The search is on and you’ve decided to look for small business funding in Canada. The road ahead is not an easy one because it does require a lot of time and a lot of research before you can locate the right funding source for your small business. The truth is, funding is available from many sources, but in order to qualify for many of these sources you have to meet certain criteria and fir into a certain demographic to get funded.
In this article we will be discussing government funding. Canadian government funding in the form of government grants, government loans, tax breaks and other financial assistance.
Funding from the government does exist but before you can get funded you have to know how to find the funding programs.
Here are 5 tips to finding small business funding in Canada:
Know the “funding” terminology
Most business owners when looking for funding from the government often look on the government website, or turn to Google to conduct their searches. While this is fine, you have to ensure that you expand your vocabulary and search for every possible alternative to the words “small business funding”. Consider using keywords such as contributions, grants, loans, rebates, subsidies, renewable, repayable, non-repayable, tax breaks, tax credits, awards..etc
All of those terms could lead you to potential government funding sources. So be sure so be sure to look at all options and not just focus on what you think is “free money”.
Know your “funding needs”
When searching for funding for your small business be sure to know how much funding you actually need and what you need it for. Majority of government funding programs are separated by different agencies. These agencies provide funding for specific needs such as hiring and training of employees, or for marketing and advertising, or purchasing tools and equipment. Knowing what you need funding for would be the first step to conducting a proper funding search.
Knowing where to search
Government funding programs are a mess. The government websites don’t actively promote the funding programs. The problem is when people think about the “government” they always think of the one government website, but in fact there are hundreds of agencies out there. When searching for funding consider your local government, your provincial government and your federal government for funding information.
You can always go to third party sites who have done the research for you and compiled a list of all funding programs available. This way it saves you a lot of time and headache doing your own research. Our Platform at CanadaStartups actually provides you access to the Funding Database which has over 1,500 sources of funding programs. The database we provide our members includes government programs as well as over 800 private investor programs for you to apply to.
Looking within your industry
Much like searching for funding for your funding needs, looking for programs within your industry. This is an excellent way to find programs that are right for your business. Don’t waste your time digging for information that is not relevant to your business or your industry. If you are a farmer, you most likely can’t benefit from funding programs that provide money to the hotel industry. But you could benefit from the agricultural industry funding programs. Do the research before you start your search for funding programs. Pin-point the funding agencies available in your business industry.
Get your business plan
Most likely you already know that to create a successful small business you should have a business plan in place. Do you? If not, get one using the Business Plan Builder Tool. Most funding agencies when applying for funding will ask that you provide a business plan. Your business plan should answer the critical questions about your business idea. What are your goals and what is your path to achieve these goals. Your business plan is your way of presenting your idea to potential investors (in this case is the agency).
Answer the questions of who you are, what you want, how much money and what you will do with it.
Be sure to follow these 5 tips to funding your business in order to succeed.
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