A business plan used to be the most critical when applying for funding as it would show the potential government funding agency who you are, what you do, what you need and that some financials, and often that used to be enough to get past that first stage and closer to obtaining a government grant, a loan or a tax credit.
Now that we are in 2018, getting close to 2019, it’s actually getting easier and easier to apply for government funding.
So here are the 4 lessons learned this year that we are sharing with you if you are thinking of searching and applying for government funding for your own small business.
4 Lessons Learned From Applying For Government Funding
Lesson #1: Your Business Plan
Having a well developed business plan is still the number one factor that will help you obtain government funding. Why? Well some things never change and one of the most critical documents that a funding agency want’s to see from your side before they approve any funding is that your business makes sense.
So before you think that you don’t need a business plan at all, think again and get down to business plan writing. You are in luck however because we do have a great Business Plan Builder Tool.
When developing your business plan so that you can use it towards applying for government funding programs, keep in mind that it only benefits you to write your business plan with “your funding needs” in mind. While you should complete your business plan and each section of the business plan accordingly, it’s important that the reader of the business plan, in this case a potential funding agency can see where your funding needs are.
Lesson #2: Your Website
It’s 2018! So if you’re thinking of starting a small business, you could surely benefit from having some sort of web presence? Be it a free website offered via many services, a social media presence or a dedicated website that shows your your brand, your products/services, contact information..etc; it’s a critical piece of information that funding agencies want to see when you are applying for a government grant, loan or a tax break program.
While there are certain business types that won’t require a business plan, chances are the more prepared you are and ready to show a website to a potential funding agency, the greater your chances of obtaining that government funding will be.
If you don’t have a website yet, reach out to our experts and ask for help!
Lesson #3: All About The Programs
There are many government funding programs offered via multiple levels of the Canadian government. Some programs are perfect for you while some just don’t match.
Don’t be discouraged if you start your search and notice that there are no funding programs to buy a “floor cleaning machine” or a “3” cutting saw” or “funding for purchasing doggy day care clippers”. The government agencies don’t know every single thing that a person may search for, so they can’t tag their programs with a million different options. Instead what they do is they state “funding is available for: hiring, training staff, purchasing tools/equipment/supplies, advertising/marketing, cash flow, leasehold improvements..etc”. This way, it sounds general but more available then searching for something very specific.
Break down you funding needs and search for programs in a broader sense. Not all programs will state what they are specifically made for – so you do have to be a bit creative in your search.
Lesson #4: Get Help
Searching and applying for government funding is a task. It’s not something that is easy to do or something that is done in a day. In fact, most people searching for government funding for their small businesses end up spending 3 to 4 weeks conducting research to find what’s appropriate to them. This leads to them giving up, applying to wrong places, not doing it right – ultimately, wasting a lot of time.
But all of that time could have been saved if they took on expert help.
A funding expert (such as the ones available here at CanadaStartups.org) for only $297 (one time) can help you startup, help you develop your business plan, review it and assist you in improving it, search for funding programs for you and provide you with a personalized funding report where all you have to do sis fill out the applications and send them out. But you also get the guidance each step of the way so it’s a win win situation all around.
Take these 4 lessons and study them before applying for government funding for your own small business
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