Are there grants to start my business?
For the most part, no. Any grant program in existence will be specifically earmarked for a certain purpose. For instance, many of the grants from a government entity are targeted to help businesses that are hiring more employees. The Internet or the public library can be utilized to search for grant programs, but most start-up businesses should expect to finance their business through more traditional financing programs. It is our experience that most small businesses are financed through more programs which require some capital contribution from the owner. Before searching for financing, a business plan should be completed. Ask your KSBDC counselor for guidance and more information on financing.
What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a written document which addresses what you want to do and how you will do it. It helps a person focus on relevant issues that are common in business. A business plan describes your product or service, the market, how you will reach your market, your management skills, the management team, employees needed now and in the future, the location of the business, risk management, financial projections, etc. The business plan is the tool to use for determining if a business venture is truly feasiblefor you. It also serves as a proposal for financing and/or the investment of outside parties, and it serves as your guide once you open the business. A sample business plan outline is available on this website. The KSBDC will be glad to help you through the business planning process.
Where can I get the money to start my business?
There are several sources. After you have completed your business plan with financial projections and funding requirements, you can approach the funding process. Generally, if you have at least 20% of the money to contribute, the rest can be obtained as long as your idea is well-developed and solid. Aside from the portion that the owner contributes, there are several other potential sources: bank financing, SBA-backed loans, loans from family and friends, individual investors, and venture capitalists. The KSBDC will be glad to discuss this with you further.