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Businessweek Archives

Wake Up And Smell The Discounts


Enterprise -- In Box

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE DISCOUNTS

Can you get more for less? Probably. A poll by American Express indicates that most small-business owners (91%) are getting some discounts, but they're not going about it methodically. Nearly 60% of 325 respondents couldn't think of any discounts aimed at small biz without prompting from an interviewer, and 70% said they didn't know where to find information on discounts. One-tenth receive discounts solely on telephone service, and although 60% say health insurance discounts would be very helpful to them, only 33% get lower rates. Also, fewer than 20% could say without prompting what specific products or services they got at reduced rates or how big the reductions were. (Sometimes a discounted rate isn't properly billed, so it pays to keep track.) Most negotiate on their own (66%), but 18% go through associations, trade groups, or an outside firm.EDITED BY EDITH UPDIKEReturn to top

TABLE

Let's Make a Deal

Less than half of small businesses are getting discounts on most key products

& services

PRODUCT/SERVICES FIRMS GETTING

A DISCOUNT

TELEPHONE RATES 67%

OFFICE SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT 43

OVERNIGHT DELIVERY SERVICES 37

HEALTH INSURANCE 33

HOTELS 30

COMPUTERS/PRINTERS/ETC. 27

CAR RENTALS 26

AIRLINE TICKETS 26

GASOLINE 16

DATA: AMERICAN EXPRESS

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TABLE

Cheap and Cheaper

In a poll, 325 small biz owners were asked: What's the average discount your

company gets on goods and services overall?

PERCENT OF AVERAGE

SMALL FIRMS DISCOUNT

21% LESS THAN 5%

16 5

19 10

12 15

7 20

9 MORE THAN 25

DATA: AMERICAN EXPRESS

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