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Grant Writing Your Dreams True Guide
Research Before Grant Applications
You need to do research before applying for a
If you are going to start a business, you want to be reasonably sure that you
will be successful with it before you put a lot of money into it.
One way to do that is to research the type of
business you would like to start. Whatever the particular industry is, whether a
service-type industry or a product you'd like to manufacture and sell, you will
want to take a look at industry trends. Is this industry growing or declining,
both nationally and locally?
You will also want to take
a look at every aspect of how this business will
operate--how will a product be produced, focusing on all the
exact steps. What is the process for providing a particular
This will give you an idea
of the amount of time needed to produce a product or perform
a service, and how quickly you can do both of those things
while still maintaining quality will determine how much
business you can handle and how much money you can make. It
will also tell you if this is a business you can do on your
own or one for which you will need to hire employees.
Now is a great time to take a closer look at the market for
your business. Who would want to buy your product or
service? What product or service is it that those customers
want to buy but currently cannot find available? Is there
anyone else who sells such a product or service?
Where can you find the answers to these questions? There are
many sources available, and many are low-cost or free. The
Internet can be a great jumping-off point for information,
as can any trade associations for the type of business you
might want to start. Another free online resource is Score,
standing for Service Corps of Retired Executives
They have online volunteers with experience in the business
you would like to start, and you may e-mail them questions
about your small business at no charge (Score, 1998).
If you are fortunate enough
to find someone who has experience with the business you
want to start, see if that person would mentor you, perhaps
in exchange for a product or service you could provide that
person. Your local library is another great free source of
information about business and
statistics (Washington State University-Small Business
Development Center, 2005).
When you have some answers to the above questions and are
starting to get a clearer idea of your new business, you
will next want to consider what it will cost to start this
new business. Now is the time to think about both what it
will cost to start and then operate the business. What about
advertising costs--how will new customers hear about your
Business taxes are also part of the cost, and you can get
information from the Internal Revenue Service, your state
Department of Revenue, or a certified public accountant.
Will you need a license or permit to conduct your business?
You can check with your
state, county and city Departments of Licensing. You might
need to include insurance and worker's compensation as part
of your business cost, and your state Department of Labor
and Industry can assist you with this (Washington State
University-Small Business Development Center, 2005).
Make sure that you do your research and you will be much
more prepared when applying for grants.
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