As the owner of a small business, thoughts about the cash flow of your business will never be too far from your mind. If you are starting a new business or looking to expand and grow your current one, then a grant can help you achieve great things.
You will need to conduct research on the best source of a grant, as there are many options that you can choose from. One of the key things that you will have to decide is exactly what you will spend the money on. You need to have a plan in place for not only how you will use the funds, but how these choices will help you reach the goals you have set for your business.
So, how can you use a grant to help your business? Here are 6 of the most common choices that business leaders make when using a small business grant.
1. Bolstering your inventory
If you intend to grow as a business, you may want to invest in having a larger stock of your product, or try new product lines to attract new customers, or upsell existing ones. Using a portion of the grant money that you receive here can make a big difference to your infrastructure and ability to deliver the products that your customer’s purchase in a timely manner. Be careful not to be overly optimistic with the purchase of inventory, you don’t want the costs of storing the product to exceed the potential profits.
This is quite a broad term, and each business will have different requirements when it comes to exactly what you need. You may need to have large factory equipment that needs to be purchased and maintained, or it could be something as simple as computers for new employees.
3. Paying bills
Covering the expenses of your day to day operations can be expensive, you may need to divert some of the funds from the grant to cover the utility bills and rent for office or warehouse space.
4. Debt repayment
This can provide some instant relief and long-term benefit for your business, by using the grant to pay off debt you will be able to reduce your monthly outgoings and improve profitability instantly. This will have a knock-on effect on your whole business as you can then use the money that you would otherwise be paying as interest, on other things.
If your goal is to grow your business, then you need to spend some dollars on marketing. With the increasing ability to target a specific audience through digital platforms, marketing can achieve real and measurable growth in a relatively short time. To take advantage of the opportunities available you may have to expand your team to include digital marketing expertise.
6. New product launch
If you are using some of the grant money to invest in the development and purchase of a new product or design, then you will need to make your customers aware of the new product. For this to be a success, you should take some of the grant money and devote it to the launch of this new product. There will be costs associated here with branding development, consumer outreach and marketing. All of these are needed to make sure that your new product is a success.
As you plan how you are going to use the grant money for your small business, it is very important that you do not get hung up on the small details, you need to be constantly looking at the big picture and not get distracted by passion projects. A grant is a real opportunity to take your business to the next level and should be considered a huge opportunity to ensure future success.