How to Find Free Money for Your Small Business
You have an amazing business idea and there is a market that would certainly benefit from the products or services that you intend to offer. You’ve got the drive, a great team to back you up, awesome marketing ideas, and you have even found an awesome location for your headquarters. There’s just one thing holding you back: money.
Starting a small business can cost a small fortune. You could apply for loans, but loans need to be paid back in a timely manner – with interest! If you fail to meet the requirements of your loans, you could end up in serious hot water. So, how else can you get the money you need to get your small business up off the ground? If you have a wealthy family member or friend, or you know anyone else who would be willing to back you, that’s certainly an option; but what if you don’t have those types of connections, or what if you do, but you don’t want to mix business with family or friends? Don’t give up hope! There are other options that you may be able to take advantage of: small business grants!
What are Small Business Grants?
Free money: that’s the most basic way to define a small business grants. The federal government, nonprofit associations, and private organizations set aside millions of dollars that entrepreneurs can use to fund their small businesses. The monies that grants provide do not need to be paid back, so there aren’t any interest rates, payments, or any other complicated and burdensome hassles to worry about. You just have to apply for a small business grant and you’ll have access to free money.
But, it’s not as simple as it sounds. You do have to qualify for a small business grant, and the qualifications are usually pretty stringent. Additionally, if you do qualify, it’s likely that you will have to use the money in a specific way. The ways in which you can spend the monies will be outlined by the specific grant you have been awarded.
Develop a Solid Business Plan
Before you start your search for grant funding, make sure that you invest a good bit of time into developing a comprehensive plan for your small business. Almost all small business grants require a detailed and very clear business plan; if you don’t have one, it’s likely that your application will be denied, even if you do meet the eligibility requirements. Therefore, it’s a wise idea to make sure you have a great business plan created before you even start searching; that way, you have it on-hand when you’re ready to apply.
Where to Look
There are several resources that you can use to locate small business grant; however, two of the most valuable resources include:
This site provides information about more than 900 grant programs offered by all 26 federal agencies. Search the site to find different opportunities that you may be eligible for. It’s free to browse and registration isn’t required until you are ready to start the application process.
In collaboration with various organizations, the SBA provides various grant opportunities for entrepreneurs. Check their site to browse the different programs that are available and to find out about eligibility requirements.
With these two resources, you can find various grant opportunities that could provide you with free money to get your business off the ground.