Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP – Small Business
#grants for small businesses
Winning grants and free support for your business: It’s a RAPP
There are many opportunities for businesses to obtain free support and grants, both at start-up and during growth and development.
However, keeping up to date with what is available is a task in itself, with schemes appearing and disappearing on a regular basis.
Competition is high and success does not come easy.
If you follow the RAPP process when applying for grants and support, you will improve your chance of success.
The RAPP process
R esearch – find out what grants and support are available.
A pplicant suitability – when you identify an opportunity, ensure you meet the criteria or conditions required for the funding before spending time on an application.
P reparation – take time to prepare and tailor the application to meet the specific criteria and conditions. Alternatively, P can stand for a professional who has the skill set and knowledge of the type of grant you are seeking.
P atience – take time completing your application (but without missing deadlines) and be patient waiting for the result!
Financial support in the form of grants can be found at three levels. National grants primarily focus on growth and capital investment, such as the government’s Growth Accelerator scheme, while regional grants come from a local board specifically set up to help a region that has government and local authority support.
Local grants may be available from a local council, for example subsidised rents for new start-up businesses or funding to help tidy up a high street retail unit.
There are also European grants and funding support, details of which can be found at UK Trade and Investment .
Where you live or trade may significantly increase your chances of success of getting funding, particularly if your business is in an area defined as economically disadvantaged.
It is not unknown for businesses to set up in or move to an area where regional or local assistance is more readily available.
When looking for or considering grant options, four points generally apply.
1. Nothing is free; typically you must be prepared to put in some of your own funds. It is extremely rare for a grant to finance the total cost of, say, a start-up or project, unless it is for a very small amount. Many grants require match funding ie you need to match the funding from the grant provider.
For example, Growth Accelerator is a government-backed scheme providing mentor support, coaching and workshops for businesses looking for rapid growth.
The business has to pay a contribution towards the assistance; the amount depends on the size of the business, with the government contributing to the overall cost of the support.
A grant does mean that you are not giving up part of the ownership of your business, as you would if you were seeking equity funding or repaying the money and interest as you would on bank borrowing.
2. Grants are generally available for a specific project, for example development of a new product or job creation.
Therefore your application needs to meet the criteria for which the grant or support is being provided. Grants are not generally available for just starting a business.
3. The grant scheme provider will have objectives, strategies or aims which the funding supports, for example helping with youth employment.
Understand what the objectives or aims are when completing the application.
4. You must have a business plan that explains what you require the funding for and which is tailored to the grant provider’s specific criteria and conditions.
A blanket application or plan is not going to work. On most occasions, your business plan will have to be entered into the provider’s prescribed application form.
Do not just think of grants and support as financial support. Other types of free support can come in many guises.
For example, when opening your business bank account you may be offered free book keeping software, and many local councils and chambers of commerce offer free training seminars on topics such as social media.
The type of product or service for which you are seeking funding supporting has a major impact on your chances of success. Key areas for which grants and support are readily found are:
There are a wide range of schemes and support to encourage research and development. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) provides grants and support to help develop new products and services and put them in a position to be brought to market.
Energy and environment
here are schemes specifically for developments that will improve energy efficiency or reduce environmental impact. Natural England lists a number on their website .
There is plenty of funding and support is available to develop skills, including those of the business owner, as well as support for new employees where the business will be providing training and development.
For example, the National Apprenticeship Service provides advice and support on starting a subsidised apprenticeship. Alternatively, it could mean taking on an intern from the local university for the summer with the university providing match funding to pay the student’s salary.
Politicians’ emphasis on exports driving the economic recovery have led to considerable support and assistance for businesses looking to export the goods they manufacture. UK Trade Investment provide funding and subsided advice and services to help business export their products.
Business grants are notoriously hard to come by, but there is assistance out there if you know where to look. Follow the RAPP and hopefully you will be one of the successful ones. Good luck!
Further reading on grants
How small and medium businesses can take on flexible working
Some 57 per cent of employees say the availability of flexible working in their workplace is important to them, according to Sage data. This guide to Sage 200 Online shows why more and more businesses are turning to the cloud.
Controlling Cash Flow – Learn to master your money
Find out how five small businesses met the challenges of raising finance, from drawing up a business plan to securing investment. Complete with expert guides and tips to help you through the process.
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Vitesse Media Plc, 14 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX T. 0207 250 7010
2016 Vitesse Media Plc
2016 Vitesse Media Plc
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Business Analyst Jobs
Business Analyst Job Overview
Business and financial analysts work with companies to evaluate their decisions and calculate plans for optimal success. This may come in the form of business consultants. who review the books and operation procedures of a company and offer suggestions for financial improvement, or financial advisors, who recommend smart investments to grow a business. Whichever types of analysis business consultants are responsible for, it’s important to have critical thinking skills and a business frame of mind to offer the best suggestions.
Business analysts either work within one company to continuously improve production, or consult with multiple companies on their various projects and investment opportunities. Both offer opportunities for travel and across the country.
Business Analyst Job Education Requirements
Entry-level business analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree in business, management, finance, or a similar major in order to enter the field. More advanced positions may require a master’s degree, but experience or consulting certifications can compensate for education.
Analysts need to stay on top of economic, political, and geographic trends in order to make the best suggestions for company projects. From expanding to other industries through acquisitions to opening an office or factory oversees, business analysts need to understand the risk, reward, and challenges that the company faces with every decision.
Business Analyst Job Market
The job market for business analysts is expected to see rapid growth in the next ten years. The 16% growth means there will be more than 39,000 jobs by 2022. This is because businesses are starting to understand the global economy and the need to expand beyond national borders. They will also be needed as businesses look to invest in multiple industries for improved stability. Analysts will work to help businesses grow and provide expertise and perspective on decisions.
Business Analyst Job Salary Information
Business analyst salaries tend to be an average of $76,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who excel in the field and work for major corporations can make more than $100,000 annually or take contract work for more. Similar jobs in the field include Risk Management consultants who make an average of $80,000 annually, and Finance Directors who can make more than $120,000 a year.
The temptation of a six-figure salary is enough to lure anyone with a business degree, but analysts need to understand politics and economics to succeed in this role. Plus, the more business experience they have, the better decisions analysts will be able to make.
#small business investors
Funding for Small Businesses
Where does someone look for funding if they are a small business? Business loans are only possible if the company has been in business for some time, but most young businesses are looking to expand and so they need other options to raise business capital.
Government grants are another possibility. However, the process of obtaining funding this way is notoriously difficult. The UK government has claimed that this is a sort to test to see how much they need the funding, but the reality is that it is regulated by EU legislation. On the other hand, the EU itself does not fund anything beyond public sector ventures.
There are also sites that offer local grants to small businesses around the UK, including local councils and large companies such as BT and O2, but the latter are usually competitions. Sites such as Business Zone UK list various business grants and awards available to UK entrepreneurs, but the number of proposals and funding amounts are usually quite limited.
More common options for business funding are Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists, both of which will invest significantly higher amounts in your start-up or small business. However, both Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists will want some control of your business and guarantees of a good return on investment in exchange for their money. But at the same time, they offer the experience which could be that factor which allows your business to succeed in the first place.
Remember, the investor is looking to make money just as you are, and so it will be a venture that both sides enter together as a partnership. This means that anyone who invests in a small business will do everything possible to ensure that they are making a sound investment. They will check your business plans thoroughly, and make sure that they themselves believe in your business idea and future plans.
Finding funding for your small business or start-up can take a long time, but the Angel Investment Network can help you make vital contacts with experienced angel investors who are looking to make an investment.
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#small business investors
How to Get Funding from Angel Investors
- Angel investors can be an option for start-ups with the potential to earn high profits.
- Expect close scrutiny. Many angels are former entrepreneurs and like to be involved and give business advice.
- Angel investors tend to specialize, so look into their investing history to ensure there’s a good match.
Small businesses looking for financial help from an angel often turn to individuals willing to invest in promising, start-up opportunities. Angel investors can be a good funding source to consider after you ve tapped your friends and relatives. But angels usually don t write blank checks. They ll want to see progress and a way to exit the deal down the line with meaningful profits. So expect angel investors to do a lot of research and careful investigation into your business plan.
Be thoughtful in approaching potential investors. Biotech investors, for example, don t want to hear about a clothing manufacturer. A scattershot approach is likely to turn them off. Industry associations, local trade groups or, in some states, business-incubator centers can help point to potential angels.
Angel investors often invest through groups or networks. These provide due diligence, extra research, access to potential deals and shared expertise that one person operating alone generally doesn t have. For instance, one member of an angel group might have background in a particular industry or the know-how to set up deal terms, sharing that knowledge with the other investors.
Angel investors are usually thorough, so don t expect to get your money quickly. It could take several months to meet with different individuals or groups and answer all of their questions. (There are exceptions, including the case of Google, which got funding from an angel before its cofounders finished their presentation to him.)
Because they ll own a part of your company, they ll likely want a say in major decisions, and they ll watch to see whether you listen to them. Don t expect them to write a check and walk away. Many angel investors are former business owners who want to help people like themselves. They may be able to provide good advice based on their previous experiences.
Getting funding from angel investors isn t easy, but it can be done if you take the right approach and are a good match with their interests. And the benefits can beyond the money for your business, but their expertise in both in business operations and your industry niche.
Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:
- Bplans’ Free Sample Business Plans — Dozens of example business plans from Palo Alto Software, a seller of business-planning software.
- Finance Primer: A Guide to SBA’s Loan Guaranty Programs — An online training course on financing for a small business and loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a federal agency.
- Angel Capital Foundation’s Listing of Angel Groups — Links to dozens of angel networks, capital databases and matching services, and other resources, from an organization founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a promoter of entrepreneurship.
- National Business Incubator Association — A directory of business incubators.
#business plan writers
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We help entrepreneurs and existing businesses write business plans to secure financing. Across Canada, our team of professional business consultants will work with you to look at your business idea and offer advice to boost your funding success.
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Having worked with NBC for around 10 years the experience has always been positive. They strive (successfully) to understand our business and provide the benefit of their professional experience which has improved the management processes and business performance. The great thing about NBC is that they demonstrate they care through their regular communication and practical, honest advice. Their interest is in establishing a long term, successful business relationship.
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Brooklyn Messenger Bags
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