Grant Writing for Small Business

Grant writing for small business can help small businesses that don't have all the necessary capital when they first start.

Not having money available to start your own small business isn’t always a fatal blow to your aspirations of becoming a small business owner. There are many sources of funding available if you know where to look for them and how to access them.

But to be able to access the funding you’ll need to write a small business grant. This is the document that’ll convince the person or people who award the funding to give you some of it. So the preparation is very important.

Grant writing for small business is slightly different from writing an effective business plan, but still similar. In the next section I’ll explain the specifics of writing business grants.

How to do Grant Writing for Small Business

Often to get funding you'll need to do grant writing for small business.

There are several important steps that you need to take when grant writing for small business. Many of these will be to do with preparation before you actually start to write, but they’re important as they’ll make sure you write the most effective grant proposal possible.

Make it individual
Each grant that you apply for should have the grant application written specifically. Each grant needs to exactly match what the grant awarding body wants. They’ll receive many more applications than they can support so you need to do everything you can to help your application. This means following their instructions precisely and giving them exactly what they want, not what you think they should have wanted.

To do this you might need to contact the grant awarding body and have a conversation with someone to get the specifics of what they want. Ask to make sure that the information you’ve got from their website is up to date, and if possible get a copy of a recent grant proposal that was successful.

Collect all the information needed
Firstly just read through the guidelines for the grant proposal, all the way to the end, so that you know exactly what is needed in each part. Then read again, this time making notes about what you need to do and prepare. You might need to supply financial information or estimates of figures. Collect all this information together so you have it all before you start to write.

Plan and write a first draft
Your small business grant application is a very important document. This means it’s very important that you spend plenty of time planning what you want to say and how you’ll say it, so the finished document will be perfect.

Spending time planning now: making sure that you know what you’ll write. This will save time in the end.

Once you’re ready to start grant writing for small business, complete the document without going back and making too many changes. This is just a first draft so try to finish the document as soon as you can. If something isn’t quite right, just continue. Once the first draft is finished you can go back and polish it so it’s better in the second and third drafts.

What to include in your grant application
The grant awarding body should give you a template or at least a list of the sections to include. The most important parts are the:

  • Cover page – On this include your company’s name, date of submission, your name and contact details.
  • Executive summary – This is a summary of the rest of the information in the application. It should just be a summary, so no new information should go here: just a repeat of the most important parts from the application. It is often a good idea to write this last so you’re certain the information contained in it represents the rest of the application.
  • Description of business’s main points – Explain what needs the business will serve, why it will be successful (backed up with evidence/figure if possible). This could be a needs assessment.
  • Overview of people involved – Include a short bio of the people involved with the business. Explain why they’re an asset and what experience they bring. If you’re the only person involved just do this for yourself.
  • Table of contents – The grant application will be a fairly long document and the grant awarding body will receive lots of them, so include a table of contents to help them when they’re looking for something in your application.

Write a cover letter
Once the grant has been written you’ll need to send it to the grant awarding body. When doing this you should also send a business cover letter. This should only be one page long and have your contact details as well as a summary of the grant application. Use this to introduce yourself and the business you’re hoping to get the grant for.

Check and proofread everything
You’re not quite ready to send the application yet. If possible wait a day or two once everything is completed and then look at it again. Here you’re proofreading your grant application.

You need to find any small mistakes when grant writing for small business that might have been overlooked previously. So take your time and do this stage right. See the page about business proofreading or the English proofreading section from this site for more information and help. This is very important as you need to make a good impression, and spelling, grammar or formatting mistakes won’t do that. Applying for grants is competitive and any small factor could make the difference between success and failure. So make sure there aren’t any small mistakes left.

Help with your Business Grant Writing

If you need any help with this or anything else to do with grant writing for small business see the page about my proofreading service. I also offer a free trial and you can contact me through the contact me page or on the Excellent Proofreading and Writing Facebook page if you’d like to ask me any questions.

An Alternative

Starting a business can be expensive, as you know if you’re looking for information about grant writing. But there’s an alternative. You could start a web based business. This often needs much less capital at the start, but you need to put work in before you start to see returns on your investment of time (and a little money).

This is what I did. I started an e-business. This could be an alternative for you. If so have a look at the Site Build It page.

I use them. Your subscription fee includes everything you need to start an e-business. If you’ve never made an e-business before (like me before I stared) they include all the training materials you need and explain the process step by step.

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