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?

The Best Skin Care Products For Healthy Skin

Anyone can have healthy skin. The best skin care products for healthy skin are those that aim to provide total care for the maintenance and promotion of healthy skin. All skin has problem areas. There isn’t anyone who is born with perfectly naturally healthy skin 100% of the time. Rather, those who appear to have excellent skin often are the ones who use the reliable products for healthy skin promotion.Healthy skin is skin that is well nourished, well moisturized, that is effectively exfoliated and well toned. Not everyone will use the same skin care products for a healthy skin because everyone achieves these goals differently. Sometimes it takes more than one. A combination of the quality skin products is more often than not required. Whether you have oily skin with chronic breakouts or you suffer from dry skin and flaking and cracking, the best skin care products for healthy skin can work in tandem with each other to offer you a well balanced skin care program.By Name or PromotionOne of the most misunderstood aspects of acquiring a skin product for healthy skin is whether to purchase something that has a strong name in the skin care industry or is being heavily promoted and bolstered as the best skin care product. This is a tricky question and one that doesn’t have a simple answer.Often the skin care products that are thought to be the best products for healthy skin are those that try to carry a strong reputation once their name has been well established in the industry. They don’t have to offer a lot of promotional materials to the public because most people already know them and already know that they are well known for creating some of the best skin care products in the world. There are times, however, when even the best of the best slip up a little bit and release a product that isn’t top quality. Usually, those products don’t stay out in circulation for very long and they are quickly pulled once public opinion has determined the product to be sub par. However, there is always that risk when dealing with a skin care company that offers their products based on name alone.When a new skin care company releases a product that they are promoting as the best skin care product for healthy skin, often they will do a very heavy promotion period in order to gain the public’s trust and offer consumers a great value for their products. In some cases, this has proven to be a very successful tactic and often the product line becomes a well known common household name in a very short period of time. Promotion may continue for years after that initial rush, but the basic initial promotion period is a game of chance for both the consumer and the company.If the consumer risks their money on a new quality skin care product for healthy skin and the product turns out to be about as helpful as rubbing alcohol, then they have not only wasted their money, but have contributed to the company’s ability to initially grow. The company, however, had better be able to back up its claims. Once consumers start purchasing the product based on the promotional push, they are inevitably going to have to plan for growth. If they plan for an assessed growth that would be accurate for the best skin care products on the market today, they need to hit that range. Otherwise, the company is likely to fold. They can only do this if they live up to their claims of selling the best skin care product on the market.The Best of Both WorldsBecause most healthy skin is achieved by using one or more quality skin care products on the market for healthy skin, often consumers can find that sticking to heavily promoted products as well as well known name brand products can often be a winning bet. Once you find the best skin care product for healthy skin that works well for you, then your search is over and you should not readily try new products unless you are pretty well convinced that they have something that your current skin care line doesn’t offer. Purchasing a newly released best skin care product on the market should be a fun experience that offers your skin a fresh glow, a healthy balance, and makes you feel as though you have just discovered the most fabulous little secret on the internet.

US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%

US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 1.14%. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 0.98% and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up by 0.71 per cent

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US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%
Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. Source: Reuters
US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 345.25 points or1.14 per cent. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 35.88 points or 0.98 per cent and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up 75.75 points or 0.71 per cent. A Reuters report said that today’s strength was on the back of a report which said the Federal Reserve will likely debate on signaling plans for a smaller interest rate hike in December, reversing declines set off by social media firms after Snap Inc’s ad warning.

Source: Comex

Nasdaq Top Gainers and Losers

Source: Nasdaq

Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. The BSE Sensex ended at 59,307.15, up by 104.25 points or 0.18 per cent from the Thursday closing level. Meanwhile, the Nifty50 index closed at 17,590.00, higher by 26.05 points or 0.15 per cent. In the 30-share Sensex, 13 stocks gained while the remaining 17 ended on the losing side. In the 50-stock Nifty50, 21 stocks advanced while 29 declined.