The economic slowdown and mortgage meltdown were a shock to so many. But even more of a shock is how much the printing business was affected by the availability of low cost print options. That’s what my client was facing in 2008. The perfect storm.
Many businesses saw their volume shrink as internet buying picked up. As a business owner, you have to make choices, and many owners chose to meet payroll and not pay themselves as much. Especially if it’s a family owned business that has existed for 50 years.
The emotional commitment to the families who work for you and for the legacy of your own family is a big driver in staying open despite the dismal outlook and ever decreasing business volumes.
Mike and Sally chose their employees over themselves, and had a tough 4 years waiting for things to change. They cut their income to 25% of what it used to be. They tried to do a loan mod, and after 2 years got turned down. Meanwhile their credit was damaged.
They finally had to sell their home of 30 years because the payments were too much to handle on their much reduced income. They moved from their home to a rental, then downsized a bit, put stuff in storage, then downsized a bit more, overall going from a 4500 sq. ft. home and the top of their game to 1400 sq. ft. Sally did say the bright side of all this was having a much simpler life, though it was very high stress.
In 2012 the printing business started to redefine itself, especially around the quality of ink, green or safe chemicals etc. Now they are looking to own a home again. Sally had never used her VA benefit from being in the Army in 1975, so will be able to buy a cute condo and keep the payment UNDER or the same as their current rent of $2650 per month with ZERO DOWN.
Thank you for your service, Sally,and for being business owners who people above profit.