There is such a misconception about free resources for small businesses.
As a business plan writer and advisor, I meet many Entrepreneurs who excitingly reveal their incredible business ideas to me and then usually follow up with “I would like to know about grants for businesses.”
They believe there is an abundance of free money that is allocated for small businesses by the government, an agency or another funding organization. Now that they are in the world of business they want access to it all.
I think the word ‘grant’ is shared with excitement and good intentions just not always with solid facts on how to actually get one, which often leads to disappointment. Grants, in this way that we are familiar with them, are limited, competitive and exclusive.
These types of grants come with specific conditions that an Entrepreneur has to meet in order to get access to any money. The grant application and screening process is designed to identify those with a real need and fit the objectives of the funder versus those just on a money grab. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen funders hand out money, for their own purposes, to people with no training or understanding of how to run a business, which gave a boost to the people but no long term business success. If you come across a funder like that please let us all know! We could use that boost!
I often advise Entrepreneurs to explore all of the resources that are available to help get their business started. I also encourage them not to put all of their eggs in one basket or to hope that all of their start up challenges will be solved with one solution such as funding a business with grants.
Entrepreneurs have to re-consider the word ‘grant.’ Grant means to give.
If an organization provides a FREE start up training program, it is a grant. If you can get FREE business advice, it is a grant. Any product, service, workshop, publication, blog post that enriches your business for FREE is a grant.
Whether you qualify for a financial grant or not, the resources that are available to people starting businesses are abundant. Access them and build a business that makes a real economic and social impact for your and your community.