your organization and providing hard data that outlines each product or service is crucial. Keep track of metrics like the number of clients served, the number of products sold, the number of sessions offered, and so forth. Funders want to see your data, not your stories. You can work with a grant writer to determine how to best organize your current budget.
Grant Awards Are Not Immediate
Grants are not a quick fix! Keep in mind that funding takes time to be issued. Do not depend on a grant to save your business overnight. Organizations see the best results when they can commit to long-term grant writing cycles. Many funders won’t even fund new organizations the first time they apply. Your start-up business must cultivate relationships over time. It’s also essential to exhibit a strong, stable, consistent operational history.
Communication Is Key
The grant writer and grant seeker partnership can only be successful with excellent communication. A grant writer may be an expert at researching and completing grants. But the writer can only submit an application that reflects an organization’s successes or programs if the seeker provides the information fully and promptly.
Research Takes Time
Locating grant opportunities for your start-up business is more complex than performing a Google search. A seasoned grant writer sources multiple grant directories and knows how to find the opportunities that best fit the project or service goal(s) for which the grant funding is intended. Always look over your grant application often to see what additional information may be needed. For example, most grant applications will list pre-application meetings and reporting requirements that have to be met.
An organization should never change the programming or services to “fit” a grant. Grant funders will see right through this. A grant funder wants to know that they are awarding a grant to an organization that only applies for funding to support its current programming. Funders also want to make sure that the organization’s mission aligns well with its funding guidelines and priorities, especially if it’s a new project or service.
Seek Professional Help
Now that you have what your start-up business needs to know about grants, you should consider hiring a professional grant writer. The first step is to complete our grant writer request form. Next, grant writers will bid on your project, further explaining why they are the best grant writer for your organization. The bid(s) will detail their experience and expertise, along with a list of awarded grants and writing samples. Once you choose a writer, you will speak with them directly about the details of your project before applying for grants for your start-up business.
With close to 8,000 grants currently available, GrantWatch.com is the leading grant listing directory. A MemberPlus+ subscription is required to view full grant details, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page.