HP Offers Flexible Financing to Small-Business Customers

New program offers zero-interest financing and extended leasing option to SMB customers, which could help HP VARs active in the market.

Hoping to boost sales in the lucrative small and midsize business market, channel vendor Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) has rolled out two new financing options designed to entice business customers to acquire new IT technology.

One program offers zero-interest financing on new purchases for one year, while the other offers leases for a three-year term. Both are available through HP Financial Services.

The programs are of interest to VARs because they should make it easier for SMB- market customers, the sweet spot of the channel, to acquire HP solutions. Easier financing should also help channel partners make their case for a beneficial return-on-investment on HP technology.

Just a week ago HP made changes to its PartnerONE program that were designed to help VARs with their own financing issues by providing back-end rebates to qualified channel partners.

The U.S. economy presents a serious challenge, especially to cash-strapped SMBs, said Brian Burch, HP's director of small business marketing. "HP is in a strong position relative to the rest of the world, and we want to bring a Rock of Gibraltar-like opportunity to our current and prospective customers," he said.

The program consists of both buy and lease plans. When HP presented the idea for evaluation to a focus group of small business owners, the feedback provided one resounding mandate: offer both purchase and leasing options, Burch added.

"No matter how tough times are, there are people who want to buy," said Burch. "The 12-month same-as-cash plan lets business owners invest in technology while keeping a tight grip on their cash flow."

The zero-percent 12-month purchase option lets you spread the cost of your IT investment over one year. At the end of the term, you buy the equipment for one dollar The loan is interest-free as long as you pay-in-full within the 12-month term.

The leasing option covers a 36-month term, at the end of which you can either return the equipment or pay the fair-market price and keep it.

Business Investments

Customers in the U.S. can finance between $1,500 and $150,000 worth of HP products or services, and the financing is available through April 30. After that time, Burch said, HP will evaluate the program and decide whether or not to continue it.

“History has shown that companies that continue to invest in their business during economic downturns are the leaders who emerge when times get better,” said Fred Bullock, vice president, HP marketing,  in a written statement. “These offers allow customers to invest in technology that can grow their business while minding their budget and freeing up capital.”

Burch added, "This is an opportunity for HP to fill the gap when credit is so hard to come by, and it's an opportunity to serve our customers."

(This article was adapted from SmallBusinessComputing.com)


TAGS: SMB,marketing,HP,financing,VARs

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