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As it the case with any new business, capital is a necessity in order to not only launch a new business, but grow it. And many entrepreneurs are tethered to a job they dislike because they can not find the capital needed to start their new enterprise. The solution to this quandary is grants for small businesses. The advantage of a grant for a small business is that they are exempt from taxes and are interest-free. Believe it or not-there are sources of money available to business owners that equate to a free lump sum of money that you can use for start up costs as you open your own business.
Sources of grants for business owners
There are two main sources of grants for small business owners. The main source is from the government. But there are also private grants that are available. Yes, the government and private equity firms are interested in growing your business. They want you to succeed!
Extensive information about government grants are available online at grants.gov, which is the Federal government's web site maintained in order to provide information pertinent to individuals who are looking to find and apply for federal grants
Once you choose a grant to apply for, make sure you follow the instructions for the grant proposal to the letter, and respect all guidelines and deadlines. Go to your state's Web site to discover what state government grants may also be available.
Private Foundation Grants
Private foundation grants are an excellent source of funding for small businesses. You might ask yourself.... why would a company offer to "give" away money? The truth is that many foundations NEED to donate money to charity for tax reasons, and these foundations set up trusts or endowments for specific charities or new businesses through grants.
Finding a private foundation grant is not as easy as finding a government grant. To find a private foundation grant, you might consider hiring someone that is experienced and familiar with the grant process. And more importantly, you need to find someone that is familiar with the grant process in YOUR industry. This can be a significant obstacle for some companies. If your company is not prepared to hire someone to research and write a grant proposal, do some research at Google and possibly take a class on writing a grant proposal yourself. It can be done and grants have been obtained by business owners who have no previous experience in obtaining grants.
Writing a Grant Application
The grant application process is extensive and the competition fierce. You'll want to make sure your application stands out. So, when writing or preparing to write your proposal, you will need to keep in mind that the goals for grants are to not only help business owners, but also help society. So, keep this in mind when writing your application. How will your business help society? Is there any way your business is tied into the interests of the organization sponsoring the grant? How can you show the sponsor of the grant that your business will be a good investment for the country? Most business grants are given to research and development or nonprofit businesses, because these kinds of businesses benefit all of society.
Website Hosting a Must
Start with a website hosting account. Don't rush into the grant application process before you have a website established.
And keep in mind, that just because you THINK you have a good idea, that it is. Bounce your choice off of friends and family. Do they "get it?" Do they understand why you chose it? If so, it's probably a good choice for a company. If they don't, keep working on it. If they do, then start by setting up a professional website. Your application process will require a URL and a professional web presence.
Before you do anything - before you develop a business model, a revenue model, a purpose of the company, before you establish your brand's core values and develop a tag line for the company, think long and hard about the best website for your new business enterprise.