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Tech Industry

HP pursues small business

Hewlett-Packard is taking the wraps off new sales and marketing initiatives that will target the rapidly growing small-business market.

Hewlett-Packard is today taking the wraps off new sales and marketing initiatives that will target the rapidly growing small-business computer market.

"There are 7 million small to medium-sized companies in the United States. They typically do not have information technology departments, yet are in desperate need of local technology consulting," said Kim Tchang, sales and marketing manager for HP's Commercial Channels organization.

To target these businesses more effectively, HP said it is expanding education and comarketing programs for resellers.

"Different segments [of the small-business market] need technology for different reasons...We have developed case studies of technology solutions that work well in these industries," Tchang said.

HP will provide this information to qualified resellers to help them target sales of HP printers, PCs, servers, and other technologies.

HP is also working in concert with trade associations representing the real estate, accounting, legal, and medical professions to develop marketing campaigns that resellers can use to attract new customers.

PC companies are increasing their efforts to woo small business because this segment is expected to increase technology spending faster than other market segments--accounting firms alone generated more than $1 billion in sales in 1997, according to HP.

However, PC vendors can't afford the high overhead of a large dedicated sales force for small businesses, so vendors are targeting reseller education.

Small and medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees accounted for $44.3 billion in PC technology spending in 1997, according to International Data Corporation. The market is expected to grow by 15 percent in 1998.