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?

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technicians are one of the leading professionals in the health care division. They usually undergo complicated tasks than the pharmacy aides. Their job is to provide information regarding medicines to patients, regarding the dosages, effects, and after effects. They not only give instructions to patients, but also look after almost every function in the pharmacy store. Pharmacy technicians should not give medicines without proper consultation with the pharmacists.A licensed pharmacy technician is the one who advises his patients. There are pharmacy technicians who get trained only on the job, but many pharmacists entertain only licensed technicians. Licensed pharmacy technicians are helpful as they are aware of the medicines and their side effects. The responsibility of pharmacy technicians varies according to the location. They take care of the shop on a whole like attending telephones, preparing bills, book keeping, handling cash and stock maintenance. Invariably, they are allowed to do all the routine works of the shops. In some places, he takes charge of the prescriptions and gives guidelines on the medications.Pharmacy technicians are certified as Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhT) by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. They should pass out the National Pharmacy Technician Examination. Candidates with high school diploma and GED (General Equivalent Diploma) are eligible for this examination. Pharmacy technicians are also given training in some hospitals, technical schools and colleges.Pharmacy technician should be strong in mathematics, spelling and reading. They should be able to read and assess the prescribed medicines immediately. They should be very active and alert to attend the needs of the patients and also in instructing the dosages specified in the prescription. Their communication skills and the quality of interacting with people should be good. This quality of interacting and communicating effectively with patients will help them in their profession. Pharmacy technicians are expected to handle all types of people skillfully.Pharmacy technicians will be the most sought for people in the future. They can work in hospitals, private clinics, health centers, pharmaceutical stores, groceries, departmental stores and so many other places. The job opportunities are bright for them. The salary ranges from around $8 to $18 per hour. They will be in much demand as the population is increasing. The more the increase in population, more will be the requirement of medicines. Simultaneously, the requirement of medicines will promote the necessity of more pharmacy technicians.

Benefits of Purchasing Online Health Insurance Leads

If you are like most health insurance agents, then you are no doubt always hunting for new methods to increase your clientele by finding more online health insurance leads. It does doesn’t take long in the business to understand that the more leads you have, the more business potential you have. Once you have a pile of health leads on you desk you can begin closing sales and putting money in the bank. But you can’t make any sales until you have quality health insurance leads. There are lots of ways to get new leads, but by far the best option is to utilize the Internet.The Internet offers tremendous gains over other lead generation methods. First and foremost, it is much more convenient. Everything you need is right there at your fingertips. You don’t have to deal with paperwork. You don’t have to transfer a potential health lead’s information to your computer; it is already there. This reason alone is enough to convince most insurance agents to take advantage of online leads, but this is only the beginning.The real benefit comes from getting health insurance leads that work. Some agents develop their own website for lead generation. This website might offer useful information for those looking into insurance. It might give them an option to submit their details to get a custom quote or to talk to an agent. This site keeps track of these leads. All the insurance agent needs to do, is open up the file and look through all of his new leads. These leads are as fresh as can be and each one is interested in exactly what you have to sell. This modern convenience is a huge boon to insurance agents.Of course, not every agent has the resources or time to develop their own lead generating website. Luckily, they don’t have too. There are companies that specialize in collecting online health insurance leads so you don’t have to. These companies sell their leads to insurance agents, and the price is more than reasonable. Indeed, more and more insurance agents are realizing the benefits of purchasing quality health insurance leads. It saves time and money. Instead of paying for advertising, why not contact directly those people actively looking for an insurance policy? This is the ability agents have when they purchase online insurance leads.The Internet isn’t the only way to generate business, but it is one of the most effective ways. This is especially true when you consider the quality of the health leads. Not only can you be sure the leads you get through the Internet are made up of people that really want to buy insurance, but these health insurance leads are fresh. It is much easier to close a sale when you know your lead is interested in buying right now. So if you haven’t tried online insurance leads, what are you waiting for?