Small Business Federal Grants seem to be sitting in piles, being given away like lollipops at the bank.
If you believe everything you read about grants.
Are they available?
Are they easy to get?
Well ... you know the saying "there's no free lunch?"
But, it is very possible and realistic that you can get a grant for your small business -- although it is a fairly extensive process requiring a lot of preparation and a thorough understanding of the grant process.
Let me quickly clarify a point about getting a grant from the government. The federal government does not directly offer any type of grants for small businesses. Instead, each state is granted money that they're obligated to give to people trying to build a small business.
How Do You Get a Grant?
Now, the first step, and what some people think is the most difficult part, is finding the actual source. But have no fear, these grants are there, you just have to find one that's a fit for your specific small business.
Secondly, you have to understand the application process and what's involved.
That means knowing exactly how to write a grant proposal to get the one you're seeking for your business. This is a serious and formal process. The goal is to convince the officials from the agency responsible for granting you the "grant" that you are indeed a serious prospect to receive the money for your venture.
And no, it's not easy.
However, the more successful you are at convincing the grant maker that you're most qualified for a grant, the better your chance is of getting your money. But before they'll even talk to you, make sure you're going to meet the strict requirements of each grant giver (often provided on their web sites.
Hiring a Grant Writer
A good option if you don't have the skills or the background to write your own grant application is to hire a professional grant writer. But, doing this could be costly -- way out of your budget if you're just starting out.
Another option, especially if your funds are limited is to do your own research and learn as much as you can about what it takes to write your own grant application.
Learn what it is the grantor is looking for. Find out which businesses are successful at getting small business grants -- and which ones are not.