Another Entrepreneurial Journey: Meet Fabio Teixeira
Several years ago, with the assistance of Diana Trondsen of FranNet of Houston, Fabio Teixeira made his entrepreneurial plans come true – owning an enterprise level operation that’s all his own. Prior to becoming a multi-unit franchisee, Teixeira was a globetrotting oil and gas executive with a track record of achieving substantial business growth, fostering collaboration, developing workforces, and driving innovation. But after several decades in the energy industry, he was ready to make a change to spend more time with his family, while taking charge of his own destiny. As you’ll discover, for Fabio, it all came down to finding a franchise opportunity that fit his own skill set, not just his personality. Below, in his own words, Fabio shares the details of his journey – and how Diana Trondsen of FranNet of Houston helped him become a successful business owner of nearly 30 Cost Cutters and Supercuts salon locations in the greater Houston area.
- Tell us about your background, career, family, etc.
“My background is engineering, and I have an MBA in finance and strategy as well. For 30 years, I worked in the energy and manufacturing industries and traveled around the world. Serving in different senior positions, I had the good fortune to live on five different continents during my career. In addition, I had the pleasure of working for some well-known companies, including global players such as Chevron, Ensco, and Atlas Copco.”
- At what point did you decide on an entrepreneurial future? How did you learn about FranNet and Diana Trondsen?
“After having such amazing experiences over the course of my career, I began to increasingly think about ways to spend more time with my children. They were approaching college age, and I thought the time was right to leave the corporate world and explore more opportunities to prioritize my time with family. I also liked the possibility of having the flexibility as a business owner. For me, it came down to the desire to see what I could do based on my corporate knowledge and experience. I just needed to apply the same effort and resources on behalf of my own company. I began to look at several different business opportunities when a friend introduced me to Diana Trondsen at FranNet of Houston. Now, I own nearly 30 different locations for two of these exact brands – Cost Cutters and Supercuts!”
- What attracted you to the Cost Cutters/Supercuts business model?
“I approached my due diligence looking for businesses with profit and loss (P&L) already in place. I was looking for a well-established franchisor with known brands that offered a great service for customers, and had the potential for multi-locations, growth, and expansion. My decision criteria, combined with a personal assessment, revealed that I was actually a match for service-style business ownership, so I began with Cost Cutters first, then later added Supercuts – both of which are brands franchised by Regis Corporation, the largest hair salon chain in the world.”
- How did you struggle and pivot when the Covic pandemic hit?
“It was about six months before the pandemic hit that I opened the first of the initial group of 18 locations. Obviously, when Covid hit, I already had 18 locations in operations and the mandatory shutdowns were very hard on our industry. In addition, the labor shortage has strongly impacted us as well. But I never panicked or became paralyzed, rather I used my time to focus on the aspects of the business that I could control. This included our cost control measures, marketing efforts and our training program. All the while, I was still planning on future growth. We have closed some underperforming locations and, at the same time, acquired other assets and locations in the market. We focused on areas with the best potential for growth and got through the tough times. Overall, we’re continuously working towards a full recovery and future growth.”
- How have you leveraged your O&G skills to become a multi-unit salon owner?
“I would say there are several skills that we have leveraged. We’ve implemented standard policies and procedures that have helped us improve consistency in our operations and performance across all locations. I have also applied the energy industry financial discipline for operations and investments. We also treat each location as a business unit and profit center. Every location has its own separate set of books and performance metrics. Lastly, we truly care about our employees and customers which is demonstrated every day and supported by our company purpose, which is to make people happy.”
- Describe your day-to-day role as a multi-unit business owner
“My primary role is to serve my teams and my time is mostly management oriented. We’re now up to around 150 employees total, so I’m frequently meeting with our executive leadership team to go over each of our operations. I’m also overseeing the work of our outsourcing partners. I do spend time reviewing company and individual business metrics and reports on a location-by-location basis. We constantly review our long-term strategies and plans. From time-to-time, I do go out and visit locations in person. I also stay busy serving on different Board of Directors, dedicating time to charitable organizations such as March of Dimes and mentoring small business owners through SCORE.“
- Why did you decide to become a SCORE mentor?
“My volunteer work with SCORE is a way for me to give back to the Houston community where I work and live. I’m happy to share my experiences – both in the corporate world and as a business owner – with other entrepreneurial candidates and business owners. We act mainly as mentors, and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned to help and support others.”
- Tell us how Diana Trondsen supported your entrepreneurial journey.
“Well, first of all, Diana is very knowledgeable about franchising and entrepreneurship. When working with her, it’s always on a personal level. She was very instrumental in helping me find the right match in a business opportunity. Overall, we worked closely together for about four to six months. Looking back, her assistance really helped to find a good business match in support of my own personal entrepreneurial journey.”
- What are your plans for the future?
“I guess I would say that I’m always open to other opportunities that may come along – anything investment-related and Board Director opportunities. I also want to continue working with my charitable activities and sharing my experience with other business owners.”