The Good and the Bad About Online Education

The availability of online education has grown significantly over the past decade and to the point where it is now an option that almost all college and university students think about when comparing their education options. You can not only do online courses and online degrees, but you can fully go attend an online school and graduate with a degree without ever setting foot in a classroom.Even though it is now a viable option there are sound arguments about the pros and cons of online courses, online degrees, and online schools. The following will take a look at the pros and the cons of online education.The Pros of Online Education SchoolsWhen it comes to online schools, most of the pros revolve around the flexibility and convenience that online courses offer to students. Those who advocate for online education often cite these pros:• There is no commute• You can continue to work and pursue your career while going to school• Online school options continue to grow and there is no shortage of online education degrees to consider• Many of the major colleges and universities now offer programs online• Location is no longer a big of a factor when deciding which school to attend• More and more careers are internet based, so doing your degree online makes sense• Online education is ideal for many people that are more introverted and prefer an online learning environment• It is an ideal option for people with physical disabilities• People often are more comfortable engaging with others in an online environmentThe Cons of Online SchoolsWhen it comes to the cons associated with online schools, most of the cons are related to isolation and lack of interaction in the classroom. Those who argue against online education often cite these cons:• There is a lack of human interaction• You miss out on the college experience• There is something to be said about the debates and discussions that occur in a traditional classroom setting• Quality of education is often questioned• Some employers still see online degrees as less credible than traditional degrees• The onus to complete course work is solely on you – some people will have difficulty with this• Online courses open the door for procrastinationThere are good and there are bad things about online education. While it is convenient and the world is now more digital and online-based than ever, there is something to be said about the lack of interaction and quality of education that you can receive online.Overall, when considering your education options, you need to think about the academic situation that makes most sense for you and your current situation. An online school may make sense for you, or it may not. The choice is yours! Just make sure you fairly consider all of your options before making a final decision.

Get and Stay Younger Looking and Slow the Aging of Your Body – Nutritional Supplements Can Help

Are you aware that many of the diseases the American public gets can be prevented with nutritional supplements? Even the aging process can be slowed by having a good balance of nutritional supplements.You may ask, “Why do I need nutritional supplements?” Most Americans have a hurried life style. This is evidenced by the number of drive through windows at the fast food restaurants. As a result, we do not eat a balanced diet. This is why food supplements are needed. Nutritional supplements do exactly what their name means. They supplement the nutritional value of our diets.Eating a variety of meats, vegetables, and fruits is definitely encouraged. However…what is the nutritional value of our food? The nutritional value has decreased as we have refined and process our foods. Unless you grow your own, you need nutritional supplements to make up the difference.Not having enough of the right vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants affects the ravaging effects of the aging process. Insufficient nutrition contributes to poor cardiovascular health, poor eyesight, and a weakened immune system. Good quality nutritional supplements can help in all these areas.Radiation exposure, cigarette smoke, and exposure to sunlight are some factors. The nutritional supplements must contain the right ratio and quantity to be beneficial. Adding nutritional supplements to a well balanced diet and adding exercise to your routine will greatly influence how our bodies stay healthy. Good quality nutritional supplements can even affect the aging process.We have seen advertisements about free radicals in diets lately. There is good reason for this. If free radicals are not neutralized they will ravage our body at every level. Nutritional supplements with antioxidants are needed to fight against these processes. The aging process in our bodies shows up in heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis to name a few. That is why our nutritional supplements must contain antioxidants.Nutritional and health experts agree that the basis for a good cardiovascular system is a nutrient rich diet, exercise, cholesterol level monitoring, and watching of blood pressure. The nutritional supplements added to your diet will help all of these. Your nutritional supplements should contain a garlic extract. Garlic has been shown to be of greatly effect the cardiovascular system and has helped decrease the instances of cardiovascular disease.Did you know that almost every eye disease that affects our vision CAN be linked to poor nutrition? Blood shot eyes, blurred vision, and nearly every irritation to our eyes can be prevented. The nutritional supplements you choose should contain Vitamins A, B, C, and E. You get these from of dark green leafy vegetables. Examples of these are: Kale, mustard, and collard greens. (I don’t know about you, but I’d rather take nutritional supplements that contain the nutrients than eat those leafy greens.) Orange fruits and vegetables like oranges are carrots are also sources.I’ve named a few diseases nutritional supplements can help and prevent. I think these alone are reason enough for me to add nutritionally supplements to my diet. (I’m still working on the exercise part.) Nutritional supplements that you chose must contain sufficient quantities of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Read the label and check the sources of the nutritional supplements you are getting.Also, don’t just take single vitamins or minerals. Just taking one, vitamin, and or an antioxidant and ignoring all the others is not suggested. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the nutritional supplements work in concert to promote a healthy body.Your health care provider can provide you with a list of those needed in your diet. Make sure your nutritional supplements have those, as well as sufficient quantities of others needed. Armed with all this information you can read the labels of the nutritional supplements you are considering (check several brands). Your health is too important for you NOT to check into these. Get a high quality (Pharmaceutical grade if you can) and you will be well on your way to eating and being healthierFind a game plan, implement it, and STICK to it. I did! You can too.

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?