A Guide to 2020 NSW Business Grants (And How To Get The Most From Them)

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If you own a business, and if you’ve experienced losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, you’ve probably had your eye on the recent Australian Government grants.

Your eligibility for these grants will depend on a number of different factors. This can include where you are based, your business size, and your industry.

Many grants are offered to states other than New South Wales. Of course, Victoria has a higher level of support. In addition, some grants have now closed (such as the small business recovery grant).

In saying this, there is still a number of grants available in New South Wales. There are incentives for industries which have been particularly hard hit, as well as support for entrepreneurship.

Could one of these help you get back on your feet, or ramp up your pace?

Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant

The Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program is to support wine producers who enhance visitors to the region, and thereby encourage tourism.

Grant amount: Up to $100,000 annually.

Does this sound like something which could be relevant for you?

Find out if you’re eligible, and apply online via the Wine Australia grant application portal.

Be quick. Applications close Friday October 30.

Entrepreneur’s Programme – Accelerating Commercialisation

As the name suggests, this grant is aimed at helping entrepreneurs to commercialise their products. To do so, both financial support and commercialisation guidance are available.

The guidance may be facilitated through an AusIndustry Customer Service Manager or an Accelerating Commercialisation Facilitator. Depending on your business situation, the type of guidance can include advice on commercialisation, referrals to relevant government assistance, and guidance on developing your strategy.

To be suitable to receive the grant, you must have a novel product, process or service that you wish to commercialise for trade.

You must also meet the turnover test.

Grant value: Up to $100,000,000.

To get the full eligibility criteria, visit the  Australian Government’s GrantConnect and apply online.

Entrepreneur’s Program – Growth Grants

Other grants designed to give a boost to entrepreneurs include the growth grants.

Again, access to guidance if one of the benefits of this grant. Recipients can access a national facilitator, who will help you improve your business practices and grow. These suggestions will be based on your roadmap or plan.

From there, the grant will help you make the recommended suggestions in improving the ability and skills of your business to trade. Up to 50% of such project costs can be covered.

Grant amount: $2500 – $20000

Again, the Australian Government’s GrantConnect outlines the eligibility criteria. If it sounds like something you’re eligible for, you can apply online.

Maximising the return on your grant

If you are lucky enough to receive a grant, you care carefully consider how to use the funds in order to maximise the return.

Depending on your grant type, you may or may not have a specified plan which determines where it’s spent.

Regardless, investing in marketing is always to be considered. The coronavirus pandemic is causing a rapid shift to the digital space. Ecommerce and digital marketing offers a space where your business can continue to be in front of your customers and prospects.

So, what a some of the most effective marketing initiatives to invest in?

Here’s some of our favourites.

Building a lead generation strategy

Lead generation is a bit like curating a journey for your audience. When they start out on the road, they may be completely unaware of your brand. Along the journey, they encounter relevant signals which help them navigate their way and guide them to your business. There may be multiple signs, roadmaps and signals which do this. At the end of the day, the traveller will be different from how they started – they’ll now have impressions about your brand and how it can help them achieve their unique needs. As a result, they’ll be likelier to be a customer.

Lead generation isn’t just about grabbing an audience’s attention. It’s not about interrupting someone with a pesky ad. It’s about identifying a key audience, targeting them with relevant messages, and meeting them at the right moment.

Let’s return to the road and sign metaphor. It’s about signalling that there’s an upcoming round-about at the right moment to anticipate the need to reduce acceleration, being both helpful, informative and impactful for the driver.

Okay. Enough about metaphorical traffic, more about real digital traffic. How can a lead generation strategy help your business?

Well, one of the most impactful forms of lead generation is inbound lead generation. This typically starts with the lead expressing some form of interest in your company. Perhaps they open an email communication or fill out a form on your website. This indicates a great time to tell them more about your company, as they’ve already expressed interest.

From there, the lead can be qualified, meaning they’re categorised according to how much interest they’ve expressed. Would they be receptive sales call? Are they likely to test out a free trial? Or become a paying customer?

A good lead generation and lead qualification strategy will provide indications, so you can curate the proceeding actions which will be most likely to convert them into customers.

There is a plethora of lead generation marketing campaigns which could be a part of your lead generation strategy, ranging from email, social and blogging for strangers, through to email campaigns for warm leads and customer satisfaction surveys for clients.

Creating paid search campaigns

Paid search campaigns would be another example of using the grant wisely to generate a return. In fact, a Google Economic Impact Report showed advertisers average a $2 return on every $1 spent.

Intent-based keyword ads capture a relevant audience who is likely to be looking for your services. They appear in the search results when someone has searched for relevant terms. So, if you’re a construction company, your paid search ad would be likely to be displayed for those who are using search engines to discover local builders. This relevancy is a huge bonus.

Overall, think more visibility, more traffic, and more interested visitors. Don’t forget about the ongoing benefit, which is the detailed analytics. Using paid search campaigns can also be a great way to identify new audiences which you had not tapped into before. You’ll now have a set of data detailing helpful demographics such as where a lead is located, as well as details on their on-site behaviour such as what pages they’ve visited, and how much time they spent on your site.

Creating a social media strategy

When it comes to re-opening or up-scaling your business, social media advertising is a fitting methodology for bringing awareness to your revitalised presence.

In the midst of the pandemic, building relationships with your close community over socials is a smart business move and one which is likely to see you come out on top. It’s a great way to interact in a natural way and build rapport.

In crafting a social media strategy, you’ll walk away with a clear definition of how to use social media to achieve meaningful goals, targeted to your ideal audience on the platforms where they hang out. It will entail specific guides, and mechanisms to let you know how your socials are performing.

Good luck!

It’s encouraging to see a number of grants still on offer in the state, specifically for innovative businesses. Remember to stay tuned to GrantConnect for current grants, and seize the opportunity to stay front-of-mind with digital marketing.

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