We’re proud to introduce you to one of our newest Franchise Owners, Phillip Michael, who just joined the Hounds Town USA pet care franchise family last week! Phillip will be opening a Hounds Town USA doggie daycare franchise in North Bergen County, New Jersey in the coming year. Not only will Phillip’s location be the second Hounds Town in Bergen County, New Jersey, but it was also the last available franchise opportunity in that part of the Garden State!
A lifelong dog lover, Phillip credits his pooch, a 9-year-old yellow Lab named Simba, with being a large part of his desire to open a doggie daycare franchise of his own. Simba, who still lives at Phillip’s childhood home with his parents, is a major part of his entire family’s life, and he faced a difficult decision when it came to finding a suitable overnight dog boarding facility in his community. “I was contemplating where to put my dog, Simba, when my mom was going out of town,” he recalls. “It was a stressful situation and I started looking into doggie daycares for him.” This search led to a fascination with the pet care industry, and Phillip began entertaining the idea of opening a doggie daycare of his own. Coincidentally, a good friend of his, who has loved dogs all his life, recently found himself at a career crossroads, prompting Phillip to think seriously about owning and operating a pet care center. “My best friend just got laid off and he’s a dog fanatic,” he explains. “So he was completely on board, and is going to be my manager.”
As a professional builder for over 5 years, Phillip’s first thought was to construct an independently-owned pet care center, but after looking into the costs and headaches associated with going that route, Phillip decided to research doggie daycare franchise opportunities. The first few franchises he explored didn’t offer everything he was looking for in a company. “I talked to Camp Bow Wow and K9 Pet Resorts, and they were more of a corporate sense than family,” he remembers. “I wanted to get into something more family-oriented where I could ask them questions and they could be there for me every step of the way.”
With the Hounds Town USA opportunity, Phillip found everything he was looking for in a doggie daycare franchise- and more! He recalls his experience with meeting our Founder, Mike Gould, President Jackie Bondanza, and the rest of our corporate support team at his Discovery Day. “We drove an hour there, and it was worth it!” he says enthusiastically. “They were nice people. They’re still talking to me every day, helping me get set up, and answering all my questions as I get started.” He especially felt a connection with Mike and Jackie, and was impressed by their down-to-earth personalities and hands-on approach to providing Franchise Owners with support. “They’re like normal people!” he exclaims. “I already feel like I’m in the family. Any questions I have for Mike or Jackie, they’re there to answer it. The first time I talked to Jackie, we sat on the phone for about an hour, just talking. It was great!”
For Phillip, the difference between Hounds Town USA and other pet care franchise opportunities was made crystal-clear when he saw the level of expertise that each Franchise Owner and corporate team member possessed during his Discovery Day tour. “Every store, they knew who they were and what they were doing,” he remembers. “It all came down to experience.”
One of the other factors that stood out for Phillip on Discovery Day was the minimal setup and ease of operations that were apparent in the Hounds Town locations he visited. “It’s basic,” he says, “It’s simple. It’s just a bunch of fences and a bunch of dogs… and all the dogs looked happy!”
Not long after, Phillip’s dog Simba got the opportunity to experience Hounds Town from a dog’s point of view- much to Phillip’s surprise! “My mom dropped our dog off one day,” he says. “We usually took him to K9 Pet Resorts but they had a kennel cough outbreak, and she wasn’t about to take him there! So she found the Hounds Town in Lodi, and took him there…and I didn’t even know about it!” (By all accounts, Simba had an excellent day at Hounds Town- Lodi, in case you were wondering.)
Phillip looks forward to bringing the experience he has gained as a home builder into his new career as a Hounds Town USA Franchise Owner, and plans to use the skills he’s honed to manage his staff. “You get all your employees under your belt and manage them every day and make sure they’re on top of their game,” he explains. “People get tired, they can be having personal problems, which can make them get out of focus. As a manager, you always want to keep them in focus.”
Phillip, who just got married this past June, is excited for the grand opening of his North Bergen County pet care franchise, and looks forward to being greeted each day by the wagging tails and slobbery kisses of his four-legged clientele. He says, “I’m going to be in an area full of dogs- you can’t get better than that!” He enthusiastically likens owning and operating a pet care franchise to getting to rent a roomful of adorable pets by the day. “It’s like a Rent-A-Dog! You get to keep them for the day and play with them and feed them, and then it’s time to give them back to their owners and you get to go home.”
Above all, Phillip can’t wait to be surrounded by the genuine happiness and joy that emanates from dogs when they are allowed to play, jump, run, and generally be themselves at a Hounds Town USA doggie daycare franchise, noting that there’s really no such thing as a dog in a bad mood. “They say it’s the happiest place for dogs- it’s also for humans! You get to go in and just see a bunch of dogs going bananas!” We love when our Franchise Owners love what they do, and we look forward to helping Phillip celebrate the grand opening of his North Bergen County, NJ Hounds Town location!
For people like Phillip who love spending time with dogs, the Hounds Town USA opportunity is like a dream come true! Knowing that you are instrumental in providing an invaluable service for dogs- and their people- is a highly rewarding part of being a Hounds Town USA Franchise Owner. If you’re ready to explore a fulfilling career in a booming industry, it may be time to look into Hounds Town USA. We’re currently seeking investors in select territories across the United States. Please visit our website to learn more about what it takes to open a Hounds Town in YOUR town!