Pavement Maintenance is a Promising Segment for Everline, G-Force Franchisees | Franchise News

When John Evans attended a franchise show after graduating from college, it wasn’t a brand he could potentially own that caught his eye, but rather a piece of equipment.

That equipment was a traffic marking product, and it led him to creating one of the several companies in the pavement striping space. Evans founded EverLine Coatings in 2012, and five years later, he launched the brand’s franchise system. In a way, he was following after his parents.

“My parents were multi-unit franchisees, so growing up I spent a lot of time in the office, seeing them be their own boss,” Evans said. “Then in high school, I was working at franchise businesses.”

The franchising experience continued during his days in higher education, as he became a franchisee with College Pro Painters for three years.

A few years after establishing EverLine, as the brand was growing, Evans said one of his mentors suggested entering the International Franchise Association’s Next Gen contest to see if the concept was franchisable. It was a contest EverLine ended up winning.

EverLine Coatings CEO John Evans

EverLine Coatings Founder and CEO John Evans

Since then, the brand has grown to 85 locations across North America with 65 franchisees. The brand’s expansion has been made possible in part by exponential growth happening in the paving maintenance industry.

EverLine isn’t the only franchise tapping into the successful paving space. Another is G-Force, part of the Veteran Service Brands portfolio. Jack Child, the CEO of Veteran Service Brands, said the company is his second stint in the pavement maintenance space, with his first coming in the mid 2000s.

“I started a company called Black Dawg Sealcoat in 2005 and the business took off pretty quickly,” Child said. “After having success, I was told I should franchise it, so I did. Franchising to me was like the military, you have standards and a mission.”

As part of his work with Black Dawg, Child said his crews were often doing pavement striping in commercial lots. There was enough demand, Child said, to prompt a separate business completely focused on painting lines in lots.

That brand became known as Yellow Dawg Striping, and Child owned both until 2012 when he decided to leave the space and sold the businesses.

“I hadn’t thought about coming back to the industry a lot,” Child said. “However, it was still at the back of my head that there should be a universal striping brand because there’s demand all across the country. It’s universal.”

Opportunity and challenges

Child, a veteran himself, requires G-Force franchisees to have previous military service. He said at his last business, the veteran owners were the easiest to work with.

“They understood the importance of getting the job done,” Child said. “So, to help me recruit veterans, I decided to make it exclusive to them. That does dramatically reduce my audience, but it’s been the magnet that caused us to have the conversations we wouldn’t otherwise have, because not one of my 41 owners would probably have thought of striping.”

At EverLine, meanwhile, Evans said the ideal franchisee is one who’s good at communicating.

EverLine Coatings Web Art 2

Crews at EverLine Coatings often do maintenance on lots for private businesses.

“It comes down to people who are focused on the people side of the business,” Evans said. “Not necessarily being more salesy, but those who can build relationships with their crews. In the B2B space, which is our primary space, they need to develop long-term relationships, where they become the reliable contractor. We want franchisees who understand that.”

For franchisees at both brands and across the industry as a whole, there were several headwinds in the space, specifically with the product that makes their work possible.

“We dealt with a major paint shortage,” Evans said. “There was no traffic paint to go around, so I had to go to our vendors and utilize our buying power as a franchisor to make sure our franchisees had paint to operate, and I’m proud to say we didn’t have a single franchisee go dry. But 2022 was a motherload of issues. The rising inflation was a challenge. We had costs raised and we had to raise prices with it.”

“The supply chain was a major challenge for us,” Child said. “That’s gotten considerably better. We’re not where we want to be, but we can manage it now. Pre-COVID, if I needed a pallet of paint, I’d call the store and we’d get it the next day. A year ago, you could call and they would say we don’t have anything and don’t know when we’d get any.”

Veteran Service Brands CEO Jack Child

Veteran Service Brands CEO Jack Child

Despite challenges, Evans said the demand has kept the business highly profitable. Annually, most well-established EverLine locations take on hundreds of projects, Evans said.

“We’re finding that clients are learning that the pavement outside has been an asset they weren’t always properly managing,” Evans said. “Sometimes you don’t think about your parking lot as an asset, but it pays capital expense dollars to prevent deterioration rather than just waiting for deterioration and starting over.”

For the most part, Evans said franchisees do projects for private businesses. However, mature franchisees take on projects from local governments—installing bike lanes, arrows and crosswalks, as well as striping for public places such as libraries.

The initial investment range for EverLine Coatings is between $148,976 and $293,967, while the amount for G-Force is between $35,000 and $121,000.

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