Welcome to the new UpgradeUSA
Welcome to the newly-redesigned UpgradeUSA.com. The site has been completely revamped to better address the needs of small businesses. We wanted to explain why this is important, and the opportunities it represents for you, our current and potential customers.
UpgradeUSA began in very late 2011 as an experiment. The US was starting to shake off one of the greatest recessions in history, and a large number of consumers were considered to be “bad credit” risks. It was clear to our company founders that there was a set of consumers who were touched by the recession, and had their credit affected….but they were good people who paid their bills and had no intention of staying down. We spent some time talking with those consumers, understood their needs and wants, and tailored an online payment plan program that could address their particular situation.
Our founder, Jon, had some indirect experience working with these customers through his family’s business Sam’s Furniture & Appliances, based in Fort Worth. Jon not only talked with Sam’s customers, he visited rent-to-own stores, and went to several rent-to-own conferences to better understand the dynamic of the industry and their customers. Here were some key take-aways:
- At the time, very few companies offered consumers the option of purchasing high-end technology products on reasonable payment plans,
- There were no online options for completing this transaction,
- For the most part, the product choices consumers had with offline companies were terrible,
- Consumers hated being associated with a financial transaction that reeked of their being considered “second class.”
We felt that we could do better than that. So we built UpgradeUSA.com with consumers in mind. We’ve helped many, many customers get the high-tech gear they want or need, and they have demonstrated that they can pay their bills on time. The process has been a positive for everyone.
Flash-forward to 2015. New companies have jumped into the online consumer lease space, offering lower prices and some additional conveniences. Since we already have a solid set of consumer customers, and we had been hearing from small business owners looking for a similar online transaction, we thought we would ask small business owners what they were looking for. Here are some things we learned:
- More than 80% of big businesses lease something in their business,
- Small businesses really need the cash-flow advantages that leasing provides them,
- Very few small businesses lease, because very few large lease companies do small-ticket transactions.
Just like in the consumer space, we believe that we can offer a better experience and help small businesses by offering them an easy and very fair lease program for technology. And after several years of learning what makes a good consumer risk, we also know what makes a good risk in the form of a small business owner.
Our small business customers have been outstanding, and we’re thrilled to roll out a program that’s tailored for them.
We welcome your feedback as we usher in a new era for UpgradeUSA and for small businesses across the country!