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Financing Options For Small Businesses Make New Technology Compute For More Companies

By: Stacey Moore

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to put the brakes on high IT costs have followed the lead of millions of American car buyers.

The companies now use credit lines, loans and leases to finance new office technology. The result is that many SMBs have increased their competitiveness while expending a minimal amount of capital (leasing alone can triple an SMB's buying power).

In fact, industry analyst firm Yankee Group found that financing programs make it easy to extend IT cost solutions over time, enabling small and medium businesses to manage business finances more effectively and preserve cash for focused, core business initiatives.

According to a Yankee Group report, "Vendor Financing Solutions Are Gaining Interest in the SMB and Mid-Market Segments," more than half of SMB respondents viewed the availability of financing options to be at least somewhat important when making purchasing decisions.

SMBs can work with groups such as HP Financial Services, which has a number of financing packages. With only a $350 minimum transaction size, the latest offers from HP Financial Services are available to even the smallest of customers. Via new credit line capabilities, SMBs are also automatically preapproved for the maximum amount for which they are eligible. Those preapproved lines provide credit availability for future technology purchases. In addition, a new loan product is available that gives SMBs another financing option by allowing them to maintain ownership of their technology from the start of their financing agreement.

Part of the HP Total Care portfolio, these new financing options are intended to provide SMB customers with a differentiated and better experience with HP.

Experts have referred to the financing products as the "pay as you grow" solution for smaller firms. Because the products break IT costs into manageable monthly payments, SMBs can afford to stay ahead of the technology curve, helping them keep their competitive edge.

Through October 31, 2006, SMBs can get 4.9 percent financing promotions on all of the company's LaserJet, multifunction, inkjet and large-format printers, as well as a wide variety of business PCs, workstations and servers.

Additionally, SMBs can secure low promotional rates on bundled technology, such as HP BladeSystems and Storage Works products. The rates translate into low monthly payments for 24-, 36-, 48- or 60-month terms.

Customers can also take advantage of promotional 0 percent lease rates and reduce the cost of obtaining their technology across various products and terms. This lets SMBs easily upgrade their equipment at the end of their lease term.

To learn more, visit the Web site at www.hp.com/Go/HPFinan cialServices. Leasing, financing and loan programs can all be inexpensive ways for small and medium-sized businesses to update their technology.

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