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?

Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.

What Is the Student Loan Consolidation Rate

The student loan consolidation is the merging of several student loans, and is done to save money on interest and for the convenience of one payment instead of several. There are plenty of things you should know about student loan consolidation, and this site provides the information you need to make a decision.Consolidation Loan – InformationIt is very likely that if you went to college is likely to stay with some kind of student loan debt. Each year, borrow, this is a new and unique loan that helps pay for your tuition and living expenses. When all is said and done, however, one of the best ways to save money is through student loan consolidation. In a student loan consolidation you get a loan paid in full.The student loan consolidation is a mystery to many college students and graduates. The truth is, however, the consolidation loan can save you much money. In addition, you can pay off your debt faster so that your college years are not chasing you in your retirement years. What a relief loan consolidation provides students.There are many ways you can get a consolidation loan. You can get federal loans, a bank or a private lender, but no matter what you choose to do so; consolidation will have a big effect on getting out of college under their debt. The idea is that it takes only one payment per month, so you can pay your debt off faster and with lower monthly payments than you think normally.Loan consolidation current studentsIt is a fact that almost half of all college students graduate with a degree of student loan debt. The average debt of $ 20,000 is focused on. That means an entire population of young people with serious debt and no education on how to deal with it. Most do not know, but the truth is that many of these students are met to consolidate loans and at school.Despite what many believe, student loan consolidation does not have to wait until after college. In fact, there are many benefits that have been consolidating while you are still in school. Consolidating student loans while in school can lessen the debt before you even start to pay debts. That, however, is only the beginning.Another advantage of the consolidation of student loan debt while still in school is that you can avoid any increases in interest. In July 2006, interest rates for federal student loans rose sharply. There is nothing that prevents this kind of tours that take place once again. The sooner your debt is consolidated and locked, the less likely victim of a rapid rate of rise.As with anything, make sure that consolidating student loan debt before you graduate will work for your specific situation. In most cases, however, is a good financial base and move forward. Lightening your debt before he was even paying it is a great benefit. Indeed, it can be the difference in paying their loans off in 10 years or 30 years.Benefit CreditConsolidating your student loan debt can do more than just reduce your long-term debt. The fact is that consolidation could help you increase your credit score during the loan. This, in turn, will help you buy a better car, get the house you want, or end up with a lower rate credit card. But how can a debt consolidation student loan can help you increase your credit? Consider some of the measures used by credit rating agencies reporting.First, further opening the accounts with the lowest score will be, in general. Throughout his student life, which will be held until 8 loans to pay for their education. Each of these is shown as a separate account with its own interest payments and principal. By consolidating, you close the accounts to one account. So instead of 8 open accounts, you have one. This right will not help you qualify.Second, you will have lower payments after you have consolidated your student loans. When the number of agencies reporting your credit score, they do looking at their minimum monthly payment. Instead of having several payments per month for your student loans, you have a payment that is less than the sum of the payments of age. Again, consolidation helps your score.As a final point, that improving your debt to credit rationing. When your score is figured, the presentation of reports have companies check your debt to available credit test versus credit used. When you have more credit available, but less used (like when you consolidate student loan debt) after the case of a higher score. So, if for no other reason, consider consolidating to help your credit score.Beware of traps when you make loan consolidationAs we approach the end of his college career, you have undoubtedly received a number of flyers, mail and e-mail about consolidating your loans. Each company has any reason you should go to them for their consolidation. However, you should be aware that sometimes there are many catches all those promises. Knowledge of the catch can help you prepare to make a wise decision on your consolidation loan. Do not drop the first consolidation of trading that falls into your lap. Carefully consider the options that are delivered to you.A bonus can be offered is common to all discounts. They will tell you that if you make a series of payments on time, you will receive a discount. The only problem is that to maintain the discount, you have to make timely payments for the loan after that. That may have up to 20 years. A delay in the payment in one day during that time and “discount” is gone.Another way to get caught in a plus is when you receive the offer of an all in one building. In this loan, the company offers to take in all of its debt, including credit cards, car loans, and any other debt you have. It is tempting to have everything wrapped into one loan, but lose the ability to defer its predecessor or student loans. The loan will no longer be protected as a student loan.As a final point, be careful with changing your email address or moving. One or two letters misdirected, or worse, the wrong orientation of emails and a lender can make you pay the price. You could lose a discount or paid excessive fees. Therefore, it is unaware of any company that offers strictly to work with you via email.Know what you get when it comes to consolidation loansIt is important to be familiar with what they are entitled under the Higher Education Act. There are certain advantages for a federal student loan and consolidating it. Note that many lenders offer special advantages consolidation as these that are giving away. They are, in fact, offers to do. Consider some of the most common.At the same time if you got a letter advertising the beauty is that a company is willing to offer a fixed rate? If you have, not surprisingly. In fact, everyone should offer a fixed rate under the Higher Education Act. This is not a bonus, just what you expect. Do not drop the line that are offering more than they deserve.Another you might notice is that there will be a credit check. Again, this is not only common but also necessary. All companies that work with the student loan consolidation have to do without a credit check. Knowing what a company is obliged to offer you help in determining if the institution is actually offering a bargain or are misleading, you may believe you are getting a real bargain, more than are required to receive by law.As a final point, you should never have prepayment penalties. No matter what the company advertises that all their loans without prepayment penalties consolidate. This is nothing special. When you are seeking privileges, then just make sure you are offering something really special.Myths about consolidation loansAs with any financial matter, there are a lot of misinformation floating around the student loan consolidation. These little myths often keep people from consolidation when, in fact, is best for them. By taking a look at some of the most common myths, you will be able to understand what is true and what is not there.It is absolutely certain that you will lose your eligibility deferment if consolidating your student loans. By consolidating, in fact, to keep the core deferments can be a great help pay part of the time. Deferrals can be made because in school, go to graduate school, economic hardship, unemployment and to name a few.Consolidating your student loan is not like this refinancing the house necessarily. Some people worry that if they consolidated from over payments and interest and will end up paying more in the long run. That’s not true. On the one hand, you can pay early with no penalty. Second, get a better rate and can repay all loans under which a fee. The consolidation, if anything, reduce the term loan when it’s all said and done.As a last point, it is easy to think that consolidation is for those who do not know what they are doing with their loans. It is unclear whether this idea comes from, but is so common that many believe it is and the avoidance of consolidation. The truth is that consolidating your student loans, in most cases, a sound financial move. You save money and reduce the loan period. It’s that simple.Loan consolidation, as doThe process of getting your student loans consolidated is surprisingly easy. Once you have determined that you use for your consolidation application is only about a page long. Even more exciting is that there are several ways to fill the requests. Take a look at the various options available to you so you can decide which way works best for you.One option is, of course, do so in person. You can always go to the bank or financial institution that is to consolidate your loan and take care of it. Fill, sign, and he did and in his way. The lender will review your request and contact you with your decision. Whatever, if they live nearby?Surprisingly, you can complete your application over the phone. It is not really fill you on the phone, but the introduction of information you can go ahead and lock types for consolidation. Once you have done this, it will likely be sent by email or documents for you to finish complete, sign and send back in.Third, at this time is not surprising that you can complete your application consolidation loan over the Internet. Many lenders have secure websites with the application there to fill. Once they do fit, you get a copy, and all the care within days.Find your lenderObviously, before it can consolidate, you need to find a lender with which to organize their consolidation. Fortunately, there is much competition out there, which means two things. This means that companies are easy to find and they are all willing to compete for your business.The first place to look may be just around the corner or in your mailbox. As we approach the end of school or after the change, about every lender will send you a flyer, email, brochures, catalogs or information about the consolidation of their packages. There is nothing wrong with looking through these free brochures. Many times you will find a good package that way.Another option, of course, is to talk to your school’s financial aid office. Someone can help you find what you need. What’s more, they have had experience in the area to know what to look for and what to avoid.As a final point, you can watch online. There are many options available and easy to shop that way. Be sure to contact the places in person or by phone, however, before completing paperwork. That way you can be sure that everything is at maximum and more. It’s a good way to avoid online fraud and only those who seek their harvest information and move on.As you can see, there are many options to find your company to consolidate student loans. Just make sure you always compare and ask questions. In the end, the best consolidation company is giving you what you want.Problems with your payment?No matter what you do with the consolidation, it is possible that your student loan debt can become too high. With only ten years to repay, could end up with fairly high payment, especially if you go to graduate school or even add more years to student work. Stop payments can really put a cramp in your financial situation. There is an answer, however. If loans and payments are too unbearable, you can always expand. You can take the loan and stretch over years in many cases.Although the standard is 10, your consolidation loan can, in most cases, taken out much longer. You can stretch to 15, 20 or even 30 years. You will earn more interest that way, but with a lower monthly payment, you will have more capital available with which to live your life. You have to decide if you are willing to pay more in interest to make your finances more manageable.Think of it like this. Would you rather own a home and a new car while paying a little more interest, or if you do not pay their loans off in 10 years, but years pass, in a small apartment with a bad car and not rent available? Most prefer the former over the latter. Therefore, there is no shame in extending the loan if that is what we do.