business grants

How to access funding through business grants

Exploring how to access business grants, with examples of interesting grant options in the U.S. and Canada.

business grants

As a business owner, your demand for working capital can be met through multiple funding solutions. One of these routes to accessing capital is through business grants.

Grants exist with local governments as well as private foundations. They can include cash grants, equity grants, interest-free loans, microfinancing and more, and many don’t need to be paid back, making it an attractive option. However, competition for grants can be high, and the grant writing process can be quite intensive. So it’s important to have enough time to focus on submitting a solid application—and you may want to even get expert help with your submission.

Grants to help growing businesses

There are so many different grants available. However, some are only available in specific regions, for certain industries or types of businesses. Be sure to read the details about each grant to confirm if your business will qualify.

Here are interesting grants and associations as an example of what’s out there:

U.S. Business Grants

Black Founder Grant

The Black Founder Startup Grant program provides grants of up to $10,000 to black or multiracial women and non-binary businesspeople. The program accepts new applicants on an ongoing basis and is open to any entrepreneur with a legally registered business.

National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants

Since 2006, the NASE has distributed more than $1,000,000 in new funding to its members. They have grants to assist with training, education marketing and more. Note that you must be a member for 90 days before you are able to apply.

FedEx Small Business Grant Startup

FedEx offers grants through contests that are designed to help support small businesses around the United States. FedEx also has a lot of great resources for small businesses to utilize throughout their startup journey.

SBIR.gov

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are programs that encourage small businesses to engage in Research and Development with the potential for commercialization. SBIR and STTR offer grant money for businesses through their awards program.

Small business grants and applications

Canadian Business Grants

Government of Canada

A good place to start learning more about the grant process and details you’ll need to pull together is the Government of Canada Business grants and financing portal. From their Business Benefits Finder, you’ll see what opportunities exist for your organization.

Innovate BC Hiring, Mentorship and Research Grants

This provincial organization offers multiple grants to help growing businesses including:

  • Hiring grants for hiring young people to subsidize their salaries and build up the pool of talent.
  • Mentorship grants for small and medium-sized tech companies to help grow their businesses.
  • Research grants to commercialize a special project.

Local Chambers of Commerce

Whether you’re already a member of a local Chamber of Commerce or not, they may provide opportunities to apply for grants. For example, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce offers grants of up to $5,000 “to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.”

How do I find more grants?

There are even more funding opportunities out there. However, it can be difficult to find these grants on your own. So how do you go about finding what’s available and if you qualify?

Thankfully, there are great resources online that make it easier for entrepreneurs to access all the information they need to know when it comes to business grants. Here are some great places you can get started:

Funding to supplement grants

How will you know if your business qualifies for grants? How much funding are you eligible for from a grant program? And how does the grant writing process work?

These are all questions that come up when small businesses consider applying for grants.

Fortunately, there are some great resources online that make it easier for entrepreneurs to access all the information they need to know when it comes to business grants. Hopefully, this helps you get started on the journey to accessing the right funding to grow your business.

If you’re looking for additional funding to supplement grants for your business, we have options. Please reach out to us and we’ll explain how our funding such as invoice factoring can help you.

top articles for business professionals

Year in review 2021: Our top articles for business professionals

From creating long-lasting business relationships to harnessing the benefits of invoice factoring and alternative funding, these are some of our top articles for business professionals from the past year.

top articles for business professionals

As another year wraps up, you may be planning to take advantage of new opportunities that lie ahead in 2022. To help tackle the road ahead, you can learn from the journey to date.

This year, some of our most popular articles centered around building a strong team and lasting relationships that are the foundation of a true partnership. In addition, articles about finding ways to face financial obstacles head-on, preparing to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves unexpectedly, and harnessing the many benefits of alternative funding were popular.

These topics have been the building blocks for resilience and adaptability, which are essential qualities for successful companies during uncertain times. And with a year filled with many ups and downs, being a step ahead with enough cash flow has been the name of the game. 

Now, keep reading for our 2021 list of top articles for business professionals!

 

Future of Business Funding

What is the future of business funding?

The pandemic has changed the way businesses operate — including the finance industry. Some financial institutions have become more conscious of consumers and businesses during the past year and have pivoted to offer greater flexibility, support and leniency to borrowers. However, other businesses have experienced the opposite — with greater challenges accessing capital.

Read more now

pinpoint amazing funding companies

How do you pinpoint amazing funding companies? 

What do you look for in a lender? You’ll take the obvious into account — such as their ability to provide capital. But how often do you establish new relationships based on a human-centric approach? If you’re looking for a true funding partner, look for these characteristics.

Read more now

turn prospects into customers

7 ways to turn prospects into customers

Developing lasting relationships — and ecstatic clients — is the holy grail of small and medium-sized businesses. While building a customer base from scratch is hard, with the right strategies, you can turn a snowball of strangers into an avalanche of loyal clients pretty quickly.

Read more now

CFOs can fend off uncertainty

CFOs can fend off uncertainty

With so much instability, economic and financial challenges influenced by an ongoing pandemic, it can feel downright impossible to lead a business. At the same time, some leaders have unlocked secrets to persevering, regardless of the many challenges created in the past year. Here’s how C-levels can adapt and lead their teams to the other side.

Read more now

Medal-winning ways to leverage invoice factoring

Medal-winning ways to leverage invoice factoring

Surviving the past year has been like winning an Olympic gold medal for most business owners. Even under normal circumstances, running a company is like running a marathon, but it takes another level of determination, grit, perseverance and nerves of steel during an international health crisis. Here’s how to leverage factoring to stand on top of the business podium.

Read more now

When bank loans and early payment discounts let you down

When bank loans and early payment discounts let you down

When a business is experiencing a lack of sufficient cash flow, taking out a bank loan and offering clients early payment discounts are two common tactics used to fill the gaps. But there’s another solution that could be a better strategic decision, and it can provide even more than just cash flow…

Read more now

If you or your client are looking for new ways to fund business growth, contact your Liquid Capital Principal today!

business plan

Developing a business plan for your new venture

Do you have an idea to evolve your business or maybe even starting something brand new? Turning your vision into a reality requires developing a business plan. Here’s how to get started.

developing a business plan
Image via Unsplash

Many people are waiting for all the stars to align before taking the next leap in their business or starting an entirely  new company. Because of that hesitation, they never get around to fulfilling their dreams. But by getting rolling on developing your business plan, you can turn your dream into a reality faster. 

In 2022, industries will continue to shift in new ways, and now may be the perfect time to take your project to the next level. To get started, it’s important to know what is involved in venturing into new territory or starting a business, and that’s where a business plan comes in. 

Why is developing a business plan so important?

A business plan is a formal document that provides the roadmap for your company. It can help you navigate through tough decisions and can help you manage any challenges that may come your way. It will also help you stay focused on your end goal as you grow your business. And if you are starting a completely new venture, it’s essential to have one in place before applying for funding or securing partners. 

To create a great business plan — whether for your startup, scaling business or mature enterprise — you’ll want to start with these steps:

Step One: Define your business goals

The first step in creating your business plan is determining the direction of your business (if you’re evolving into new territory) or what kind of company you want to start — along with your overall goals. For example, will you run a physical store, or do you prefer an online business? Do you want to sell a specific product or focus on services? Maybe you already have a hobby that you want to turn into a business, or you have an idea of an innovation you can bring to the market?

Once you define your ultimate goals, you’ll be able to start thinking about how you want to achieve those goals.

Step Two: Evaluate your business skills and knowledge

Many new business owners find it helpful to take classes in business to better grasp the intricacies of running a business. Online universities offer convenient solutions for those seeking to learn more about leadership, strategy, operations and general management.

If there are some areas of running a business that you aren’t well-versed in, you’ll want to leverage outside help or software that fills in the gaps. For example, if you’ve never managed payroll, software or apps can help. Many of these services provide same-day direct deposit, automation for payroll and payroll taxes, and time tracking.

Tired of waiting 90 days for payment? Try this instead.

Step Three: Define the structure of your business

Next, you’ll want to clearly define the best business structure for your venture. Incorporating rather than operating as a sole proprietorship does have its benefits. For example, if you form an LLC, you could be eligible for certain tax incentives, tax credits and business incentives. 

You will need a clear idea of what products you will sell at the time of the company launch and how your offering will evolve with time to keep up with industry trends and client demands. You will also need to know if you will be selling directly to consumers, acting as a wholesaler, or offering a B2B service for other businesses.

Step Four: Get your financials in order

An important part of creating a business plan is planning out the financing aspect. What cost structure will allow you to create your product or service and have it reach your final consumer? This would include all the physical production costs, supply chain, marketing, and personnel costs for your company structure.

Once you have all of the above information, you can bring it all together. Make financial projections of what your sales and profits would look like over the first few years and what startup costs and cash flow you need to finance to start the business.

Access to funding will be crucial in getting your venture up and running. Invoice factoring can help build working capital. 

Step Five: Research the market

The final step in creating a business plan is to research the competition. This will help you to avoid starting an unnecessary or unprofitable venture. Think of ways that make your company unique from other similar companies who are also competing for clients in this space. Answering the following questions will help guide your research:

  • What is different about your products and services that only you can provide?
  • Based on your product, costs, customer target, and competition, what would be the optimal price points for each of your products or services? 
  • How are you going to reach your consumers and let them know about your products? 

There are many resources online today that can help you establish a solid business plan. And once you have it on paper, you will see that it makes your vision come to life and gives you a base document that you can work with to approach investors or potential stakeholders in your business.

 


Up next: Create a smart digital marketing plan on a budget

relationship building

Turn your sales team into relationship-building rockstars!

Give your sales team a winning advantage by boosting their relationship-building skills in the Relationship Economy.

relationship building

 

Not long ago, things like price, convenience and savings would drive customer preferences. But as we’ve moved towards the Relationship Economy, consumers are increasingly prioritizing customer service, brand loyalty and personalization.

 

“In a Relationship Economy, the primary currency is made up of the connections and trust among customers, employees, and vendors who create significantly more value in what we sell. These relationships and connections help make price irrelevant.”

John R. DiJulius III, The Relationship Economy: Building Stronger Customer Connections in the Digital Age

 

Understanding the relationship economy

In today’s world, consumers are inundated with choices. In the relationship economy, consumers narrow their options by considering which business cares about them as a customer—and which businesses will deliver the best experience. Customers may also choose to do business with companies and brands that most closely align with their personal values, as they are increasingly prioritizing customer service, brand loyalty and personalization.

 

86% of customers believe that their experience is just as important as the actual product or service they purchase. — PWC

 

As a result, the relationship economy is the idea that today’s consumer prioritizes personalization, rapport, brand loyalty and customer experience over factors such as price, discounts or savings.

And thanks to things like increased connectivity through social media and improved customer data, the shift from the consumer economy to the relationship economy has only accelerated. Companies that have a system to tailor and personalize their customer experiences are more likely to win customers and retain their business. 

customer service and relationship-building

This also means that sales prospecting needs to consider things like rapport, loyalty and relationships to build trust and credibility with their customers. Sales reps need to know how to prospect with these values in mind so they can build relationships and rapport with potential clients. 

Beyond happy customers, positive customer relationships can create ripple effect benefits, including improved cash flow, business growth, and overall brand trust and credibility.


Up next: Read The beginner’s guide to sales prospecting in the relationship economy eBook