Just last week, I blogged about how some lenders arereluctant to extend credit to SMBs and the resulting lack of upfront capital makes it tough for them to export their goods to other countries.
That's not the only issue associated with SMBs' difficulties in obtaining loans. Low cash flow also makes it tough for them to purchase tech gear. That's why, as eWEEK notes, tech vendors are getting more creative in their financing plans. The new plans are "creative by necessity," as eWEEK's headline puts it.
The article gives shout-outs to Dell, Avaya and Microsoft. In Microsoft's case, a deal with CIT Group, a third-party financial services company, will allow the software giant to boost the amount it lends to SMBs by up to 60 percent. CIT Group, rather than Microsoft itself, will evaluate SMBs' credit-worthiness and assume the risk of loans to them. The actual money will come from Microsoft Financing. An IDC analyst lauds this arrangement, telling eWEEK that it "facilitates good underwriting."
AMI Partners earlier this year suggested that creative financing options could go a long way toward helping vendors expand their SMB business, since many SMBs seek flexible financing arrangements when making tech purchases.
Browsing through our site archives, I found an interesting take in an internetnews.com article from the summer of 2006, in which a Forrester Research analyst speculated that the growing popularity of software-as-a-service was leading tech vendors to create more attractive loan terms for businesses of all sizes. When the article was published, for instance, business intelligence specialist Business Objects collected no interest for some of its loans.