Thursday, March 11, 2010

HappyEndingz - Under New Management


Well yes and no. It's official and it's unofficial. Last night Audrey offered to sell me The Business.

It's really not that big of a deal - she's done it before. And each time I've taken it with a grain of salt. The only true difference this time is that she hasn't set foot in here in what - 2 months now? And as of our last talk, she's not planning on setting foot again anytime in the near future.

So what should I do THIS time? Business is crap. In fact, I've been seriously thinking of taking a friend up on her offer to bartend a couple nights a week. I've tended bar before, so I wouldn't mind doing it again. Heck - the pay would be more stable than around here (and easier on my left hand).

Audrey threw some numbers around and I kinda half listened. Like I've said - she's done this before. So here is a list of pros and cons that I need to consider this time around:

Pros
Recently renovated
Easily converted to tanning salon
Already includes a tanning booth
Location (great for a massage parlor)
Run with 3 person staff

Cons
Price
Location (bad for a tanning salon)
$$ to buy extra tanning booths
Not starting "fresh"

I've always wanted my own tanning salon, and somehow this wouldn't be the same. And Audrey is still delusional over what the worth of this place is. But if she came down in price, I would definitely reconsider. In this business, what you're paying for isn't just a couple of rooms and massage tables.

Since advertising is so hard to do and clientile are difficult to establish what you're paying for is the name and reputation. Our customers know that this business at this location provides happy endings. That's why massage parlors often start up at the exact same location of old parlors - reputation. It's like built in advertising. I could even pack up and move, but as long as I take the same name with me the customers will be able to find us (eventually). Sucks not being able to advertise like everyone else.

If I didn't want this place, I could start my own, but then I face the problem of trying to rebuild the customer base. You can't exactly open up the books and start calling customers at home ("Hello? Mrs. Johnson? Could you tell Harvey that Fantasia, Candy, and Paradise have moved and would love to see him at our new location in the K-mart plaza behind Joe's Welding Supply?").

While I had Audrey on the phone, we also talked about the fate of our competitor that got busted. Turns out she knows some history about the owners of that place and she was only surprised this didn't happen earlier.

So there you have it - the news is out there and I would really appreciate your input. I mean, I've been seriously thinking of my escape plan for a couple years now, and then this happens. It's like Karma keeps me tied to the massage table. Or am I just making excuses not to make the tough decision and just leave?

What do you guys think? You've been following this drama for a couple years now so you probably know as much about it as I do about it!

CJ

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd be a little concerned about pinning too much of your future on tanning salons..

At this point it's kind of a miracle that they aren't more tightly regulated (or banned), given the insane cancer risk they present. (As I understand it, the UVA light they use is deeper-penetrating than sunlight and thus can do a lot more harm.

It seems a matter of time until either people start to realize this and lose their taste for tanning, or the government starts to crack down on it.

Then again, people still smoke ;)

Joker_SATX said...

In my opinion.....

Are you happy with what you are doing?

If you are, then knowing the success of this blog as the example, you will find creative ways to advertise. And you would probably make a mint!

However, if you would rather being doing something else, I would just say no....

Al Sensu said...

When you talk about buying a business, you need to be specific about what assets you're buying. Typically, those include a name, goodwill, customer base or list, physical assets such as equipment, supplies and fixtures, assumption of lease, intellectual property (not a factor here). If you want to operate a tanning salon, then you don't buy a massage parlor. If you want to operate a tanning salon in the location you're currently in, then you might buy equipment and fixtures, but you're not buying a business. In any case, you will want assurance of a continued lease on acceptable terms. If you do want to buy the massage parlor, part of what you're paying for is the value of ongoing trade. If business is down, the business is worth less than it was when business was good. What Audrey put into it, or owes on it, have nothing to do with the value of the business except to the depreciated value of equipment and fixtures (and the fixtures only retain value as long as you remain in that location. Since you say the location is not good for a tanning salon, there is no reason to buy anything but the used tanning bed from Audrey, which you would move to a good location. Unless Audrey owes a lot of money on the business, she ought to be willing to sell it on an extended payout so that you don't have to try and finance it (which I assume is challenging for that type of business anyhow). And it is not uncommon for the amount to be paid to be based in part on the revenue during the payout period, so if the business does better, she does better. For instance, you might pay her $1-2,000 upfront, and then a percentage of gross for 2-5 years. You have to decide what percentage seems fair and doable. Something strange is going on with her in that she's been willing/able to give up the revenue she gets from doing her own massages, so I would think any steady stream of income off the business for a few years without her having to do anything would be attractive. You also know that if you are truly running the business (rather than just babysitting it), you will make it better and business will be better, despite the poor economy. Oh, and PLEASE use an attorney who does business law to draft a purchase agreement. You tell him all the details of what you've initially worked out with Audrey and he'll put it into written form and perhaps ask some questions that you didn't think of. Probably cost $1,000, but worth it.

JB said...

CJ,

I could not agree with Al Sensu more. If you decide to do this, you need to get the agreement between you and Audrey in writing and legal. If you don't, you run the risk of her coming back later and asking for more money or trying to take over again.

You'll also want to consider including some kind of non-compete clause in the agreement. That way, you could prevent Audrey from selling this business to you, only to take the money and open up shop somewhere else down the road. I have a feeling she would not feel the slightest remorse at contacting "your" customers about her new business.

Just something else to think about.

JB

Just Visiting said...

CJ:

Are you talking about running a place that offers happy endings?

I think you want to go 'legit' - at least I've gotten that impression. If so, this sounds like a great chance to use the location/reputation/whatever to do what you've wanted to do for a while... now is probably as good (or better) a time as ever.

But I think owning a jack-shack would be a bad move. Do you want to be the owner when the INEVITABLE sting comes along? Can you live with the consequences of being arrested for that?

My two cents :)

Capsule said...

Audrey will always be around... Even if she's not there. If business goes great, she'll show up again, or worse, make problems.

Also, I've never seen it really work well, where you become the boss of friends you've worked with.. especially now that the money would be yours. It's easy to let stuff slide when it's Audrey's... but how about when you're on the line for the bills?

I don't know what the money is like, maybe it's worth it... maybe it's not.

What happens to your personal life if you do it? Change the story to the "owner of a shampoo shack?"

If you like the freedom to be able to go bartend a couple nights a week, then don't buy a business that will keep you from it. Or "settle" for half the dream you want...

Just have to ask, why is the offer different now, when you were entertaining the thought of bailing before?

Kenny S. said...

You may never have more leverage on Audrey than you do right now. It sounds like she either sells the business to you for whatever you are willing to pay or she shuts it down....gets nothing and is stuck with the remainder of the lease agreement.

I'd try and lowball her. If she says no....tell her you're leaving and going to open up your own business.

What other options does she have other than to say yes?

Mike said...

I think it's time for HappyTanningz.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should check into a business evaluation. I had a short one done for 1k. I was surprised at the value. The state of the economy in the last few years could tip the value in your favor.

Sevesteen said...

I'm not a businessman, so take this with a big grain of salt.

I would not buy the business unless you plan for it to remain a happy endings place. I would find out what hair stylists, tanning, and similar businesses sell for in relation to their earnings and profit, and take into consideration that there are likely fewer people willing to buy a happy endings place. And absolutely get a lawyer.

Billybob said...

I agree completely with Al Sensu and JB, but did have an amusing thought about the non-compete. If she started her own business and you wanted to enforce the non-compete clause, you would both have to provide detailed information to a court about what exactly it is that you do. Could be interesting!

I'm not sure that the non-compete would really be enforceable in this case.

The Flash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Flash said...

Lots of good points here, but one big thing that hasn't been mentioned, that's a pretty damn strong reason not to do this:

you've mentioned Audrey's connections before. Hell, you obliquely mention them in this post, when you say she knows what the story is with the place that got busted. you've said she knows every cop in a 20-mile radius, more compellingly. That, undoubtedly, is part of why you guys haven't been busted. Also, she probably goes full service for some of those cops. And that's something you seem not to want to do. So you can't really take over the business with any expectation of security unless you're ready to get jiggy with a bunch of cops and establish the kinds of connections Audrey has. Yah?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't buy it. Even if you got the business going really good, it may take just one bust (no pun intended) to shut you down.

In 15 - 20 years, you could become another Audrey. You might start doing full service just to keep business.

There's a lot of extra worry and aggravation owning your own business, especially one that provides HJs.

Anonymous said...

Have you considered adding a drive-thru window to the building? It could be as simple as a hole to put your arm through. Reduces your overhead and adds customer convenience. Be sure to ask "do you want fries with that?" to cover the legal issues.

Anonymous said...

You don't want to be the "owner " of an illegal operation. Even if the odds of a bust are low, working there will likely result in a slap on the wrist, I have to think owning the place would have some jail / prision time.

You got good business advice in the comments.

Anonymous said...

Bad idea, CJ, bad idea... Buying the business means that you're going to have a tough time changing it from what it is now to something non-sexual. And you don't want to be the owner of a sex-oriented business, even if it's not FS. Way too much legal liability.

cj said...

WOW - you guys have some pretty damn good advice. The whole legal thing and getting a lawyer never occurred to me.

As for a "non-compete" clause - come on! That's how 99% of massage parlors get started! I would fully expect Audrey to try to fuck me down the road by opening another parlor with another set of girls.

HappyTanningz??? ROFL

With drive thru window??? LMAO


CJ

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't give 'Audry' 2 cents for the business name or reputation. In my area one week a spa is named Green Ocean, the next week it's Blue Ocean and a week after that it's Blue Sky. Just tell her you're not interested, eventually she'll get tired of paying the rent and utilities and then you can approach the owner of the property about assuming the lease . . . he or she might even be willing to renegotiate the terms to avoid a vacancy.

Anonymous said...

No..not with this economy, potential legal actions, and becoming an Audry in the future. Go back to school and learn something marketable for the future. I hate to say that everybody gets old and do you see yourself doing this in two, five, ten or twenty years from now? Can you retire from this?

G-Drago said...

oh i c! CJ! why is it suspecious seeing younger guys at massage parlors(19-26)? maybe they hav sports or related injuries too? u never know. maybe they want a good rub down too like the older guys. Maybe they want that stress release too? or is it that age factor? because u are older u prefer catering to older guys. You don't want to be thinking damn this is my son's age lol! Well thts just my opinion, don't take offense to that its natural. Thank u!

Mr Begotten said...

Man...life si all about risks. Audrey trusts you , and though she is a "lying stealing bitch" she calls YOU to handle her shit while she is on hiatus - that has to be worth something.
You have mangaed to sack away a chunck of cash in your short time in the business...do you onestly think Audrey doesn't? She is probably fully capable of retiring and never looking back, except maybe to say what's up (or fuck a regular lol). Go with your gut - remember when you said you were offered work at another place, and your gut told you no? What does your gut tell you about this?
I would pick Audrey's brain (if she lets you) and try and get connected like she is. It could be perfectly logical that she just knows people....ask her. She might very possibly be willing to help you out with "issues", due to her connections on a sort of consultant basis. Despite this woman's obvious faults, she managed to run a VERY successful business in the boondocks of PA (and retain some loyal and quality employees in the process) for how long? Not an easy task. Trashy she may be, but stupid she is not.

Also, sex is not the only social luricant (pun intended), money also greases some wheels. Besides if the "hook-ups" she has are based on "services you are not willing to provide...well there's always Cindy and Trina right? They are most likely doing it already.
I think that this is a venture worth exploring.... please keep me posted. You fascinate me.

ABE-RDG said...

Let's be honest and call a spade here... You Jack guys off for cash. Period. That's it. You may be a LMT, but that's a piece of paper. You may not fuck them, but it's still having sex.

So, you can do this til you get out and fuck being respnsible for this shit, or you can sink your savings and life into owning and operating a whorehouse.

So. Ask yourself are you just a sweet girl using your wiles to earn some easy money, or are you a madam, a slut, and trash?

Fuckng eh, I lie the blog and hate to see it end. I'd also like to know where you work just so I could get a REAL masssage with a little extra sexy (nit even jerked off, I can do that shit myself), but there's something real at stake here, your future and status as a useful human being, that supercedes my desire for a bust-free half nude massage.

eddie locke said...

you know I think your writing is great, and your stories are funny, but sex-work does have down sides. Tanning salons are opening every day, but they are also closing every day too.

Just Visiting said...

I've already weighed in, but I'll say it again.

Don't make a career of jacking guys off. You've made and saved money - great. Don't let it turn into something you can't walk away from.

Continuous But Plural said...

You've already emptied your savings, haven't you? Go for it! It can be a great money maker! Don't let the fight throw you off guard on the 27th.

Sexy Intimates said...

Great site for people who were thinking of getting into the industry telling of the ups and downs of being a masseuse

cj said...

Anon,
Ya know - I have SERIOUSLY thought about just that... quitting the job then waiting her out. It would have to fold eventually and then I could pick up the space and the massage tables dirt cheap.

But the guys here all have a good point... Maybe it's time to go legit instead. But I love entertaining the idea of getting a sort of "revenge" on her!!


2nd Anon,
It's that thought of turning into another "Audrey" that scares the shit out of me and makes me think of hanging up the massage oil bottles.


G-Drago,
You REALLY need a massage.


Begotten,
I know I make it sound easier than it is to manage this place in her absence. She has built up a reputation and greased the wheels well before I got here. I don't know... the idea of blowing the plumber to save a few bucks doesn't sound that appealing to me.


ABE,
That's a bit harsh don't you think? But once again the thought of turning into Audrey Jr. just scares me. And you're right in that nothing changes unless I make that change.


Just and Continuous,
I've got the cash stashed away - it's just that all this time I had a tanning salon in mind. IF I decided to go for it, the money I save purchasing the Business would be eaten up by the costs of new the booths and fixtures. It's a gamble either way. My original thought was that I could cushion the financial blow by starting off with massages and working my way into 100% tanning.


Sexy,
Thanks. As you can see, it's a lot more complicated that you think.

CJ

ABE-RDG said...

CJ,

Yes, it was harsh. Consider it the text version of one of those slaps you give a person in hysterics.

I honestly don't see a problem in what you do, and I think your attitude is pretty chill. However, let's not mince words too much, lots of people don't share my attitude.

And seriously, is this what you want to do for the rest of your life? Your lisence really does mean something if you chose to use it, but the lure of easy money is going to have you providing manual releases for a long, long time.

I've known more than a share of strippers who've ended up in porn or outright hooking. Its a slipperly slope, darling, and you're staring down the double diamond trail.

Plan your choices carefully.

Gerard said...

Hi CJ,New to your blog,but I love it.
I am a fan of all Working Girls,I have even set up a blog using my real name and face,to celebrate them.
This is it-
http://whorelover.blogspot.com/?zx=b68d6b078e89c8b7

I have put an RSS link to your blog on there,your feedback or any comments on mine would be appreciated,good or bad.
In response to your dilemma,is not taking over The Business just a means to an end?
You do it for a year,save a stack of dough and then open a tanning salon (suggest spray tanning,sunbeds are becoming more regulated and concerns are being raised.Here in the UK,they recently raised the minimum age to 18 for access to tanning salons and more legislation is on the way throughout Europe)
You have an opportunity to take charge and earn more money,plus a residual stream of income (Recommended by multi-billionaire Warren Buffet as the key to wealth and financial security) as you are taking a cut of other 'happy Endingz',right?
So you earn more money per hour,even when you are not actually 'Working' per se,from an economics point of view,it makes sense.
This is also not the sort of business you see advertised for sale much!
So you would be taking a rare opportunity to gain valuable experience running a 'rub & tug' as we affectionately refer to them here.
This is experience you can always use again in the future to fall back on,and cna take anywhere,this is recesion proof and good locations are pretty much anywhere in a large city/town.

Gerard said...

Oh,and as for the risk of busts/stings?
You could always come to the UK?
We don't really do that much here,as long as you steer clear of Trafficking,and keep it in certain areas,and keep your girls off the streets.
Did you know prostiution is not strictly illegal in the UK?
The vast majority arrested are due to trafficking,drugs,kerbcrawling,disturbing the peace,etc.
A girl can 100% legally sell her body from her apartment.
so you have a rental agreement drawn up,you become the landlord,they pay you a 'rent' ,and what they do is their business.
Or they buy a share of the apartment,and any other agreement is verbal only between girls you trust.
Legal Impunity and a Recession-Proof Business?
Sounds good,no?

Mr Begotten said...

CJ:

The question is are you guys "tight" enough that she would assist you for a while - Like a consultant because of her connections? You could figure out some sort of compensation (monetary of course) and be straight up with her; I'm interested, if can use your connections.

Or do you think it's a case of "out of sight out of mind" once she's out?

My point was that maybe (and I know this may be a strecth considering, but), just maybe, her connections are legit andn she can help you get connected.

Jesus - even as I write this I'm thinking:
"who are we fucking kidding - this is Audrey"

Gerard said...

Oh,and another thing is,supposed loyalty to an employer/boss is often not reciprocated by them.
After all,its business,its nothing personal,if job cuts or relocation is deemed necessary for business,an employee is expendable.
I work self-employed as a Personal Trainer,I have no boss,no contracts,verbal or written.
But I have previously been employed in gyms and what I saw some Personal Trainers (and massage therapists) do,instead of leaving the gym and having to build a new regular client base,they plot together with a few other Trainers/Therapists to simply poach the clients from the gym they work in,and set up their own business as near as possible to their previous employer,(to ensure clients can get to your place as well as they can to yours)
They plan out a timeframe for the move,and in the last weeks,they tell their clients they are setting up for themselves and they can train in their studio for a preferred hourly rate,to reward their loyalty.
They can afford to do this (as you can) because there is no boss taking a cut or charging a rent anymore,and it's well worth the time,money and insecurity of having to promote,advertise and rebuild a new client list.
Fuck loyalty,it all comes down to whether your boss actually counts as a boss or a friend first.
Don't get me wrong,I've had some bosses who were actually great to work for,looking back on it,but I've also been let down and even betrayed by a lot of bosses/managers/supervisors in the past,and whenever I see someone successful who is rising through the ranks and being promoted,more often than not,it has come through them being ruthless,becoming virtually heartless,backstabbing and betraying to get more money,power,status.
Poaching customers and/or staff from your boss is not the worst thing you can do,they have probably done worse (i.e. fired someone without damn good reason or any proof of wrongdoing,etc) if they were in your position and they had thought of it first and believed in themselves,its exactly what they would do-
leave and set up for themselves,because you don't get rich working for someone else.
This is the sort of thing successful,ambitious people DO.
ALL the time.
If your relationship is more business than it is personal,then go for it,CJ!
So,in the last weeks,as you are giving an expert handjob to a regular,you tell him about how you're gonna be setting up your own place around the corner,and all new clients to CJ's (nice ring to it) get half-price handjobs for the opening week,so they should come down and check it out,they will probably shoot their load at the anticipation! and excuse me,but why do I never see loyalty cards for massage parlours? hmmn? just a simple card that gets stamped,you know those little cards,like,Krispy Kreme give me a card to get a free coffee or donut for every 6 I buy or whatever,why not a free HJ for every six I buy?
...From you guys,I mean,not the chick who works the counter at Krispy Kreme,lol! although they could be missing a trick (pun intended) as she's pretty hot.
Yeah,so anyway,you can thank me later once you're up and running.

x

Anonymous said...

Here's something to consider, CJ; as soon as you buy the place YOU become Audrey.
Not necessarily taking on her F/S jobs, not becoming like her personality (until something financial happens and you discover WHY she does what she does), but in the eyes of the "NEW CJ," you will be the money hungry bitch who steals customers and does stuff (whether you do or not).
Your friends/co-workers will longer be your friends; their attitudes to you will shift, imperceptibly at first, and then they will develop attitudes like they (and you) have towards Audrey.
It will happen. That is human nature; especially where jealousy, greed, and need collide.
Consider this: you had a co-worker (I think her name was Cindy) who had a problem with drugs and stole money from you.
Let's just say you institute a "no drugs" policy but a new Cindy comes to work for you and swears she doesn't do drugs but has a blow (pardon the pun) habit. Like a lot of junkies, she hides it well at first. However, junkies almost inevitably mess up because the need takes over. The New Cindy screws up, brings an 8 ball to work; gets high, says something stupid because she's high; gets busted (at your place because she's dumb and high) and you're there at the time.
Guess who also goes down (again, pardon the pun)? As the owner, depending on local and state laws, you could be held liable for both the activity and the drugs...

Let me just say, I have no problem with what you do for a living; I also have been reading this blog since almost the beginning.

I think that if America could get over it's stupid puritanical obsessions about sex and honor the providers instead of marginalizing them, we'd all be in a better place (of course, if it became "legit," your income would decrease...

I just encourage you to look into the liability aspects and the legal ramifications of all of what you'd be taking on if you became the owner. You are in a much stronger position now as a worker than as the owner; really, you are.

Just a little food for thought.

G-dragon said...

LOL cj! i reallyyyy need a massage haha!! u got that right!!! kkk!! I just expect to get everything on first visit haha!! but i guess thts not da case somtimes.