Small-business owners worried over how the credit crisis will affect their financing ability may find solace in a recent announcement from technology giant Hewlett-Packard. The company announced zero percent financing promotions that it hopes will make continued investment in business technology simple and affordable for small and midsize businesses, enabling them to increase efficiency and grow their businesses.
The two promotions (offered through HP Financial Services, the company's asset management services and leasing subsidiary) provide customers with the choice of either leasing or owning products. HP says a zero percent, 12-month promotion plan allows SMBs to invest in new technology while managing cash flow. At the end of the 12-month term, the equipment can be purchased for $1. HP's second promotional offer, the zero percent, 36-month lease offer, provides a fair market value purchase option at the end of the lease term.
"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 HP Americas' vice president of Marketing, Personal Systems Group, Fred Bullock. "These offers allow customers to invest in technology that can grow their business while minding their budget and freeing up capital."
Both plans allow customers in the United States to finance between $1,500 and $150,000 worth of products from HP's portfolio. Michael Athey, director of IT for Gearbox Software, a Plano, Texas-based video game development company, said HP Financial Services has made it possible for Gearbox to stay aggressively competitive and deliver products on time to its customers. "We need cutting-edge workstations to do our job, and HP tailors our leasing package so we can focus on our work instead of financial details," Athey said.
HP is using the promotion to premiere the first video from the "Life Without HP Video Series," a "humorous" attempt at highlighting HP's ability to cater to small-business financing needs.
Making a Splash
HP also announced the availability of MarketSplash by HP, a one-stop, Web-based shop that provides SMBs with a low-cost option for brand marketing services such as professional-quality design and print fulfillment. To promote MarketSplash, HP is offering first-time customers 100 free business cards. SMB owners can choose from more than 1,400 professionally designed templates, pay no processing, shipping or other fees, and receive their cards in seven business days or less.
Using MarketSplash DIY tools, HP says small-business owners can create business cards, mailing labels and postcards, all for under $40 with no processing fees. Branding packages start at $579 and include original logo concepts with unlimited revisions, custom business cards and stationery design work.
"MarketSplash helps small businesses create the high impact look of a big company without requiring the resources of one," said Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP's Imaging and Printing Group. "As part of our Print 2.0 strategy, MarketSplash helps customers easily and affordably access professional design services from the web and print how, where and when they want."