South African start up entrepreneurs are notorious for asking for funding earlier than is realistic and they have unrealistic expectations when they are looking for funding too. So before you head off with your hands outstretched asking for capital- ask yourself a few critical questions:

1. What are the rules for applying?
Many funding agencies and grants require you to meet their stipulations. Check what kind of applicants the fund is looking for and that you are eligible. Don’t waste your time applying for funding from an agriculture agency when you are doing tech.

2. When is the deadline?
This is one of the simplest details that is often the most ignored. Make sure that you know when the deadline is for the applications to be submitted and if you have the time to meet it, if in doubt phone to check.

3. Have you tailored your approach?
Each funder is going to be looking for something different and so a blanket standard approach to every application is not going to get the attention of each funder. Customize the application to speak to the focus of the funder.

4. What are the T&C’s?
There are going to be stipulated conditions attached to the money you are asking for so be aware of those and how they are going to affect the way your run or structure your business model. Are you prepared to mold the way you do business to meet the terms and conditions of the funding.
After you have asked all of the questions, you may want to rethink the funding options and explore all the ways of funding a business. You can have a look at our E-book coming out this week!