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?

Penis Rash From the Gym: Work Out Without the Itch

Working out at the gym – now that’s something that makes a guy feel good! Sure, there’s sweat and effort, but it pays off when a guy looks in the mirror and sees the results. (And it helps that a guy’s partners like to see the results, too.) What isn’t so positive is when a guy ends up with a little penis rash from his visits to the gym. Since penis health should never be sacrificed for getting buffed, it pays to take steps to prevent a penis rash from the gym (and to treat it if one sneaks in anyway).Not unusual It’s no surprise that a penis rash sometimes crops up among gym rats (or even just the guy who occasionally stops in for a workout). The physical outlay, whether from taking a yoga class, hitting the weights or spending time on a bike, brings about sweat, and sweat encourages bacteria. In addition, some men with very sensitive penis skin can get rashy just from exposure to too much heat. And of course there’s the problem of germs, bacteria and fungi brought onto the premises by other gym residents.Tips So the conditions are ripe for penis rash development. What are some steps a guy can take to help protect his penis?- Use towels. Nowadays, most gyms are generous in making available a large supply of fresh, clean towels and guys need to use them. (If towels aren’t supplied by the gym, a guy needs to be sure to bring his own.) Many men use these towels to wipe down machines after they have used them, which is good; but they also need to wipe them down before use – just in case the previous guy wasn’t so thoughtful or missed some sweaty residue.But it isn’t enough to use those towels when on the gym floor. Be sure to use them in the locker room, too. Lay one down on the bench before sitting, especially after removing clothes. And guys who like to relax in the sauna or steam room in the nude should definitely bring a towel and sit on that. With all the bare feet in locker rooms, any guy with athlete’s foot may be accidentally spreading his fungus around the area – and that’s the same fungus that causes jock itch.- Be selfish. We’re taught as children that sharing is important, but it’s okay to be a little selfish when it comes to the gym. If a man lends a guy a towel, it might come back with a fungus on it. Let some dude borrow that razor and the owner may regret it – especially if he decides to do a little manscaping with it later on and end up with a rash. Even something as seemingly harmless as sharing soap can be problematic; guys with sensitive skin can develop an allergic reaction to skin cells left on the cleanser. Never borrow another guy’s jock or underwear; that’s just begging for a penis rash!- Keep fresh. A man shouldn’t start his workout in that same t-shirt and shorts he wore to mow the lawn or rake the leaves. Starting off with sweaty clothing, especially clingy underwear and shorts, will increase the rash potential at the gym. Use fresh clothes for the workout and bring along another set of fresh clothes (including underwear) for after the shower – and be sure to dry the man-parts off thoroughly after showering.A guy will also be less likely to pick up a penis rash at the gym if his manhood is kept in tiptop shape. Regular use of a top notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help. Definitely select a crème that includes vitamin A. Also known as retinol, vitamin A has fierce antibacterial properties that attack the bacteria that thrive in dark, warm, moist places. The crème should also include a combination of moisturizers, such as natural Shea butter and vitamin E, which can lock-in the healthy moisturizing oils that keep skin from becoming chapped and prone to rashiness.

How To Minimize Stress During World Travel and Tours

With world travel the very first thing you can do to reduce your stress levels is to have a travel agent you can trust. This is because you have no idea of all the rules and regulations that are going to come up during your world tours. Having an agent that you trust is a great source of stress reduction. This is because you do not have to worry about all the little details and the infinite amount of paperwork and changes that come up. A good travel agent can advise of things like your passports, visas, shots and immunizations, as well as providing tips on local customs and culture so that you can fit in more easily when you arrive.There are a number of travel sites out there and the most popular ones deal with getting you the cheapest flights and hotels. This is great and wonderful for what they do and they are good at it. They however will not make sure that all the little details are taken care of or provide the personal touch that other sites and agencies can. I have found that world-travel-tour.com is one of those sites that does a good job of keeping their eye on all the small details.World travel these days can be a very scary thing filled with all kinds of stress because of the events in the news. A good agent is aware of all those things and will do everything to make sure that you are safe. Your world tour will be enjoyable and relaxing when you have the assistance of a knowledgeable agent. Here are some other things to consider while on your world tour.Make sure you have your schedule set and that you did allow yourself some “me time” in all the hustle and bustle of the trip that is something that can be easily forgotten. Keep your schedule realistic, these tour spots have been there for thousands of years and they will be there when you get to come back. Make sure you have a list of your medications and doctors so that if something should happen you can get proper treatment.Bring a good book to read since the flights are long and you will have plenty of time to read and sleep. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you head out on your flight. Even if your world travel is for business, schedule yourself some time for yourself to enjoy the new location you are in, instead of just trying to cram in back to back meetings and appointments. You will be able to enjoy being in the place you’re at for the meeting and be well rested and be able to work better in the end.Relax and enjoy your world tour and find all the secrets the world has to offer. If you go to world-travel-tour.com it will be a good start to finding what the secrets are. The secret after all is that this world travel stuff really does not have to be filled with stress and doubt. If you want that, then go to work, world travel is about stress free time for you.