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No. of Recommendations: 2
Here's the catch: I have nearly three years to go on the lease. I located this business right on the edge (the "frontier" if you will) of the suburban part of Phoenix. Tons of houses going up, and no music lesson stores in the area. No competition to speak of, but a large demand for what we offer. If you go a few miles farther out of town, there are simply no suitable locations,

If your landlord was/is as incompetent as you've described you should be able to get out of paying this added expense for the last year. Yes, I have a good lawyer and I whip him out like a six-gun when people mess with me. As I recall you've got an unfixed leaky roof problem with this guy too.

Likewise, if you had a good lawyer draw up your lease you should have no problem breaking it. If you didn't have a good lawyer draw up the lease (or at the very least review & explain it to you and insert a clause or two in the landlord's lease) shame on you.

As Bruce Williams says: Your signature is the most valuable thing you own. I have a sinking feeling that you didn't use a good lawyer and are about to discover the wisdom of Mr. Bruce.

As to your location: don't fall in love with it. I didn't say anything about moving a few miles. If you look for it, you may find just what you need just around the corner, just down the block or across the street. Yes, "Inside SuperMall" looks great in your ads, but "across the street from SuperMall" or "3 blocks west of SuperMall" will work just as well. Put your pride aside and LOOK! Your business is not a "destination location" type. In other words people seek you out for the specific services you offer not as a place to shop. There are lower taxed older buildings out there, you've just got to be willing to look for them and that may mean putting aside your preconceived notions of how grand your musical castle needs to be.

I say again: Your customers won't be interested in your excuses for raising prices and, from what you've said you can't afford to reduce your draw. Stop and think, what's it going to be: higher prices or reduced life style? You've got to answer this question before you make any more moves.

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