Transcript - Apply for grants

Listen to Thomas Pollock discuss how small businesses can apply for grants.

[Thomas Pollock]

My name is Thomas Pollock. I’m the author of the book ‘Winning government business: the 6 rules and 9 absolutes’. I am also founder of the company Gov Ready – we effectively help small businesses to compete for, and win, government business.

I’m here to talk to you over the next couple of minutes about grants. I’m going to give you a few best practices and few pieces of advice which are going to help you on your grants journey.

Firstly, you’ve got to do your due diligence. There are thousands of grants available Australia wide – don’t pick the first one that you come across. Have a look around, see what’s out there, narrow it down to two or three. And then really see which one is going to give you the best chance to secure that grant funding, as they’re usually highly competitive.

Sign up to grant mailing lists. There’s a couple of good ones out there. Basically, they’ll send you alerts, and they’ll notify you as to when new grants become available, and it can save you a lot time constantly searching for new grant opportunities.

You also want to get an understanding of how to evolve your business, to make it more attractive to government as well. There’s a diagnostic tool called the Pulse Check. I strongly recommend you check that out. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. And you can see that at it will give you a very good idea as to your strengths and weaknesses, in your business, in relation to government, and government opportunities.

Criteria is extremely important. Does your project meet the grant goals or the grant’s criteria? You’ve got to be really, really critical here. Answer these questions as honestly as you can. If there’s too many no’s, move on, or look for other grant opportunities.

Please include a budget in any grant application you make – it’s essential. A lot of people miss this part, but you want a detailed budget. Government are going to need to know line item, by line item, what the costs are, so make sure you include that budget in any application that you make for grants.

Big piece of advice as well, and make this front and center of you grant application, is to go local. So, if you’re applying to do X, Y, Z project then list your suppliers, and I strongly suggest you make then local and you find those suppliers locally. That way government understand or realises that money that the grant funding you may receive will also be filtering out to your wider community. And that’s a very, very good story to have.

Talking of stories, tell a story. Everyone loves a story. So, outline what your project is going to achieve. How many people is it going to touch? How will your community benefit from your particular project? And tell that in nice succinct story as well. And that really does resonate well when your grant application is being assessed.

Lastly ask for help. You will need someone to go over your grant application before you submit it. You’re too close to it. You’ll have read it too many times. So have someone who knows what they’re talking about, and maybe with some experience, to go over your grant application to see it’s the best it can be.

Good luck!

Watch the video about how to apply for grants.