Next step suggestion

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by r_u_dreaming, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. r_u_dreaming

    r_u_dreaming
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    I have a small "new to you" store that has unique home décor and furniture items in a town of approximately 14,000. Initially, I was involved with a partner with the agreement that I would supply the merchandise from my travels and she would be in the store every day. Everything was "perfect". The store was great - had good opening sales. 1 1/2 months later she decided she wanted a hobby instead of a business. This business has been a dream of mine for a number of years. The opportunity (albeit a false one I find out) presented itself and we jumped at it. Obviously too quickly without enough research. Everything was there to indicate success - except the truth. At that point, the businesses split. As of right now, she is still in the store (now 2 stores in 1 space) for the day-to-day despite issues. We have a lease until May. If I had unlimited funds, I would cut my losses. At this point, I don't have the capital to just move or hire anyone for that matter. I have been putting in more time at the store to compensate despite juggling other ventures including another full-time commitment. In addition, the mall where we rent was recently turned over to a new owner. The new owner is making sweeping "all or nothing" decisions with regard to the building. By this I mean if the other businesses in the mall don't want to stay open, then I can't either. There are other "rules" being imposed that greatly effect my ability to advertise and promote my store. Obviously, this could be a serious impact on my business. I am trying to grow this business despite repeated attempts by my former partner and new landlord to thwart these efforts. Any suggestions in terms of a next step would be greatly appreciated. I am between a rock and a hard place at the moment and for the sake of my business and sanity I would like to find a resolution.
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Welcome to Business Advice Forum r_u_dreaming, sorry to hear about the issues you have been experiencing.

    Is that until May 2014?

    Is the landlord doing anything that is actually damaging to your business? If he or she is, you might want to consider whether or not it is appropriate for you to continue paying rent on the store?

    What would be the implications to you, if you decided to close the business and walk away from it?

    Would it be possible for you to get a new business partner or perhaps even sell your share of the business?
     
  3. r_u_dreaming

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    The lease is until May 2014. The owner has changed business hours and made it mandatory for all businesses within the mall to conform. This has resulted in the need to cancel events previously arranged during convenient evening hours. In addition, there are other signage and promotion restrictions that make it nearly impossible for people to even find us in the lower level. They see it as "conformity" I see it as restricting my ability to grow a brand new business. The other businesses in the mall are established and therefore do not want to do any promotion; therefore, I can't either. We have considered just walking away. We would still be responsible for the lease; therefore, we might as well at least try to sell something. I am not sure the feasibility of reopening at a later time with the same brand. Although, it is not out of the question to choose a different name - We are quite fond of the branding we've already done. A new partner is not an option for 2 reasons. I will NEVER have another partner that is directly involved in my business. And #2 she is paying 1/2 the rent so she would still be there. Other than that we have separate businesses already so we have nothing to sell other than the space. We both just run them out of the same space. Maybe I am missing an option there is someone else that wants the retail space. I will have to review the lease again.
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
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    If the opening hours have been reduced and you have been given further restrictions as to how you can promote your business, you could ask your landlord for a rent reduction. You might even consider claiming that your lease contract has been breached and that you are no longer obliged by the terms of that lease.

    Have you spoken to your partner about the possibility of her buying your share of the business / leased property?
     
  5. r_u_dreaming

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    At this time I am looking for alternative spaces. I am seriously considering the breach of contract option. My former partner doesn't have the funds to buy me out nor does she want to since she is just biding her time with us as well. I appreciate the options. Thanks!
     
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  6. r_u_dreaming

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    UPDATE: My partner has decided to take over the lease. We have found a new location with more open minded business people and no restrictions. We will be moving at the end of the month.
     
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  7. Fergal

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    Thanks for the update r_u_dreaming, that's great news. I wish you every success with the move and at your new location.
     
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  8. Shawn Gossman

    Shawn Gossman
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    If you have the capital and the lot space, my business uses a Cook's Portable Building (shed) and they have all different sizes. Pretty much all over, you can rent to own these buildings. And they are all over the Midwest as well. I don't know how big your shop is. My shop is a repair shop and I can usually fit quite a few bicycles in it. It may or may not be a solution for you but I bet the rent would be cheaper plus your renting to own it.
     
  9. amwarner

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    r_u_dreaming glad to hear that it's resolved. Quick questions though.

    1. For your unique home décor and furniture business, do you make all of it yourself or do you get it third party?
    2. If you do get it third party, would you consider selling your products by mail order or did you really want the store front? I know a few business people that sell furniture strictly by mail and are doing very well with it. It's totally possible.
    3. If you create everything yourself, or at least some of the home decor, would you consider joint venturing with various catalogs that specialize in furniture and home decor items? That way, you get into their catalogs, and they mail to their mailing list (which is probably bigger than yours) but you get more exposure and a percentage of the sales for doing no immediate selling yourself.

    Just a few suggestions I thought you may want to consider and you could do all of those and still have the store if you wanted.
     
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  10. Changed Creation

    Changed Creation
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    Hi
    Congrats on somehow making it till now, when at last you can make the change you have been desiring all along. Also for maneuvering in such a way that your partner will now take over the lease, giving you the freedom of mind to let go of what was. Just a question. Who is the "we" in "we have found a new location..."? Do you now have a new partner?
     

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