Inkjet Recycling Franchises - are They Really Necessary?

By: Brenda Stokes

Inkjet printer recycling franchises are available from a number of well known brands such as Cartridge Depot, Rapid Refill Ink and Island Inkjet to name but a few. The idea of such franchise agreements is that for a cost, the franchisee can leverage the brand assets and good will that the franchiser has managed to develop over time. The franchisee then pays an on-going management fees, either directly or indirectly, which pays for the maintenance and on-going marketing and administrative costs of the central company.

The costs of starting an inkjet cartridge recycling franchise varies somewhat from one provider to the next, however most require around $80,000 in initial investment and it is estimated that around $120,000 is needed for other start-up costs that the franchiser will need to assume. However, the question comes down to whether or not, as a franchisee, you feel that these costs are justifiable and likely to result in a return on investment that you would not otherwise be able to gain through trading without association with a franchiser.

For an amount of around $5,000 to $10,000 it is possible to acquire inkjet printer ink remanufacturing equipment and have the flexibility that is not offered by a franchise. Although you will not be able to leverage the brand assets and the experience of the franchiser, some may argue that you are certainly left with a lot of money to play with when you consider that you no longer have the franchise costs to take account of. Franchises will also place many restrictions on your business; limiting diversification, imposing corporate culture and setting rules which apply across the board which do not take account of the areas and customers that a franchisee serves.

Choosing to acquire your own remanufacturing equipment is also more sensible when considering that you can choose to scale your business in a more comfortable fashion. When the printer ink cartridges franchise costs associated with major inkjet franchise opportunities is so high, you need to be able to operate at a large sales volume merely to cover costs and the opportunity cost of having the same amount of money in a bank account.

Being able to leverage an additional $100,000 to work in your business could allow you to embark on both direct and brand advertising within your local area, effectively delivering the same value that the franchiser offers but in a way that is segmented to your local area. In doing this you also have an asset, rather than an on going cost, which is something that is a vital element for consideration.

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