Money is essential to the success of any UK small business owner. It can make it easier to launch your business with minimal risk, cover initial costs, and support expansion.
The UK national government offers citizens multiple ways to access government funding 0- in fact, over 1,000 different schemes. Despite this, close to 80% of those who apply for government funding are typically denied due to basic mistakes in their applications.
The majority of unsuccessful grant applications can be reduced to the following:
- Your application was rejected because you made too many requests (beyond the limit of what the agency can provide).
- The stated financial requirements were not met by the available funding.
- The application was incomplete due to a lack of relevant information.
To avoid this and make sure your UK small business can take full advantage of all the available funding sources, try out these three tried-and-true strategies.
- Submit all required paperwork.
- Clearly define how much money you’ll need.
- Make sure you’ve read the eligibility requirements for the programme.
It seems easy enough, right?
However, the majority of those who have applied but been turned down do so because they make the easy mistake of skipping over the most fundamental requirements. The prospect of receiving funding is exciting, and it’s easy to make a mistake in the process (perhaps due to a lack of familiarity with the complex applications), but the three strategies presented here will help guarantee that you maximise the benefits of any government grants you receive.
In order to make the most of your available funding sources, you should first make sure you have a firm grasp on what those sources are.
There are over 1,000 different funding opportunities across the UK. Funding can come from a variety of places, including government grants, loans, tax breaks, credits, etc.
Reviewing the application requirements for each programme can help you determine which ones you meet and for which you should submit an application.
This is the first and most important step, as it guarantees that you will be able to take advantage of more opportunities and will prevent you from wasting time applying to irrelevant positions.
To participate, you must meet all of the programme requirements.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but failing to read the steps, rules, and criteria before submitting an application is the leading cause of denials, especially when the business owner has already completed the application.
Okay, so tell me, what do you look for in a funding application?
First, let me say that you should read this entire thing, beginning to the end, in order. Your chances of success can be affected by even the smallest of details.
However, there are a few crucial things you should double-check:
Do business owners in your area have access to this programme? (is the opton even available)
Is your company included in the list of industries that this programme serves? (keep in mind that businesses can also fit into more than one)
Is there flexibility in the programme to meet your specific needs?
Confirm that the organisation has the resources to meet your financial needs?
If you answered yes to the following questions, you may continue with the application process.
Pay close attention to the rest, think about all of the demands, and fulfill them as the application or programme specifies.
Breakdown your funding needs
You can increase your chances of success by taking the next logical step and writing down an exact list of all the things you need money for.
It’s up to you how specific you want to get, but it’s best practise to specify things like:
- Get some new tools
- Employee salaries or wage expenditures
- The Price of Training
- Marketing and research expenditures
- The price of renovations… etc.
As a common blunder, many entrepreneurs will simply list all of their “startup costs” or “funding needs” in one large sum and hope that investors will be willing to back their business on that basis.
Most funding organisations have different priorities when it comes to what they’re willing to pay for, so it’s helpful to have as detailed a breakdown as possible. Furthermore, you should never make a request for a large sum of money in one go, as this type of request is almost always turned down.
The following is an example:
As an example, if you need £75,000 to launch your business, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the full amount if you break it down and ask for specifics, such as:
- £10,000 worth of equipment
- Budget of £10,000 for Ads
- £30,000, which will cover salary and education expenses
- Web page creation budgeted at £10,000
- For legal services, £5,000 is available.
You can apply to more than one programme to get the money you need if you break it down like this. In contrast, you might not get the £75,000 you need if you only apply to one lender.
Having the breakdown and access to money from multiple programmes allows you to ask for less and potentially receive more.
Provide all needed information
Finally, one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of receiving government funding is to give them everything they ask for when filling out the application.
Program-specific requirements may include a business plan, financial statements, a PitchDeck presentation, and possibly additional personal documentation and verification documents like bank statements, invoices, and so on.
Don’t skip ahead (because you’re missing something) and make sure your application includes all requested details. You will be rejected if you do not.