You’ve probably seen it on TV. This guy in a funny suit gives seminars and sells books telling you about free money to pay for all sorts of things. You may have also noticed in the news that president has gained approval from Congress to increase spending on Federal programs in an effort to support the economy.
How you get access to all of this money?
Welcome to the world of state and Federal grants.
Regardless of your political views on this subject the simple fact is that hundreds of billions of dollars have been allocated by the government to support a wide range of initiatives which are deemed beneficial to the public at large. Laws which date back to the time of FDR state that this money, once allocated, must be given away.
So why not you?
The actual grant process is a little bit more complex than the idea of some spritely leprechaun with a giant pot of money distributing it to anyone who asks. Actually, people who know how to play the grant game do view it a little like a leprechaun with a big pot of money. There is still a process involved. The better you master it, the better your chances are of raising money through the grant system.
The first step is to consider how your new business idea is a benefit to the community. Grants are not simply available because you want one. The purpose of a grant is to accomplish a specific purpose and that purpose is considered to be of benefit to more than just you.
The second step is to explore possible grants which may support your business. The good news is that you do not need to buy a gigantic book to get a list of available grants. The Federal government has created a website with all of the information you need.
You should also call your local state offices and ask what state level grants might be available to get you started. The people you get on the phone are your best allies so talk to them about what grants are available and what ones you have the best chance of getting. Ask for advice and any free information or training that might be available to help you increase your chances of receiving a grant.
Step three is to write your grant application. This process is different depending on the grant. Some grants allow you to apply for them entirely through web based applications. Other grants may require you to submit proposals and even copies of your business plan.
Don’t settle on sending in one single grant application and then parking yourself beside the mailbox waiting for a response. Instead increase your chances of being awarded a grant by applying for more than one. If you do well you may receive more than one grant.
In spite of the political debates over grants, one thing is absolutely certain. As of right now they are available. If you don’t apply for them, the money will simply go to someone else. You have great successful business ideas. Don’t they deserve the boost that grants could offer?