Did you know that one of the top reasons why small business owners in the UK end up failing within the first few years of starting up is due to the lack of funding? What would happen to your small business and your idea if you needed funding, and didn’t have any? What would you do if your small business needs funding?
When the topic of “small business funding” comes up, most people think one of two ways:
- This is impossible…I am just a small business why would somebody want to fund me
- I don’t know any investors. Plus they only fund big companies
While the majority of people do think this way, those who tend to think outside the box and seek assistance usually are more successful and are able to find funding.
Funding is available for small business owners from multiple sources; if one decides to dig a little deeper:
- Family and friends
- Personal credit cards/loans/lines of credits
- Business loans/lines of credit (banks)
- Private Investors
- Government Funding Schemes
If you realize that your business needs to have funding so that you can survive and overcome certain obstacles; searching and applying for funding before you need it is usually recommended. As most people can’t just say I need funding and have it the next day; planning ahead and having a well developed business plan would tell you your needs – and prepare you for them.
While multiple sources of funding for small business owners do exist; people are still skeptical and worry about “borrowing money” from all above mentioned sources.
Most articles you read explain the different sources such as borrowing from banks, from investors, using crowdfunding services or asking for help from friends and relatives; but there is little to no mention of government funding for small business owners.
That is actually very surprising considering that there are nearly a thousand government funding schemes from all levels of the British government. The British government has funding schemes to support entrepreneurship within the regions in order to further boost the economy through the creation of jobs..etc
Finding government funding programs
In order to have your small business funded isn’t always easy. The UK government has hundreds of funding schemes across the the entire UK, and not all funding agencies are familiar with one another to be able to know the details of each others’s offers. In many cases; funding schemes are specific to their location, or to a industry or towards a specific funding need.
When you do look for funding be sure to look for funding programs close to home (or at least for the ones that fund your location); look for funding schemes that are for your specific industry and for the exact purpose you need.
If you apply to the wrong program, you are simply wasting your time as you will be denied funding.
Keep in mind that government funding schemes all have set criteria and qualifications you must meet in order to qualify and to get funding. While some are general to all schemes such as your location, industry and funding needs, others may require you to put money up initially, or to hire specific type of staff, or to be in business for x amount of months…etc Learning more about each funding program can help you determine which ones are right for you.
Different type of government funding schemes:
The different types of government funding schemes include: low interest or no interest loans, government guaranteed loans, government grants (non repayable, partial contributions), tax breaks and tax credits and much more.
Knowing that there is funding available, your next step should be to figure out what you need funding for, how much funding you need, how it will benefit you and when you need it.
Once you’ve done that; applying to these schemes to ensure that your small business funding needs are covered should be the end goal.
Final piece of advice is to not wait for last minute to apply for funding. Because when you realize your small business needs funding; it may be too late.