Could a SBIR Grant Help Grow Your Small Business?

Looking for funds to help support research and development for your small business? Do you have a good idea and are looking for financial support to turn the idea into reality? There is a great way to boost your small business with a grant program, yes – that means you do not have to pay it back.

Check out this two government sponsored program: the Small Business Innnovation Research (SBIR) Program.

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore technology potential while providing the incentive of providing funds to research and then turn the concept into reality. SBIR funds the critical startup and development phases to serve a specific government need and then help the small business commercialize the concept into a product. And the small business maintains ownership of the product.

The SBIR program protects and enables it to compete equally with much larger companies. The program was enacted in 1982 and has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards.

There are ten federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation

Government agencies typically announce one or two solicitations per year. Only small, for-profit, American-owned, and independently operated businesses will be considered. There are two phases, with an initial six-month Phase I award up to $100,000 to test the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of a new product concept.

If Phase I is successful, the company may be invited to apply for a two-year Phase II award up to $750,000 to bring the concept into reality to at least the prototype stage. Following completion of Phase II the small business is expected to obtain funding from private sector sources for the final Phase III when the product is offered for sale to private and government sectors.

When you are attending a business matchmaking event you will want to schedule an appointment with a representative from one of the above organizations and ask them about about upcoming SBIR opportunities.

Don’t think you have the stuff to write this type of proposal? Sometimes it makes sense to hire a special grant writer who has experience in writing SBIR applications. Do a Google search to locate local grant writers who can provide you with references from other small business owners with whom they have successfully worked for.

Are You an Entrepreneur in the State of Virginia Wanting to Start a Small Business?

Are you a entrepreneur in the state of Virginia looking to start a small business? Are you looking to find more information without spending a lot of time looking? There are several sources that can can help you get started in a very short period of time.

1. Virginia Department of Small Business Assistance

This is a great resource for potential entrepreneurs in the state. Here they have information on starting a business, expanding, financing and workforce development incentives. There is also a library, contact center and workshops for owning your own business, taxes, contracts, entrepreneur networking and a variety of other workshops.

2. Yesvirginia.org Website

If you are looking to source information on small business assistance this would be a good resource. There is a wide variety of information including: Business Registration Guide, Guide to starting a small business and a resource directory. There are also links on international business, information by sector, site selection and expanding a business.

3. Virginiabusiness.com

This is a good site for local news on business in the state. There are articles on local small business success stories, a lifestyle section, an opinion section, a calendar of upcoming events and list of leaders, associates etc.

There is a wide variety of information available online that would take hours to search, we hoped we helped you save some time. If you are looking for books there are books available on the businessnation website available. We hope that this information helps you if you are an entrepreneur looking to start a small business.

Small Business Factoring: Is It Worth the Initial Profit Loss?

Factoring companies offer small businesses a way to get their outstanding accounts receivable transactions squared away without having to have the staff and infrastructure for their own collections department. While small business factoring companies do take a percentage of money acquired, in most cases it is well worth the small loss in order to get the outstanding dues paid.

Large companies and firms that send out thousands of invoices for small amounts of money will likely find factoring economical. This is because factoring companies base their bids on the credit report of the indebted customer rather than your small business. Factoring companies charge for every invoice or account they have to investigate for credit rating information.

For instance, if you have two hundred customers with outstanding accounts receivable of $50 or less, the cost for a factoring company to investigate each and every account will cost more money than you will be saving by outsourcing this kind of work. Small businesses with large outstanding accounts receivable transactions, on the other hand, will find a business factoring loan well worth the small profit loss.

To decide if getting a factoring loan is the right choice for your business, grab a piece of paper and note down the expenses and profits of each option.

To start, figure out how much interest on a regular loan would eventually add up to. Take into account how likely you will be to pay the maximum each and every month. It’s safest to extend your estimates as far as how quickly you’ll be able to pay the loan back.

Next, do a little research online to find a factoring company that meets your specifications. The specifics of their factoring services should be listed prominently on their website, but don’t be shy about giving them a call or sending an email if you have questions. Once you have all this information, you’ll be able to make a realistic estimate about how much of your accounts’ outstanding balance you would lose by choosing a factoring company.

Now, compare the cost of you doing your own collections work against the cost of working with a factoring company. In most cases, small business factoring saves money and extra stress in the long run. However, every business, business model and financial situation is unique and should be given individual attention.

By analyzing and balancing the data gathered, you will be able to see what choice is best for you and your small business. If you need money in hand right away, a small business factoring loan is a reliable and effective way to get just that. You may lose some money up front, but if you invest your sudden influx of cash correctly, it’ll make you a bundle down the road.