TAAC Funding and the Four Ideal Outcomes for Manufacturers
If you’ve been following along with the goBRANDgo! blog, you’ve learned that we’re all about helping businesses market themselves with proficiency. We’ve shared insights on why it’s critical to diversify your revenue stream and have internal alignment. All this advice leads us to four Ideal Outcomes that indicate a business in a healthy and growing part of its life cycle.
To put it all together, these four ideal outcomes for business are:
- Revenue Diversification (having money coming in from multiple sources)
- Good vs. Bad Revenue (innovation is still driving offerings)
- Internal Alignment (everyone is moving toward a common, agreed-upon goal)
- Sales Chain Relevancy (you’re out in front of the competition and listening to feedback)
Thanks to a Congressionally enacted grant, a program called the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) offers matching grants of up to $75,000 (dollar-for-dollar match on up to a $150,000 project) to manufacturing companies to help them improve their internal operations and competitive abilities. Businesses have experienced dramatic results from this Department of Commerce grant by using the money to better compete with imports. If you’re skeptical when you hear “government grant”, you’re not alone. Many grants are given out on a lottery basis, or the application process is cumbersome, which makes funding really hard to get. This grant isn’t one of those. Any firm that qualifies gets funding, and the team that administers it makes the process simple. We’ve recently connected a firm with the TAAC who was approved within two months of starting the application process.
So, let’s take a look at some of the things that TAAF grants can pay for to help businesses gain traction within each of the Ideal Outcomes.
- ISO Preparation and Certification: Many companies require their suppliers to be ISO certified, so becoming certified opens up a new base of prospective customers. It also demonstrates that your business is more qualified and efficient than your competitors.
- E-commerce: The early adopters that embrace E-commerce stand to take the lion’s share of marketplace opportunity. E-commerce capability allows you to more efficiently sell to your customers.
- Product Line Evaluation: Research into your processes helps you know which products to keep and which ones to retire. Use this information to chart a course that moves your business forward.
- Export and International Trade Development: Explore potential sources of new revenue in global markets.
Good vs. Bad Revenue
- Product Development: It can be expensive to research, design, prototype, test and develop innovative new products. The alternative is to cease to innovate and watch your business die.
- Productivity Improvement: Improving productivity means improved margins and profit for companies. Implementing LEAN strategies will drive more profit and efficiency throughout the organization.
- Facility and Equipment Review: Identify which areas of your physical assets can be improved to help future strategic planning and assessment of your business. This information will help you identify what products deserve investment, and which ones require more investment.
- Advertising and Sales Promotion: Effective marketing can help connect potential buyers with great products. Develop your sales and marketing efforts to help grow your business and give you access to potential prospects.
- Expansion and Diversification: Growing your customer base builds revenue and makes your business more resilient to fluctuations in business.
- Strategic Planning: If your company’s revenue is flat or declining, it indicates a strategic plan that is either lacking or nonexistent. Take the time to develop or evaluate your strategic plan any time there is a major leadership change.
- Workforce Development and Training: Developing your employees is the only way to create more alignment and invest in your greatest asset; your people!
- Succession Planning: All companies need a succession plan, but especially so if the owners are 50 or older. Mapping out a clear succession plan allows them to extract the full value of their life’s work.
- Sales Force Management Programs: Get your sales force trained to help them improve and continue to hit sales targets. Training and development engages sales people, which helps with employee retention and sales.
- Employee Training: Don’t worry about training employees and risking that they’ll leave. Be more concerned with what will happen if you don’t train them and they stay.
Sales Chain Relevancy
- Social Media: Developing new mediums to communicate and engage clients and potential employees is vital to healthy organizations.
- Trade Shows: Most manufacturing companies rely on outside manufacturer reps or distributors to move products. Attending trade shows allows you to interact directly with customers and potential customers to better understand the market and what your customers want and need.
- Market Research and Planning: If you want to stay relevant in business, you need to spend time and money understanding your market and what value you provide. This is the only way you can innovate and continue to find ways to provide value to your customers.
- Website Development, Updating, Translations and Mobile Responsive Design: Websites are the main communication tool for business today. It’s most often the first impression of your business. Done right, it engages your customers and grows your business. Done wrong or apathetically, and you either alienate or miss out entirely on business opportunities.
- Distribution Analysis and Development: More and more customers want to work directly with manufacturers, but often times, the manufacturers aren’t equipped to manage the sales chain directly. Understanding how to keep up with changes to distribution channels is vital.
As you can see from this very long list, your TAAC grant money can be used in a variety of ways that will have a huge impact on your business.
Ready to get started? The application process is simple:
- Connect: Email us to get connected to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) expert team.
- Apply: The TAAC team will organize your paperwork and complete your application at no cost.
- Strategize: The TAAC will complete a thorough assessment of your business and category, and prepare a detailed recovery strategy.
- Approval: The TAAC will submit an adjustment proposal to the Economic Development Agency (EDA) for final funding approval.
- Implementation: Private sector experts or consultants for United States manufacturers will execute your strategic initiatives.
- Payment: The TAAF grant pays half of project costs directly to the consultant or professional service provider.
Want more information?
Download our flyer to see how to apply, and let’s talk more about how you can maximize the impact of the dollars you apply to trade shows, marketing, building an optimized website, communicating with customers through social media and advertising. goBRANDgo! can help you determine how to get the most from your grant, and we’re excited to build a plan for your company.