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Which of These Potential Shop Locations Would You Choose?

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  • Which of These Potential Shop Locations Would You Choose?

    So I'm searching for a smaller/cheaper location for my grooming shop. These places would reduce my monthly payments by $1500+. None of these are for sure that it's something we could move into as we are just starting to look into things but these are the current possibilities. I would run my own business in all of them. These are the facts I know as of now.

    Space #1 $Unknown (I would probably ask for 600-800 utilities included). We've tried contacting the owner and haven't heard back yet, but it may not have been passed on to the owner or something so not giving up on it yet.
    Inside a small pet franchise.
    Location very close to my current shop so minimal client loss
    Inside a pet store so potential for more clients
    Very busy strip mall so potential for more clients if we can put up big sign in shop window or outside
    They already send anyone that asks them about grooming our way and have said they have heard no complaints
    Very little set up costs as tub is already installed and I can bring anything else I need from my shop. Costs would be setting up my phone.internet.pos machine.some advertising/signs.

    Very small room, not likely I could have a bather or 2nd groomer
    No room for a kennel room to separate me from barking kennel dogs
    No room for laundry so I would have to bring home towels or send them out for cleaning
    Since it's inside another store I may lose control of some things such as I may not be able to open at 8 if the store opens at 9, they may complain about barking or dryer noise (they have had a groomer in their before, so should understand the noise, they no longer have a groomer after the last groomer left as they didn't have good groomers and it sounded like the groomers worked for them and didn't run their own business and the store dealt with a lot of complaints).

    Space #2 $800 (Gonna do a drive by tonight. Apparently the guy is having a hard time evicting current tenant so not sure when we could get inside to look at it)
    My own space in strip mall
    Fairly close to my current shop so minimal client loss
    800 sq feet so a good size while still being 400 sq feet smaller than my current space
    Would be my own space, not functioning inside of another business
    Can set it up the way I want as it'd be a blank space (though I haven't seen what it looks like, I think it has an office room which could be perfect for a kennel room or bathing /drying room if a large window was installed)

    In more of an industrial area so less exposure to potential clients (in the pic it does look close to a large newish looking apartment building)
    Not willing to do any tenant improvement funds so set up costs will be all on us and it will need a decent amount of set up costs
    Spend more money on advertising

    Space #3 $600 (haven't seen it yet, not sure how 'busy' the area is)
    Inside a pet boarding/daycare facility
    350 sq feet. I'm not sure if this is a pro or con as I'm not sure how big that actually would be, but I think it could have the potential for at least a bather and is much bigger than space #1
    Lots of potential business in the boarding/daycare clients
    They are willing to build to suit
    Though inside another business I imagine I could choose my own hours as they would be open early and late

    Farther away from my current salon (18-20 mins in good traffic) so potential for a decent amount of client loss
    Farther from my house (google maps estimates 24-40 mins, potentially even longer in winter)
    Room would be on the 2nd story (not sure if that's a FULL 2 stories or if it's just up a few stairs which would make a difference. I can't imagine getting some of my bigger clients up those stairs, however at $600 a month I could probably be more choose-y with my clientele and only do smaller dogs)
    Inside another business so again, may need to adjust what I do to work with other business.

    Those are the facts I know of now. Obviously we will actually go and see each one and talk to each one and figure out if they will or will not even work at all, but I like to pre-think it all.

  • #2
    Of those choices, I like #2. Maybe it's just my entrepreneurial spirit, but it gives you more choices for expanding your business. Lots to check into once you see the place inside and talk to the landlord. Why is the tenant being evicted? Does the apartment building even allow pets? How much leasehold improvements will you be allowed to make?

    Before I signed the lease on my former strip mall shop, I had a plumber and electrician come in to see what it needed for my needs. Plumbing and wiring can be very expensive. Do you have someone to help with the remodel or will you need to hire it done? What are your 'neighbors' like? Will they mind some barking once in awhile? Is it easy to get in and out of? Parking for clients? so much to think about, but I always found it exciting to open something brand new and make my visions a reality. Have fun!
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!


    • #3
      If I had to choose I agree #2. Number 1 would be possibly OK if they had been around a long time, quite established and you know they are not likely to go out of business. But a road sign can bring in lots of business, free. Personally I won't lease a space if I cannot be seen from a fairly busy street, or better. Buildout expenses can quickly go into thousands.


      • #4
        Thanks guys. So bit of an update.
        We drove to Space #3 and Space #2 today. We couldn't go into either of them but looked in the windows and saw where they are located.
        Space #3 is a LONG drive. The inside of the front of the store is cute. The building seemed smaller than I was expecting for them doing daycare and boarding and have room for grooming. It's a very industrial area so other than the daycare/boarding dogs I don't think there would be much traffic.

        Space #2 seems quite promising. The road it's on had an ok amount of cars on it, and I expect more cars during the work week. It's really close to that very large apartment complex (which does allow dogs) and close to a transit station. We weren't sure exactly which bay it was. Both I think are the same size and shape. One would need more reno's than the other, and we couldn't see the back areas. One I would need to knock down at least one wall. The other, as long as the back room is mostly open except for a bathroom, would just need a half wall and a couple windows in the existing wall. (of course both would need a tub added and possible added outlets though with just me I wouldn't be surprised if what is there is all that I would need). I can paint and may know someone that can do the carpentry. I didn't check what the flooring was, kinda suspect it's carpet so would have to switch that out as well.

        I really want to pursue Space #2. I think it's the best option for me. I'm not sure why the current guy is being evicted, will be asking that.


        • #5
          Ugh. So both Space #2 and Space #3 just randomly stopped responding. Which I think is very unprofessional. If you aren't interested anymore just say so.
          We hadn't heard anything back from Space #1 so called them yesterday and talked with the employee we initially talked to and she said that the owner had been quite interested but because it's a chain store she had to see if it was allowed to have another business running out of the store so wanted to check on that before she got back to us


          • #6
            My advise is......keep looking for a smaller space. Good luck!
            Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.


            • #7
              Sometimes it does take awhile to find the right location. One day you drive by and see a sign and that's it.


              • #8
                Thanks guys. I've been talking to a realtor I know that does commercial spaces and he pretty much said my likelihood to find any space smaller/cheaper than what I'm in is very poor. He's gonna look around for me but he said don't get your hopes up. Grr.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MysticRealm View Post
                  Thanks guys. I've been talking to a realtor I know that does commercial spaces and he pretty much said my likelihood to find any space smaller/cheaper than what I'm in is very poor. He's gonna look around for me but he said don't get your hopes up. Grr.
                  Yep but you never know. Hoping for you.


                  • #10
                    I actively searched for retail location for 3.5 years. I preloaded may of 2015. 3-6 months away from my spot !!!!! I figured, no money for renos, no old plumbing or ac issues. Everything is brand spanking new built to how I want it. It is not cheap by any means but it is not anymore expensive than any other location in my area. Hell for brand new , Yes! Dimising wall and all!. Take your time and it will come when it is supposed to