Importance of Free Online Business Directories

A lot of free online business directories are getting full attention right now because a lot of customers are getting several benefits from it due to the fact that they hold a compilation of information for different businesses. However rampant these online directories are in our time today, many small businesses still cannot afford it because almost all of them are requiring payment. Given this fact, the question now is despite being required to pay a certain amount, why should people still depend on these directories?First of all, these online business directories are a very good form of advertising for a lot of online businesses out there. Even though the business is just a small one and is just starting out, the fact that a lot of people look into these directories daily already increases the chance that these small businesses will receive more traffic. The job of attracting a lot of people will already be done by these directories given the fact that many people consult them; the only thing you have to do is back this up with interesting enough advertisements to succeed in convincing people to check out your online business. In addition, people will have the liberty to place in as much links they want in these online directories as long as they can really afford it. These directories do not impose limitations to entrepreneurs because anyone who can afford it can simply do as they please with their links.And speaking of limitations, people who visit these directories are not faced with limited choices of online businesses that are already huge and famous. Either small or large businesses are given an equal opportunity when their links are placed in these online directories. Therefore, if you are an entrepreneur who is just starting out with your brand new business, it is a good idea for you to start with online directories because here, it doesn’t matter how long you have been running your own business as long as you choose a field that generally interests a lot of people. Besides, instead of spending your money just to print out advertisement flyers, you can just save them and use them for other things related to making your business more successful. At least with an online directory, even though you spend a small amount for listing your link, you are somehow assured that people will really see your link because people visit these directories daily. Unlike with manual advertising, you will not be sure that people will be able to find their way to your flyers. Therefore you are not assured that the money you spent will really benefit your business in the long run.For those people who are thinking twice about listing their business link to free online business directories, just think about how your money will be more worth spending on them than on the manual process of advertising. Obviously, these online directories will bring in more profit for your business because of how much people patronize them.

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?

Nutritional Yeast vs. Vitamin Supplements

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast–often, Saccharomyces cerevisiae–that is yellow in color and has a nutty and cheesy flavor. It is a reliable food source for vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins such as folic acid. It is also an excellent source of protein (52%) and contains essential amino acids–making it a very popular choice for vegans. Some products are fortified with vitamin B12, which is produced separately from bacteria. Because of its rich nutrient content, nutritional yeast is a very good choice to include in a daily diet, instead of taking synthetically formulated vitamin supplements. Some of the benefits of nutritional yeast vs. vitamin supplements are discussed here.1. Flavor When it comes to the flavor of nutritional yeast vs. vitamin supplements, nutritional yeast is the winner. Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy, and creamy flavor that makes it an excellent cheese substitute–in fact, it is often used by vegans as a substitute to parmesan cheese. Nutritional yeast comes in the form of flakes or powder, and can thus be sprinkled to almost anything–from popcorn, bread, and vegetables, to pizzas, pastas, and casseroles.Meanwhile, how many vitamin supplements can be used to flavor or enhance food? This alone gives you enough reason to go for nutritional yeast (vs. vitamin supplements). Because of its unique flavor and the many versatile ways it can be added into food, nutritional yeast (vs. vitamin supplements) are easier to ingest and administer to kids and adults alike. Furthermore, nutritional yeast is low in fat and salt, making it perfect for those who are watching their weight.2. Natural vs. synthetic Nutritional yeast vs. vitamin supplements is different in how they store nutrients. Nutritional yeast is naturally grown–providing vitamins and nutrients at their natural state. It is not processed, and therefore, is a whole, organic, food vitamin. Inorganic vitamin supplements on the other hand–those that are not obtained or extracted from whole foods–are usually synthesized in high concentrates. Some say that vitamins and mineral elements are so complex and dependent upon each other, that when they are separated, they can no longer provide the same nutritional effect on the body.Thus, high concentrations of synthetic vitamins may not be beneficial. On the other hand, nutritional yeast provides vitamins in their complete form–including all their parts and cofactors–because they are derived from whole foods.3. When vitamin supplements are better Of course, nutritional yeast is not always better. Some ingredients and contents of vitamin supplements are not found in nutritional yeast and may be needed to counter deficiencies of meet Recommended Daily Allowances. When weighing nutritional yeast vs. vitamin supplements, it is still advisable to consult a physician to find out what’s best for you.IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that the sale and distribution of nutritional yeast and vitamin supplements are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration Board. As much as you can, buy only products from a manufacturer that strictly follows and adheres to the GMP standards. This assures you that the product contains the right amount of ingredients and dosage indicated, and that it is free from known contaminants.