In November 2007, I handed over my successful house painting business to my foreman to pursue something I really wanted to do: open a pet store. I had a fair nest egg saved up, and my home almost paid for, and the economy was good so I took the plunge. I had hoped to become operational without going into debt. Naturally, everything cost more than it was supposed to get the doors open, and then the Dow Jones tanked. But I am clearly doing something wrong. I know it's a bad economy, but I'm the only pet store within miles. The Internet is killing me on electronic stuff for aquariums, too. Some of my best customers have bought online and not even checked to see what I could get it for. Here's a phrase I hear several times a week when customers walk in for the first time "Oh, I had no idea this place was this big... followed by - I didn't know you had stuff besides fish!" My store also includes the storefront to the right of this unit, which has the aquariums. Here is a photo of the left store front: I thought the logo on the sign obviously showed a dog's paw, and dog food and dog supplies are 60% of store sales. I keep shrinking other departments and expanding dog and it just keeps growing. I personally love the fish and reptiles, but it's not only a pain to keep clean, but I'm constantly asking people not to tap/put their hand in there, etc. And livestock is fragile and that's the only thing people rarely get online. They buy the tank, gravel and fish from me, and all the expensive stuff is bought online. I can often match or beat it, but there's no way I could try to stock thousands of dollars in light fixtures, etc. that I'm making less than 10% on. So I know two things -there is money to be made special ordering. And dog stuff is what's keeping my doors open. How do I emphasize these two facets? Has a brick and mortar store ever tried the "It'll be here next week" motto? And should I change the whole name of my business? I'm just brainstorming, and I need some sleep but if things don't change for the better soon, my next 1911 is gonna be a Chiappa.