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Fill potholes, build business

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  • | 6:24 a.m. July 3, 2013
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Entrepreneur James Onufrak has filled his business, a franchise-based pothole repair company, with large growth potential.

Onufrak is president of B Pothole Free, which uses patented infrared technology imported from England to repair and fill potholes. Onufrak, who runs B Pothole Free with business partner Steve Alexander, says the low overhead for franchisees is the firm's competitive advantage. The franchise fee is $85,000, in addition to a $1,750 monthly lease fee and a $1,500 monthly royalty.

“We think it's a very strong franchise model,” Onufrak tells Coffee Talk. “And no other company in the franchise industry is doing this.”

The latest success: The firm sold franchise rights to the Lee-Collier market to current B Pothole Free operator Rob Adkirson, who now owns a territory that stretches from north Manatee County to Naples. Adkirson says “the B Pothole Free system is something we are anticipating growing at a rapid rate. It's unparalleled in the marketplace.”

The system, which the firm says takes 20 minutes, begins with an infrared asphalt heater over a pothole. Then, using short, medium and long wave thermal induction, the temperature is raised to 200 degrees Celsius. Heat permeates the entire pothole. The heater is removed after about 10 minutes and the area is reshaped with the new road material. The area is then compacted down and smoothed over while hot.

“Our system is faster, cheaper, and environmentally friendly,” Onufrak says in a press release on the Fort Myers-Naples expansion, “so our goal is to put very little 'hassle' between a pothole problem and a pothole solution.”

The latest franchise brings the total count to 10 since November 2011, when Onufrak bought the company from local entrepreneur Aziz Tejpar. Current locations also include separate franchises in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties; Orlando; Daytona; Atlanta; and Houston. Onufrak targets
Jacksonville, Miami and Tallahassee for Florida expansion, while he also says the firm wants to expand to the Northeast, where winter wrecks more roads. He seeks to sign at least one new franchisee a month for the next 18 months.

“We are being selective,” says Onufrak. “We are not just going to sell franchises. We want to sell to franchisees who will make a good business.”


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