Common Skin Care Mistakes

No-one wants to have dull and lifeless skin, which is why some of us spend all kinds of money on skin care products meant to keep our skin soft and youthful. Although many of these skin care products do actually do what they’re supposed to, the reason many people are unhappy with the results they receive from their skin care product is because the unknowingly fall into many of the common misconceptions of skin care.The best way to take care of your skin is to understand what you skin needs, what it doesn’t need. Take a look at some of these more common misconceptions about skin care, see if you need to tweak your skin care routine.1. Too Much ProductMore is better right? Actually, no it isn’t. Using too much of any kind of skin product isn’t good for the skin. Using too much of an acne treatment, for instance can lead to more severe breakouts, and too much of an eye gel can irritate and burn eyes. Most skin care products absorb directly into the skin, spreading to the affected area, so you really only need a little bit. Body lotions are a little different in the sense that they’re going over the whole body, but you still don’t need a lot, just enough the cover the areas you want without leaving excess on the skin.2. Not Wearing Sun BlockThe sun’s harmful UV rays are the number one cause of wrinkles and sun spots as well as skin cancer. Forgetting to wear a sun screen with an SPF of 40 or higher protects you from sunburn, sun poisoning, wrinkles, and other complications the sun can cause. Remember to re-apply your sun block every one to two hours even if it’s waterproof, as the SPF starts to break down as soon as it touches moisture leaving you unprotected. A good pair of sunglasses is also good to have when out in the sun for a long period of time so to protect the fragile eyes from harsh rays.3. Using The First Product You SeeOne of the biggest mistakes that one can do when it comes to taking care of their skin, is just picking up the first product you see without checking its ingredients. I cannot stress enough how important it is to fully read a skin care products ingredients to see if there is any harsh chemicals. Things like Potassium Hydroxide, SLS/SLES and Parabens are considered to be some of the most common and most harmful chemicals in the skin care world. These substances are known to cause irritation to the skin, burning, inflammation and in some cases they have been linked to cancer.4. Not Being ConsistentIf you apply a wrinkle cream or a moisturizer every couple days, then don’t expect to be blown away with the results. In order for any skin care product to be effective, you must stay on top of its use. If the product says “USE EVERY MORNING AND NIGHT” do exactly that. If you want results from your product, figure out a way to work it into your daily routine of things. A basic skin care regimen should only take about five to seven minutes out of your schedule. A good method for apply any skin care product is right after a shower, as the pores are open and can more easily absorb a product, making it more effective.5. H2OWater is the one constant need other than food that all life on this planet needs. We need water to properly regulate our metabolism, give us energy and to flush the body of wastes. Drinking plenty of water everyday helps to flush out toxins, dirt, and bacteria from the skin that would otherwise cause the skin to look dull and weathered. Start drinking more water and I promise you’ll see a noticeable change in the coming weeks.So, now that you can properly identify some of the things your skin needs and doesn’t need, you should be able to effectively tweak are start your skin care routine for the healthiest and youngest looking skin around. The best things come from nature, so try and stick with all natural skin care products trust me your skin will thank you. Shield yourself from the sun as best as you can, and be as consistent as possible with your regimen. Lastly don’t forget to keep water with you at all times and drink, drink, drink, it can’t hurt. Remember these tips and you’ll be on your way to the best looking skin around.

Pharmacy Business Owners: When to Consider Retirement

Will the pharmacy business experience declining profits over the next few years, and if this happens will the local community pharmacy be able to stay in business?Does it seem that business profits for pharmacy owners are being attacked from every angle? Have you read the articles detailing these points:• Reimbursements for diabetic testing supplies are being reduced.• For patients who have recurring monthly prescriptions the government is nudging the public to purchase by mail-order instead of visiting their local pharmacy.• The multipliers used to calculate reimbursements for Medicaid are expected to be lower than the pharmacy owner’s actual costs.• Dispensing fees regulated by many state agencies are being reduced.• The average wholesale price (AWP) paid to drug stores is being trimmed.The federal government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) negotiates pharmacy reimbursement rates for prescription drugs plans. Many states may take longer to provide the reimbursements. Other federal and state legislation may affect both the profits and the viability of staying in business. There are also issues regarding higher personal taxes and higher capital gain taxes that need to be considered.Over a number of years many independent drug stores have already been sold. These owners are gone and they are not looking to buyout their local competition. There are fewer young people willing to take the chance of business ownership. Some pharmacies have been closed due to the fact there was not a qualified buyer in the area. National and regional drug store chains have been sold during the past few years. The consolidation of pharmacy industry is seen as an advantage for the buyer, but for the local community pharmacy owner the consolidation provides added uncertainty to their business.It is expected that in the coming years, if circumstances don’t change, that current pharmacy owners will receive considerably lower purchase prices than their associates did 10 years ago. With the average pharmacy owner closer to the age of 60 than 40, many of the current pharmacy owners will need to take a hard look at their retirement expectations.When ready for an exit strategy, what does a pharmacy owner do when there are fewer willing buyers? Who will pay them an adequate amount for a business they have spent a life time building?Pharmacy owners, who do not plan on exiting the pharmacy industry until a few more years, will waiting a year or two really put the most amount of money in the bank for the pharmacy owner’s retirement account? If the business is sold now, can the proceeds be injected into other investments that would offer a higher return? The pharmacy owner should have their accountant calculate some projections, and the pharmacy owner will need to personally keep a diligent eye on any new regulatory proposals. By not being on top of what is affecting the industry, a pharmacy business owner could see a serious impact to the person’s retirement plans.Pharmacy owners are small business people. Financially they have done well during their career, but most would not categorize themselves as wealthy. The pharmacy is probably the largest asset they will ever own so any consideration of selling the business at the right time should come with a great deal thought.In a normal flow of transferring a drug store to a new owner, the process typically takes about nine months. This is important for a business owner to understand. To deposit the largest sum of money into the bank for retirement the decision to sell the business cannot be a quick decision, nor should the business be put on auction block for a quick sale. When it is time to consider retirement the appropriate planning needs to take place.

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?