Wednesday, July 15

Do I need a grants consultant?

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Some grants are relatively simple to complete while other are very complex. Online applications can seem simple but this can be misleading, especially with competitive grants.

But why pay someone to do what you could do yourself?  That makes sense, provided you will achieve the same outcome and have spare time available.  But what if you spend the time and fail to achieve a successful outcome?

What about the more complex grants like R&D Tax Incentive, EMDG and Accelerating Commercialisation to name a few?

Many businesses, especially Startups, question the need to use a specialist consultant to prepare their grant applications. Unfortunately at this early stage, missing the opportunity to secure additional grant funding can be critical.  Is the time and the distraction of learning how to prepare a grant application the best use of your limited time or do you just find the cheapest offer available?

Strange how in business we look to the price as the criteria to engage a service but in life we would never use price for anything as important. Do you look for the cheapest doctor, the cheapest specialist or the cheapest school?  Without a successful business you may not have a choice.

Would you have brain surgery conducted by a GP?

Strangely some businesses turn to lawyers for legal work, patent attorneys for patents, financial planners for financial advice, tax agents for tax advice, mortgage brokers for loans but look to accountants for grant applications. Seriously, accountants are not grant specialists.  Their grant knowledge and expertise is very limited and their applications can often jeopardise your business from other grants.  Ask your grants consultant to assess and claim ALL the grants to which your business is entitled and you will find very quickly, they are not grants specialists.

Preparing grant applications, including the R&D Tax Incentive, requires specialist knowledge and experience.  While it is a self-assessment scheme and some can muddle through and get paid something, they open themselves to severe penalties. So how do you maximise your benefit and have peace, knowing you meet all the requirements?

The best alternative is to work with an experienced Grants Specialist only for the larger grants. If the Grants Specialist is reputable, they should offer to review your simpler applications free of charge. So in reality you can have your Grants Specialist working across all your grant applications but only pay for those that they lodge on your behalf.  That’s a win win win.

For more information contact Bruce Patten from Pattens Group at or on 1800 PATTENS

Written by Bruce Patten: With more than 30 years’ experience claiming government grants, Bruce is regarded as the grants expert. He has a passion for helping new business get off the ground and has a long list of successful clients who have received the government funding they needed for research, development, management, commercialisation, exportation, small business support… and the list goes on.


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