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How to Write a Top Notch Grant Proposal
One of the most important components of applying for a small business grant is your grant proposal. Youíll need to make sure that you have all the necessary documents included in the proposal. Create a file that holds important pieces of information that you might or might not include in the actual proposal that you send to the government program or organization that is in charge of awarding you the grant. No matter how insignificant you think the reference information is, it might come in useful to you at a later time. Include inspirational information that can inspire you to aim towards opening up your own small business. As your ideas grow you can add to the file, developing your business plan over time rather than rushing to start your business tomorrow.
The material that youíve gathered will be the outline for your grant proposal that youíll then develop into the core data of the proposal. Donít be intimidated by writing a good proposal. Start slow by going through all of the ideas in your file. As you write, the ideas and plans will begin to make sense and fall into line.
There are several essential elements of a top notch grant proposal. These include:
∑ A precise summary of what your general business idea is all about.
∑ A detailed introduction of you and the rest of your organization.
∑ Your mission statement for your proposed small business.
∑ The objectives of your business. Include in which you plan on meeting these objectives. Make sure that you include documentation that validates objectives and goals.
∑ An evaluation of your business plan. What will be the final outcome of opening your own business? ∑ From where you plan on getting your future funding, if needed.
∑ A detailed budget for all proposed costs.
The summary portion of the grant proposal is probably the most important element. The summary will clearly outline your business proposition from beginning to end. The summary can be presented in different formats, such as a cover letter or a separate page in the proposal. The entire length of the summary should be no more than three or four paragraphs and briefly, but clearly, define your business idea. Write the rest of your proposal first and write the summary portion last. The proposal will cover all the major points of your business idea while the summary sums it all up in neat package. Itís the summary that is going to lead to your success or failure in winning the grant. This is because the proposal is usually the first thing that is read by the awarding committee for the grant youíre applying for. Quite often the summary will either encourage the officials to read on or stop right there and not read any further.
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