Printer Ink Entrepreneurs Grow Through 'Un-Franchise'

Palm Beach Post:

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Bob and Jane Bloom are teaching others how to replicate their printer ink shop.

They’re sharing their business plan, their supplier list, their bookkeeping system, their trademarks — without charging franchise fees or collecting royalty payments.

The owners of Ink & Toner USA are working to build a chain, of sorts, of independent stores, sharing their secrets of success for a fraction of the price of their franchise competitors.

They call it the “un-franchise,” as they try to combat the franchise boom in their fledgling industry. The Wellington couple wanted to create a more affordable and less restrictive alternative to franchising.

“The cost of getting into business sometimes is too high,” said Bob Bloom, 56. “You’re not working to make money. You’re working to pay off your loan.”

The Blooms opened their printer ink store three years ago on North Military Trail, anticipating a swell in demand for less expensive, refilled cartridges.

“Our business is primarily saving people money through aftermarket products,” Bob Bloom said. “Our customer base is everyone, every business, every consumer.”

Sales took off, and the Blooms’ shop quickly drew a following, bringing in about $500,000 in sales in 2006.

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