Getting a federal grant can be one of the most frustrating, time-consuming things you'll ever do, but it can also help you successfully launch your business. Getting a federal grant is all about planning. The government wants to know exactly how, when, and where you will be spending their money before they hand it over to you. By following these five steps, you will increase your chances for getting a government grant.
- Write your business plan. Many sections of your business plan will come in handy when you're trying to get a federal grant, and you can also use this plan to get bank loans in the meantime. You will not only be putting into words exactly who you are and what the goals of your business are, but you will also be creating a plan for the future of your business.
- Research possible funding. Although you may be confident that you want a federal grant, there are hundreds of different government grants from which to choose. Research all your prospects thoroughly, ask any questions, and choose whose goals best fit with your plans.
- Write the proposal.
- The good news is that if you've already written your business plan, you should already have some of the information ready for your proposal.
- When asking for money, be realistic. Never ask for too much, or you'll probably be rejected. Most funders will want a comprehensive timeline and exact plans for what you will be doing with their money. They may also want your plans for keeping them posted on your progress.
- Don't just tell the funder about your company; back up your claims with statistics and projections.
- After you write a few pages, ask someone at the organization to look at it to make sure you're on the right track.
- Focus on marketing. A strong focus on marketing during this time is essential. You want your company to appeal to the funder and having community support, especially from influential community leaders, can greatly increase your chances of receiving funding.
- Stay in touch. Keep in touch with the funder throughout the process. Keep them posted on how things are going with the proposal and ask the important questions so that your work won't be wasted.