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Company tries to stay in the lines

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  • | 9:07 p.m. February 19, 2010
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A startup franchise company with ambitious growth goals — and a catchy tag line — has targeted the Gulf Coast for its nationwide debut.

We Do Lines, a Connecticut-based company that repaints parking lot stripes, says it hopes to bring sexy to the parking lot business.

We Do Lines was founded in 2008 in Ridgefield, Conn., by four business partners in the commercial landscaping industry. The partners looked in vain for years to find a good, reliable company to pave parking lot lines. “We couldn't find anybody,” says We Do Lines co-founder Tom Darrow. “It was like a vampire industry.”

So Darrow and his partners founded We Do Lines to bring some order to the industry. The company, through Internet search engines and its database of landscaping clients, grew quickly. It took on a job to pave lines for the parking garage of a $60 million condo project in Stamford and last year it was awarded a large job at the Doral Resort in Miami.

The Doral experience got the We Do Lines' founders thinking about franchising the concept in Florida. Darrow spends about six weeks of the year in Venice and he previously lived in Naples. Moreover, Darrow and his partners want to be a in a place where parking lot activity could go on year-round without interruptions from snow.

The company currently seeks a franchisee for its Sarasota territory, the first of what it hopes will be at least 25 new franchise units awarded in 2010. After Sarasota, the company plans to target the Tampa and Fort Myers areas.

A We Do Lines franchisee can expect to have startup costs from $77,000 to $134,000. That covers a $25,000 franchise fee, in addition to the leasing of a truck, equipment, gear and access to national corporate accounts. “It's a business in a box,” says Darrow.

Skip Barrett, the company's franchise development director, says We Do Lines doesn't necessarily need a painter or contractor to become a franchisee because it will provide training in that area. Instead, says Barrett, a franchisee should be someone proficient in marketing and sales.

That, and someone who wants to be a leader. “We want to be the first brand in the industry,” says Barrett. “We want to bring professional operations to an industry that has been typified by unprofessional operations.”


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