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

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.