bigstock-Business-man-working-with-lapt-42571708Business growth doesn’t just happen – it takes a great deal of work.   Growing a small business requires proper planning, cash flow management and funding.  Leveraging government small business grants and loans can actually help businesses avoid running into any of these potential obstacles to successful business growth.   Here are 4 tips for business owners looking to take their small business to the next level:

1.     Become More Proactive:  Stop Adhoc Planning

Adhoc planning is most often referred to as “putting out fires,” and it is no surprise that this kind of management style can effectively derail major projects and long term goals.   Leveraging government funding programs has been known to help business leaders focus on keeping projects on track as funding agreements tend to outline project plans, regular reporting, and project completion dates.

2.     Pay Attention to Cash Flow Management

Poor cash flow management is one of the biggest obstacles facing small businesses during times of business expansion.   Whether it’s a low- or no-interest loan, or a Canadian business grant, government funding can small businesses overcome financial obstacles that stand in the way of their goals to growth. This is why Mentor Works suggests adding a long-standing funding source such as Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to their mix of government funding programs. IRAP funding through the IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Program offers up to $50,000 for such projects as rolling out global marketing strategies, productivity improvements, and production planning and design. Meanwhile, IRAP Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP) offers as much as $100,000. Take the time to learn more about the types of IRAP funding your business may be able to leverage on a regular basis by beginning a relationship with the agency behind the program, National Research Council of Canada (NRC).  Contact a Canadian government funding expert to learn more.

3.     Move toward Hiring More Specialists

bigstock-Young-adults-in-training-cours-22065392During a crucial phase in your business’ growth there comes a time when you need to hire specialized people to fit specialized roles. Fortunately, there are several Canadian government funding programs that support both internal labour and outside consultants to tackle innovative challenges that will define the future of your company. While the aforementioned IRAP funding programs will cover up to 80% of payroll costs and up to 50% of sub-contractor fees, other small business grants for hiring recent graduates can be stacked on top of IRAP funding to cover as much as an additional 50% of wages as long as their overall salary costs are not covered >75% by government incentives. Two of the programs that are most popular among our clients are CareerConnect Canadian business grants and iSTEM Ontario business grants for hiring.

CareerConnect List of Eligible Positions includes close to 1,000 different job titles in the field of Information and Communication Technology and offers up to $16,000 or 50% of the employees’ wages to qualified applicants.  iSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) offer up to $15,000 or 50% of wages for an up to 6 month term for recent graduates from participating Southern Ontario universities.

4.     Improve Productivity by Investing in Technology

Inevitably, there will also come a time when your processes are no longer able to handle excess capacity, and this is why successful small and medium-sized businesses continually invest time and other resources in adopting the right technology and expertise to improve productivity.   The Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) is a small business grant that provides businesses with funding for training their employees. Businesses can obtain up to $10,000 per employee to cover 66.67% of training costs.

Connect with a Canadian Small Business Grants and Loans Expert

To learn more about small business loans Ontario and small business grants Canada connect with Canadian government funding experts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.  You can also sign up for our Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter.

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Ryan has a BA in economics, an MSc in management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.

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