MAN FILLS NEED BY FILLING INKJET CTGS

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MAN FILLS NEED BY FILLING INKJET CTGS

 user 2007-01-03 at 12:40:00 pm Views: 54
  • #17112

    Man fills need by filling inkjet cartridges
    CLIFTON PARK – The name of Mark Tremont’s business says it all: “I Fill Inkjets.”An accountant by trade, Tremont was living in Seattle when he and his wife Jean decided they wanted to move back to upstate New York.He met Jean, now a special education teacher for the North Colonie district, when they were living in Syracuse, and both have family there.Pulling up routes and starting a new career on another coast is a challenge, said Tremont, 58.”I’m at an age where you just don’t pick up and apply for a job. I wanted to start my own business,” he said. “I looked at nine different franchises — from coffee, to catering, to tutoring, to tanning, to filling ink jet cartridges.”Tremont selected Island Ink-Jet, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, that specializes in refilling the expensive ink jet cartridges used in computer printers: a growing service for cost-conscious consumers who care about the environment. He purchased the Island Ink-Jet franchise rights to upstate New York, from Dutchess County north, in February 2004, and moved to Clifton Park that August.In January 2005, he opened his first location at Colonie Center, with the goal of operating one store and selling franchises throughout the state, he said. That summer, he opened a store in Delmar.In November 2005 he started working with the Price Chopper chain to locate stores within the supermarkets, including Clifton Park. “I’m now in four locations, and hope to be in more,” he said.While considering franchises, Tremont was told that “you shouldn’t get with something you know something about.”The franchise is a business model that can’t be changed. You need business skills, and capital, but not expertise, he said. A cook, for example, wanted to introduce new menu items for a catering franchise, and was told he couldn’t. “You got to do it their way,” Tremont said.When he changed his business model by locating at several Price Chopper stores, where he could expand more rapidly, his goals and the franchise’s began to diverge. He severed ties with Island Ink-Jet on friendly terms, gave up franchise rights to New York state, and formed his own company in November. “I picked a name that says what I do.” His “I Fill Inkjets” stores are now located at Colonie Center, Delmar, and four Price Chopper stores: Clifton Park, Latham, Schenectady and Queensbury.Tremont has one full-time and six part-time employees. The stores have space within the Price Chopper photo labs, and Price Chopper employees can fill the cartridges, too.With a background in accounting, banking, and volunteering, Tremont said he wanted a franchise where he could use his business background and have fun, too. Customers and the environment both benefit.”You save money, and you also recycle. The savings is from 40 to 60 percent,” he said, “which is significant when you’ve paid $40 for a cartridge. Most cartridges are over $25.”Refilling a cartridge is much cheaper. “Most are under $15. A lot are under $10,” he said.Since the beginning of the year, I Fill Inkjets has prevented more than 20,000 cartridges from being discarded at local landfills, according to Tremont.”Over 300 million cartridges a year are discarded in landfills. It takes 2 ½ ounces of oil to manufacture a cartridge on average, and for toner, 2 to 3 quarts of oil.”Cartridges can be refilled about five times, he said, saving money, oil and landfill space.Tremont advises customers not to wait until cartridges are totally out of ink before refilling, as cartridges start deteriorating, and parts dry out or clog.”It’s very important to keep the ink flowing,” he said. “They’re pretty complicated little gadgets.”