Markets evolve much like living organisms: they adapt to environmental stimuli. However, for independent printing businesses, “evolving” is reacting to today’s impulses and not capitalizing on tomorrow’s opportunities. You’re running in place accommodating walk-in traffic, replacing groaning equipment, and cutting costs at every corner.

To stay a step ahead of the competition, you have to take revolutionary actions. You have to think “outside the box”—even outside the four walls of your business.

A recent article in Printing Impressions , America’s most influential and widely read resource for the printing industry, profiled two former independent printers, Kyle Kurz and Frank Muns. Writer Julie Greenbaum chronicled how and why the two industry veterans joined forces in 2001. “My family owned a commercial printing company, but we didn’t have digital capabilities,” said Muns. “Kyle’s printing business, which at that time was an American Speedy shop, handled digital and quick printing. So it was a natural marriage.”

In order to further distance themselves from their competitors, Kurz and Muns took a next step. They converted their independent printing business to an Allegra Marketing Print Mail franchise through the Allegra Advantage Program. As a rebranded Allegra Center, their business became a “full-service marketing communications provider offering marketing consultation, copywriting and graphic design services, traditional and advanced printing technologies, complete finishing services, mailing services, variable data capabilities, promotional products, signs and displays, and print management solutions.”

As owners of an Allegra Center franchise, Kurz and Muns now have access to ahead-of-the-curve equipment and their buying power improves as members of the Alliance Franchise Brands network. The Printing Impressions  article highlights their investment in flatbed and roll-to-roll printers from Mimaki USA, a pioneer in the development of digital printing and cutting products worldwide.

Converting to an Allegra Center also gives Kurz and Muns the ability to diversify their products and services, to increase sales and earnings, to operate more efficiently to scale through acquisitions, to build equity, and to initiate a profitable exit strategy.

Kurz and Muns are not only distancing themselves from the competition, they’re positioning themselves to build long-term relationships with their business-to-business clients. With the expanded services they’re able to provide, Kurz said, “A nice bonus for our customers is having one local resource who can handle it all, tip to tail, and provide the one-to-one, personal consultation.”