Written by Elisabeth Vanderveldt, SBSC PAL for Eastern Canada

In this week’s Financial Post the headline article was all about how small business are seeing customers tighten their belts, which in turn makes us all pay in reduced orders, services, and our own ability to maintain our revenue and sanity.

So if no one is buying or they’re budgeting every paper clip and telephone call, then where does that leave small business? How are the banks reacting to all this? When so many people are still in need of ongoing credit or just trying to get started, what imposition/s will the banks place on small business?

Who are we going to sell our IT solutions too? Can we offer an alternative?

As one gentleman pointed out, the businesses that are renewing the terms of their current financial credit from the banks are going to be asked some of the hardest questions. However, equally hard hit will be new and current businesses that are looking to get that first IT system or acquire funding to make their operations more efficient and reduce the need for travel (teleconferencing and VOIP technologies more specifically, solutions we could provide). For those having put off this decision until now, they may just find themselves stuck with antiquated equipment which won’t help them on a competitive level, when now is the time to be so in order to stay ahead of the game.

Microsoft has always been sensitive to the difficulties that their partners have had since the tech bubble burst years ago and started a program called Microsoft Financing with Total Solution Financing (and yes there is a version just for Canada!).

Previously only for licensing, Microsoft has since extended it to include everything in one monthly payment.

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Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft, made note of this point in her recent interview with CRN:

Is Microsoft Finance seeing an uptick in the number of channel partners seeking resources?

“We're definitely talking with partners about financing. Microsoft Financing has been fairly underutilized because financing has been easy to get. We want to make sure partners know it’s available. It isn't just free financing, however. Companies have to qualify in order to receive it.

Financing options are available for hardware, software, and services. Partners have great opportunities now to leverage assets of the total deal bundle wrapped into the bundle. And we are seeing partners interested in leveraging that.”

This looks to open a door to you to make available not only your solutions to prospects, but the financing option to make it a done deal. As well, the financing is only available if the client deals with a Microsoft partner!

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Hey Microsoft is telling customers to call us! Isn’t that exactly what we’ve been asking for?

With the economy far from being stable for the foreseeable future, offering an option to be competitive without having to run to the bank or emptying the piggy bank is a great offer your clients and something you should be willing to take a serious look at.

Click here to learn more about the fundamentals, requirements, and promotions for Microsoft Financing.

Elisabeth Vanderveldt

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