So you’ve decided to apply for government funding for your small business, found the program that seems to be the perfect fit for your business and now the government funding application process is the wall you’ve hit. Oh what to do…
When applying for government funding, the funding application process is what can determine success or failure, getting funding versus getting denied funding. So as you can see it’s a big deal and definitely something to not take lightly.
Just imagine all that time you put into making your business plan, searching for a government funding program, planning and preparing and just to ruin your chances with a bad funding application. You don’t want to experience that.
So here are a few steps to writing a strong government funding application:
- Be sure to read the funding program or funding agency requirements to a “t”.
- Get 2 copies of the funding application
- Hire professional help
- Give yourself plenty of time
Most people when completing government funding applications make simple mistakes that could be easily avoided. Some of these mistakes include:
- Not applying to the right program/agency
- Not following the requirements of the program/agency
- Not applying on time, or past the deadline
- Not meeting the criteria
- Not completing every section
Keep in mind that funding agencies get hundreds of applications, if not thousands during their active period. Your funding application is just one of many – so no special opportunities will be given if you mess up. To ensure you don’t mess up on your funding application be sure to know exactly which funding program you are applying to, know what you’re applying for, know the rules and criteria; be sure you are meeting them; ensure you fill out every single section and apply on time.
Fun Fact (or not so fun): A small business owner from New South Wales was denied funding because he filled out the funding application in blue ink and the application requirements stated that the application has to be completed in black ink.
It’s often recommended when writing your funding application to get 2 copies of the application. Most of the time you can download the funding applications right from the programs website so you can get as many copies as you’d like, so be sure to do so.
Well always do a rough draft. Especially if the application requires you to write a bit, or do some financials or be more technical. Write one with a pencil and the final copy do it in the required format as per the funding program or agency requirements.
Many small business owners leave the funding application process up to the professionals to do. Some people don’t have the time, the know how or the patience to do it themselves so they hire outside help. If you are doing this, know the fees of hiring help. There are many different types of fees (hire a person to help for a flat fee such as $100 per application) or (hire a consultant who works on your behalf to get you funding for a percentage of the total funding), keep in mind that percentages can get pretty high depending on the amount you seek.
Professionals are not much different then you, except they have the time and experience to do the work. So don’t expect that by having a professional do your funding applications that your chances will increase (they will because they will do it right), but not because they did it with their experience and knowledge.
It’s also important to give yourself plenty of time to write a strong government funding application. If you are rushing to get everything completed you are sure to miss something. If the government agent who is in charge of reviewing the funding application sees that you’re rushing though the application and not providing competed details, you may be denied funding.
So it’s very important to take your time and give it your best when applying for government funding.