Early in 2010 he contacted We Do Lines because he couldn’t get local striping companies to call him back to even bid jobs. “We had been doing the striping ourselves using a 2 x 4 and a hand roller at first, then we bought a Graco machine,” he says. “But we couldn’t handle the striping on large jobs.”
He says talking with We Do Lines “tweaked my interest but I didn’t have time for it because I was still building my own company.” But eventually he partnered with We Do Lines cofounder Darrow and the two are getting the franchise off the ground this year.
“The We Do Lines franchise enables us to add striping in a bigger way,” Schlosser says. “One of my biggest problems was getting in front of people. Having the We Do Lines name really helps. I’m not just the guy next door.”
And Schlosser expects the We Do Lines franchise to help All County Asphalt in other, more important, ways.
“It’s going to build All County Asphalt faster than we could and I see that already through the call center,” he says. “If a customer is looking for line striping he also probably needs repair, sealcoating, and plowing, so that helps All County grow. It will help get us where we expect the company to go but we’ll get there quicker and we’ll be even bigger.”
“An Extension of the Sealcoating Business”
Child says the easiest part of the striping business is the striping itself. “The hardest part is reaching the customer, marketing, running and growing your business,” Child says. “The biggest challenge is getting the business and hanging onto it and with our system contractors can focus on what they want to do – line painting – and letting us handle the business part of it.”
Nikki Rudolph, vice president and co-owner with Molly Birk, president, of Yellow Dawg Striping’s Cincinnati franchise, says the two women acquired the franchise because their husbands’ Black Dawg Sealcoat franchise was giving away too much business in 2010.
“Our husbands purchased Black Dawg in 2010 and we worked side by side with them all year doing the scheduling and doing the books, and we had quite a good time doing it,” Rudolph says. But as the year went on the two women noticed that Black Dawg was subbing out all its pavement marking work – a fair amount of business for the first-year sealcoating operation.
“So buying Yellow Dawg just seemed like the right thing to do,” Rudolph says. “It’s an extension of the sealcoating business.”
Rudolph and Birk will handle the sales and office work and they’ve hired an experienced striper and will train one of the sealcoating crews to work with him. They anticipate sales from the husbands’ Black Dawg business will provide a foundation, but they will pursue work on their own.
“You Couldn’t Do Thaton Your Own”
One of the advantages of a franchise is you can extend your business into a much larger area, making regional and even national advertising worthwhile.
“There’s no way you could open up a striping business in 10 states at the same time,” Couri says. “It would be too complex and cost too much money. But you can do that in a franchise situation.”
Bob Russo had been involved in the construction equipment business for 20 years before getting out to sell commercial real estate. In 2009 he decided he wanted something different; in April 2010 he bought into two We Do Lines franchise territories in the Orlando, FL, area.
“We spent a few months investigating the franchise and decided it was a great opportunity,” Russo says.
He says We Do Lines’ Internet focus and its aggressive approach to marketing and sales were key factors in the decision. “Through We Do Lines we got more than 100 jobs in 2010 ranging from work for national franchises like Dunkin’ Donuts to small retail outlets and apartment complexes,” Russo says. “Through them we cover the gamut of what the market is.”
Russo says that with its franchise approach We Do Lines is trying to upgrade the pavement marking industry and take it to a different level.
“With We Do Lines franchises throughout the country (the company can sell franchises in 40 states) there are opportunities to network. We can refer property managers and developers to each other and other franchises can refer them to us,” Russo says. “Once we get the whole network built up that’s the game plan: to be able to refer across the country, and you couldn’t do that on your own as a small business.”