See How Easy Affiliate Marketing Is With These Tips

Has someone ever told you to go into a place of business and tell them that they sent you? Well, if you have, you are already familiar with affiliate marketing. Though word of mouth is important, there are other affiliate marketing campaigns that you can use to help your business and this article provides you with the tips you need to make it happen.Securing reciprocal links is a modest but important step in any profitable affiliate marketing program. Website owners should always do what they can to get a link from their affiliates back to their own website. Such links are doubly desirable because they not only increase the utility of the affiliate program, they also improve the website’s standing in search engine results rankings.Look for companies that are willing to pay extra for your time spent. Some affiliate businesses expect you to design the marketing tools you will be using to get them buyers. Finding a business that is willing to pay you for the extra efforts is quite a bonus. If you are spending your time for their sales you should be paid for it!

Take your time and try different approaches to figure out the best way to promote your affiliate links. Don’t just take the first option you see. Study the different choices carefully and test out different ads to see which ones get the best results. Rotating your ads frequently can help draw more attention.When promoting a product as part of an affiliate marketing program, you will see the most benefit out of showing your readers how the product specifically benefits them. Just because something is a good product doesn’t mean your readers care about it. You need to give specific examples as to why this particular product is something they need in order to get them to buy.Affiliate marketing is a niche market that allows you to make money using the Internet. If you have access to a computer regularly, have online capabilities, can follow simple directions, and want to make money in your spare time, affiliate marketing is for you. Companies are more than happy for the advertisement.A great affiliate marketing tip is to provide your real name and a working email address to your visitors and customers. Providing your name and email address will make you look credible, and you want to look as credible as possible in order to gain the trust of your visitors.

Check the company’s affiliate program to make sure they use tracking cookies. You want to make sure that if a customer visits their website the first time through you but doesn’t make a purchase until later, you receive credit for the purchase they make. You want to make sure you get all the credit you are entitled to receive.We are all familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, we just may not understand its formulation. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the basics you need to start your affiliate marketing campaign in as formal or informal a manner as you might like. By following the tips from this article, you are helping to ensure the success of your program.

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?