2 of 5
Working the day job
Working the day job
Rob McNaughton
Owner, Rob Diamond

McNaughton runs a fashion accessories Web site. Sales started to slow last March, and he suffered a sharp sales drop for the year. He took on an 8-5 job as an accountant, but was hopeful that he'd make a comeback with a strong holiday season and Black Monday.

While my sales for the first quarter of 2009 were approximately 40% lower than 2008, in April 2009 they were actually the same as April 2008, which leads me to believe we are seeing a turnaround in the economy. I expect this summer to be relatively flat in comparison to last year, and so I've kept my accounting job to support the business and pay my own bills.

I've cut out advertising, but still send out promotions for my past customers. And traffic from search engines remains high.

As I am in the retail sector, I am very optimistic that the holiday season that begins in early October and runs through January will be pretty solid this year. But even if that doesn't happen, I've learned to streamline things, so overall I'm more profitable and wiser. For example, this downturn prompted me to try drop shipments, which means the shipper will send the product directly and I can cut down on my storage costs.

NEXT: Growing and hiring

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