Grants are good in surprising ways. Of course they provide needed capital for both small businesses and non-profits, but the real value may be in the work required to be competitive in winning a grant.
In my experience thus far, it’s been very interesting to see how our customers are pushed to new heights in the areas of branding, marketing, and growth planning. One of the early questions we ask prospective grant customers is, “How would you use grant funding to grow your business/non-profit?” In all but one case in the last few months, the business owners did not have many details for a growth plan.
A business is much like a clock (attributed to the character Gilbert Huph in The Incredibles). It takes well performing and interlocked components to generate sales, profit, and growth. The minimum following business elements are what we see in successful small businesses and non-profits;
Branding– it’s a lot more than simply having a logo and a pro-grade website- it includes creating a unique identity that resonates with your target audience.
Marketing is not just about advertising but also about creating valuable content that educates and informs your audience and changes the way they operate and think.
A budget is one of the most powerful tools in small business and non-profit entities. A business can be no better than its financial controls. A budget is not only a tool to measure current performance; it also identifies trends, and provides excellent insights to business decisions in terms of return of capital, net new revenue, profitability, customer value, and seasonality.
A Growth plan does much more than increase revenue or liquidity. It opens new doors to partnerships, markets, products, and services. A growth plan usually includes changes in where capital is invested in your business or non-profit in classical areas such as markets or new products, but also in areas such as tooling, facility expansion, and what types of employees or contractors provide the greatest value.
An exit strategy takes years to execute because it guides present day decisions to open the greatest number of doors in the future, including attracting not just more prospective buyers, but a higher valuation on your business.
The answer to the question of how you would use grant funds will inevitably lead to expanding and improving the elements outlined above. This is a good thing. A very good thing.
Here is a call to action; take the next step. Reach out to us per the contact info on our website for a free consultation and grant pre-assessment. We are striving to be much more than grant writers- we’re grant partners. We’re with you all the way to grow your small business or non-profit.