Small businesses often have difficulty when completing Canadian government funding applications on their own. A significant time investment must be put into researching Canadian government grants and loans prior to writing a proposal, application, or other type of documentation. Failure to understand all of the program’s details could lead to the business’ application being rejected or having certain project expenses become ineligible for funding. In either circumstance, the business will be disappointed with the outcome and is less likely to try receiving funding in the future.
We often hear stories from clients who have been unsuccessful when completing their own Canadian government funding applications in the past. They cite not being aware of how complex the program information is, how they don’t know the ideal times to apply, and that they would rather focus on managing their business than writing project applications, so don’t optimize the application’s subject matter. Mentor Works has created a free download that helps businesses align their project timing with funding. This blog will discuss the top barriers to government funding success and how to overcome those challenges, further covered in the following download:
New Web Content: When to Apply for Government Funding – This guide seeks to help business owners and executives find the ideal time to apply for funding based on their project plans and other strategic initiatives.
Internal Identification of Business Priorities/Projects
Small businesses occasionally lack the resources to plan strategic projects a year or more into the future. For those interested in receiving Canadian government grants, this can be a significant obstacle. Successful applications for government funding can take months for small businesses to research and write – and those steps are completed after a business has identified, then planned specific projects.
Prior to writing government funding application forms, businesses must understand their needs and which projects will satisfy those needs. Once priorities have been established, businesses can then review government grants and loans which will help a portion of eligible project expenses.
How to Discover Appropriate Canadian Government Funding Programs Based on Timelines
Even more difficult for small business owners and executives is researching many of the grants and repayable funding sources available. Either the owner/executive must take on the role themselves (leaving less time for strategic planning of business priorities and projects), or they assign the task to a lower-level employee who could take weeks or even months to fully grasp the concept behind a government funding program.
When businesses first begin to evaluate programs, they should be aware of the funding initiative’s focus, eligibility criteria, eligible expenses, and spending rules. If these elements aren’t researched correctly, small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) could put effort into applications that they are ineligible for, provide inaccurate information (leading to rejection or a less-than-optimal funding return), or spend hours of correspondence with government agencies to clarify the project or expenses – leading to even more time investment.
Aligning Projects to Program Timelines
Not knowing the funding program’s timelines can be disastrous for a business, although timelines are a detail which many small businesses routinely forget about. This includes program intake periods, how long it takes to receive acceptance into the program, and when businesses are able to begin making project expenses. These details change from program to program, so the careful researching of opportunities is critical to ensuing maximum funding success.
Free Download: When to Apply for Government Funding – Understanding funding program timelines can be the most difficult aspect of submitting government funding applications. Download these free slides to understand the timeline of how to receive Canadian government funding from start to finish.
Overcoming these Common Pitfalls and Receiving Small Business Grants
Many SMEs would benefit from obtaining small business grants and loans, but lack the human resources, time, or program knowledge to successfully obtain funding. To overcome the common pitfalls of government funding applications, ensure you’re prepared for the process and know when to apply for funding.