A major part of the stress, since we found out we must relocate our business, has been the struggle to find an appropriate space. Along with decisions about size, location, zoning etc. there were the questions "How the heck can we afford it?" and "Who will lease a building to a small (financially speaking) outfit like ours with some less than stellar balance sheets?"
We've had some advantages working on our side; our current landlords own a lot of commercial real estate and were trying to find one that fit. Unfortunately the ones that would have worked were also for sale and the prospect of moving again at short notice is out of the question.
Another major player in the local market is a long-time client, for whom we had imported several containers of antique roof-tiles from Provence. (They look lovely on the roof of his home in Woodside).
The working relationship that we had built with this man over several years, and the files that I never discard, had me locating his cell phone number and calling after 5pm on the Friday get-away day before the big Labor Day weekend. He got right on the phone to one of his agents and the agent turned around and came back to show us properties. It turns out that the now-Agent was the supervisor of the construction project a few years ago so we had met before.
Kevin has been enthusiastically pursuing our goals with us. A couple of "maybes" didn't work as costs to upgrade electrical and such were enormous. He started thinking outside the box and took us to someone else's building that has great access for clients, as well as trucks with containers to unload. 10,000 square feet with freeway visibility on one side and a Porsche dealer just down the street on the other. The owner is asking a very reasonable price; there's a tremendous amount of empty commercial real estate around and it's increasing every day.
Yesterday we handed over a letter of intent with a very complete package of references and financial reports (with explanations regarding our creativity in that regard). This was our do or die moment as time is running out. We have been tensely anticipating the response call ever since.
Kevin called a little while ago and asked if I remembered "S". It turns out that the Agent for the other side lived across the street from us until we moved two years ago. We met regularly when out with our dogs. His wiggly, funny, Springer-doodle mix was afraid until my Diva showed her how dogs are supposed to behave and I taught him how to teach his pup to sit.
As I told my daughter on the phone earlier, the news is good. They don't even care to check our references. We are in business! I mentioned that I thought Diva had a lot to do with it.
"That and a few other things" replied my lovely daughter, who is working for another Diva connection and his dog Casey.