“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” - Denis Waitley
I'm not giving up entirely. At the moment, I am just closing the brick and mortar location. Had I known the situation, I would have never agreed to purchase anything from the other business. I actually, would not have chosen to open a business in that location, because even when we removed all the former inventory, had new signs installed and sent out press releases, people just assumed it was the same business and just had the name changed and new employees. Six months later and people still didn't get it. In a small town, the location was doomed from the beginning. No matter how many times we explained to people, including putting a sign on the front door that we were not associated, people thought what they wanted. It was a harsh reality that our lack of traffic came from customers who had already been burned and vowed never to step foot inside our locale. At this time, we are just clearing out, officially closing on February 1st.
We will continue to sell online.
At some point in the future, perhaps we will attempt to re-brand and re-open in a new location, but for now, the stress and embarrassment of not fully investigating what kind of person I was trying to do business with is enough to deal with. I won't give up, because I truly believe I can be successful and I have faith that everything in life is a blessing or a lesson, this time it just happened to be a little of both.
Learn from me, if you ever decide to purchase an already existing business, ask around, don't just speak with the owner or their favorite customers. Speak with everyone in your community, speak with the police and see if complaints had been filed. Fully document everything, in writing and never sign a contract without a lawyer reviewing and and being present. Never assume anything and always put everything in writing. Don't think purchasing an already existing business is going to be easier than starting from scratch. Either way is hard. Owning a business is never easy, but from scratch you don't inherit enemies of the former business and you don't have to clean up messes you didn't make.