In a previous article, it was mentioned that women should always get their business certified as female-owned. In that post, it was revealed that doing this can help female entrepreneurs to gain financial support which is available for those businesses which are certified as such. According to grantsforwomen.org, “The millions of dollars each year allocated to grants for women are investments in the talent, creativity, intellect, and determination shown by them in various industries and fields of study. Women are huge contributors to the economy, the workforce, entrepreneurship, and to the development and management of non-profit organizations.” In this article, we will look at how to get a business off the ground, and look over a few ways to apply for grants and loans which cater to female business owners.
Have a Business Plan
Before you can apply for a small business loan or grant, you will need to map out a business plan that details all areas of your business for at least five years. This plan needs to include the costs of starting your business, as well as any other financial needs. You will also need to show your plans for the management, production, and marketing aspects of your venture. In New Zealand, there is help for this part of building your business. The Business Training and Advice Grant will give you access to mentors who can help you with business skills training, business advice throughout the entire process, mid-project financial reports, independent vetting reports, and how to develop your business plan.
To qualify for this grant, either you or your business partner should be getting a main benefit or have already applied and qualified for one. You can also qualify if you are receiving a Veteran’s Pension or a New Zealand Superannuation as a non-qualified partner, or if you plan to get or are already getting Flex-wage for self-employment.
Pay Attention to Detail
Before you spend a great deal of time applying for various loans and grants for your small business, you will need to read through any and all information thoroughly and make sure that you understand exactly what you are applying for. Keep up with dates and deadlines on each application, since many are annual programs, and others have strict deadlines on when the application must be turned in. In most cases, grants cannot be applied for at a later date. Keep all of your papers and information handy when applying, since most of the applications will ask for the same elements. Pay close attention to where each application should be sent. Your mentor can help a great deal with making sure that you have everything in order to get your business off the ground.
If you need an office space to start out, but cannot afford traditional office lease prices, you might want to consider using a shared office space such as the ones that are offered by Offix. These office spaces to rent in Wellington offer all of the advantages of the expensive commercial property for lease at a fraction of the cost. They can also be leased by the day, the week, the month, or the year, depending on your needs.