We’re officially sold out in Charlotte, NC- a territory that was wide open just two short months ago! Meet the man who purchased the last three Hounds Town USA doggie daycare franchise territories in the Queen City, Marcos de Oliveira!
Last month, we introduced you to Allan and Sarah Bigelow, who are in the process of preparing for the grand opening of their Hounds Town doggie daycare franchise in Charlotte, NC. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Marcos de Oliveira, who just became the next (and last) Hounds Town doggie daycare Franchise Owner in the Queen City!
Marcos, who moved to the United States from Brazil with his wife Cristina 25 years ago, is looking forward to opening his first of three Hounds Town franchise locations later this year, after switching gears from a rewarding corporate career that has spanned the last three decades.
“I worked for a little bit over 30 years in corporate America,” de Oliveira explains. “We came to the United States 25 years ago but I always worked primarily in managing businesses in Latin America from here. [It was a ] very nice career, you know, very happy for some time, but suddenly you realize enough is enough- a lot of traveling and being out, and I decided to make a change in life last year.”
Finding himself at a crossroads, Marcos decided to take a long walk to clear his mind, embarking on a 33-day journey to reflect on his career and determine the next steps he would take. He notes the experience as a pivotal moment that helped him discover the path that would lead him to a renewed sense of fulfillment in the future of his career. “When I left my job last year, I decided to go to France and Spain and walk 500 miles- from the border of Spain and France all the way almost to the Atlantic, to Santiago de Compostela, which has a famous route, St. James Way. It was a time I took to say, ‘OK, what do I want to do in the next phase of my life?’”
After some “soul-searching and heart-searching,” as he puts it, de Oliveira decided to follow a recurring dream he has had for many years- investing in a franchise. He explains, “Once when I was still in Brazil I gave a look to a couple of franchises there before coming in U.S. But then I put it to rest- you just get distracted with everything you are doing, I started having kids, and a lot of other things going.”
With the exception of a brief look into franchising once more three years ago when he found himself between jobs, Marcos’ aspirations of entrepreneurship remained on hold until now. Suddenly the time was right to pursue his dream of franchise ownership.
Enlisting the help of a consultant, Marcos was able to narrow down his search for the ideal franchise opportunity to three concepts: a fitness franchise, a kids’ education franchise, and a doggie daycare franchise-Hounds Town USA. “After doing the digging and the due diligence for the three businesses, I decided to go with Hounds Town,” he says. “It just seems that it’s a better fit for me at this point in time of my life, and for the family, and I’m pretty happy so far with the decision!”
Opening three new doggie daycare franchise locations with Hounds Town is a big decision for anyone, and Marcos was careful to weigh his options and do his homework prior to investing. He shares the key factors that led him to feel that the Hounds Town opportunity was the right fit for him, saying, “It was several things, but I’m going to mention the top three. First, it was the industry. I find it fascinating- pet care these days, in this new generation, and how much we invest in the love of our animals. It’s the right industry. Second, being very practical, it was one of the franchises that I prospected that I had a chance to get a larger territory here in Charlotte…If I’m going to do something in terms of business ownership, I want to have the ability to expand and to scale up, if possible, here, and I could get that from Hounds Town. Third, it’s a business that- I like it, I have the passion, and it makes sense at this stage of my life.”
Additionally, de Oliveira appreciated the simplicity of the Hounds Town USA business model, as well as the thoughtful operational process that our corporate team has developed for its doggie daycare Franchise Owners. “For someone like me coming from corporate, it’s very important to have a process,” he says. “If you have a process that’s simple but robust enough, then it’s a matter of putting the right people there and managing the people, leading the people, to execute it.”
As a devoted husband and father of four children- Tiago, 29, Julia, 20, Lucas, 17, and Sophie, 14,- Marcos also enjoyed the feeling of family that he experienced by meeting with Mike and Jackie via virtual chat, not to mention a tremendous amount of respect for the Hounds Town Founders’ experience in the industry. “There’s a lot of knowledge coming from Mike, his background, his experience, which is phenomenal,” he notes, adding, “Between him and Jackie, they put the right process that really fits that I want to do in life.”
Marcos’ love of dogs has always played a role in his life. Until quite recently, however, he and his family had only loved dogs from afar, a decision he and his family made due to his hectic work and travel schedule. He explains, “I always had dogs when I was a kid, but since I came to the U.S., and particularly when I started traveling a lot- the deal with my wife and kids was, ‘OK, we’re not getting a dog until one of us has full responsibility for the dog,’ which in this case, it’s me! When I decided, ‘I’m not going to have that corporate life again,’ that’s the first thing we did- we just got a dog!” The family’s dream to get a dog may have been 20 long years in the making, but now de Oliveira and his wife are proud puppy parents of 10-month-old Maple, an American bulldog/pitbull mix rescue. “We are the second family to adopt him,” shares Marcos. “For some reason, it didn’t work with the first family who adopted him. But now he and we are all too happy together!”
As Marcos gears up for the construction and grand opening of his first Charlotte-area Hounds Town USA location, he plans to rely on his three decades of corporate experience to guide him as a successful Franchise Owner. He says, “I think a lot of this corporate experience of managing people and managing businesses in their entirety, I think that is going to help me a lot. And, for sure, the ability to find the right people. I think that if you get the right people and have the process and believe the process, execute the process, everything’s going to be fine.”
While de Oliveira plans to be a hands-on Owner-Operator at his first Hounds Town USA doggie daycare franchise location, his goal is to take the knowledge that he gains and apply it to the opening and overseeing of his next two locations, ideally with a trusted General Manager in place. “The idea is to open one at a time,” he says. “I still have a lot to learn about the business and its details. I intend to be very participative in the first one, but as soon as I can find a General Manager and I can trust myself not to be so involved, I will go for the second one, then the third, in a Semi-Absentee model.”
As a detail-oriented person, Marcos believes that communication and research are vital components of the decision-making process for prospective Franchise Owners For those who are just beginning their Hounds Town franchise education journey, Marcos has this advice: “Do a process- I was very systematic and I would suggest that to everybody. The first goal- find the segments, the industries where you would like to own a business. I think that if you do that, it makes it much easier because then you can go and research in a much more detailed, much more conscious way. Then, go deep- learn everything you can, research the Web, talk to friends. Probably the most important- talk to as many franchisees as you can. There are ways to listen to them on a webcast, and that’s great, but it’s important to talk, to have a one-on-one with those franchisees because you’re going to have a ton of questions, and you’re going to get different answers, and then you have to put those on paper and filter them and assemble your puzzle. You have to go deep.”
Now that he is on the path to building and opening his first Charlotte Hounds Town doggie daycare franchise, de Oliveira looks back on his journey to business ownership as an experience he is glad he chose, saying, “It was a long process due to the times that we live, but it was a nice journey prospecting and understanding the business and then going to the final decision.”
Welcome to the Hounds Town franchise family, Marcos- we can’t wait to see what great things you contribute to our doggie daycare franchise!
In just 2 months, Charlotte, NC went from wide open to completely SOLD OUT of Hounds Town territories! We’re gaining ground in cities across the United States, and there’s no telling which part of the country where we’ll sell out next. If you’re interested in pursuing a franchise opportunity that fuels your passion for dogs, now’s the time to look into Hounds Town USA! Visit our franchise website today to request your free copy of our Franchise Information Report.