080824 – A day at the nursery

My wife’s in New Zealand and so I’ve been running the business here alone. And business has been slow for us like it’s been for most everyone. So, I’ve cut our workers back to 32 hours a week and I’ve been using our part-time sales staff less and less. The idea, of course, is to cut our outgoing money flow until it roughly matches our incoming. Assuming I can hit the balance, we can tread water indefinitely until things sort themselves out.

Yesterday, I had a sales person in and we only did about $150 in sales for the day and the weather was beautiful. A Saturday, 73 degrees Fahrenheit, fluffy white clouds – in short, everything one could want. But, in spite of all of that, only a few folks came in all day.

Today, rain was forecast and I let our sales person go for the day (actually, I called last night and told them not to come in). And, indeed, after a somewhat gray morning, the skies opened up in the afternoon and rain arrived by the buckets.

And sales?

Five times what we sold yesterday.

Now, that’s still not a large amount of sales compared to what we normally do on weekend days in high season when the economy’s healthy. But, it was a lot better than yesterday. So, I was busy most of the day talking to folks and just dealing with it all. And then, as the skies opened and the rains came, they kept on coming in. And I was amazed – but willing to keep selling.

So, in the end, the last customer left just at closing time and I was happy though I was pretty throughly wet by then.

I’m soooooo wet

I went around and passed out paychecks, turned off the automatic irrigation systems and finally got in the house and out of my wet clothes.

This week’s total sales were better than they’ve been for several weeks and we may actually have hit balance this week between our burn rate and our sales income. Of course, that doesn’t mean much. It is the average of whether you are winning or losing over many weeks that matters. And we’re still waiting for that fortune cookie to be delivered.

One small consolation … I understand it is pouring in New Zealand too <smile>.

It’s raining in New Zealand too

Later – this same day.

Another small but very significant (to us) bit of news.

After three years of effort, Sharon and I have secured permanent residency status in New Zealand. From now until the ends of our lives, we have the right to live and work in New Zealand, if we wish.

We want to retire there after we’ve sold the nursery business and now it is guaranteed that we can go when we are ready. What a beautiful thing this is to finally see manifested.

If you are going to have a drink tonight – raise one for us.


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