Mark Potts owns the CertaPro Painters franchise in Missouri City, a suburb of Houston’s sprawling metroplex, which ranks as the fourth largest city in the U.S. He opened the doors for business in November 2019, the culmination of a multi-year journey to establish more control over his own life, liberty and especially the pursuit of happiness. For Potts, it was a necessary change for the better.
A Midwest native by birth, Potts found his way to Texas and held accounting and financial roles at several of Houston’s vaunted Fortune 500 companies in the energy sector. And while Potts enjoyed the stability of his job, the challenges presented by family health issues began to weigh on his outlook.
“For a good deal of my career, I struggled to balance my wife and son’s health crises with a corporate schedule,” states Potts. “The stress was very difficult and thankfully, both are now doing well.” With future pursuits in mind, Potts earned his MBA through the executive program at St. Thomas University in Houston.
As with many other entrepreneurs, a seminal point of reckoning ended up presenting the opportunity to restore the right balance for Mark. Following a layoff, he researched his options. “At first, I looked to the same industry to replace my job, but I knew deep down that I didn’t want to go back and work for one of the big companies,” remembers Potts. “I took a look at the frustrations I was dealing with and made the decision to control my own destiny.”
Through a career development service, Potts was introduced to Diana Trondsen, FranNet’s consultant for Houston and the Gulf Coast Region of Texas. “I made an appointment with her the very next day,” says Potts.
Trondsen and Potts got down to business, looking for the best franchise concept to give him authority over his own hours, time, flexibility, and—most of all—earning potential. After reviewing a half dozen concepts, Potts landed on something familiar. “Back in college, I owned a small painting business and when I saw the potential of CertaPro Painters, the choice became obvious. I knew I had the knowledge to identify with their customers.
CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America. During the investigative process, Potts discovered why. “Their brand has been in business for 35 years and their corporate team is very organized, focusing on franchisee growth long after the grand opening. The technology, systems, and training are all robust. Their systems have the latest upgrades and each franchisee is assigned a job coach consultant. We speak every week and discuss best practices for growing business in my territory.”
Potts speaks fondly of FranNet and the guidance he received from Diana Trondsen. “First and foremost, Diana is a very easy person to like,” says Potts. “As we moved along in the process, she had an understanding of which questions to ask next and her organizational skills were impressive.”
For Potts, the future looks bright. Gone are the days spent stressing on how to best balance his time working for others while caring for his immediate family. “I get to do so much more than focusing on one core competency,” says Mark. “With CertaPro, I get to oversee the marketing, the sales process, the hiring, and the day-to-day operational things that make this a rewarding experience.”
As a resident of Houston, Potts expresses concern for his former colleagues still working in the region’s distressed energy industry. Oil and gas companies are facing uncertainty in the wake of multiple factors, not the least of which includes a bleak market outlook for the foreseeable future. “If I could offer them any advice based on my experience, I would encourage them to explore taking that leap of faith,” says Potts. “Of course, there’s risk involved, but there is a reward that’s worth it. If I had it to do all over again, there’s no doubt I’d make the same decision.”
For more information, please visit Mark Potts landing page on the CertaPro Painters website.