A common problem among those small business owners who hope to obtain government funding for their business is having their business funding application ignored by the respected government funding agency or scheme administrator. Why does it happen? Is it you, your business or the scheme itself?
In the following article we are going to look at the few reasons why your Government Funding Applications may get ignored; and how to overcome this on-going problem small business owners face when applying.
What are the most common reasons for applications being ignored:
- Your funding application was sent to the wrong place
- You applied to a funding scheme that you don’t qualify for
- You applied past the funding deadline
- You didn’t provide all materials asked for by the scheme
- Your application got lost!
Let’s break these common reasons down and see how you can avoid being ignored with your own funding applications and by the government funding agencies.
Before we start; it’s important to know that when applying to a funding scheme, no matter the scheme there are a few recommendations:
- Read the scheme criteria and qualifications: be sure the scheme is right for you
- Provide all necessary documentation that the scheme application asks for (don’t leave anything blank)
- Don’t ask for funding just because instead ask for what you need and ensure the scheme has the funding to cover it
- Always include a business plan
#1: Your funding application was sent to the wrong place
It’s important to know that not all funding schemes are managed out of the same place – or one “government” office. When applying to government funding schemes, every single application will be very specific as to what you have to do, what you have to provide, how to apply and where to send in your funding application. It’s critical to read this information as it can mean the difference between your funding application being accepted, denied or ignored.
Tip: To ensure you have the right details; read the application multiple times; call the scheme director and look up the website for contact details and where to send the application to.
#2: You applied to a funding scheme that you don’t qualify for
Believe it, this is one of the top reasons why funding applications get ignored. Just imagine how many funding applications a government agency receives each day – would you pay attention to the ones that simply aren’t for you? Every single funding scheme has set rules who can apply, how much can be provided, what the industries are that are covered by the funding and what the funding can be used towards. If you don’t fit into these criteria and qualifications, sending in your application in hopes to get funded anyways will simply result in your funding application being ignored.
Tip: Follow the criteria set by the funding agency/scheme. Be sure that the scheme funds your location, your industry and your funding needs.
#3: You applied past the funding deadline
Every funding scheme has some sort of funding deadline. Since the money that is handed out by the funding agencies comes from the government, in order to adjust budgets each quarter or each year and to help small business owners, the money that exists now has to be provided to help so that new money can make it’s way to the agency. Every agency has a quota as to when to give the money, who to give the money to and how much. If you apply past a funding scheme deadline, you may not always get “denied” funding, but you may be just ignored until round 2, or until more money is available.
Tip: Be sure to check the scheme deadline and if you can’t find it, contact the scheme administrator for the date.
#4: You didn’t provide all materials asked for by the scheme
Another common problem when applying to funding schemes and getting ignored is simply not providing all that was necessary. If the scheme application states that you have to apply in person, you have to apply in person. If it says apply online between 9 to 5, you have to apply then. If the application states to include your business plan, you have to include your business plan. Whatever the case is, in order to get considered for a funding scheme you have to meet the requirements.
Tip: Read the application thoroughly to ensure you didn’t miss anything. Contact past success stories of the funding scheme and see what they had to do and provide.
#5: Your application got lost
As much as it doesn’t seem possible, it is. Mail get’s lost and it’s nobody fault.
Tip: When you apply to a funding scheme it’s often recommended to follow up with the agency through e-mail or a phone call to let them know that you’ve sent in your application.
Following these 5 tips, you will have some advantage towards ensuring your funding applications don’t get ignored.
Remember, the key is to apply on time, to the right scheme, to provide all that was asked of you and be sure to send the application to the right place and follow up to see if it has been received.