Grants for Business – Avoid These Common Mistakes

Strategy Plan One
January 13, 2012
1.  Minimal effort / minimal application package
Incomplete information packages or applications will set you far behind in the process.  Have a clear understanding of the requirements and ensure you provide more than the minimum.  Ask questions if you are unclear on any section of the grant application. Developing a business plan in advance will help you prepare for applications.

2.  Sense of Entitlement

The decisions behind grants and contributions programs are based on merit or criteria.  Do not approach the process thinking that because you are disadvantaged in some way, that program officials will just roll over, not analyze your application, and approve without meeting the conditions.  You will not be entitled to a business benefit of this nature; you must demonstrate that program criteria have been met.

3.  Not understanding the programs applying to

Common mistakes are made in applying to the program without understanding why the program exists, how to apply for a business grant, or what has to occur throughout the whole process.  Understand your needs first (ie: funding needed), and then find the appropriate program that meets your needs.  Carefully review and analyze the program and its criteria.  Ask questions.

4.  Not following up with further documentation

It may occur that the program officer may need additional information (it happens frequently).  Make sure you are readily available to fill in the gaps, submit supplementary documents, and do whatever it takes.  If you are not available or are late in your responses back, chances are that the program will either place the funding application on hold, or decline it all together.  If you put an initial effort in, follow through right to the very end.

5.  Contingency Planning

If your grant application is not accepted, have you thought about alternatives and your next actions?  You may have been declined, but don’t give up.  Use this as a learning exercise.  What are your other options?  Other grant programs, lending agencies and even investors may provide a source of capital for your business.  Be prepared with alternatives and an action plan.

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2002-2012

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