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 A colorful banner heading up the Wall Street Journal today blasts:  Too Many Distractions, Or Is It Adult ADHD?    

Since I typed that sentence I took the earphones out of my ears because I thought I heard my cell phone ringing; but realized, although it wasn’t a call coming in, I did, indeed, have an important email on my blackberry to read and digest.  Even for those of us who do not suffer with ADHD, distractions bombard us with 4G speed.

Is it even possible to stay focused?  The answer is, it doesn’t matter if it’s possible or not.  If you are in a small or medium-sized business:  you must. 

New ideas come to you and at you all the time.  It’s easy to become enamored with a new sales channel, a new opportunity, a new social media thingy.  It’s hard to pick three must-achieve goals and hammer away at them relentlessly, ignoring the distractions.   

Even if you are disciplined and focused personally, how focused is your organization?  

The WSJ Personal Journal provides a questionnaire tool to help the reader evaluate himself.  Here’s a quick questionnaire to test your organizational focus:

  1.  Did your organization achieve your top three goals last quarter?
  2. Do you know your top 3 to 5 goals for this quarter?
  3. Does every person in your organization know the top 3 to 5 goals for the quarter and how they contribute?


What have you done to make sure every person in your organization is relentlessly focused on the right top three priorities?

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You may have seen Ftrans and one of our client’s featured in the Wall Street Journal article, “Asset-Based Lending Grows in Popularity.”   We’re happy to be associated with such success stories as Seth Chapman and Weezabi and know that many other businesses are benefiting from these types of services as the stigma of asset lending wears off (and the traditional credit markets remain dry).  Asset based lending is no longer viewed as “lending of last resort.”   As a matter of fact, it is increasingly becoming a preferred form of financing.    As indicated in the article, asset based lending (excluding mortgages) grew by 8.3% in 2008

The data supports this trend.   According to the FDIC,  traditional, commercial lending is DOWN 14% Sept. 2009 over September 2008.   Thus, we have every expectation to believe that asset lending will have grown significantly in 2009.  When it comes to providing growth and working capital to small and medium businesses, asset based lending is carrying the day.      

The moral of the story is two fold (1) Consider tapping your assets such as receivables for access to capital and (2)….. If you need a whole buch of creatively designed t-shirts, call Seth — He’ll take care of you.

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According to the WSJ, small-business loans are up at many of the nation’s lenders, but business isn’t exactly humming, and growing apprehension about commercial lending could leave a substantial number of firms without a source of capital.

JPMorgan Chase, the parent company of Chase Bank and Washington Mutual, said it issued about $1.5 billion in loans to 4,177 small businesses with revenues up to $10 million during the second quarter, up 32% over the first quarter.

However, lending is still 60% of what it would be in a normal economy, according John Asbury, the executive vice president of business services at Regions Financial, even though that is an improvement from the 50% it was at last year.  To read the whole article, and to read about how the SBA is dragging it’s feet, click here.

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FTRANS was included in an article about entrepreneurs taking therces of financing stigma out of borrowing against receivables, in an article in the Wall Street Journal by Simona Covel.  Covel explores a receivables discounter, FTRANS, and a supply chain financing company.

The article notes that all of the companies that facilitate borrowing against receivables sometimes experience push back when pitching the program.  However, as was the case with Synovus Bank in Tampa, after working with the FTRANS, banks and clients find the value in it.  The article notes that after 1 1/2 years,  Synovus Bank in Tampa is now aggressively pitching the FTRANS program, in an attempt to branch out from real-estate lending.

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