October 29, 2008, 10:33 AM — Can your customers still get credit to buy from you? From my own informal discussions with VARs, the general sentiment about credit seems to be that customers are still buying (although they may be buying less), and credit hasn't dried up completely, despite jaw-dropping headlines to the contrary. Credit is less of an issue for midmarket and enterprise customers who are more likely to not require financing for all but the very largest of integration projects. But, for the small business market, it's another story. Many of the VARs I've talked to that target this market say they've had at least a few projects go bad because the client was unable to obtain financing or lease options.
During the current credit crunch, credit is not something VArs can take for granted, and taking a more active role in securing financing for clients is in order. Surprisingly, only about a third of all providers offer some sort of finance option to customers. A quick review of some credit options available show five different finance vehicles, including floor plan financing, a type of short-term credit; various leasing options; and "assignment of proceeds" financing.