Every year, government agencies distribute millions of dollars in grants to eligible small and medium businesses. But, securing funding is not easy, as you can imagine. Those successful have undertaken detailed research and solid preparation.
You’ll first need to assess if your business has enough time and the resources to make an application – because the research and planning takes quite some work. Here’s basically what you need to do:
· Read the funding program’s guidelines and start the process plenty of time before the grant’s due date.
· Gather a business plan or detailed description of business
· A detailed project description (why you are applying for it, aims and outcomes)
· A list of your team’s experience and skills, and
· Complete the application forms.
Typical Grants for Business Growth
While we missed the deadline on the Small Business Digital Grant for this year, there are also grants to help a business innovate.
The Entrepreneurs' Infrastructure Program, delivered by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, provides easy to access practical support and funding. This programme is the Government’s ‘flagship’ initiative for business competitiveness and productivity. It aims to help small and medium enterprises to commercialise novel products, services and processes. It supports with business management advice in your industry, start-up incubator support, and innovation facilitators’ connections (a bit like a mentor) and accompanying connections grant.
Part of this program that might be of interest is the Business Growth Grant. This provides matched funding of up to $20,000 for the cost of hiring an expert to help with implementing the advice and strategies. It is accessed once you have undertaken advice from Business Evaluation, Growth Services, Supply Chain Facilitation or Tourism Partnerships programs.
For Queensland-headquartered, high-growth aspiring businesses with a turnover of at least $500,000 last year (and fewer than 50 employees), there is also the Business Growth Fund. Government provides funding of up to $50,000 for eligible businesses wanting to purchase specialised equipment or services (e.g. feasibility study, engaging an advisory board) that directly enable more growth. A co-contribution of 25 to 50% to the total project cost is requested.
It is interesting to note that ‘high-growth’ is considered to be at least a 20% increase in turnover or employment rates within the next two years.
Need financial support? Take a ride through the Queensland Govt Grants Finder.
When planning your cashflow and budgets for innovation or digital business growth, consider taking the time to get a Cashflow and Budget Analysis done with your business accountant.
This session is more than just looking at current numbers; it will help you see what figures are needed for your objectives and what would potentially come in from the changes (i.e. return on investment). Having a clear path to financial growth may also take the angst out of making the bigger decisions.