Starting a business from scratch to a position where you can get profit is an uphill and daunting task with no doubts, and any business mogul can attest to that.
However, before reaching the point of becoming a legend in the business world, there are specific steps that are not easy to take but are worthwhile at the end.
And so, the most challenging part of it is financing a business. That is evident to both newbie and veterans.
However, despite the challenges in businesses, there are solutions, and one of the best ways to get help is to acquire loans or grants.
But how will you manage to get a grant or loan, and what do they entail? The main question will remain to be, how will you differentiate grants from loans?
In simple terms, a grant is a sum of money that a government gives to support a person or a cause. Private entities are also known to issue grants for the same purpose.
In other words, it is an economic aid that a particular government offers to another government for undertaking a specific project that will be of help to the public.
Grants also extend to students to support their studies in the various institutions.
Students also don’t repay; however, they must qualify for the grants. They must meet some requirements to get access to support.
One important thing that should be clear is that grants are very competitive to get.
The following are ideal for business grants;
- Educational Organizations.
- Enterprises in undeveloped areas.
- Veteran owned businesses or minority-women.
The Benefits of Small Business Grants
- There is no risk by default by your business.
Grants do not associate with any risk. It means that it is for you, or the growth of your business.
- One does not have to refund the money they receive.
Once you qualify o meet all the prerequisites, the money becomes yours without any attachment of strings.
So, you won’t have to worry about paying back because it wholly comes at your disposal free of charge.
Qualification for Business Grants
A good number of grants, for example, from small business administration, may have you, create and produce a vast proposal that entails all aspects of the nature of your business.
They will use the extensive proposal to determine the number of employees you intend to hire, how you want to use the funding, among others.
In short, grants are, in most cases, available depending on the demographic and the business industries.
You are most likely to get a grant with ease, but only if you are an owner of a minority business, a veteran, a single mother, or a woman.
Therefore, although there are a good number of grants out there which you can qualify for, you must be ready to be patient because most of them take time before issued.
Demerits of small business grants
- It is time-consuming, more so, in the application process.
- It limits you only to a certain amount.
- Have fewer options, making it very competitive to obtain.
- After approval of your funds, it takes further time before you get hold of the fund.
In conclusion, getting grants may not be secure and especially, if one does not meet the standard requirements.
You should also note that businesses and students, who apply for grants, can only get a certain amount of money, not as they desire.
A loan is usually an amount that a financial institution offers to an individual, organization, business, students, and others. It is repaid after a certain period with some interest on top.
When comparing it with grants, loans are standard transaction methods between businesses and banks.
It occasionally extends to students who cannot pay for their studies at the time but will pay back later.
For students, the rate of interest usually is lower, unlike the rest of other types of loans.
Many times, the schedule for paying back is not the same because students, in many cases, pay up after their education period.
Types of Student Loans
The collectively known types of student loans include;
- Private student loans
- Federal subsidized loans
- Federal unsubsidized loans
Naturally, credits are not that hectic to acquire; thus, there is no much competition like grants.
The following are ideal for business loans;
- E-commerce and online businesses.
- Small for-profit businesses.
- High-growth and established businesses that have many expenses.
The Benefits of Small Business Loans
- High capacity of finance available
Unlike grants that are only limited to a certain amount, you can obtain as much money as possible, as long as you can pay back, with the expected interest.
- Many Opportunities
When you compare with grants, you’ll find that loans have got a good number of opportunities. While the number of grants available is limited, you can get loans from private lenders, banks, and individuals.
Therefore, because of the many opportunities, it increases the chances of supporting your needs.
- Access Period is short
Obtaining loans from banks, private entities, and individuals only require some days or weeks. It is for that reason that many businesses prefer loans, since their needs may be prompt.
- For further flexibility, there are options for repayment
Loans are usually friendly, especially when it comes to refunds. You only need to specify your date of reimbursement, and you are into the idea.
Small loans are usually open to start-up businesses, but at the same time subject to minimum revenue and period in business prerequisites.
Demerits of Small Business Loans
- If your business is new to the market, you may have expensive or limited options.
- After borrowing, you must pay back the principal and the interest agreed on top.
- It is sometimes risky because in case you damage your credit, you’ll still have to pay by default.
Qualification for a Small Loan
There are some requirements that you should meet to qualify for small business loans. For example, the owner of the business must prove to have the ability to pay in full and at the agreed period.
That’s because money lenders usually determine your worthiness as a borrower depending on your character, financial status, and credit record.
Before taking the step of giving you the loan, lenders require that you produce bank statements and other financial documents to get the full information.
They can go an extra step of checking from the internet just to ensure that you are a legitimate business person.
Some lenders may, however, make it difficult because they require you to give them a marketing strategy and your business plan so that they have a clear insight into the nature of your business.
Which one will fit you, Grant or Loan?
Sometimes, it may be a daunting task to determine the best option for your business. However, before you reach your decision, there are two crucial factors you ought to put into consideration.
The Urgency of Funding
Everybody wants free money, isn’t it? Well, you may decide to go for grants if the project you are undertaking can wait.
However, because of the many requirements, it’ll take long before you get access to the fund. It is, therefore, advisable to go for loans, but, for an amount that won’t be hectic to repay.
That resonates with the fact that the period of obtaining a loan is not long, besides the requirement can be easily accessible.
Therefore, your decision depends on how to prompt your need for money.
The Position of your Business
It is essential to consider the stage of your business; for instance, if the company is more than two years old, it may not be that difficult to get a loan.
That is because many lenders require your business record to determine the period of the business operation, thus your ability to pay back.
It’ll, however, be unfortunate if the enterprise is less than a year because no lender will risk their money in a newbie business. And it’s because they do not want to make any loss whatsoever.
On the other hand, grants are most likely to fund your small project, but with the stand that it’ll benefit the community at large.
So, whether the business is one month old or five years, there is the likelihood of obtaining funds as long as you meet all their requirements.
The Key Difference between Grants and Loans
The key reasons that differentiate the two are simple;
Grants – The age of your business doesn’t matter. You only need to meet the requirements.
Loans – Your business should not be new, albeit, it is easy to get. You can get as much as possible, as long as you’ll pay back with interest.
How do Grants Differ from Loans for Business? Last Word
Now with thorough knowledge between the two, you only need to understand the state of your business entirely.
After fully grasping everything, you’ll know where to head whenever you need funds. Only ensure you qualify for it.