Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

Nutritional Supplements – Should I Take Them?

Lots of people take nutritional supplements to bridge nutritional gaps in their diet or as proactive health measures against certain health conditions. Are you sure you are taking the right nutritional supplement specific to your health needs? Taking some time to assess your health needs can help you choose the best supplement for optimal health.But your question may be more basic: Do I really need to take nutritional supplements? We live in unique times. Stress, pollution, conveniently accessible processed foods, unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles overtime can take their heavy toll on our health. This may manifest itself in bouts of tiredness, unhealthy weight gain, digestive problems, insomnia, or a weak immune system. In addition to these common symptoms of poor health, each of us has uniquely individual health needs.Taking care of your body today is like investing in your health for tomorrow. Let’s address some common reasons why many people do not take nutritional supplements. And those who do take nutritional supplements may also discover that you can benefit by changing or adding nutritional supplements to your diet as you assess your individual health needs.Let’s begin with:
I don’t need nutritional supplements. I eat healthy and get enough nutrition through my diet.I would suggest you do a simple exercise to confirm whether your diet is meeting your nutritional needs. Note down everything that you eat for two weeks, including the quantity. Check a nutrition table and track the nutrient value of everything you eat. After two weeks, work out your daily average and check your daily rating against your RDAs. You may be in for a slight shock! Statistics show that most Americans don’t meet their nutritional needs.
Lack of protein, too many carbohydrates. You might find that your diet lacks protein but is too high in carbohydrates. This is very common in the American diet. Cutting down on the carbs and supplementing your diet with spirulina or chlorella (high-protein content) will help fill this nutritional gap.
Lack of fiber. Another common feature is lack of adequate fiber. Fiber supplements are available as an individual product or may be included as an ingredient in a whole food nutritional supplement. Fiber is known to bind toxins in your GI tract and help speed its transit through your digestive system, thus minimizing their absorption in the body. Fiber is also known to promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If your diet falls short on many RDA counts, consider taking a superfood supplement which includes multi-vitamins, minerals, protein, dietary fiber, probiotics and enzymes for good digestion.
I have a busy life. I’ve tried taking them, but my schedule doesn’t allow me to be consistent. I travel a lot.If you lead a busy lifestyle, taking a nutritional supplement regularly will help you have the energy and concentration power you need to perform at your maximum best. You may be on the go all the time and miss out on meals. Nutritional supplements are available in convenient-to-carry individual packets. This is usually in powdered form to be mixed with water. You can carry packets with you any where you go, and use it any time you feel the need for an energy pick-up.It is important to attend to your health needs as a priority, in addition to the many other important demands in your life. A busy schedule can add stress to your life. Stress can increase the toxin levels in your body. Not only would your body need to be armed with B-complex, but nutrients like resveratol and omega 3s can help to increase your concentration and cognitive abilities. Green tea is also known to have soothing benefits for a tired mind.
I don’t know which nutritional supplement to take. Take some time to assess your health needs. The simple exercise mentioned above will help you find your nutritional needs. You can either adjust your diet to meet your needs or introduce supplements to bridge the nutritional gaps. If you are still unsure, seek the advice of your doctor before you take any supplement.However, everyone can benefit from taking a multi-vitamin supplement. An effervescent multi-vitamin formula is the best since it allows 99% bioavailability. Look for one from a reputed company.
I take a multi-vitamin. I don’t think I need to take anything else.As research on nutrition advances, there are more nutritional supplements available to strategically help you with specific health needs. Some might be formulated for health conditions you are facing or you may likely face because you are in a higher risk category for such diseases. These include:

High cholesterol levels. If your cholesterol levels test high, or you have a family history of coronary disease, then you should look for herbal supplements that can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Omega 3 supplementation is advisable for improved heart health. Look for a pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Other nutrients for heart health include resveratrol, cocoa and green tea. Some products contain a combination of all 3 for powerful antioxidant power that promotes cardiovascular health.
Diabetes. Green tea is also known to help support healthy blood sugar levels. Green tea supplements are available in various forms.
Arthritis: Omega 3 fatty acids, along with other nutrients such as glucosamine sulfate, methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), hyal joint have been well researched for their role in supporting joint health.
Stress Induced Conditions. Stress is known to cause poor immune health and a host of health issues such as premature aging due to free radical damage. Antioxidants also help to reduce free radical activity. Free radical activity is the unstable activity of cells which can lead to their malfunction and malformation. Antioxidants help maintain normal cellular growth and repair of cells.
I’m scared I may overdose.It is very unlikely that you will overdose from nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements do not provide you your complete RDAs-just a portion of them. The rest you must get from eating a balanced diet.
Many health problems can be linked to nutritional deficiencies. For some this may mean that the road to better health may lie in improving nutritional habits. This is where nutritional supplements can play an effective role in supporting your health.Nutrition experts recommend that you get your nutrition from your diet as often as possible. Nutritional supplements are to be taken in addition to a well-balanced diet. A regular exercise routine can benefit your health as well. Discuss with your doctor about taking supplements that could strategically meet your individual health needs.

Importance and Effectiveness of Digital Marketing

Its Services And UsefulnessThe question often arises that what exactly is digital marketing and how is it useful? Digital marketing is the practice of using internet services to market your company and its products. Be it a laptop, desktop or a mobile device anything that has internet access provides a platform for digital marketing services. online marketing incorporates a wide array of services, some of which are — Search Engine Optimisation – Abbreviated as SEO, internet marketing companies use various techniques to help garner a higher rank on search engines for their business through SEO. Whenever someone uses a search engine to look for a particular service or business, they get a list of results in accordance to the search terms and they usually visit the websites shown first. SEO practices affect this by providing various methods like link building, keywords, etc.to help gain a higher rank in these search results.- Social Media Optimisation or SMO – Another important technique for online marketing is SMO. As social websites like Facebook and Twitter have gained prominence, they have also enabled companies to use them as platforms to advertise themselves. With the use of SMO practices you can promote yourself to people all over the world and in doing so, you can gain a larger customer base.- Online Reputation Management – The internet, though provides a great base for marketing, also gives people a chance to voice their opinions, which can be either good or bad. People who have had a good experience with a company post positive comments that help further enhance company image. But when a disgruntled employee or a customer with a rare bad experience posts negative reviews, it can tarnish a company’s online reputation. internet marketing services offer online reputation management solutions that can help keep negative reviews on the back seat, and thus maintain brand image.- Conversion Rate Optimisation – Many people visit a company’s website, but if these people don’t avail their services or buy their products then it is of no use. CRO is a service provided by online marketing companies that helps in converting website visitors into customers through different techniques.Other than these services digital marketing also involves Responsive Website Designing, Pay Per Click Advertising, Content Development and the use of an effective Digital Strategy. Many internet marketing companies have experienced digital marketing strategists to plan digital strategies. A strategist holds responsibility for successfully planning, examining, recommending and executing marketing strategies through various channels. They devise the most appropriate strategies to help businesses adopt the best services for digital marketing. Through all this and much more digital marketing has gained popularity for being one of the most effective and efficient ways to advertise in the present day world. So, don’t wait and get in touch with a renowned company to reap the benefits of reliable and competent digital marketing services.
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