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?

Nutrition – Is it Important?

Why is nutrition important? The answer is because all living things need nutrition to survive. You need proper nutrition to stay healthy.If you answer that question why is nutrition important by the way people eat today, you would think it is not very important. Have you ever noticed people eating at various restaurants, some of the people think it is their last meal the way they pile up the food. Maybe they think if I eat a lot of food I will get all the nutrition my body needs. Yea right.Have you noticed what types of foods their consuming? My wife and I went to a buffet style restaurant the other day and I noticed the food section that had a lot of food remaining was the vegetable and salad section; the fried chicken and beef section was constantly running out of food. As they are eating all that food, they are not thinking why is nutrition important to me?Maybe by defining nutrition we can find out why is nutrition important to everyone. In the Dictionary it defines nutrition as “the act or process of nourishing or of being nourished.” Are we nourishing our bodies by over feeding it? In the Encyclopedia it states “For good nutrition a person should eat a well-balanced diet, that is, one that provides an adequate amount of each of the classes of nutrients each day, furnishing at the same time an adequate but not excessive number of calories for the body’s energy needs.”Wouldn’t it be great if every time we ate something, there would some type of voice or indicator stating the benefits or warnings of what we just ate or drank. For example, “Johnny you just ate some fried chicken, from this chicken you getting some protein, but you are getting a whole lot of fat that your body doesn’t need! If that were the case just maybe people would think twice about what they are eating.Aside from the food consumption, do we get enough nutrition from the good foods we do eat? The answer is no because nutrients in our soil have been depleted. The foods we consumed 50 years ago are not the same foods we eat today. So what do we do to get the proper nutrition our body needs? The only way I know of to get the proper nutrition that our body needs is through nutrition supplementation. To be healthy or to stay healthy, it is vital to take nutrition supplementation.

Sports Clothing For Comfort and Style!

It is important to feel comfortable and breathe easy when you are playing a game. For this, you need to wear the right clothing and have the right accessories. To win a game, it takes your talent, skill sets and confidence. If you feel better you will definitely give your best shot.At times irrespective of how talented you are, you may not give your best shot due to lack of proper accessories. Protective gear is definitely required if you are playing cricket or rugby. Table tennis clothing should be loose and comfortable so that it allows you to move around freely. You may want to twist in different directions to hit the ball. It requires you to jump and move swiftly to reach out to the ball heading towards you. Some may want to purchase a team apparel if they are representing a particular club and play against opponents of a different club. This also promotes team spirit.It doesn’t matter how talented you are, it is also important to feel comfortable. Imagine if you were to wear tight clothes which may give away while you are playing in a competition, it would be so embarrassing. To avoid this, you must purchase branded sports apparel which will not give away easily. If not branded, at least choose something which offers you comfort and is durable too.A good pair of shoes, top or shirt, shorts for men, divided skirts for women, jacket monogram etc would be part of the table tennis clothing. To make it look stylish and more sporty, you can try out wrist band and head bands. It is possible to get your apparel customised, by having your team or club name behind the t-shirt. Get them customised to your needs!