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Top Five Things You Need To Get Ready for Grants and Certifications



Hi there, it's Coach Instructor Morton here, and welcome to the Small Business Resource Center blog!



Today, I’m excited to share with you the top five things you need to prepare when getting ready to apply for grants and certifications. Whether you're a new entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, these tips will help ensure you’re well-prepared to secure the funding and certifications you need to grow your business successfully.


1. Obtain a Certificate of Existence or Certificate of Good Standing


The very first step in preparing for grants or certifications is to obtain a Certificate of Existence (also known as a Certificate of Good Standing) from the Secretary of State. This document verifies that your business is legally registered and up-to-date with all required state filings.


To obtain this certificate:

- Visit your state’s Secretary of State website.

- Follow the instructions for requesting a Certificate of Existence.

- Pay any applicable fees.


Having this document readily available is crucial as many grant applications and certification processes require proof that your business is in good standing.


2. Create a Professional Resume


Next, it’s essential to have a professional resume. This document not only highlights your experience and qualifications but also presents a polished and professional image of yourself to those reviewing your applications.


Here are some tips for creating a top-notch professional resume:

- **Contact Information:** Include your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile (if applicable).

- **Professional Summary:** Write a brief summary that highlights your experience, skills, and what you bring to the table.

- **Experience:** List your work experience in reverse chronological order, including the company name, your job title, and the dates you worked there. Highlight key achievements and responsibilities in each role.

- **Education:** Include your educational background, starting with the highest degree you’ve obtained.

- **Skills:** List relevant professional skills that are pertinent to the types of grants or certifications you’re pursuing.

- **Certifications and Awards:** Include any certifications, awards, or special recognitions you’ve received.


3. Get Your Taxes Done


Whether you decide to do this yourself or hire a professional tax preparer, having your taxes up-to-date is essential. Your tax documents provide a clear picture of your financial health and are often required when applying for grants.


Here's what you need:

- Have your recent tax returns ready and organized.

- Ensure all financial documents are current and accurately reflect your business operations.

- Work with a professional if you’re unsure about the details; this can help avoid any costly mistakes.


4. Prepare Grant Proposals for Different Types of Grants


Not all grants are created equal. Depending on the grant, you may need different types of proposals. Here are two common types of grants and how to prepare for each:


- **Monetary Grants:** These grants provide a specific amount of money. You’ll need to detail how you will use the funds. Prepare a clear and realistic budget that demonstrates your understanding of the financial aspects of your project.

- **Impact Grants:** These are usually provided to support projects that make a significant impact on the community. Your proposal should highlight how your project will benefit the community, including any plans for collaboration and measurable outcomes.


For both types of grants:

- Research the specific requirements for each grant.

- Write a compelling narrative that aligns with the funding organization’s goals.

- Provide a detailed plan and timeline for how you will achieve your project objectives.


5. Have a Capability Statement


A capability statement is a one-page document that showcases your business’s strengths, services, and key achievements. It’s a powerful tool that can help you stand out when applying for grants and certifications.


Components of a strong capability statement include:

- **Core Competencies:** A brief summary of what your business does best.

- **Past Performance:** Examples of past projects or contracts that demonstrate your ability to deliver.

- **Differentiators:** What sets your business apart from the competition?

- **Company Data:** Basic information about your business including DUNS number, NAICS codes, and contact information.


Having a well-crafted capability statement makes it easier for grant evaluators and certification bodies to quickly understand your business and its qualifications.


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By following these five steps, you'll be well on your way to securing the grants and certifications that can help take your business to the next level. Preparation is key, and having these documents and statements in order will give you a significant advantage in the application process.


Good luck, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the Small Business Resource Center if you need more help or guidance!


Best,

Coach Instructor Morton


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