Who needs reality TV with this going on........

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
They seem to be falling like dominoes around here. I know of at least three frame shops in my immediate area that are now gone. Just up the street I've noticed three business's that have closed the past couple of months.

But, even more disconcerting, right here in my strip mall it seems to be a barren wasteland. The paint store has been gone for around 6 months, they didn't collapse, I think the company just consolidated locations. But, that alone leaves a huge gap as it is a 4,000 square foot space. The pizza place right next door closed a month or so ago, in fact, he is the second pizza place to go under since I have been here. Just today I came to work and there was a big sign in the dry cleaners that she was going bankrupt and customers could retrieve their belongings at a near by cleaners. So, we now have three out of ten vacant, although I suppose a more positive spin would be seven out of ten full.

My rational side tells me to look at the situation. Both of these people make me look like a business genius. The pizza guy actually had good food but refused to pay money on advertising. He didn't understand if there ever was a coupon driven business it would be pizza. He made brainy moves like waiting until the middle of July to get his air conditioning fixed, that had been broken for three months. Then there is the ice machine which was broken for 6 months or so. They used to go to the convenience store when they had dine ins. Imagine no air conditioning in July and no ice to offer your customers. He didn't even know pizza or the restaurant business when he started up. I asked this guy "why Pizza?" His answer was that "everybody ate pizza." He ran through a boatload of money and employees before he gave up. Too bad too, he had a good product, although inconsistent.

Then there is the dry cleaners. She drinks. That does tell the whole story. Unfortunately, she has kids and they have been attempting to keep her propped up as she drinks more and more. I don't know if she has always struggled, but she has been there for 20 years and there is no appearance of success anywhere. This one was hard, she asked me to look at the place today to vouch that all the equipment was there and she left the key with me. I guess the landlord now owns her equipment. I didn't know what to say to her, I don't care for her much, she has to admit her problems, but man, 20 years everyday in that store by herself, doing it all and raising her kids. It was for the best, but it still choked me up.

So, two business's collapsing in a month. This is personally hard to watch. As I said before, I do feel like a business genius up against either of these people but it is hard to see peoples hopes and dreams disassembled. Obviously, I can't help but fear for my own longevity.....

This can't possibly be good for the strip center or my business. Although neither of these people added much ambiance, they at least gave the appearance of commerce going on. Plus, I am highly concerned who will be moving in. I am reasonably sure that another pizza joint will open next door but who knows on the other vacancies. I had a discussion about my concerns with the landlord. He told me he had considered splitting the paint store because nobody wanted that big of a space but I guess it was prohibitively expensive. He told me an arcade was very interested and he had at this point declined that, thank God. But, I have heard through the grapevine that a possible Laundromat was being considered. He also had mentioned to me the possibility of a check cashing store. I voiced concern about either of those choices and he acknowledged my concerns but he will do what he wants, obviously. Worst case scenario for me would be an arcade and Laundromat, they could open the check cashing store right next door........oh yeah, that'll help me thrive.

Meanwhile, I was told by another tenant that the landlord was in the process of putting the property up for sale. This doesn't sit well with me. I actually like my landlord, he was very fair with both of these people, who knows who might come along.

My lease is up in October and I had begun talks with the landlord before all these vacancies. I have no resources to relocate with so I have no choice but to tough it out here. My plan is to hopefully sign something with two years and an option and hopefully I can get ahead enough and get out of here in two years. He wants me to finalize this sooner than later but I am stalling until I find out who else is moving in. If an arcade or check cashing store moves in there is no way I can commit to anything because that will just destroy my chances and I would expect a much lower rent.

There actually have been a couple new business's that have opened here this year. The beauty salon changed owners and she has done an amazing job revitalizing her store. A yoga place took over the medical center and they have only been open a couple of months and it is amazing how many Lexus's, BMW"S and assorted SUV"S are parked outside almost everyday now. That really excites me. But, with all the other shifting tenants it has just become very apparent to me that this is one thing that could have a huge impact on my business and it is totally out of my control. It is hard enough to overcome my own learning curve. Being underfunded certainly hasn't helped. But if the shopping center continues to erode how do I overcome that? If I had to list my biggest issue with my business it would absolutely be my location. Now, if the other entities here are what I consider unsavory it is going to make this location just that much harder to overcome.

It certainly has got me in a tizzy the past couple of weeks. It is eerie to see other people fail. I don't need to see the dissolution of one business much less two business's in such a short amount of time. It gives me the heebie jeebies. I feel like a sitting duck.

Sorry this is so long, just had to vent.........
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Posts
4,859
From
Kodak, Tn. USA
Can you, the yoga folks, and the beauty shop join forces in talking to the landlord? If that other unsavory stuff comes in you all will leave? (Does he really know that you can't? Or maybe you can't afford not to!)

Whether you can really afford to or not, I'd start looking. You might be surprised what opportunity might present itself...

Betty
 

Ron Eggers

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 6, 2001
Posts
16,932
From
Wisconsin
If you need any moving advice, you have only to ask.

I'm really good at the packing and moving part, though the unpacking part is trickier.
 

katman

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Posts
559
From
annapolis, md., usa
Sounds like the landlord needs your lease signed so he can market the property. You have never been happy with this location. The options he is looking at for the vacant space don't sound like they will help you so why give him more than 1 year with options? That would give you a little bit more time to check out other spots Yup, a move is another expense that would squeeze you more, but it sounds like it might be necessary.
 

Maryann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 28, 1999
Posts
1,674
From
Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
Although I've never negotiated a strip mall space, my gut tells me that I wouldn't be in any hurry to sign a lease. Take your time, look around, even if you don't find anything you may end up with lower rent and/or other concessions.

Remember location, location, location. Even if your rent ends up being higher elsewhere, you sales could increase dramatically at a better location.

It's been my experience that people want to deal with a successful business or person, not one on the edge.(Learned this in my real estate days - no matter how business is, always tell everyone how good things are going)

A half empty strip mall doesn't look good for you - or for your business
 

HannaFate

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Posts
10,688
From
Corrales, New Mexico
Meantime, make the landlord an offer that will make his strip look more appealing.

Tell him that, if he will let you, you will do something interesting with the windows of the empty spaces, such as hang artwork for sale in them. Maybe organize an art show in one of the spaces. Since this will benefit him, and help him attract better clients, he *might* go for it.

Drop the hint that, if he can attract more retail shops, he can reasonably expect to raise his rent as they prosper. Once a building is paid for (and this one must be by now) the rent value is a function of sales per retail foot.

There is already you, yoga and a salon. If he can attract any of these: a book store, art gallery, printer, jewelry, gifts, art and craft supplies, coffee, bakery, antiques, cards, cafe; he will be on the way to making the strip a high class shopping destination. It is worth the effort for all of you to work with the landord, and persuade him to try for this. Offer to help him find quality tenants if he will wait.
 

wpfay

Comfort Badger
Forum Support Team
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2000
Posts
14,849
From
Jacksonville Beach, FL USA
Business
Sunshine Frames
Is there a possibility you could negotiate a better location within the center and possibly a few more square feet without going up in rent?
What would happen if you were able to nuzzle your business up next to the salon with all the yuppie mobiles?
If the guy is pressuring you now to get the lease in order, I would think that you might have some leverage to get something out of it.
The LL knows that the empty spaces are a detriment to him being able to sell the property, and he probably knows that a buyer is going to be looking for businesses that drive enough revenue to pay the rent on time. So with two failed businesses and your situation I don't think he is currently operating from a strong position. He probably doesn't want another empty space so he should be willing to make concessions, and I know how much you would like to have a bit more space.
 

Maryann

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 28, 1999
Posts
1,674
From
Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA
ahhhh, Dermot
I didn't mean that Kathy was on the edge...I meant that the shopping center was. She needs to think hard about the best move (don't necessarily mean that literally) for her business.
It appears to me, that according to Kathy, she made all the wrong moves getting into this business but she's a survivor and making some good business decisions now that she's in. I'm pretty sure that everybody here is cheering her on.
 

Rozmataz

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Posts
2,773
From
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
Kathy, That's a toughy. We just had our neighbor - a similar story to yours - where they had a great product but didn't put any money back into the business... so they were closing - but an established very popular pizza shop that had to vacate their current building around the corner because it was bought by a bank and a donut shop and was being demolished - moved in - and I can't believe the difference in traffic and types of automobiles!! Been good for me and the fairly new salon next door makes us a very good group of 3 retailers that look good and draw attention because of that!!

Encourage your landlord to bring in good businesses... and maybe you won't have to move or worry as much... and all businesses will prosper!!

Good luck,

Roz
 

Jerry Ervin

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 13, 2001
Posts
8,117
From
North Carolina ... The Picture Frame Capital of th
Kathy

I as much as anybody can tell you what a bad location will do to you. I have just finished negotiating a lease at a more upscale strip mall.
Hang tight for now to see what moves in. If it starts looking bad, cut bait. It may be a good idea to start casually looking now to see what is out there available. You never know, the perfect spot may be out there just begging for a Custom Framer like you to take over and flourish.

Never give up!! D*** the torpedoes, full steam ahead!!
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2000
Posts
16,195
While many are offering well meaning support, none of us has any idea if this location is worth staying. Perhaps the surrounding market isn't as desirable as you would like or that the center is dated in it's look and appeal.

The easy question should come from the basis of If you were looking for a new location and you were new to the market, would this property rate highly on the Gotta Have list?

If it wouldn't attract you as a new tenant (and it doesn't seem to have much appeal to others-hence the vacancies)then that isn't a ringing endorsement. We all tend to get settled in and ignore the changing dynamics of every retail marketplace. Perhaps this property has simply outlived it's usefulness.

But, like I said, none of us has a clue about this property and advice based on just such knowledge is worth every penny you paid.
 

Framerguy

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Apr 12, 2001
Posts
7,261
From
Destin, Florida
Kathy,

I moved into a half full strip mall of 10 units last year. The stores on both sides of me were vacant but I liked the location. As different renters came and looked at the vacancies, I sort of critiqued them with the mall manager and pointed out some of the negative things that could occur with renting to, in one instance, a drug rehab. center. The parking would have been a definite problem and the types that would frequent the rehab center would not be attractive to the other businesses in the mall. (Now, these people DO need help but the main problem appeared to be the large number of people who would have appointments and would fill the limited parking facilities in the front of the mall.)

We are full now with the exception of one business that moved into larger facilities. I have a flower shop on one side of me, an insurance broker on the other, there is a cosmotologist, a very nice German lady who operates a rock and gem shop, a high end jeweler, and a Jackson Hewlett down at the end of the mall. There is one storefront available since the computer company moved into a larger facility recently.

There are some things that you could do to help make life a bit sweeter for you. One thing you could do (if there isn't one now) is approach your landlord with the possibility of becoming the anchor store in your mall. This may involve overseeing the day to day activities of the mall and reporting any problems to the landlord. It may involve a direct relationship with the landlord in deciding who goes into the vacant spaces. It does involve some additional work, sometimes, but it also may mean a reduction in your rent in exchange for taking some of the daily load off the landlord's back.

If you could lower your rent by up to half in exchange for some management responsibilities, would you be interested in persuing that type of idea? It could very well be arranged as you probably don't know what other responsibilities the landlord may be dealing with and, bottom line is, the worst he can say is "No".

If there is a better (bigger) location in the mall, maybe a move to one of the other rentals would be a good thing for you as Wally suggested. (He is such a wise man.) Sure, the moving and setting up is alot of hard work but it DOES have an end to it as I found out when I moved my business 700 miles to a new location.

It is all in what kyou want and how you go about getting it. If kyou are honest in your dealings and can make some constructive suggestions that your landlord likes, who knows what is waiting for you "just around the riverbend"??

Framerguy
 
D

Dermot

Guest
Originally posted by Maryann:
ahhhh, Dermot
Maryann

I’m only kidding….I was just looking at a spin on the name of my business…..”On The Edge” Picture Framing….

:D
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Great thoughts and ideas here. I suppose posting this was only constructive to give me a place to complain. My hands are truly tied. There is no possibility of relocation at this time. I don't have the resources, I have no income so I can't get a loan. I am between the perverbial "rock and hard place".......

Wally's idea of assuming one of the vacant spots is worth looking into, I hadn't thought of that. I'd kill for more space, figuratively of course. It would be easier to raise money for that type of relocation.

But bottom line, Bob asks all the pertinent questions. In my heart of hearts I feel this location is never going to allow me to thrive. My best case scenario is that I can keep it afloat and hope for increases in business as the economy recovers. It seems though, that all I do is just feed the business and nothing more. I suppose that has it's rewards because I am still here but I can't continue to just hang on.

The original plan was to complete my three year lease and relocate. Here I am 6 months away from that three years(wow!)and things certainly didn't work out like I planned. The landlord told me they looked for at least a three year renewal. I asked him if he would consider a two year with a couple years option and he said he would consider it. He said he wouldn't even consider a one year lease. I don't think it would be wise to go month to month. That would leave me wide open for harm.

In reality I'm sure my location could be much worse. I have plenty of high end homes around me. If you go a mile to the north it gets a bit seedy........if you go a mile to the south there is a brand new shiny shopping center that I would love to move into. Besides not being financially solvent enough to afford the move the rent is three times what I am paying here. I was told that I'd have to have $400,000 in sales to substantiate the rent. I'm a tad off from that figure. Just a tad.

I am a shining example of going into a business unwisely. I suppose there are plenty of other dopes who have made the same decisions as I. Heck, two of them here have packed their bags and limped away. From what I have gleaned from my time being a business owner there are plenty of business's out there where the owners don't have a clue what they are doing, they simply carry on and languish in obscurity until they dry up and blow away never even knowing what hit them. I do know what I need to do but I am stuck. What a difference a little planning on my part would have made.......

I suppose there wasn't much sense in even bringing this up since I can't make a move anyway.......like I said, I just needed to vent on this once again cold snowy day......
 

gemsmom

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Oct 10, 2000
Posts
3,576
It is probably the changing/bad/still regenerating, (choose any adjective you want) economy that finally forced those business, which were probably on the edge anyway, out. I wouldn't want a laudromat or check-cashing place next to me, either. Or even in the same vicinity. A move is a move, and I would either try to get closer to the more up-scale businesses, or find another location. I would avoid signing a long-term lease at this point, until my new neighbors were more of a certainty. I think you have the leverage here to do some serious negotiating. Better space, maybe lower rent. Your landlord doesn't need more empty space.
Could you post photos of the mall?
 

katman

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Posts
559
From
annapolis, md., usa
Okay, I'm curious. What is the rent in the location you would like to move to? Will they give you a build out allowance to help cushion the cost of the move? Have you sat down and figured out how much it would cost to move? What makes this other location better than where you are?
 

FrameMakers

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Posts
7,395
From
Powell, OH
Kathy if there are vacent store fronts in your strip you are in no danger with going month-to-month. If they do start to fill up with positive growth stores then re-up your lease if the new tenents are of the less savery type, you won't be locked in.

The more important question is should you really be considering hanging it up for a while. Getting a real job (you know the type, only 40 hours a week, heck that would seem like a vacation to me right now.) getting back on your feet finacialy, and giving it a go in a couple of years.

You have learned a lot in this last 2 1/2 years. Just think what you could do with a fresh start.

I don't feel that there is any shame in a business closing their doors. In many cases it is the bravest desision they will make.
 

katman

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Posts
559
From
annapolis, md., usa
Another option might be to consider partnering. Maybe there is another, nonframing business that has more space than it needs. I know my photoprocessing volume is down. Not to the point where I will stop doing it, but I know several labs that have shut down or plan to in the near future. I would have tried to work out some sort of framing service arrangement with one that shut down if I knew he was closing his doors. My loss--a fanchise framer is moving into his space!
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Pamela, as far as what drove those business's out I know it was their own inability to run their business's. The pizza guy was only there a year and a half. He had $70,000 to start with and quit when he was down to his last $10,000. I can't imagine having $10,000 right now much less $70,000. Give me that kind of cash and I would be unstoppable. He didn't have a clue wht he was doing and was almost cheerful when he quit. He chose to blame it on the economy.

The dry cleaning lady must have had a steady business to have been there for 20 years. She simply is a product of her drinking problem. She chose to blame it on the economy and the fact that the FBI was investigating her for being a spy. As I said, she has a drinking problem.

Somewhere I poste a picture of my store front, I'll have to look for it.....

Katman,
The rent on the primo location as I remember it was $36 sqf a year. The space was 1,000 sqf. Right now I am paying $15 and have 875 sqf. That would have to be a huge jump in sales. In all honesty I haven't made the sales here to substantiate the rent here. I have some growing to do before I can move up and out. I appreciate the value of a good location and the higher rent that goes with it.

I have crunched the numbers to move. Including first and last months rent, build out and relocating expenses I bet I need $15,000. That doesn't seem like much, but I don't have it. I looked in earnest last spring because I felt I was leaving myself here to die but anything I found I could afford wasn't more than a bump up from a lateral move. I don't see the sense in that.

This shopping center stands alone on the corner. There is absolutely nothing outstanding about it, other than the fact that my store is here. There are 30,000 cars that drive by a day so it isn't in the middle of nowhere. Bottom line is I think I am just in a tainted location due to the people who were running it before me and just more modern centers elsewhere......

Why oh why did I bring this up?

Causing me to examine my situation.....
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Diver Dave,
I don't really have the option to hang it up for a while. The debt I carry with this store is more than I could handle if I go get a nine to five job. I would be forced to declare bankruptcy. In my opinion hanging on is a better option. I have managed to pay for the store. Just don't seem to be able to pay me.

If I close I won't ever have a chance to do this again. I bet it would take me 10 years to clear up my financial situation and heck by then I bet framing will be done by osmosis........

I'd give anything for a fresh start. If wishes were fishes......but I am stuck with what I have. I've made too much progress to call it quits now.

That isn't to say I won't be forced to quit. If the economy takes a nose dive or the landlord moves in a tattoo parlor I can't hold it up forever. But, I refuse to walk away. I do hear the fat lady warming up her vocal chords though, oh wait, never mind, just the drunk dry cleaner making noise. Whew, close one.......

The one thing I do know is that it takes quite a toll on ones personal psyche to face all this adversity day after day after day......I've never had to rely on sheer determination before. If I succeed I will be unstoppable........if I lose I will probably become "twitchy" because my nerves will not know how to relax in stand down mode.
 

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Posts
1,077
From
Virginia
Kathy,
You have presented that you are financially strapped at this point and feel stuck where you are currenly located. The "shiny new center" sounds like where you need to be. Is there any possibility to find someone to partner with you for a relocation? Would it be possible to seek out a business partner either as a silent investor or working partner. You may have a customer that would just jump at the opportunity given the chance. I know that means giving up some control and ownership but it might provide the infusion that is needed to get you to the next level. Maybe an interior designer would like to share a retail storefront. What about a gallery that doesn't currently offer framing but would like to expnad their profit center. Another framer who is looking to expand but needs a partner. You can do this!
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Tim, I have given thought to partnering in the past. My initial thoughts were that if I did partner obviously whoever I partnered with would have to bring money to the table and since I have none I would feel like an employee. Plus, I think it would be hard to give up control after creating my "dream".

But, I would certainly consider a partnership if the alternative was to close the store. A silent partner would of course be most ideal. I imagine a mighty big miracle would have to occur to have somebody invest in a business that is not thriving though. They would have to invest in your dreams and visions I suppose.

This thread has caused me to think about my situation, which is a good thing. Yesterday I said my biggest difficulty is my location but I have rethought that. My biggest obstacle is obviously lack of working capital and it always has been. I could overcome this less than ideal location if I had more money to spend on advertising. I could overcome this location by relocating if I had the money. So, money is the issue. Even my own ignorace on running a business, which I am overcoming, isn't as big an obstacle as the lack of money.

I am convinced if I had started with a good plan and lots of money I would have had to run out of it first before I would have learned the lessons I have learned the past couple of years. So, I have just done it in reverse. Now all I need is the money.

I need to rethink my attitude and start thinking like a business genius instead of a poor shopkeeper. Somebody recently told me to work on my poker face......I wonder what Donald Trump would do if he were me.........
 

TADPORTER

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 8, 1999
Posts
518
From
Memphis, TN
Originally posted by Emibub:
I need to rethink my attitude and start thinking like a business genius instead of a poor shopkeeper.
Many times, the biggest obstacles are within ourselves.
The universe is watching and listening.
---
Mike
 

Doug Gemmell

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Posts
2,697
From
Everett, WA
Can you get more a more prominent sign to pull in some of those 30,000 cars?
 

Bud Cole

True Grumbler
Joined
May 30, 2000
Posts
68
From
Maineville Ohio USA
Hi Kathy--All suggestions seem plausable one way or another. I admire your courage to hang in there. Somehow or someway it will work out for the best. We all are in your corner and saying a prayer for you. Keep you chin up!!!!!!
Bud
 

Jerry Ervin

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 13, 2001
Posts
8,117
From
North Carolina ... The Picture Frame Capital of th
Kathy

Have you tried calling the SBA. They may just have some capital there to help you move if you need to. Even if you get no money, they can offer great advice.

My new landlord offered me his space for first two months free, next two months half price because I'll be doing the remodel myself. It will really help me to have that time without the rent clock ticking over my head. This way my move want be as big a financial burden as I thought it was going to be.

I hope you had a great Saturday business wise.
 

Tim Hayes.

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 31, 2001
Posts
1,077
From
Virginia
Kathy,
I couldn't agree with you more. You have spent the time to determine what the current basic need is for your busines. Having determined that, you can now explore your options to rectify the situation.
Partnering with some one who will provide additional funding to the business should not make you feel as though you are an employee or lesser in any way. Try to find someone with different skills that will compliment yours. Think of the money you have contributed and all the time and work over the last three years. You have invested your own "sweat equity" and that counts for a lot.
A working partner can give you someone else to share ideas and plan growth. If you decide to go this route I strongly suggest that you have a WRITTEN partnership agreement. Some sort of business entity be it a partnership, or some variation of corporation is ESSENTIAL. I started with a partner without such a written agreement and when they decided to leave the biz it proved to be a real quagmire that could have been avoided.
 

Jana

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Posts
2,396
From
Mansfield, Ohio
Have you done everything you can to get your name out there? Does the shopping center have a marquee that you can put messages on? (Ours does, and it is effective.) Are there groups you can give talks to (in your spare time!)? Anyway, it would be free advertising.

Do you have any budget for advertising?

Is there a way you could reward present customers for sending in new customers?

A frequent framing card keeps them coming back, too.

Are there little ways the landlord can make the shopping center appear to be more upscale? I'm a fan of planters with flowers. Our center doesn't have them - insurance reasons... sigh. They have areas planted with flowers, though. Bulbs come up this time of year and daylilies bloom most of the summer.

Is there a coffee shop in the center? They seem to encourage lots of traffic.

Moving, even to another store in your shopping center, is exhausting, expensive, and labor intensive.

You just gotta get customers to come to you BECAUSE YOU'RE THERE AND A MOST EXCELLENT FRAMER TO BOOT!
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Originally posted by TADPORTER:
Many times, the biggest obstacles are within ourselves.
The universe is watching and listening.
Geez Mike, you got that right, I couldn't have put up more roadblocks for myself......


Doug, I have worked on my signage and it is producing more traffic. There are so many sign laws in this city that I am finding it hard to pursue any more types of signs. I am looking into having an "A" frame sign made and also one to put on top of my car with an arrow, until the city says I can't of course....

Jerry,
I did check out SCORE last year and didn't get much interest from the counselor I visited with, although I did get some really good feedback from one I had corresponded with online. I should reinvestigate that. Good luck on your new location!

Tim,
Thanks for the partnership ideas. One thing I do need to consider which you hit on and another Grumbler shared with me is to look for a partner in someone who isn't a framer. Like a photographer, designer etc. If you could share a space with a complimentary business that would certainly help keep costs down and if the business;s are a good match I imagine it would encourage more business. Plus, you would still be the only one in command of your part of the entity. I think that is a great idea. I don't have anyone in mind but it is good food for thought.

Jana,
All good questions too.....I like the idea of the frequent shopper card. I have recently had several referral and have sent out thank you cards to the referees with a gift certificate for their next purchase. I couldn't be happier to reward the ones singing my praises.

As to a coffee shop, well, a Starbucks just opened up about 6 months ago in a little dinky shopping center just a half mile away from my store. Dumpy little center but now there is a big Starbucks sign and the rest of the center has filled up like that. Too bad the Pizza guy here didn't collapse 6 months sooner, maybe that Starbucks could have landed right next door to me. :eek:

Thanks for all the ideas everybody. This has given me lots to think about, which can't be a bad thing......

now, onward and upward......
 

Jason Maranto

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Posts
147
From
Tampa, FL
This all sounds so familiar to me... I was however able to negotiate with my landlord a substantial reduction in rent (for the shorterm) in return for signing a longer term lease.

That idea may help ease some of your cash flow problems.

Also, the grass is always greener... that shiny new mall might come with some rather big problems of it's own:

1) It's unproven... it would not be the first time a new mall was built which turned out to be a flop.

2) (Assuming you do get the volume) You'd need to hire employees, which is another whole problem within itself.

3) There are good spots and bad spots within malls... the good spots usually cost more and go to the big boys who have proffesional departments to handle mall managment.

4) It's been my experience that the really high end malls don't want a picture frame shop, we are viewed as lesser entities.

If debt IS the problem maybe restructuring is the answer... I'm only one "bad month" away from that myself.

Jason.

[ 05-04-2004, 09:34 PM: Message edited by: Jason Maranto ]
 

sumik

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Oct 12, 2000
Posts
199
From
Akron,Ohio United States
Kathy,

Have you looked into a government small business grant? There is money out there to be given to start and renew businesses. You have an established business which will make it easier to do all the homework necessary. You are less of a risk than someone just starting out. You have hung in there for over 2 years. That has got to give you some brownie points. I too had a shop back about 13 years ago. Rather than trying to get a loan or grant I closed my doors. I've always regretted it. (Wasn't my decision...long story)
Susan
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2000
Posts
16,195
Susan brings up an interesting option, although I don't know anybody except the Jesse Jackson type that ever get these grants.

But, if you got $25,000 dumped into your lap, what would you do with this money?

I suspect that you would need a plan to justify the money. This isn't just for Kathy, but anyone

If you had a grant of $25,000 how would you use it and how would you justify those actions?

We might see some ideas that may not cost much and yield some interesting results
 

Rozmataz

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jun 13, 2002
Posts
2,773
From
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
Kathy,

I think you have had many good positive responses to your pouring out of your situation.

If you can look at where you are today and put a business plan together based on where you want to go and what you want to achieve in the next 1, 3 5,10 years and as Bob says "what would you do if $25000 fell in your lap"....

Think as if you are starting from square one but you have all the past 2-3 years experience and you know what you should be doing... and cash is only part of what is keeping you from it.

Securing a partnership whether it be silent or active does put a little glitch into our normally self-run businesses... but at times we have to do what we have to do to move forward. Sometimes we need help, and it may not come in exactly the form we want.

I say "Go For It" as if you are running on a full tank of gas not empty, ready to dry up along side the road.... I know you can do it and I think you can overcome your current location without a move right now.... make a move part of your future plan once you have revitalized your business (assuming the economy is not the only thing against that action)... but put it all on paper in a business plan... I know it helps me if I do that and it gets it out of my head - helps to clarify it.

Good luck.

Roz
 

Peter Bowe

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Mar 19, 2002
Posts
222
From
Saline, MI
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
But, if you got $25,000 dumped into your lap, what would you do with this money?

That reminds me of the old joke about the dairy farmer who won the lottery. When asked what he would do with the million dollars he thought for a minute then replied " I guess I'll just keep farming till its gone"

Peter Bowe
Saline Picture Frame Co.
 
D

Dermot

Guest
First of all I make a wish list for what I could use that $25K for….for this exercise I’m trying to place myself in Kathy’s shoes….then when I have an exhaustive list I would refine it into the bases for writing the Updated business plan….and in Kathy’s case if she wants to remain in business she would be developing her business options…not starting anew..

I’m starting this wish list….others can add to this ……..then we can refine it into the start of the Updated business plan…

1 Wages for Kathy
2 Update Signage
3 Pay an accountant for business plan advice
4 Cash flow
>>>>>>I have to fly back later…..
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Thanks for starting the list Dermot. I have tried for the past hour to attempt the exercise and my mind can't wrap around the subject. Not because I can't have a plan but I have been operating in "Ninja" mode for so long I simply can't grasp the concept without giving it lots of thought.

I've never had any money to plan with. Every dime spent up to this point was from earnings from the store or credit card. To actually have cash in hand to plan a course with.........

The one thing I do know is living from week to week and the not knowing what you will have to work with is no way to run a business......of that I am sure.

I'm going to give this some serious thought, it will be a great exercise.........
 

lise

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Jun 3, 2000
Posts
359
From
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
If this was me, I'd be looking at the clues very carefully, but only after a moulding sample fell off the wall and hit me square on the head. Sometimes we fight against something that is in motion already but its like a mediocre marriage, we are just hoping it will get better, Love is not always enough.

Kathy, it sounds like you have the committment, just put it where it will work for you. Do everything you can to get out of there.
I know what its like to stay with something because you've said you would do it, and you keep sticking it out but you know its not right, but by god, you're gonna stay the nine yards.

To answer someone's comment about advertising more. My experience has been that with a crappy location, increased advertising only works to a point. You have to constantly put money into a campaign that may or may not work. It's too much of a gamble.

Someone also said, you aren't a failure to close your doors. Bankruptcy is a setback but it can also open the doors to better decisions.

Do whatever you can to get a new location. Your lease is up for heaven's sakes. It's a get out of jail card. Take it
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Dec 8, 2003
Posts
9,908
From
KY
I am dying to know more about "Ninja Mode". Thats the funnest thing I've heard this week. I think I might be in "Ninja" mode too. Im not sure though!
icon45.gif
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Yes Lisa, you could be right. It might be time to wake up and smell the coffee. I probably am kidding myself into thinking I really have something here. I suppose I had to, otherwise how could I have continued to hold it up for so long.....

I certainly have had time to make this work. I guess I have kidded myself into thinking I was making progress too. Oh well.

I am not ready to give up yet. I still have a little glimmer of hope......I've already bet and lost the farm......nothing to lose now.....

I talked to one of my sisters yesterday. I haven't talked to her in over a year. She asked how the store was. I told her I was still hanging in there and had turned it into a nice little entity that I was proud of. Obviously, I am still struggling financially. Her response was how "proud" she was of all I had accomplished, but that I still needed to know when it was time to "pull the plug". I told her I had "pulled the plug" the day I bought this place and had already bet it all and it wasn't helping to hear that. She clearly doesn't understand the nothing to lose concept. My plan is to wait another year before talking to her......
 

Jason Maranto

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Posts
147
From
Tampa, FL
Ever thought of selling the business?

There is a chance that someone with more funding could make the business workable.


Jason.
 

Emibub

PFG, Picture Framing God
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 2, 2001
Posts
9,246
From
Centennial, CO, USA
Jason, that would be a nice thought but honestly with the money I still technically owe the previous owners, a story I won't go into here, and the debt I have created since it would take a small miracle to get anybody interested at that sum. In fact, I do believe we can look for the sun to rise in the west first.

Nice idea though.....
 

CharlesL

PFG, Picture Framing God

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



Joined
Apr 9, 2001
Posts
7,255
From
Clayton, NC
Frankenthread Alert!!

After actually watching one episode of the current 'Survivor' the other night, out of desperation and shreer boredom, who needs 'reality' TV anyway??

They, the producers, give the contestants some bugs to eat, etc, etc, but it is so obviously contrived. I'd rather watch The Guiding Light. At least until I get my dish moved to my new digs.

PS: Royall, this seems like a bump in the road, as we've talked about before. You have all the skill, imagination and industriousness to make this shop work!
 
Top