Just yesterday, a good friend mentioned that she was looking for ways to get grant funds for her small business.
The first, most easy option is what multi-level marketing companies call your “warm market.” Your warm market is made up of people who will buy from you just because it’s you: friends, family, co-workers, and friends with more financial resources than you. (Try Peerbackers also).
The second option is to go with “Hobby Angels”: referrals from your warm market or people that you’ve pitched. The third is angel groups, people with high net worth, venture capital firms, banks, etc. Of course, don’t do any of this without a fundraising plan or a business plan. People like to know where there money is going and when/if they’ll get it back.
Where did I get this information you ask? At. A. Free. Workshop. (Shout out to Entrepreneur.com). The resources are out there people. You just have to look, or know the people who know where to look and will tell you for free. Like her. Or her. Or me.
There are free resources out there, but, much like anything worth looking for, they’re not easy to find. What you have to decide for yourself is if it’s worth your time to look for them or worth your money to pay the people who know where they are to tell you. To paraphrase the Joker from the movie The Dark Knight, if you’re good at something, never do it for free.
I recommend what I try and I know that it works personally or I know someone personally or professionally who knows that it works through experience. Anything else is conjecture. And conjecture is dangerous. I heard a quote from someone that struck me. He basically said that people who don’t know what they’re doing are the first ones to give advice. As a married man, I don’t believe in taking advice from single people. There’s nothing you can tell me about marriage if you’ve never done it. The same is true with business. From the outside, it looks one way; on the inside, the perspective is different.
Some more websites that you may have heard me mention before: Fiverr.com is good for finding people to do the practical to the ridiculous for $5. (Think CHEAP but effective marketing). The pianist who composed the background music for my book trailers is on Fiverr (andymusician — look him up).
Animoto.com produces slideshows with background music in the public domain. It gives you a wide variety of options for however many pictures you can squeeze into 30 seconds.
Last blitz of sites for you to visit: socialface.net (to back up your social profiles), endor.se (to secure testimonials and endorsements from others), and technorati.com (for blogs popular in your content area). Take a look and I hope it helps.
Author Brian L. Thompson is the president of Great Nation Publishing and author of the Christian fiction thriller The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate, due for release on June 7, 2011. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.