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?

How and Why Should We Use Natural Skin Care Products

IntroductionThe human skin is the largest organ of the human body. It not only has quite a complex structure, but also performs several life sustaining functions.We can live without a Spleen, Gall Bladder, or an Appendix, and we can survive with only one Kidney or one Lung, but we cannot survive without our skin. As a result it is of the utmost importance that we take care of our skin.Using natural skin care products is a good first step in providing the skin with the right nutrients and building materials to retain its health and functionality.What Does Our Skin Actually Do for Us?Our skin has many functions, most of which we are unaware of until something goes wrong. They include:
Regulation of body temperature;
Protection against the elements;
Sensation;
Excretion;
Immunity;
Blood storage and
Synthesis of Vitamin D.
If you want to read about these functions in more detail you can have a look at this article: “Anatomy & Physiology of the Skin”.In summary, these functions provide us with awareness of our surrounding climatic environment, protect us against some of the bacteria and other potentially harmful bugs in our surroundings, allow us to experience touch and feel, eliminate toxins from our body, store blood, and provide the means for our body to obtain vitamin D while protecting our body from the sun’s UV-rays.Considering these vital functions our skin has to perform, it is no surprise that we need to look after our skin and make sure it is given every opportunity to function properly and remain healthy.Why You Should Choose Natural Skin Care Products?With all the media and news reports warning consumers of the potentially toxic ingredients in many of the commercially available skin care products sold in supermarkets and department stores, this is an easy question to answer.Firstly, many of the commonly used skin care products contain artificial and/or synthetic ingredients that the body has difficulties in eliminating, and as a result it tends to store these chemicals in its tissues. Research has shown that the accumulation of many of these substances can have serious health effects.If you are interested in learning more about some of the toxic chemicals used in skin care products, please read the article ” Potentially Toxic Ingredients In Skin Care Products”. It will provide you with much information and research references for you to be able to identify what is in your skin care products and what should not be there.Holistically natural skin care products do not contain artificial or synthetic ingredients. They should also not contain isolated, concentrated, natural substances, such as parabens (pseudo-natural preservative) and the like, that have been shown to be potentially hazardous.How To Choose Natural Skin Care Products That are Safe and Effective?This is where it starts to get really difficult. You see, many so called natural or organic skin care products are in reality nothing of the kind. Adding a minuscule amount of aloe vera to water does not constitute a holistically natural skin care product. It may be ‘natural’ or even ‘organic’, but it will not be effective and therefore is a waste of your money.To have an effective aloe vera product for example, it requires at least 10% of the overall content to be aloe vera. Or, the aloe vera needs to be combined with several other active, natural ingredients that are combined to achieve a specific result.The term ‘Organic’ is another area where consumers are being misled. Adding a single ‘organic’ ingredient and then calling the products ‘organic’, is quite simply wrong. You see the commercials on television and magazines every day… “xyz product contains organic this and organic that”… but no mention is made of the other ingredients that are contained in these products, many of which have been shown to be hazardous to our health.There is yet another problem with natural skin care products, that is an area of confusion and potentially misleading. Just ask yourself what exactly is “natural”? What is actually meant by the term “natural”?The word ‘natural’ congers up images of nature – pristine environments that make us feel good. A safe, natural environment that is conducive to health and a sense of wellbeing. Spring water, waterfalls, pristine lakes, a healthy salads, Rainforests, etc., are all images that we perceive as ‘natural’, or in other words ‘good for us’.The cosmetic industry has ceased on this and is using the word natural to instil in their advertisements a sense of wellbeing and the idea that this product is good for us. Unfortunately, one or two natural ingredients does not a natural skin care product make… Far from it, natural skin care products should not contain any ingredients that are not naturally sourced. This brings us to another problem with natural skin care products.A naturally sourced ingredient, such as the various forms of paraben, may still be potentially hazardous. Just think about it – would you put arsenic or lead on your skin? No of course you wouldn’t. But, they are natural, so what’s the problem? Natural substances too can also be deadly poisons.Applying this to skin care products, you might be looking for a product that is natural and contains AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), which we know help to remove dead skin cell layers which in turn helps to remove fine lines and wrinkles, revealing new vibrant skin.Now, you could buy a product that lists as one of its ingredients AHAs, it might even contain AHA in its name, or you could buy a product that contains a concentrate called papain, which is a natural substance from the Papaya fruit. So, yes papain is natural and yes this product could, depending on other ingredients, be called a natural skin care product. However, papain is a concentrate and as such many people have experienced side effects because the papain is present in too high a concentration for some people.A truly, holistically natural skin care product would not contain papain as an extract. Rather it would contain Papaya fruit itself. You see, the whole fruit still contains papain, however, it also contains other ingredients in the papaya that modify the excessively strong effect of the papain. Choosing such a product will, at least to a large extent, reduce any potential side effects from the papain, because the product is naturally balanced and contains naturally balanced ingredients that will benefit your skin rather than burn it.The results of removing fine lines and wrinkles may take a little longer, but are overall better and you reduce the chance of ‘burning’ your skin with a concentrated AHA. Remember AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid and we all know acids burn our skin.How To Use Natural Skin Care Products?Following directionsThis is actually a lot more important than most people think. Directions for use are a communication by the manufacturer of a product to their consumers about how to use and get the best results from a particular product.It has been our experience, that most people who purchase our natural skin care products do not read the directions and use our products the same way that they have been using their previous brand. This however, may or may not be the correct way to use our products.Properly formulated products contain ingredients in sufficiently high quantities to achieve a desired effect if used in accordance with the product’s directions. Using more does not mean better or quicker results, rather using too much can have adverse effects or no more effect than the lesser quantity.Conversely, if for example, the product’s directions suggest that it be used 2 or 3 times a day using it merely once is not likely to produce the desired effect in most cases.This is obvious when we think about taking medicine. We read the directions and take the drugs, herbs, or what ever, as prescribed and hopefully we get the desired result.So why is it that we do this when it comes to taking medicine, but ignore it (for the most part) when it comes to using skin care products or other personal care products?Reading the instructions carefully and following them ensures that a) you are not wasting your money, and b) you should get the desired results.Good and Bad Reactions from Using Skin or Personal Care ProductsThere are several possible reactions you may experience. There are good reactions and negative reactions. Let’s look at good reactions to begin with.Good Skin Reactions to New ProductsHerbs, essential oils and most of the other ingredients that you’ll find in our range of products have a medicinal actions and are included for a specific purpose, that is, the formulations that make up our various products were originally designed to treat particular skin health issues. This intent, though we do not actively promote this, continues to this day.As you probably know, there are three basic skin types; Normal, Oily and Dry. In addition, your skin may also be sensitive, prone to allergic reactions or under the influence of hormonal changes that are taking place in your body. The herbs and essential oils in our products are specifically chosen to normalize the skin given one of the skin types. The herbs and essential oils will have a therapeutic effect on the skin’s structure and function in order to provide an environment under which your skin will start to function normally again.Similarly this is relevant for sensitive skin that tends to react inappropriately to different stimuli. It is possible, for example, that an individual with sensitive skin who is using our products for the first time, will experience a reaction which they may see as being a negative reaction.This however, may well be totally the opposite to what is actually taking place. You see, in order for your skin’s health to improve, it has to change. This change may appear at first as a worsening of a particular skin issue and this will understandably be interpreted as a negative.Under normal circumstances however, this type of reaction, if the products are continued with, will only last for a few days and following this time the skin will improve and end up much healthier. This process is sometimes referred to as ‘A healing crisis’, and is actually a good thing to happen.
It signifies that the ingredients are doing what they are supposed to, that is they are repairing and normalizing the skin’s functions. This is a normal and in fact good reaction.Bad Skin Reactions to New ProductsObviously there are times when a new product may actually cause a bad skin reaction. Unfortunately a bad reaction often appears very similarly to a good reaction. So how can you tell the difference and what should you do?The first thing to do when ever you purchase a new skin or personal care product is to test it to see if you have any adverse reactions to this product. Below is a detailed outline and links that will provide you with all the information you need to test a new product in order to determine whether or not your skin is going to react adversely to it or not.Test the Products to Avoid Allergic ReactionsAnother important aspect to using any skin care, personal care or cosmetic products, whether they are natural or otherwise, is to test the products first in order to see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.To do this, follow the steps described in our article “The Skin Patch Test”, which will provide you with a simple, yet effective step-by-step test that you can easily do at home over a 24 hour period, to reasonably ensure that you will not experience major adverse reactions to the ingredients in products you want to use on your face, or anywhere else on your body. This test is simple and very effective.Finally, before you purchase a product, look at the ingredients list and see if the ingredients are easily recognisable. As a rule of Thumb, if the ingredients are easily recognizable it is more likely that the ingredients are of a natural source and have not been excessively modified. If on the other hand you need a chemistry degree to understand what the ingredient is, it is likely not to be a holistically-natural ingredient. It may still be a natural ingredient, but it is likely that it has been isolated and is used in a concentrated, possibly even synthetic form.For the most part, most ‘natural skin care products’ widely available in the market place are far from natural or that matter organic. Most have minimal quantities of some natural ingredient in an otherwise non-natural product and are referring to the one natural ingredient in the product, rather than the nature of the product itself.Hopefully this article will clarify some of the confusion that exists about what is a natural skin care product and what is not, help you to choose natural skin care products that will actually live up to your expectations, and clarify why using natural skin care products is a healthier choice.

5 Expert Insider Steps to Begin Transforming Your Health & Body Today!

While yes, our team is born in a world of intense high athletic goals such as bodybuilding, it is not our goal to support people to become bodybuilders – FAR FROM IT!;-) So you can relax now!! But it IS our goal to share with you why the lessons from our experience of mastering human health & the body, & how developing a bodybuilder “mentality” for your own life can literally skyrocket you into a level of personal health you never thought possible, while showing you the shortcuts in how to get there! Sound good? Heck, it sounds GREAT to us, because we already know how it can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.If you are serious about stepping into your greatness of feeling & looking great, take 3 minutes & glean our insight, because this is the single-most MISSING LINK that we see people repeatedly leaving out of their game plan to great health & why they continue to fail at achieving quality health for their lives.When you have had an experience of taking your mental, emotional & physical self to the level that bodybuilding competition requires, as a coach for others it then allows you to see potential for your clients that they could never envision for themselves without you by their side AND TAKE THEM THERE, and that is the beauty of the gift that we REJOICE in offering others in order to achieve optimal health, energy, & joy for their lives. But to get there…to create a successful transformation of your health & body, you HAVE to begin INSIDE with our 5 MUST-HAVE Steps! Yes, that’s right – the focus begins in the MIND. Time & again we see this process work, and it’s our UNIQUE coaching psychology method that sets us apart, & why we are capable of producing jaw-dropping results with the level of motivational mentality we provide. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you fail to develop the DESIRE & MINDSET to IMPLEMENT it, you will never succeed.Want the insider view to our winning approach to learn how to transform your own health & body? We’re here to offer you the scoop because it’s our desire to support you fully to achieve authentic, preventative health from the inside, out in your lifetime. So where do we begin? There is a prolific spiritual author named John Maxwell, maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t – but he writes of numerous spiritual topics & speaks on how we create TRUE transformation for our lives. Below we adapt his words for our article today because it’s a brilliant synopsis of just why & how we work with clients to coach them through mastering their personal health, as there are so many levels to the process.When we discuss transformation of the physical body, to be successful we cannot deny that mind, body & spirit are woven tightly together in our being & therefore EACH needs to be considered – not just one. Often people when wanting to conquer health or healing goals immediately BEGIN at the physical, they think weight loss, nutrition, exercise…but that is their first step to failure because they’re joining the race before they’ve even laced their shoes!! When we fail to address mind & spirit in the health process we eventually lose the vision of why we’re addressing the physical in the first place & sadly fall off course when interest wanes, times get tough, or we lose our way because the how-to’s become unclear or appear out of reach. But if we start INSIDE & work OUTWARDS friends, GAME ON!!Our 5 Expert Insider Steps to Transforming Your Health & BodySo these 5 KEY STEPS must be addressed in order to achieve a complete & SUCCESSFUL health & body transformation, and they must also be achieved in order as follows…1. When you change your (health & body) thinking, you change your (health & body) beliefs.If you think what you’ve been taught is healthy by the mainstream media is where your learning stops, then don’t expect to achieve great illness-free, authentic preventative health because they don’t teach proactive health approach, they teach reactive wait til you get sick & then act health approach. Begin to change your thinking to change your belief system about your body and health potential.2. When you change your (health & body) beliefs, you change your (health & body) expectations.Once you begin to expand your thinking, start to also seek out experts in areas of health & body who have shown & continue to show PROVEN ABILITY TO CREATE TRANSFORMATION RESULTS in their own health & body that you would like to emulate. Begin to sponge knowledge from them vs. what mainstream media claims leads to great health results, & you’ll in turn raise the bar on what you expect from your own health. You’ll see your new mentor/s are just ordinary people too like you, who decided to blaze their own health path about the quality of health they wanted to achieve for their life by taking the road less followed for their own health in life, and YOU CAN TOO – if you follow in their footprints.3. When you change your (health & body) expectations, you change your (health & body) attitude.Once your mind becomes opened by experts to your new health possibilities, you’ll have a renewed attitude & confidence about your abilities & empowerment around your personal health & begin to realize that anything you put your MIND to, your BODY can achieve -with the right tools in your toolbox. And THAT is exciting!4. When you change your (health & body) attitude, you change your (health & body) behavior.Now that you come to the table with a revitalized health attitude of possibilities & an arsenal from your health mentor, your entire being & behavior begins to shift because your mentor connects you with your own personal ability to achieve great results for your health, and as that continues to happen over and over, your self-efficacy GROWS & GROWS around your capabilities to manage your own personal health, as you transition into your own personal mini-health-expert!5. When you change your (health & body) behavior, YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE.Now that you’ve achieved health & body mastery, you will begin to see an entire energetic, mental & emotional shift in your life that FAR EXCEEDS the physical. Yes, you will look & feel great, but the ways optimal health radiate outwards to all facets of your life will be astounding, as you attain a personal joy in life through health that you’ve never experienced before. No pills, no roller coaster of energy, no food cravings, no more blah approach to life, no more hiding from life within your own body,…you emerge a renewed person, ready to take on your full potential in this life.This list is the perfect example of why health coaching with experienced experts not only WORKS, but offers you AMAZING, permanent results you could never envision or achieve on your own. With the support of your coaches seasoned & proven mentality of success in health & body transformation, you develop a similar mindset, outlook & body of knowledge in order to reach external goals of physical health & body success!