Getting the proper financial support is vital if you want to grow your travel business fast.
Okay, you know that already, however….
Did you know that there are business start-up grants in Scotland available for creative industries and business finance for social enterprises just like yours?
Understanding the business grants you are eligible for is key to future growth if you’re a start-up business in the travel and tourism sector.
There are Many Start-Up Business Grants to Choose From in Scotland
Business grants play an essential role in any new business idea, and there are several business start-up grants available in Scotland.
Yes, I’m talking about the FREE money available to leverage in your business right now!
That’s excellent news for you if you want to get your business off the ground but don’t have the financial resources to do so.
From local enterprise solutions to broader national funds, you’ll find options to help you start your hospitality business the right way.
How can Straight Up Websites Help?
I will give you a brief overview of some business start-up grants available in Scotland. You’ll learn how to apply for them and get ideas for spending your funding with a zero-waste approach.
(I want you to make the most of the opportunities available to you and make sure you get the most out of what Scotland has to offer with their excellent schemes)
I’ll also give you the chance to get your website built and optimised to provide you with an authentic Scottish edge!
1. What are Business Start-up Grants in Scotland, and how do They Work?
Business start-up grants are financial awards provided to help business owners get started. Scottish travel and tourism businesses are often the recipients of this kind of support.
The purpose of these grants is to help businesses get off the ground and become successful. To be eligible for a business start-up grant, you must meet specific criteria.
You may need to demonstrate that your business has a high potential for growth or job creation.
Does your company contribute positively to the local community or economy?
If so, you are on the right track, and help is available!
The Scottish Enterprise Website is a Great Starting Point
Here’s a list of the leading business start-up grants on the Scottish Enterprise website. New businesses in Scotland can benefit from:
The Starter Company Plus Grant
This grant offers up to £5000 in financial assistance.
If you are a small business that has been trading for less than 12 months and you have a maximum of two employees, then this may be for you.
The New Enterprise Allowance
The NEA grant offers up to £2000 in financial assistance.
It’s not as much as some other grants, but it can be a real boost if appropriately used.
This money is to help you kickstart your business from the ground up. To be eligible for this grant, you must have been unemployed for at least six months.
The Manufacturing Start-Up Grant
This grant offers up to £5000 in financial assistance.
A bit more than the NEA grant, and you can certainly make more of an impact.
Do you own a business solely manufacturing products in Scotland? If so, you will probably meet the criteria here and will likely be eligible…
Make sure to apply! You’ll be surprised how many put it off and miss out.
If you meet the eligibility criteria for any of these grants, you can usually apply online.
Remember that you’ll need to provide detailed information about your business, including your business plan, projected income and expenditure.
How Does the Application Process Work?
Each grant will likely have different criteria and will demand a direct application.
Sometimes, public sector organisations like local councils will manage funding applications.
Once you’ve submitted your application, Scottish Enterprise staff will assess it. You will gain a business start-up grant if your application is approved.
You will be surprised how smooth and easy the process is once you get started.
2. What Types of Businesses can Apply for a Start-up Grant in Scotland?
Any business can apply for a start-up grant in Scotland, but the company’s location must be Scotland!
The important thing is that the company is new and can grow and create jobs in Scotland.
(Of course, this is why the grants exist, after all!)
That’s why business grants are so relevant to industries in the travel and tourism sector. The potential positive impact of these grants as a business gateway is evident.
Grant recipients can quickly establish local links. We have seen it repeatedly.
Some of the most common small business grants accessed by travel and tourism companies include:
The Innovation Grant
These grants help businesses develop new products or services.
These awards meet the demands of various purposes, such as product development, market research, or business planning.
So, how much funding is available for these innovation grants?
The available funding varies depending on the business’s needs (which you will need to layout clearly).
The Young Enterprise Scheme
This scheme provides financial assistance to younger business owners who want to start their businesses.
It’s open to anyone aged 16-30 years old, and the grant is worth up to £2000.
We love this scheme. It’s not just supporting a great industry but also the younger generation!
These companies can use the money for various purposes, such as marketing, business supplies, or hiring staff, giving the younger generation an extra opportunity to get ahead of the game.
The Starter Company Grant
This grant provides financial assistance to business owners who want to start or expand their businesses.
This one’s open to all companies, and there is no specific industry requirement, making it perfect for the hospitality sector.
The grant is worth up to £5000, and businesses can use the money for various purposes, from marketing to business supplies.
Ensure you understand the eligible project costs and the kind of business support you need, and the chances are your business will be covered under the Scottish Growth Scheme.
Do your research and see which is best for you and your business.
3. The Benefits of Receiving a Business Start-up Grant in Scotland
The benefits of working in partnership with organisations like the Highlands and Islands Enterprise project are endless.
You’ll get the financial assistance you need to get your business up and running.
Not only that…
You’ll also have access to many resources and support programs available through the grant program. That can include help with marketing, team member training, and so much more.
The Funding to Flourish
Perhaps the most prominent and immediate benefit is the extra value that funding brings to your business.
What do I mean by that?
It allows you to move ahead with projects and provides the space for new companies to grow at a much faster pace.
Support and Advice are Vital Benefits
Working in partnership gives you access to networks, support, advice and guidance.
From clarifying your vision in the application to ongoing checks and targets, drawing on the experience of others is of tremendous value.
Boost Your Skills Development
Funding can provide your start-up with the resources to invest in skills development, whether you are a solo entrepreneur or run a medium-sized business.
It is vital to use finance to develop your skills, from IT skills development to health and safety certification or food hygiene
4. How can I use a Business Start-up Grant in Scotland?
Business start-up grants in Scotland can help you get your business off the ground and meet your long-term goals.
And, remember…you don’t have to pay them back!
Your grant money can cover the costs of starting up, such as renting office space or purchasing equipment. You can also use it to fund marketing and advertising campaigns or cover the cost of training employees.
One of the most valuable investments you can make is to develop your website and online marketing strategy.
If you get this right, you will save yourself time, hassle, and money on advertising.
Great Ways to use Your Grant
Scottish businesses based in the tourism sector can also invest funding into a range of important projects.
These can bring a greater level of profitability to your organisation. Local authorities are often keen to work with UK small businesses that are dynamic and original.
Build Your Branding
Investing in branding and marketing can be an exceptionally productive and profitable exercise.
It usually involves collaboration with marketing professionals who will research and offer detailed brand suggestions. Getting your branding right can often make the difference between making a sale or not!
Use Funding for Your Business Infrastructure
If your business needs improvements to existing facilities, this is an excellent use of capital.
Get it right from the start and save the regrets later…
You could improve social distancing measures and contactless technology. You could also update visitor-facing resources and facilities and use the opportunity to generate significant local and online publicity.
Host Exciting Community Events
Some funding available to businesses offers start-ups the chance to develop a programme of local events to attract visitors to your venue.
They also help to boost your profile!
Have you considered hosting some exciting sporting or charity events?
…or how about sponsoring festivals or links with museums or other local partners.
5. Things to Keep in Mind when Starting your Travel and Tourism Business
There are a few key things to keep in mind when starting your travel and tourism business.
Here are a few key recommendations, from what we have seen the leaders in the industry doing well:
Do Your Research
Firstly, it’s essential to research and understand the industry before launching your business.
You should also be aware of the competition and what sets your business apart from others. Focus on your unique selling point and craft a fantastic experience from the outset.
Establish a Marketing Strategy
Another critical thing to consider is your marketing strategy – how will you attract customers?
If you haven’t got a solid marketing plan, you probably won’t have much success.
Think of your company as a business gateway working in partnership with a range of other organisations. Draw on their experience.
Identify your ideal visitor and tailor your products and services to their profile.
Create a Solid Business Plan
Do you know the travel industry well? Have you got your financial projections accurately planned? Are you clear on how Scottish Government initiatives can help small and medium-sized businesses?
It’s vital to ensure you have a solid business plan in place. Be prepared for bumps in the road!
Conclusion: Make the Most of the Business Start-Up Grants in Scotland Available to You!
Several business start-up grants are available in Scotland for those looking to contribute to the travel and tourism industry.
Done well, this can be an extremely lucrative business, so it’s worth exploring all of your options when it comes to funding.
Need help? Let us know. We are here to help and support you on your journey.
You can make your business a success with the correct planning and preparation!
If any of you have received support for your travel business, let us know how you used the funding and what you found worked in the comment section below! Maybe you might just be able to inspire others!