Small Business Grants

If you are considering starting a small business then you may want to consider using small business grants as a way to raise the capital needed to get your company off of the ground. However, before you start applying for small business grants you will need to get your small business plan together. A business plan is basically a map of how your business will be organized, how it will be initially funded, what expenses you will have during its start up, who will be your suppliers, how you will market your product or service, what you will be marketing, and who your customers will be. This plan is a projection of what you expect will happen during the first two or three years, however, it will need to be backed up by some solid data sources.

After you have your business plan completed you can start working on your company’s funding. The first funding options that you have for raising the capital needed to start your company are to apply for federal grants and to apply for private small business grants. Each grant that is offered will have its own set of requirements and each will have their own application process. To qualify for small business grants you will need to have a solid business plan, a marketable product, and in some cases your own money to invest in your company.

There are a lot of financing options available for small businesses besides small business grants. Small business loans are a great option for people who have a good credit history and a great idea for a business. These loans are offered by most major banks. If you are interested in applying for a small business loan from the Small Business Administration then you will still need to submit your application material to a bank. This is because the SBA no longer funds small business loans, they only insure them.

Business Plan Resources – The Four Keys to Building the Ethical Business

Success in business comes as a result of getting the right things done, in the right way, by the right people, all the time. If our business structure supports this kind of effort, then we will be the proud owner of a business that very quickly achieves outstanding and lasting results.

All good business relationships are based in trust. The higher the trust levels are within a business, and between the business and its customers and partners, the more rapidly the results will be achieved.

When people trust us, business deals are done very quickly and often on the basis of a handshake. High trust and high ethical standards produce high performance. Trust is one of the highest valued attributes and qualities of good leadership.

The organizational architecture of the value-based business shapes the creation of meaning and purpose, in the first instance, and informs all actions.

Clarity about our Mission, Vision and Values and living by these elements creates trust in our business. It does this because our espoused belief system gives us a benchmark against which all of our behavior can be measured. Strategy and leadership are then grounded in and informed by always doing that which is right.

A clearly articulated Mission, Vision, Values, and a list of the expected behaviors that flow from these elements, form the basis of our employment contract with all of the people involved in our business.

By consistently carrying out our small business plan in light of these elements, we build exponential value into our business.

These elements inform all the activities of our business, from policy development, planning, leadership skill development, information and communication flow, through to our systems and processes that ensure compliance with standards, measures and benchmarks.

Being clear in the first instance about the meaning and purpose of the business delivers excellence as a natural outcome of putting the right principles in play.

In the value-based business, standards and compliance are never seen as an imposition. They simply represent that which the business is already and naturally pursuing. This approach leads in turn to even higher levels of performance and excellence.

The high trust, value-based business is integrated and aligned by these critically important foundational elements.

The four keys to getting this right are:

  • Know what you are in business for
  • Align your thinking to this value base
  • Integrate and align all activities
  • Create a never-ending cycle of reinforcement.

We Must Know What We Are in Business For

Our Mission embodies and spells out for everyone the reason we exist as a business. To this end, we must think it through at a very deep level and align all our business activities with the sense of meaning that we have created for our business.

It naturally follows that all the people we deal with, at whatever level, are watching and testing us against this stated meaning. We must be “centered” in this meaning and hold ourselves accountable to a high standard of personal behavior, responsibility and accountability. We must examine ourselves daily to ensure that we are adhering faithfully to the Mission and Vision that we have articulated.

To have an ethical business, we must be straight forward in all of our dealings with others, within our business, within our industry and within our community. When we make a mistake, we must admit it, learn from it and move on. To build trust, we must trust ourselves and trust the people around us.

All of Our Thinking Must Be Aligned to Our Value Base

All effective decision making is bounded by the belief system we have established for ourselves in our business by way of Mission and Vision.

Our list of Values creates a code of expected behavior that we hold ourselves and each other accountable to on a daily basis.

When we do this, we create clarity, coherence and consistency. The result is a high-trust culture, where everyone is on the same page.

All of Our Activities Are Aligned and Integrated

The power of having the foundational elements right in our business means that we can consistently align all of our business activities with our value base.

By having our proper foundation in place, we create the high-trust, ethical environment, where the expected behaviors are clearly spelled out and understood by everyone involved in the business.

This environment becomes trustworthy because there is a clearly understood business philosophy, mindset, common shared frameworks, and tools and processes that build competency and capability that are used uniformly throughout the business.

Create a Never-Ending Cycle of Reinforcement

These elements must be consistently reinforced at every level of the business and within all business activities. Everyone must know his or her particular role and how to carry it out. This understanding must be reviewed on a regular basis as part of the performance management process.

Alignment, integration and continuous improvement are parts of a never-ending cycle that drives the whole business to even higher levels of performance and speed in achieving its objectives.

Business and Finance – Business Plans for Smaller Organizations

Being a small business entrepreneur whether you are the Personal Trainer or Telemarketer, there is really more need to be organized. While a certain amount of spontaneity is valuable and expected of small business, some structure and planning is vital if you are going to compete with what bigger corporations offer. You should really visualize the scope of your business and record it. This can give you a significant idea of what your obstacles are, your current status, what your vision for your business is, and how close you are to realizing them.

The first thing is to make sure to get everything on paper. This gives you a starting point, and something of a reference to revise if things need to be changed later on. The initial business plan can make sure that you, your contracted workers, and your investors are all on the same page.

The first thing that you need to start with is a description of your business. This includes the plans for what your business will do, services that you plan to provide and what goods you will produce. Basically, this will verbalize the scope of your business. While this can be enlarged later, you’ll realize that writing down of your terms and limits is essential for business growth. This is also a good place to include what type of goals you have. While they can be broad goals that you want to abide by, you should build on it with some rough financial figures that you are wishing for.

The next part of your small business plan should consider the market, both where it stands and where you will fit in. Why is your service necessary and the way your service will impact the market? How are you going to get some buzz going about your services and how will your business affect different types of clients? This section basically “proves” your business has a reason for being and gives strong reasons why it should be something to put your time and energy into, so take some extra time here.

The money end of things is going to be the next part that you should tackle. Include everyday supply expenses, license costs, money for emergencies and anything you can think of that will require money. Because virtually all investors will want to study your business plan primarily for this section, this is of utmost importance for you to work on. If you need to, look at small business plans from similar businesses to see the way that they have approached this section. Although an accurate view of your business where it stands is important, don’t forget to look to the future.

You just need one more step, consider management. Who is in charge, and what are their responsibilities? This is a good method to keep things organized and identify responsibilities. Like any other part of the plan, it can be modified, but the vital thing is to have it there in the first place.

Take some time to be confident that your business plan is the best you can do, and you will know that your small business will start out the way you want it much faster.