In a significant coup for RentSmart, the Western Australian-based finance company announced a comprehensive agreement today which will see the Coles-Myer owned office equipment retailing giant, Officeworks, introduce a rental option to "big ticket purchases" by its small business customers.
Officeworks will institute the program immediately across its 27 national retail warehouses thus joining Dick Smith Electronics, Chandler, Gateway International and over 600 independent retailers across the country as RentSmart partners.
According to RentSmart managing director, Ned Montarello, American trends indicate this niche rental market is set to grow rapidly over the next few years, and resellers should be aware of the benefits to both themselves and their customers.
"In the US up to 40 per cent of office equipment purchased by small business involves rental agreements but that figure is only 10 per cent in Australia. Officeworks' endorsement of the concept should substantially increase general awareness of the benefits," said Montarello.
In an industry where many resellers see cutting margins as their best form of competitiveness, rental agreements offer an alternative. The benefits of leaving working capital in the bank rather than spending it on a rapidly depreciating equipment are beginning to be understood.
"The real beauty for the small business area is that they are now able to keep the money in the bank, spread the payments over three years, keep up with technology changes and get 100 per cent tax deduction," Montarello outlined.
Colin Corstorphin, managing director of Officeworks, said: "We see significant opportunities for growth. Renting enables companies to upgrade their facilities without an enormous outlay of working capital which addresses one of the single biggest factors slowing the growth of small businesses in Australia."