Accelerate Small Business Grants Program
The Queensland Government is providing $3 million in grant funding over 3 years to established Queensland-based small businesses to engage business mentors, coaches, specialist consultants or an advisory board, for a 6 to 12 month period. (An advisory board provides non-binding strategic advice to a management team).
The Accelerate Small Business Grants Program provides targeted assistance to small businesses that demonstrate high-growth and employment aspirations, to enable them to engage high-level experts and strategic advisors to work closely with them in their business.
Matching funding of up to $10,000 (excluding GST) may be provided to eligible businesses to engage business mentors, coaches, specialist consultants or an advisory board, for between 6 to 12 months. The funding must be matched by a cash contribution from the participating business.
Two grant payments will be made directly to the business, with 50% paid on grant approval and on receipt of a valid tax invoice, and a further 50% paid on successful completion of the project.
To be eligible for this grant, the business must:
- have a minimum trading history of 3 years at the time of application
- have a minimum turnover of $500,000 in the previous 12 months
- have a maximum headcount of 20 employees at the time of application
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
- have Queensland headquarters or significant Queensland operations
- have competitive opportunities in domestic or international markets
- be experiencing growth and have clearly defined high-growth and employment opportunities
- declare if any owners or directors of the business are an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.
This grant is targeted at established Queensland-based small businesses that are financially sound and have the potential for high-growth within the next 2 years. High-growth is generally considered to be a 20% increase in turnover or employment. The participant applying must have a business plan in place, as well as the capacity to access finance to fund the growth of their business.
Applying businesses must have a clearly defined opportunity and plan for growth, and demonstrate how engaging external advice will allow the business to achieve these goals.
Only 1 application per year will be accepted from an individual ABN or business address. Applicants approved under Round 1 of the Accelerate Small Business Grants Program cannot reapply for funding.
Round 2 has now opened.
The participating business must provide a progress report after 3 months and a final report on completion of the project outlining:
- the advice received
- how the advice has been implemented
- the impact on the business
- the results and outcomes achieved.
Businesses will be surveyed 12 months after the completion of the project.
Who should apply
It is expected that businesses applying for funding will be seeking support to manage and finance their business expansion, including but not limited to:
- increasing employment
- improving management processes and systems to increase productivity and efficiency
- introducing product process or systems innovations
- entering new markets
- increasing turnover/sales.
The 10 Qualities you need to look for in a Business Coach
Every business owner needs a coach, because the fastest way to learn any business is to study someone who has been successful at it. This personal has already paid the price of experience. Our whole lives are about learning. When we’re young we attend school. If we’re lucky, our parents impart a few important lessons. If you’ve ever played sports, you’ve had a coach. Education is king. In the long run, finding the right mentor will save you time and money.
1. Experience – Exactly what have they accomplished? Is it what you want to accomplish? Your coach must have walked the walk, not just talk the talk.
2. Attitude – Having great attitude comes with time and experience. The right coach will have been through it all — and come out the other side knowing a sense of humor goes a long way in business. They are able to see the big picture. They understand it’s all a numbers game, they don’t get too upset. An ideal coach is very patient, but also persistent and determined.
3. Willing to share – A great coach is willing to share all of his/her experiences with you — the good and the bad. Do you get the feeling this person is holding back? That’s not a good sign. You’ll learn the most from someone who is willing to be radically transparent.
4. Expertise in their field – Does your potential coach regularly give lectures? Has he/she written a book/blog? It’s impossible to be everything to everyone, nor is it desirable. If this person offers a long list of services, exercise caution – Jack of all trades, master of none?
5. Accessibility – You must be able to reach your coach. A good coach will be willing to customize a program for you, because they know one size doesn’t fit all. Does this person care about your problems and concerns? specifically ask them how much time they have to offer you. What is their schedule/availability like?
6. Connections – A great coach will have longstanding relationships with people who could benefit you. Ask him/her if they’re willing to open doors for you. Sometimes, it is about who you know.
7. Expectations – Ask you coach what they expect from you. A good coach will keep you accountable. They will outline what they need from you, time and action wise.
8. A love of teaching – Teaching is skill that people get better at over time. Good mentors love to help other people. They enjoy the act of teaching. How a potential coach treats you from the very beginnings of your interactions is a good indicator of how he/she will act over time.
9. Holds you accountable – A great coach will not simply let you disappear. Yes, things get in the way, but he/she cares about how you’re doing.
10. Professional qualification – Being a great coach isn’t about checklists and reports, it’s about knowing the ‘nuts and bolts’ of business to review, understand and analyse. Your business is individual and so should the approach to coaching it. Only a professionally qualified accountant will know how to understand and analyse your specific business and tailor a plan for you.
Check any business coach to ensure they are fully qualified by industry body.
Things to consider when engaging a business mentor, coach or advisory board.
Entrusting the future direction of your business to a business mentor, coach or an advisory board is a major consideration for any business owner. You need to know you have the best person for the job. Someone who will have your ‘back’, listen to you, explain what is going on and what to expect on the horizon. As with any coach/coachee relationship, there are challenges to be faced, encouragement to be given, correction, redirection and sometimes even a difference of opinion.
Think of it like a fitness coach – there are days when you’d love to kill your coach for the pain they are putting you through, but it is the end goal that everyone is focused on achieving. Make sure you get the right coach for you and together make a fantastic business team!