3 of 7
Less sales, less staff
Less sales, less staff
Dan Hunter
Co-owner, Cobblestone Cottage and Gardens
Meadville, Pa.

Business at my flower shop was hand-over-fist when I first bought it in September 2007. My eight employees and I had a fantastic Christmas and Mother's Day. But then we had a slow summer as many workers in this town, a big auto parts manufacturing hub, were laid off because the car industry was lagging. Wallets constricted as people shaved off everything extra from their shopping lists - unfortunately, people see flowers as a luxury. Our orders for funerals, typically a great source of business, took a hit. Conditions continued to worsen this fall and we're now only getting 2-5 orders a day, compared to the 15-20 orders we used to get before the summer.

Because we're not pulling in money, I had to lay off all but three workers. At first, we relieved ourselves of the people who were clearly only there for a paycheck, but then we had to cut employees who had been staples at the business since before we purchased it. In fact, I just said goodbye to two of my employees this week. I won't be able to sleep tonight, but realistically, we just don't have enough work to justify their being here. I hope that they can rejoin us in better days.

NEXT: Employing families

LAST UPDATE: Jan 29 2009 | 2:34 PM ET
Sponsored by
More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More