A few years ago I managed to get a grant for $200k to buy a business in the BID of my town. It was a restaurant on the verge of bankruptcy (which is the hardest business to get money for) but I realized after getting rejected several times that two things pay off when getting a Government grant.
(1) Finding the right program. I was a 25 year old white male – which means that all of the grant programs out there for women and minorities weren’t available to me. There are a TON of grants out there and there’s requirements attached to nearly all of them.
(2) Submit MORE than the application asks for. Almost EVERYONE I’ve come across will take the time to fill out the minimum on 100 different grant applications. The “spray and pray” method may be a decent marketing ploy but it WON’T work on the government. They want to see you’re serious about running a business (or buying real estate, or whatever else you’re getting money for). I didn’t learn this until my third time applying for the same program. I prepared a 40 page business plan (which I had a consultant write for $100) and submitted sample marketing materials and monthly projections going out two years. This made the difference.
The Government Grant “Guides” that are available online are actually pretty good resources for finding grant money..just don’t pay too much because most of the info is publicly available…Most of it isn’t online, though, either so if you’re willing spend a few bucks you’ll save yourself a TON of time. (Check out our site for the cheapest guide on the net – in addition to a TON of free links to grant programs).
The problem, though, is that no sites give good business plan outlines to help with the application process….and that is SO IMPORTANT! So good luck finding your grant program and don’t forget to put together a proper business plan!
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