One source of funding to grow your small business that you may not have considered is funding available through grants, whether government grants or grants from private foundations. There are hundreds of potential sources of grant funding. Canadian government grant programs offer money for purposes such as purchasing equipment, expanding your business internationally, or research and development of innovative products. If you are considering applying for grant money, then you may also consider hiring a grant writer, unless you happen to be fortunate enough to have an experienced grant writer on staff.
Grant Funding and Grant Writers
The big plus with obtaining grant money for your small business is that it’s a gift, not a loan that you have to pay back. Grants offer the tempting opportunity to obtain a substantial amount of capital for your business without taking on any additional debt. There are plenty of grants out there to consider applying for, but pursuing grant money does require research, since many sources of grant funding are not well-publicized. Also, most grants are designated for specific purposes and/or specific groups, such as grants offered to help women start new businesses. Grant writing is a special skill, usually one that’s only well-developed over time. Grant applications are typically lengthy and technical, requiring detailed presentations of data, and above all a grant writer needs to write persuasively. The basics of a grant writer’s job is to complete the grant application in a timely manner and to include all necessary information so that the grant application meets all requirements.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages of retaining the services of a grant writer, as opposed to doing the work of applying for a grant on your own, include the simple fact that the job will actually get done. That may not seem like much of an advantage, but the truth is that many individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses miss deadlines for applying for grants, usually because whoever is writing the grant proposal simply gets bogged down in trying to complete a lengthy application that requires including a massive amount of information. If you hire a grant writer, then you can rest reasonably assured that at least the task will be completed. Another possible advantage is that, as an outsider, the grant writer may notice things about your company to include in the grant application that you’re so familiar with you might overlook. Since applying for grants is a special kind of writing, using an experienced grant writer who knows how to craft a good proposal can substantially improve your chances of obtaining a grant. A disadvantage of hiring a grant writer is that, as someone not familiar with your company, they may not identify the right key to making the best possible presentation of your company. Another disadvantage of outsourcing the work is, of course, the cost. A professional grant writer may charge up to several thousand dollars for writing a proposal for major grant funding, and there’s no guarantee that your company will be awarded the grant.