The thing about business grants.
27th February 2019
Whether starting, establishing or growing a business, at each stage in its lifecycle finance is required to make things happen.
Aside from banks, online searches tend to yield a plethora of different sources of funding (more commonly loan or investment finance) available. The vast array of financial products seem to suggest there is a funding solution for almost every type of business at any stage along its journey to success. However, acquiring those funds is a completely different story.
All that glitters
One of the most common characteristics among many of the businesses we have worked with is that they are quite typically self – financed in their early stages i.e. the owner has either saved their earnings or borrowed money from family and friends to get off the ground.
Once the business has gained momentum and demand starts to kick in, or when the proverbial ‘rainy day’ manifests itself, then, focus is more often than not, geared towards borrowing.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with needing a healthy cash injection to purchase much needed equipment, expand the workforce or assist with marketing costs, a startling number of business owners seem to shun the idea of applying for a business grant.
Red tape, bureaucracy, time constraints, lack of awareness, lack of information, lack of support or guidance are all contributors. Putting in hours of work with little or no guarantee of a return is hardly enticing. To obtain a business grant, several factors have to be taken into account, location, purpose of funding, past performance and element of risk are all considerations. Indeed, obtaining a grant can be a difficult road to travel, where there can be many obstacles along the way.
Although the journey might be a difficult one, should so many businesses really ignore the potential of securing non-repayable funding and in many cases, expert guidance, to help facilitate their growth?
The proof is in the application
Last year I worked with a company that had been trading for over 10 years. In doing so, they mastered their trade, so any attempt to teach them would have been futile. However, at the time we became acquainted, they were in need of a cash injection to help with growth.
Upon securing finance (and signing up for mentoring support) it was identified that whilst the amount borrowed was sufficient working capital there and then, in terms of their longer - term ambitions, it was a mere drop in the ocean. They needed a rapid amount of growth or significantly larger cash injection to make their dream a reality.
To say my suggestion of applying for grant finance was met with scepticism would be an understatement. In this instance, “been there, done that” and “you do-gooders are all the same” was more in keeping with the tone of response. With a little persuasion of the “what’s the worst that can happen?” nature, they took the plunge. Applying for an innovation grant that would enable them to take their business to the next level. What’s more, with a little support to help along the way, they were successful with their application and received much needed grant funding to help fulfil their ambitions.
When the grass is greener
Whilst we cannot guarantee every business will share the same success as the one mentioned above. We can provide support in identifying what, if any, grant finance is available and offer guidance not only regarding the suitability of funds, but also throughout the application process.
Whether you are seeking funding for innovative products and services, match funding to assist with growth, help with research and development tax credits or assistance to get your products in front of potential buyers overseas, here at Newable you can access many different types of support all under one roof.
To find out more about our services email: email@example.com.