I mean REALLY creative.
Both start-up and established small businesses have a difficult time finding financing for general operation and expansion. When loans are not an option, you may want to investigate grant opportunities.
But this is usually a dead-end.
Small Business Grant Writing Isn’t Easy
Grantmakers are not in the business of financing your business. That’s what banks and relatives are for.
Nearly all grantmakers want your business to offer a service that meets their specific charitable or social goals.
That’s the reason why most grant opportunities typically require that applicants must be an IRS 501(c)(3) organization to be eligible for a grant.
In the case of many federal grants, for-profit businesses can apply, but they still must provide the product or service that the grant is intended to fund.
Unfortunately, the purpose of the grant usually doesn’t match the products or services your business provides.
You Must Get Creative
If you are a business owner, don’t look to grants as a major funding source.
Get creative. Look at nonprofit grant recipients as customers.
Every nonprofit organization that receives grant funding needs to buy things in the ordinary course of operating their grant-funded program.
If you supply a product, service, or even building space, then you can benefit from the grant too.
And then go one step better. Turn that customer nonprofit organization into a partner. Give them a discounted rate, or some sort of consideration, for them to list you as a contractor or a partner in their grant proposals.
You might even help them find a grant or pay for the grant writing services. In these ways, you benefit from their grant as long as they do.
You Must Not Give up on Business Grants
If this article sounds discouraging, don’t give up. There are small business grant writing opportunities that just might fit your business.
Small Business Grant Writing – Part 2 discusses state and county government grant programs that may fund your business activities.
Small Business Grant Writing – Part 3 discusses Federal grant opportunities for businesses that engage in science and technology research.