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?

What Are the Most Important Things in a Nutrition Program?

Nutrition program can be defined as a process of taking in or consuming healthy and growth supporting food. With the changing lifestyle in urban areas every other person is surrounded with junk food or fast food temptation, but none of those unfit food stuff works the way a balanced diet does.A good or balanced nutrition for healthy living is a benefit for every age type, especially for those spending hours in gym or other physical activities. It is a well known fact that nutritional diet intake is full of benefits for every category of people and supports growth in teenagers and kids, while helping in maintaining healthy and fit body in adults.Before going to nutrition filled food and the important things in a nutrition program, you need to understand that nutrition does not only mean having lots of protein through the day or throwing calories away from your life or to skip a meal or to eat less. Nutrition or nutrition program is a process where a complete combination of all the nutrients should be present in day to day diet i.e. you can not just skip carbohydrates or fat from your food intake.Mostly people involved in workouts tend to suffer from weakness and late post-workout recovery due to incomplete nutrition intake. You may be having protein supplements, but your body will still be lacking in nutrition for the absence of other vital ingredients of a perfect nutrition program. A human body needs a well balanced combination of the three main ingredients of a nutrition program .i.e. protein, carbohydrate and fat. Along with these three main components, a nutrition program also consists of vitamins, minerals and adequate amount of water intake.A good nutrition program consist of vital steps or things to be taken care of, as it helps to ensure that the body is getting complete nutrition and does not lacks in any of the key ingredient. But, there are also things not to be done to balance and succeed in your nutritional intake. These ‘not to do’ things say – do not begin a nutrition program without a physical activity like exercising or cycling or brisk walking, do not skip your meals (breakfast or lunch or dinner), do not depend only on supplements and substitutes for losing weight or gaining muscle strength and do not skip or minus any of the three main ingredients mentioned.Another big mistake people tend to make in the name of nutrition intake or nutritious diet is by eating less or staying on fast through the day (with nothing but fruits intake). Often, eating less or nothing works towards slowing down or destroying the metabolism of a body.Some of the most important things in a complete nutrition program are small but 5-6 meals per day, little bit of everything, management of calories to a level or intake of good fat, lost of water intake through a day, addition of fiber rich food and inclusion of vegetables and fruits in daily intake.Experts believe that for a good healthy and nutritional intake one need to eat more than 3 meals per day. These meals should be 5 to 6 in number and less in quantity; also these small meals should consist of a balanced ratio of all the vital ingredients. This step of a nutrition programs helps to put an end to extra hunger or need for food and puts an end to starvation, also this helps to boost up the body metabolism and supports digestion system too. Next step comes as a balanced ratio of all the ingredients or little bit of everything i.e. to manage your 5-6 meals with lots of protein, required amount of carbohydrates, 20 to 25 % of fat per day and desired amount of vitamins and minerals.People in general are always afraid of fat intake and tend to shift towards fat free or low fat food products, but truth is that fat has its own vital role in a nutrition diet. Fat is required for providing energy, stamina and oil to the bones, muscles, tissues and cells in the body. Fat intake to a desired level (specially the essential fat or the good fat) is compulsory for not just those indulged in muscle building, but is also equally important for rowing children and ageing adults for lubrication of joints. There are three types of fats present in food, such as saturate fat, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Out of these three types, monounsaturated fats are the essential and good fats required by a body for growth, strong joints and bones, building of stamina and for maintaining a decent level of cholesterol in the body. It also is said to have good ‘antioxidant’ characteristics. Olive oil, canola oil and fish oil are some of the sources of monounsaturated fats; also this type of fat is present in both kinds of products (plant and animal).Objective of a nutritious diet is not just to provide health and growth to a body, but to maintain its vital function like metabolism and digestion. Adequate intake of water in a day works towards helping the body in performing these functions successfully. Water does not just prevent a body from dehydrating, but also act as a cleanser for body toxins. Water is needed in a body to support the breakdown of valuable ingredients within the body.Lastly, a balanced or perfect nutrition program can never exit without the intake of right amount of valuable fiber rich products like fruits and vegetables. To maintain a fiber level within a body is important enough to not to be ignored. You can always eat lots of salad or fruits between your main meals to fill your body with vital fibers required for performing digestive functions and to maintain the nutrition level of the body. Some of the source for fiber rich fruits and vegetables are: apples, pears, oranges, grapefruits, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, carrots, mushrooms and green beans.Thus, a good nutritional diet program is essential to make your body perform its vital functions with an ease.Copyright (c) 2008 Jason Szova

Buying a Home When You Can’t Qualify For Bank Financing

If you’ve previously suffered from financial problems, you may believe there’s little chance to become a homeowner. Prior to the current mortgage industry melt down, an individual who filed bankruptcy could qualify for a home loan in just over a year. But today’s lending climate has made it nearly impossible to qualify for a loan with poor credit.Lenders naturally prefer borrowers with high credit scores. If you have bad credit, don’t give up hope. If you’re willing to expend some effort and time into reestablishing good credit, the good news is you can qualify to buy the home you desire. Plan to set aside six months to two years to reestablish your credit history.If you can convince a potential lender your financial dilemma was due to reasons beyond your control (such as divorce, business failure, medical bills, unemployment) or provide evidence you’ve become financially responsible, you might convince the lender to give you a second chance. But you need to be aware trying to restore your credit requires long-term planning, preparation, and hard effort.On the other hand, if you haven’t filed a bankruptcy or suffered financial problems, but still have other issues affecting your credit such as self employment or a new job less than two years, expect to face an uphill battle trying to qualify for a home loan. Because the mortgage industry is constantly changing, you should speak to a knowledgeable mortgage broker or representative about your available options.Another alternative to traditional financing is to consider owner-will-carry (OWC) financing. If you have no established credit, minimal savings, and a low paying job, this strategy can help you get your foot into the real estate market. Try locating mature homeowners who are fed up with managing their rental properties, but still desired the monthly income a rental property brings. These homeowners make great participants for owner-will-carry financing.By disposing the property to another party, these landlords eliminate the headaches of troublesome tenants, clogged toilets, and malfunctioning air conditioners. They simultaneously earn interest on their seller financed loans which will bring them significantly higher returns than a bank savings account or certificate of deposit.The wonderful aspect about owner or seller financing is the flexibility of lending to anyone the seller desires to, so long as the terms are mutually agreeable. If you can’t qualify for a loan from a regular bank, check out the option of OWC financing as a first choice. Numerous real estate investors and homeowners utilize this alternative without worrying about the hassles of qualifying with a regular lender.