Factoring and Google

Checking Google to see how the factoring brokers and companies are ranking is something that I guess most of us do regularly. Getting a high position whether organically or on the paid for ad section is only half of the battle as you also have to make the strapline appealing enough to make potential customers want to visit your website.

Looking at the various brokers and factoring companies jockeying for position this morning there were two PPC ads that stood out for different reasons.

Firstly Cashflowuk who claimed that they were a “UK factoring broker with over 60 years experience.” Although that may sound appealing to anyone who knows nothing about factoring it is both meaningless and irrelevant as it could mean that they have one person who has been in the business for 60 years or else they have 60 trainees none of whom have been in the business for long.

I would guess that I am possibly the longest in the tooth of all factoring personnel as I’ve been in the factoring business for about 40 years but how relevant is that as the business has changed so much that any knowledge of market conditions prior to the last five years is probably irrelevant anyway.

Still, neither Cashflowuk nor myself are anywhere close to factoringcompare.com who make the bold claim on their website that “You benefit from our 100 years plus experience.” I wonder if they had to close down for the duration of World War 1 whilst they went away to fight in the trenches. 🙂

The second PPC ad to catch my eye was that of Close Invoice Finance as their strapline was that they were the “2010 Credit Today Winner” This is another of those “shoot yourself in the foot” straplines” that amused me in a previous post as the first thing that anybody who takes these awards seriously would do is to look up who was the 2011 Credit Today winner and approach Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance instead.

The only other PPC ads that caught my eye were from Bibby plus Close’s second ad as they were both headed “Factoring Solutions.”  Thanks Guys

Whilst Bibby and Close have just used my company name in their headline the Factoring Solutions award for plagiarism goes to firstfactoruk.com whose website meta description uses the phrase “We know which factoring companies deliver”.  Hmmm I’m sure I’ve seen that strapline somewhere before 🙂

Whilst the above are nothing really more than amusing, the growth of the internet has seen a huge rise in misleading websites and once I have done a little more research I will post again about misleading websites including the “broker” who has a glowing testimonial from a satisfied client who according to Nominet actually owns the website in question – but that’s for another day

Another one bites the dust at Close Invoice Finance

We were approached last week by a company who had only been factoring with Close Invoice Finance for two or three weeks but had already run into serious problems and wanted us to find them an alternative factoring company.

The company that we introduced realising the urgency of the situation did their fact finding visit straight away and discovered that there had been breaches of the factoring agreement but sensing that the underlying business was sound they decided to put the deal forward for approval by the credit commitee which was due to meet on Monday 30th March in order to approve the offer of a facility.

Unfortunately Close couldn’t wait one working day and appointed an Administrator on Friday 27th March. It’s quite a sad state of affairs as we thought that the business was salvageable but no doubt by the time the factoring company has charged a load of extra fees and the Administrator has had his whack there won’t be anything left for anyone.

This isn’t the first story that we’ve heard about the ultra hard line being taken by this particular factoring company since the new MD took over and whereas once upon a time they used to have a fine reputation for service they are no longer on our approved list and haven’t been for some time.

Close Invoice Finance shows up Bank of Scotland

By the purest of co-incidence we have been approached by a company who had a factoring facility with Close plus a trade finance facility with Fairfax Gerrard. It would seem that the trade finance company have cash flow problems of their own and their inability to continue to provide trade finance has put a lot of financial pressure on the company. Judging by other telephone calls that we have received this company is not the only one suffering due to their relationship with Fairfax.

We put it to the company that whilst we could possibly source a replacement trade finance facility they would also want the factoring too as that would be their security and were told that this had already been discussed with Close who would reluctantly release the company from it’s factoring facility as it would be in the best interests of the company.

It’s good to see that in this day and age there are still companies that will “do the right thing” so plaudits to Close Invoice Finance who have shown up Bank of Scotland for the greedy concern that they are.





Factoring company of the year is…..

Almost all of them.

We were approached by a company last week that was looking for a factoring facility and having read our website they were interested in our recommendations. The MD mentioned that he had already approached Cattles Invoice Finance on the basis that they were award winners to which my response was that almost all factoring companies were award winners somewhere or another.

Looking at the factoring and invoice discounting companies’ website I noticed that Cattles were proudly proclaiming to have won the Business Innovation of the Year award at the National Business Awards’ North West regional finals.

Moving onto Close Invoice Finance and they are claiming the Business Moneyfacts Best Factoring and Invoice Discounting Provider award for the third year running whilst Venture Finance are the winners of the Credit Today Factor Discounter of the Year for the second year running.

Perhaps the most amusing website is that of Bibby Factors where they are proud of the fact that they were voted best factor and discounter by NACFB 2003 2004 2005 2006 thus prompting the question “What happened in 2007 then”

In addition to the above I went to the annual Dealmakers Dinner late last year which included an awards ceremony and GE Commercial Finance managed to win the Dealmakers Asset Based Lending award of the year.

I have no doubt that the clearing bank factors have also won a shelf full of awards between them as I seem to recall that Lloyds TSB was the victor at the Dealmakers Dinner in the previous year.

Oddly enough we introduced the prospective client that started me thinking about awards to one of the few factoring companies that doesn’t seem to have won an award at all even though they consistantly offer an above average service at competitive rates.