Apply for grants and aid: the keys to success
Often time, we are faced with doubt when requesting for aids or subsidy, especially if they are new to the subject and have to present a business or technical project for which a non-refundable financial contribution is requested…
Therefore, from the experience acquired through our clients, we will try to show some simple guidelines to successfully face any application for a grant or aid.
Apply for grants and aid: be informed
In order to successfully face a grant or aid application, the first thing of all is to be informed. Obviously, we have to find out that a certain aid or subsidy has been published, that it interests us and, above all, that we can access it. Ideally, to achieve this successfully is to maintain systematic surveillance of all publications in this regard, such as official, regional, European bulletins, etc.
There are also specialized websites where you can find out. On this website, for example, we publish a large number of national grants and subsidies daily. All the information that we publish can also be consulted using our search engine. We also offer the possibility of selecting certain categories to differentiate sectors and professional activities and thus filter the information to facilitate consultations on aid and subsidies.
The information about the new subsidies can even be told by a friend, but the most reasonable thing is to have contracted this service by subscribing to personalized surveillance so that they inform you promptly and just at the moment these opportunities are published. In this way, time is available to assess each opportunity, and if interested, to prepare the application.
Some of these professionals, such as MNH Tenders, in addition to informing you in time to assess and prepare the documentation, also offer the possibility of collaborating with you to guide you throughout the process.
Apply for grants and aid: the advantages of having a partner
To successfully face a grant or aid application, hiring a professional is an excellent option because, despite the cost, it will be of great help, especially if you are new to the subject. Essentially it will be useful for the following reasons:
- You will save time in reading and understanding the bases and the required documentation.
- You will be advised at all times and at every step during the preparation of the documentation, which offers peace of mind because you will know that what you present is correct.
- It will help you with the technical language, the format, the digital signatures, and other means required to formalize the application correctly.
- In addition, if it is necessary to expand any documentation after submitting the application or if they require you to clarify a point, they will advise you and help you solve it smoothly from the beginning.
At this point, one thing should be very clear, whether you present yourself or if you subcontract to a professional, you have to work hard on each application and always keep in mind the maximum deadline for submitting the application.
The most advisable thing regarding time is to set the objective of having the candidacy ready at least two days before the maximum deadline set. So in case of unforeseen events, we will have room for maneuver and we can correct errors.
If you decide to hire a professional team, it is to make the most of the opportunity. Outsourcing does not exempt you from making efforts to achieve the common objectives set. That is exactly what a professional should “demand” of us.
It is common to think that hiring someone you have already complied with and you can relax and demand a great result in the request for your help or grant. ERROR¡. You must be fully aware that it is a great opportunity for our business project to present the candidacy, that we have the time and means to do it in the best conditions and be willing to work as a team to achieve success in our goal
Having an external collaborator is an opportunity to focus the effort and take better advantage of the opportunity to get help in your business project, but you still have to work on it.
If we make an analogy, the hired consultant is like a personal trainer who prepares you for a long distance race. He will guide you in your daily training, guide you on your diet, hours of rest, the route, etc. etc. so that you can give the best of yourself, but you have to do the effort, you have to finish the race and the position in which you do it depends above all on you.
Apply for grants and aid: the documentation
To successfully face a grant or aid application, it is essential to correctly prepare a lot of documentation. The type of documentation, the solid data, and the form of delivery change from one type of grant or aid to another.
In practice, the public administration is tending towards fully digital management due to the advantages it brings and this must be taken into account when preparing the documentation. Therefore, on many occasions, we must have the correct and updated digital signature to be able to correctly submit our request.
On the other hand, it is becoming more common, especially in grants and/or aid for entrepreneurship, innovation, internationalization, etc. that apart from the documents that show that we are up to date with tax payments, possible articles of incorporation, etc., they request very specific and detailed explanations about our business project. These details must be presented using specific sheets and formats.
Therefore, in the preparation of this documentation is where we must focus our efforts, dedicate time, and resources to convince and distinguish ourselves from the rest of the candidates. Generally, to achieve this, visual details such as:
- Statistical representations
- Market studies
In short, everything that makes it easier to understand and visualize the project of our candidacy.
In general, presenting yourself as a candidate for grants and aid in good condition requires making an effort to explain our entire business project, in as much detail as possible, to the people who are going to evaluate us.
It is common to achieve this having to provide elaborate documents such as:
- The business plan
- Activities and means to execute said plan
- Detail the profile of the person who will develop them
- A work plan and timeline
- Economic balances,
- Results forecasts
- Etc etc..
As we can see, preparing all this documentation requires a great effort and time and you have to be mentalized before embarking on a candidacy to work as a team because there are several disciplines involved and precise documentation. If possible, it is highly recommended to have the advice of an experienced professional, as he will know how to save us time and the occasional displeasure.
Apply for grants and aid: the justification
Once the subsidy is granted to us, it is likely that we will have to take one more administrative step to formalize this concession and thus be able to receive the money.
Meeting the characteristics of the beneficiaries and doing a good job in applying for the grant or aid, and especially in the documentation that must be attached to it, means that we have a good chance of being granted it. But once granted it is very likely that the joy comes accompanied by the hard work of having to do the justification.
To do this, and this depends on each call, you must provide supporting documentation, which can be understood as the fine print of each grant or aid, which consists of the imposition of requirements and obligations that must be met, in addition to being accompanied by the ¨justificante ¨ of where we are or have we used the subsidized money.
Everything will depend on the type of subsidy and the requirements of the corresponding specification. There are generally 2 possibilities when having to prepare the justification for a grant or aid:
- That we have to do it when the technicians value our documentation positively. The money arrives once the justification is approved.
- That they value the application and the project presented positively, and later we have to justify how we have spent the money that they have given us. If it is not justified correctly, it must be returned.
In either case and in the different ways in which the Administration imposes its beneficiary conditions and justification, the important thing is that those who are interested in obtaining a subsidy understand all the steps of the processing of the same and the importance that each phase has in order to have everything prepared as requested.
Thus the final award of the subsidy or aid will be a much closer reality.
The justification is vital and proof of this is that in our professional experience we have found two types of repetitive errors about it:
- Some cases in which we have supported clients in the preparation of the application for a subsidy or aid and they have been awarded, but at the time of preparing the justification, they have decided to continue on their own, without being aware of that small print, and have lost the money they had granted.
- Cases in reverse. Clients who hire our surveillance and have processed a simple subsidy on their own and that in practice have been granted, when the moment of justification arrives they are overwhelmed and come to us. By not having paid due attention to that supporting documentation, there is little you can do because the documents provided at the beginning are deficient and no matter how hard you try to build the best strategy for them, it is impossible to justify all the expenses.
Apply for grants and aid: the keys to success
From the 4 points developed above, the following conclusions or keys to success are drawn:
- To face the grant or aid application, one must be duly informed. The key to success to achieve this is to have a systematized surveillance system.
- Throughout the process, it is highly recommended to have the advice of an experienced professional, as he will know how to save us time and the occasionally avoidable displeasure.
- It is essential to understand all the steps of the processing, and the importance of each phase of it, to be able to have everything prepared as requested with enough time.
- When preparing the documentation it is important to provide elements that help to understand and visualize the project of our candidacy.
- The requirements must be considered previously as beneficiaries, as they are requirements that must be met and justified, both to participate and to enjoy the subsidy or aid.