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Is Small Business A Key For Big Vendors? How Are Things Changing?
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The small business market has always been very important to FedEx and millions of small business owners rely on FedEx every day. With FedEx Kinko’s business services and our full range of shipping services, now more than ever, FedEx offers even more solutions for small businesses.

The rapid growth of the small business segment has made it even more of a focus for FedEx and we are continually creating solutions specifically for small businesses. These solutions include more convenient locations at FedEx Kinko's nationwide; a suite of small business services at FedEx Kinko’s including shipping, copying, printing, WI-FI access and more; an on-line tool – the Small Business Center that will be released this spring on fedex.com and a "Salute to Small Business" appreciation campaign that has offers specifically geared toward small business customers.

Some interesting statistics related to the small business market follow:

• There are between 7.7 and 8 million small businesses in the United States and the United States small business revenue taken in aggregate would create a group ranking third in GDP behind the United States and Japan.

• In 2005, around 90 percent of small business owners had access to the Internet versus only give percent in 1993.

• Small businesses outnumber large businesses by 900:1 and employ nearly 50 percent of the United States workforce.

• Small businesses are growing more comfortable with technology. Technology spending (Internet, web hosting, networking) is projected to increase 60 percent from 2003 to 2008. FedEx is keeping up with the small business needs by creating online solutions that are specifically tailored for this growing market.

• Small businesses are increasing their outsourcing needs, especially for legal services. Greater need for outsourcing and concerns of rising costs generate partnership and/or co-branding opportunities to help small businesses confront day-to-day pressures. FedEx Kinko’s bundled offering for small businesses is very attractive to these customers.
Kelly Gerhart, Small Business Marketing Advisor, FedEx.

Small businesses are an increasingly important market segment for SAP as we introduce new business management software solutions and build our network of local partners to deliver them to our customers. As new technology becomes more affordable, these businesses have new opportunities to take advantage of the same kinds of business management tools and IT advantages enjoyed by larger companies.

Many small businesses who initially adopted accounting software to manage their books are now finding themselves locked into managing their firms "after the fact" when the books are closing. The next generation of business management software now available combines financial management, inventory management and customer relationship management to provide an up-to-the-minute view of their entire business and allows executives to make decisions in real-time when they can have maximum impact on events.

As the world's leading provider of business software solutions, SAP is now extending its expertise in business management with solutions designed specifically to be affordable and easy to use for small businesses. We see this segment as a strategic priority for our entire company, and we continue to enable more and more companies across the country to become best-run businesses with SAP solutions.
Dan Kraus, vice president, SAP Business One, SAP America, SAP.

The SMB market has always been an important market to HP due to the segment’s size and business potential, and small businesses are continuing to fuel economic growth. Additionally, we estimate that sales to the SMB segment represent one-third of HP's total worldwide revenue and 9 out of 10 small businesses own an HP product.
Together with our channel partners, HP is working to simplify business IT by designing smart advice, technology and services for small and mid-sized businesses. This allows them to spend time focused on what they do best – running their business.
In our discussions with small and mid-sized customers, we’re finding that SMBs are feeling optimistic about the state of their businesses and the opportunities for growth. This optimism is fueling a focus on using technology to create a competitive advantage, not just to “stay in the game,” SMBs are often more nimble than large enterprises and can adapt new technologies more quickly. Additionally, younger SMB entrepreneurs are adapting technology at a much faster rate than their "older" predecessors.
For example, SMBs are starting to look more and more at things like mobility and security. Often, mobilizing their workforce is one way to ensure they are as competitive as possible by increasing their productivity and time spent in the field with customers, rather than at their desk managing administrative tasks. Additionally, we see that SMBs will be increasingly concerned about protecting their assets and ensuring their systems are up and running.
–Chris Ogburn, Director, SMB Sales for the Americas, HP

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