I recently had a comment from a business owner relating to the fact that I highlight on my website that ‘funding options’ are available.
They seemed to think that it could be misconstrued, implying that if you clicked for more information it gave the impression I offer. Or alternatively, it was a last resort for some businesses as it could indicate their business was not performing well & needed financial assistance.
I take a totally different outlook on this. I think wherever there’s an opportunity for financial support or ‘fully funded’ programmes, any savvy business owner would be crazy not to take a look & see if there’s an opportunity for them!
What could funding offer?
We’re incredibly lucky in the north east of England as there are a number of funding opportunities available to cover a plethora of investments, such as marketing, business development, innovation, product development, machinery, premises and the like.
In the SME sector, there are many businesses who don’t have ‘spare cash’ lying about to throw at developing a new product or maximising their marketing. However, these investments remain vital for sustainable growth within a business.
So rather than looking at it in a way that gives the impression a business is in need of financial help, I look at it as getting added value from a funding bank that is already there, secured & ready to be utilised.
What impact could funding have?
If a customer employs my skill set via NBSL for example, with whom I am registered, they can look at getting up to 40% of the project fee back, or put another way, an additional 40% input from me as a result of applying for funding.
So for a £5,000 project value, for example, they can be awarded up to £2,000 of that project value back purely by filling in a few forms and agreeing to the project timeline, equating to an additional 4+ days of my input. By reinvesting that ‘cash back’ or funding monies, they are building in a longer-term relationship between us, resulting in greater consistency, continuity and ultimately sales & profit.
It’s not about supporting businesses who aren’t successful, in whatever form that is. It’s more about investing & supporting those businesses who are looking for growth in financial & employment terms, and who see the benefit of an already approved pot of money sitting & waiting to be allocated.
What could that kind of investment mean to your business?
What kind of funding options are there?
In County Durham, NBSL is a European funded support ‘go to’, where the amount of support funds available is already set for a certain length of time (currently until December 2020, & is likely to be extended), there just needs to be the businesses asking for the funding & proving that they can grow with this support.
Growth is often looked for in terms of employment as well as financial turnover gains, as this impacts on the local community and aids the infrastructure throughout an area.
NBSL, for example, offers grant funding up to 40% depending on the growth model planned, 2 day fully funded masterclasses in specialist areas, as well as networking opportunities & a directory of pre-selected suppliers who are approved and can support businesses in their area of excellence. https://nbsl.org.uk/
Tees Valley Business Compass offer something similar for the Tees Valley area in the north east, offering growth support throughout your journey with them.
In addition, there is RTC North, a funding body that looks at supporting businesses who see innovation as an opportunity, plus need some guidance or funding support to get their projects up & running to create the growth they are looking for.
One final one to mention, and one I have written about previously, is the Research & Development Tax Credits. Specifically available to the manufacturing industry, it can be submitted to cover elements such as resource input, waste, prototype attempts, and design & development resource providing proof can be presented that the product due for launch would bring an advantage to the marketplace.
Where Do I Look?
If you’re considering funding as an option for your business or perhaps have dismissed it in the past, have a look to see what might be available to you and your business.
Simply google business funding support in your area & a number of options will appear, you then just need to work out which gives you the most opportunity.
If you are based in the north east, I am a registered supplier for NBSL, where you could secure up to 40% funding towards a project cost. Contact Me for further information, or find me on the NBSL website directory.