Government grants can be an exceptional boost to your business. From allowing you to undertake an expansion or purchase new equipment to implementing digital enhancements that improve efficiency, there are grants for so many things that can help your business to grow. Whether you have recently bought a business for sale or already own a well-established business you should consider your grant options. In fact, it has been quoted that in Australia there are around $80 billion worth of grants awarded per year.
So what is stopping business owners from applying? Two main factors – many businesses are completely unaware they may be eligible for grant funding and others think grant applications are just too hard. But with a little bit of effort, you could inject thousands or hundreds of thousands into your business – money you do not have to pay back. How? It’s not too difficult!
You need to set yourself up to be ‘grant-ready’. That means you need to:
Set up grant notifications.
Sign up to all the government grants newsletters and notifications. The Federal Government’s Grant Connect (grants.gov.au) is a must. Set your keywords and location and they will email you with all the open and upcoming grants that match your selection.
Connect with specialist grant writers.
Larger companies, like Whitney Consulting, one of Australia’s biggest specialist grant writing companies, have a free newsletter notifying you of all upcoming grants, with grant writing tips and tricks. If you are too busy with day-to-day work, or you want to maximise your chances of grant success, a grant writer can write your application or they can review your draft to make sure it ticks all the boxes and stands out.
Plan your project
Know exactly what you want to do, how long it will take, how much it will cost and what you are trying to achieve.
Quantify the benefits of doing your project.
Grants are paying for the benefits your project will deliver, which means you need to be able to quantify them. This means you need to do some financial forecasting. How many more sales do you expect to achieve once you have done your project? How much more money will you be spending on other, local businesses? How many more staff will you hire?
One final key point to getting business grants is understanding why the government awards grants. They don’t do it to line your pockets! Business grants are almost always provided with the intent being to stimulate the economy, create jobs and bring in extra money. You need to show the government how your project will achieve THEIR aims, not just yours.
Most importantly, start applying! You won’t get every grant you apply for but as the old saying goes, you have to be in it to win it.
This article was written by Tara Whitney at Whitney Consulting.