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January 29, 2019 3 min read

Guide For Finding Funding for a Small Canadian Business

Finding funding for your new small business venture needn’t be remarkably hard and these tips will get you through.

Know The Funding Terminology

When it comes to searching for funding from the government, most business owners usually go to the government official website or turn to search engines for their queries. There is nothing wrong with this technique, but it is advisable to expand your vocabulary and look for every possible alternative to the term ‘business funding’. You should consider utilizing key phrases like loans, grants, subsidies, contributions, repayable, non-repayable, renewable, awards, tax credits, tax breaks and anything else within those lines.

All these keywords could lead you to potential funding sources overseen by the government. So, to be certain, ensure that you assess all options and not just focus on what you deem to be ‘free money’.

Know Your Funding Needs

When it comes to hunting for funding opportunities, it is obvious that you should know how much money you need and exactly what you need it for. Most of the Canada funding programs are run by varying agencies. These offer funding for specific needs like the hiring and training of employees, buying tools and equipment or even marketing and advertising. Knowing what you need the funding for is the first step for doing a proper search as it ensures you take the right direction.

Know Where to Search

There is no denying that government funding programs aren’t in a good state. Their sites do not actively promote the programs. Another issue is that people think that it’s one government website with details about the programs, but the reality is that there are hundreds of government agencies out there with varying programs. So, when looking to funding for your small business, it is always wise to consider the local government, provincial as well as the federal government for information.

You can also visit third party websites that have done adequate research and created a list of all available funding programs for small businesses in Canada. This way, you will save a lot of time and stress conducting your own research. The platform CanadaStartups is an excellent example of a third-party site that offers information on funding with a database of over 1500 sources. The database includes both government programs and private investor programs, thus doing most of the work for you.  If you want advice on other areas such as tax then look at VATGlobal.

Searching Within Your Niche

Just like searching for funding for your needs, you should look for programs within your niche or industry. This is a great way of locating funding opportunities that are excellent for your business. You should not waste time looking for information that’s not relevant to your industry or business. If you are a farmer, then do not expect to get funding from a program that specializes in the hotel industry. It makes more sense to hunt for funding programs in the agricultural industry. Do your homework before you begin the hunt for funding. Pinpoint the agencies that are available in your business niche.

Get Your Business Plan

In order to become successful and avoid the common pitfalls when starting a small business, it is usually advisable to have a business plan in place. If you do not already have one and don’t know how to create one, you can use many of the available tools online such as the Business Plan Builder. Almost every funding agency will ask for a business plan in order to assess whether it is a sound investment. Your business plan needs to answer the vital questions regarding your business idea. What are your goals? What direction do you plan to take in order to achieve your business goals? A business plan is a way of presenting your business idea to potential investors, including the funding agencies.

With these tips, you should be able to narrow down to a funding source that is ideal for your business, without spending too much time on the task. Always work smart.

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