By Teri Kirk
Government grants and tax credits are a great source of funding for small businesses. Unlike equity investments, grants mean you do not have to give up ownership in your business to attract this money. However, many small businesses are overwhelmed by both the volume of funds and complex application processes. Here are 10 tips to help your business simplify the process and secure money.
- Go off the beaten paths. While competition is very high for a handful of well-known government funding programs, there are thousands of others that have trouble attracting applicants.
- Highlight the ways that your business contributes to the economy. Demonstrate in your application how the funds you receive will help hire new staff, increase your company’s revenues, or establish your business as a competitor in international markets.
- Collaborate with industry and academic leaders. Some government funds require large corporate applicants to partner with small businesses to attract funding.
- Explore different types of government funding. Many businesses are familiar with tax credits, but are not aware of thousands of grants, wage subsidies and vouchers at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.
- Present a winning business case. A three or five-year strategy is often required to attract more substantial funding commitments
- Apply to more than one fund. Companies that are successful at securing government funding year after year apply to multiple funding programs based on a funding strategy that is grounded in facts, data, and analytics.
- Don’t overlook the details. About 80% of applications into government funders are rejected at the screening stage because they simply don’t meet the basic compliance criteria.
- Double your money by leveraging successes into capital markets. Private investors, angels and venture capitalists get excited by businesses that come to the table “cashed up” through government funding processes.
- Step back and think like a politician. You can dramatically increase your chances of securing funding if you align your application with the objectives of your target funds.
- Expand your online toolkit. Online tools match your business with the best funds for your company.
Teri Kirk is Founder and CEO of Funding Portal. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.