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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Facteon Factoring Blog
Read all the PowerBlog ReviewsEditor's note: We are pleased to bring you the seventy-ninth in our regular weekly series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This week's review is being guest-blogged by Lynne Meyer. Lynne Meyer, APR, is president of A Way with Words.

By Lynne Meyer

The Facteon Factoring blog is something of a rarity. It's one of the very few blogs on the narrow niche topic of small business factoring. As such it is a testament to the wide range of different businesses that have discovered blogs.

It's the blog of Facteon, Inc., a factoring company out of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Factoring is the sale of accounts receivables as a source of financing. Businesses turn to factoring companies when they need cash to meet payroll or other operating expenses, and can't wait the sometimes lengthy periods for their customers to pay their invoices.

Tom Nort is the president of Facteon. The company has been in business for six years, along with many more years of industry experience behind them.

In the spring of 2005, blogging hit Tom's radar screen just as it is doing for an increasing number of small business owners. Tom says "Blog discussion is everywhere. I think I first considered doing a blog from a Wall Street Journal article."

He decided on a blog to fulfill the dual goals of (1) heightening Facteon's visibility online, and (2) providing a useful source of information about factoring and small business finance for prospects and existing clients.

He hired online marketing consultant Paul Chaney of Radiant Marketing to help launch the blog and make sure it got off to a great start.

The blog is notable for being fully integrated into the Facteon corporate website. The blog is presented as another section of the website, using the same design, corporate colors and navigation. Tom explains, "This makes it convenient for online prospects and clients to switch back and forth from the web site to the blog."

This blog is dense with information and links to other web sites and articles. Factoring as a subject has attracted a fair number of spam sites, yet very few legitimate factoring information sites. Paul Chaney oversees the editorial calendar for the blog, and says "solid responsible content" is the only way to go, adding:
"It goes to the issue of credibility. While it would be easy to set up a series of spam blogs as a way to increase page rank, why resort to less than credible marketing ploys? Also, who would a customer rather do business with, a company that uses any means it can to drive traffic no matter how spurious, or a company that has integrity in its dealings?"
Paul and Tom turned to well-known veteran blogger and small business expert Anita Campbell (CEO of Small Business Trends), to provide daily content. In addition to her small-business knowledge and experience, Anita has a background in banking, so she's experienced in small business finance.

As I read a variety of postings, it occurred to me that this blog is truly a 360 view of small business finance. It addresses a tremendous range of topics that impact all aspects of small business financial management, including: finding cash for business growth; insights on the kinds of businesses that are good candidates for factoring; the impact of the new bankruptcy laws on small businesses; valuing a business; and best accounting software packages, to name a few.

The blog lists postings under three categories: Business Finance, Factoring and Factoring News. The interview with Q & A format is put to good use in several postings, along with dividing up important topics and presenting the information in a series.

In terms of presentation style, the entries vary in length from 2-12 paragraphs. Rather than relying on long paragraphs, information is presented in "chunks" for easier reading and understanding. There's also good use of breaking out information with numbers and bullets.

In my opinion, the Facteon factoring blog is a good example of why a small-business blog should exist -- to educate and inform readers, providing them with what they need to know.
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