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?

Can Nutritional Supplements Help You Look Younger?

Why do we need nutritional supplements? Many of us, in today’s hurried lifestyle, do not eat a well balanced diet. Because of this we need nutritional supplements to boost our daily diet. We have seen numerous commercials for overweight bodies. When was the last time you saw a commercial about getting nutritional supplements, not just broad spectrum vitamins? We have become a nation of over fed and under nourished citizens.Eating the right foods is great…BUT. The nutritional value of our food has diminished considerably in the last 50 or so years and this makes it necessary to take nutritional supplements. Our diet contains too much refined food and not enough pre-processed food. Unless you grow your own fruits and vegetables you will need to get your nutrients from another source, like nutritional supplements.Nutritional supplements fill the holes that processed foods leave in our diet. Not having enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,
Speeds the aging process
Contributes to poor cardiovascular health
Helps cause poor eyesight
Produces a weakened immune system.
Many factors cause degeneration of your body’s cells. Some factors are
Radiation exposure
Cigarette smoke
Overexposure to the sun’s rays.
Some nutritional supplements work at cell level, some do not. Make sure your nutritional supplements work at cell level. The nutritional supplements must contain enough vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to supplement our daily diet. Combining a good diet with nutritional supplements and regular exercise will provide us with the basics to fuel our bodies. Adding nutritional supplements and exercise to our busy lives will give us more energy. The use of nutritional supplements can also slow the aging process.For the past 5 years or so we have heard much about antioxidants and free radicals, and for a good reason. If the free radicals in our systems are not neutralized they will run rampant in our bodies. The free radicals will damage our bodies at the cellular level. Here is where nutritional supplements can help. This damage over time will escalate and eventually lead to the acceleration of the aging process. The aging process usually manifests itself as heart disease, cancer, or osteoporosis. Diets alone do not supply enough antioxidants to combat this process. That is why your nutritional supplement must contain these antioxidants.Health and nutrition experts say that the basis for good cardiovascular health is a nutrient rich diet, exercise, watching your cholesterol level, and monitoring your blood pressure. The cholesterol and blood pressure levels should be periodically checked by your health provider. Nutritional supplements added to your diet can help improve these factors. Your nutritional supplements should contain a garlic extract (unless you are a garlic lover like me and eat it every day!). Garlic has been shown to be of great benefit in decreasing cardiovascular disease.Nearly all eye damage and loss of vision can be linked to poor nutrition! Poor nutrition can be directly linked to blood shot eyes, blurred vision, and nearly EVERY eye irritation we suffer. Nutritional supplements can help here too. To help reduce vision problems the nutritional supplements needs to contain Vitamins A, B, C, and E, in large enough quantities. Natural food sources for these are in dark green leafy vegetables (Kale and mustard greens, etc) orange fruits and vegetables (like carrots and oranges).I have only listed just a few factors here to show how important nutritional supplements are. Nutritional supplements are normally a combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Taking one of the nutrients (like Vitamin C for example) and or one antioxidant and ignoring the rest isn’t good. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all work together to promote a healthy body.Get a list of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from your health care provider. Armed with this information read the labels of the nutritional supplements that you are considering (check several). Your health is too important to not check these. Get high quality nutritional supplements and you are on your way to a healthier life!Find a game plan and if it works, stick with it. I did!

Skin Care Specific For Men Who Want to Look Well-Groomed With Little Fuss

Men’s interest in taking care of their skin is steadily increasing. They are also aware of the importance of using safe natural ingredient products. It is not new for men to want to look well groomed. Now they are seeking healthy products to feed their skin in order to maintain a fresh attractive appeal.Men want a no-fuss, straight forward approach to skin care. They don’t need the pretty bottles or sweet aroma of fragrant lotions and cleansers-men want the basics. Skin care can be tailored specifically to a man’s needs without added synthetic ingredients that are found in many products. Using the purity of nature to enhance the skin’s surface a can makes a healthier skin care routine simple.Men’s skin care needs are specific partly as a result of shaving, which not only irritates the skin, it can leave pores open to invite clogging or blackheads. Therefore methods of cleansing are especially important to a man’s skin care regime.Whether your skin tends to be oily or dry and sensitive it requires care that will encourage it toward balance. Working with natural ingredient products that are formulated to assist the skin to find its proper balance will bring the desired results of smooth, fresh attractive looking skin.Simple Steps to healthy looking attractive skin:Step 1: CleansingCleansing for men needs to be gentle, even soothing, yet cleanse deep. This can be accomplished with a clay or cream cleanser that caters to Men’s skin care needs – irritation, large pores, oily or dry-sensitive skin. Synthetic chemicals are harsh on the skin. They can strip and irritate your skin or cause clogged pores.Scrubs can be cleansers that gently exfoliate. A scrub removes dry dead skin cells encouraging the development of new healthy skin cells. This also minimizes fine lines. The result is a smooth healthy looking skin surface. Be careful of rough scrubs as they can irritate and damage the skin’s surface. (recommended use is 2 times per week)Mud Masks are effective for deep cleansing and toning of skin’s surface and pores. A quality Dead Sea Mud Mask will replenish valuable mineral nutrients to the skin while removing impurities. It can help prevent ingrown hairs and blackheads from forming. (recommended use is 1- 2 times per week, depending on your individual skin)
The harsh effect of shaving can leave the skin with a dull appearance. A facial scrub or mask used as a gentle exfoliating product will bring a smooth toned healthy appearance to your skin.Step 2: ShaveShaving Cream Shaving can irritate the skin, cause bumps and enlarged pores which can lead to clogged pores or black heads. Always cleanse your face well with steamy water before you shave, and go with the grain. Shaving creams that are made with nature’s ingredients can be formulated to sooth and condition the skin while you shave. They should be made without toxic foaming agents and other harsh synthetic chemicals that can cause irritation.
After Shave – Toner – After shaving it is good to apply an After Shave Toner to soothe irritations from shaving. This is a final aspect of cleansing as well as a primary aspect of hydrating and toning the pores. Note: avoid alcohol- based aftershaves, they will irritate your skin.Step 3: MoisturizeMoisturizers for Men – A quality moisturizer cream should be light on the skin yet rich with replenishing skin care ingredients that also hydrate and protect the skin. Properly selected botanical extracts and essential oils will provide excellent healthy skin care benefits. These ingredients do not have overpowering scents that linger. They are gentle to the skin and subtle to the nose. Moisturizer creams that are made with plant extracts only, will have no scent for those who prefer products that have no aroma.Eye Cream – The area around the eyes tends to show signs of aging, appearing dry, devitalized and wrinkled sooner than the rest of the face. Therefore caring for the area around the eyes can make the most significant improvement in appearance, keeping you looking fresh, healthy and attractive. The eye area has the most sensitive skin. It is essential to use a quality eye cream that is free of harmful synthetic ingredients.Specific concerns:dark circles – under the eyes can make you look tired, devitalized or older. Although this is more likely related to nutrition, digestion or stress, there are safe plant ingredients that can blended in eye creams to help dissipate the dark circles.aging skin – may appear dry with fine or deep wrinkles and lacking good tone and elasticity. The key to restoring your skin’s appearance is care with products that will replenish and revitalize your skin. The 3 simple steps that have been outlined above are designed for this purpose.dry- sensitive – often feels tight and can flake. Should not be treated with harsh cleansers, harsh exfoliates or astringent products, as frequent use of such products will interfere with the skin’s natural oils that are essential to healthy skin. Basic care with soothing, replenishing and balancing (1) cleanser, (2) after shave toner and (3) moisturizer will restore your skin to its proper health and balance.oily skin – typically shiny, greasy, may have visible pores and be acne-prone. It is important to use a mild yet effective facial cleanser. Many cleansers are harsh and strip your skin of its natural oils. This dries the skin which in turn causes increased oil production.combination skin – characterized by an oily T-zone, forehead, nose and chin while other areas are normal or dry. Balancing and conditioning the skin is the essential focus for this skin type. Basic care with soothing replenishing and balancing (1) cleanser, (2) after shave toner and (2) moisturizer will restore your skin to its proper health and balance.breakout prone – Besides keeping oil production in check it is important to keep your pores toned (tight) to prevent trapping oil and dirt. A quality Dead Sea Mud mask can be effective for toning enlarged pores. It will also cleanse deep, it is without drying, and condition the skin leaving it smooth and revitalized.blackheads – Ask Eve to send you her blackhead removal process. Follow this up with regular dead sea mud masks to keep your pores toned to help prevent new blackheads from forming.The beauty of working with nature’s plants is that when chosen properly specific plants have an extensive range of benefits. It is as likely for one plant to assist dry skin as it is to assist oily skin to find its proper balance while at the same time be beneficial for normal skin. Additionally, a plant that is known for its sebum balancing properties may also specialize in toning, softening or improving the circulation of the skin. As unusual as this may seem, this is just one of the many advantages of working with plant ingredients.