So your small business needs to grow and you decided to apply for a government grant. You heard that someone had a real success with a grant writer and you are considering to hire one as well. Below are the top 5 key things that help you to hire the right grant writer.
First of all let’s start with the basics: It is imperative to check the grant writer’s credentials and work experience. What is the motivation? Perhaps this person is between jobs and this is a way to make some money. If this is the case then most likely this person is committed only until the next job offer.
2. Type of Business
Does the grant writer have a company or work as a freelance? Although there is nothing wrong with a freelancer working for you, you will get much better service if the person acts as a business. In other words, this professional is more serious about getting the job done and getting it done really well. As a small business owner, you need professionals who are serious about their work and do not waste your time.
What is the fee? You do need to know what the market offers right now and how this person benchmarks against it. If someone charges you lower than the market price, I would reconsider it before agreeing on such a payment. It is one thing to work with the top expert at a 50% onetime discount. It is another thing to work with an average grant writer for the same price which is their standard fee. Grant writing can be expensive, but do not focus on the price only. Focus on the value you receive for the money.
What is the attitude towards you and customer service in general? Before you even start working together, do a basic check on the attitude that is portrayed. Do a test run. Does the grant writer come to your office when it is convenient for you or is there an endless “let’s pick a date” roundthat takes forever. This scenario drains your energy before the project even gets started. Is the grant writer obliging of your time and place?
5. Your Gut Feeling
Last but not least, remember that anyone can become a grant writer. There are no entry barriers to the market. It is important to have a picture of what you are looking for and see how it matches with what is offered by the grant writer. Remember, at the end of the day, what might likely drives you decision is your gut feeling. If it feels right, chances are, this grant writer is right for your organization.
ConnexFund is a Canadian management consulting firm in business financing specializing in government grants with focus on organizations in technology and innovation. Feel free to check our FAQs or contact us with any question you may have about our business model, available for you grants or anything else around finding money for your small business to grow!
This post was first published on Pulse, LinkedIn on May 14, 2015 and today I am publishing it here with some slight modifications.