After the new company had been off the ground for several weeks, I began selling websites and was soon able to cover my own salary and expenses in the sales department.
This excited Andy, and gave him hope for the future but since Mike and Steve weren’t making sales of their own the company was still losing money and Andy started looking for another business venture to “bail out” the website business.
Andy disappeared for a few weeks and only stayed in contact with Tina, his assistant. We didn’t think anything of this because he had been gone before for long periods of time. When he finally returned three weeks later he had a new girlfriend and a new business.
“What do you guys know about microdermabrasion?” Andy asked one morning as Mike, Steve and I sat in his office.
“That’s when they scrape the dead skin off your face isn’t it?” I asked.
“That’s right, it is! I’ve been in Dallas for the last few weeks, I’ve invested in a microdermabrasion business, became certified in the process and we are going to start selling it!” Andy said with excitement.
“Andy, where did you get the money to invest in another business?” Mike asked.
“I sold the office building!” Andy said.
“You sold the freaking office building?” Where are we going to have the company headquarters at?” Steve asked, suddenly sounding very businessman like. Mike and I wondered if Steve was a male gigolo because even though he was earning a small salary he wore the best clothes, jewelry and always had women in his office.
“We have 6 months left in this building and afterwards we’re going to consolidate and move to a smaller location,” Andy said.
“What does microdermabrasion have to do with websites?” Mike asked.
“It’s simple; we can use the website product to promote the microdermabrasion product!
I’m going to an adult entertainment convention in Las Vegas next month to promote the microdermbrasion product and also see if we can design websites for actors in the porn industry. Hell, you guys should be selling websites to porn actors already! Think how huge that could be!” Andy said.
“Andy, why didn’t you invest the money you got from the building into the website business?” Mike asked.
“Mike, the microdermabrasion business is hot! This business has potential to make huge profits! I want you and Steve to market it!” Andy said.
“What about me? Where do I fit in?” I asked.
“You will be fully in charge of the website business and can also use our website product to design a website for me to use in the microdermabrasion business!” Andy replied.
Andy’s excitement was infectious and once again we saw ourselves making lots of money when the company was flush with cash once again.
“Don’t worry about Andy, he will take care of all of us financially when the company gets on it’s feet,” Mike said one day after I asked him if there would ever be financial bonuses in our future.
After the meeting was over I went back to work selling websites while Mike and Steve went to work marketing the microdermabrasion product. Andy set up a microdermabrasion “clinic” in an old office in our building with the hopes that once a client had the treatment done they would be coming back for regular microdermabrasion treatments.
Andy’s new girlfriend volunteered to be his model and they took off for the adult entertainment convention with high hopes for sales and profits. Andy returned from the convention a week later with a stack of business cards but no microdermabrasion or website sales.
“This microdermabrasion product is harder to sell than I thought,” Andy said.
“Every business takes time to get off the ground Andy, look at the website business, it took a few months to get off the ground and now I’m able to cover my own salary and expenses,” I said.
“Yeah, but overall my companies are losing more money than we have coming in every month and I have a major IRS bill that due and I have no idea how I’m going to pay it,” Andy said.
This wasn’t news I wanted to hear, because after working over ten hours a day for months to get the website business off the ground the company was still on the brink of collapse financially and all my hard work would be for naught.
“Just give it time Andy, stick to your business plan and the microdermabrasion business will turn around,” I said.
“What business plan? I’ve never written a business plan in my 20 years of business and I’ve made over 20 million in profits,” Andy said.
“Yeah, but look where you are today,” I thought.
“Maybe I should hire a person to sell the microdermabrasion product? Yeah, I think that’s what I will do.” Andy said.
Andy got a wild look in his eye and ran out of the sales office with the same excitement that he had for his full body massage appointments. I went back to work and continued focusing on my job and tried to not think about the impending financial doom of the company and the possible loss of another job.
One week later Mike, Steve and I had another meeting with Andy and he introduced us to his new outside sales rep, Katrina, who would be responsible for selling the microdermabrasion equipment, supplies and treatments to beauty salons countywide.
Katrina was in her early 20’s, had long blond hair, well built body and would be an asset to Andy and help him sell the microdermabrasion product to clientele where youth and beauty mattered.
The only thing about Katrina was that behind those good looks, she was totally clueless and had no idea what he job in the company was other than to sit around and look pretty in her office all day.
“Guys, this is Katrina, she’s going to be our new head of sales for the microdermabrasion product. She’s also a Scorpio, likes red wine, and has a funny giggle if you tickle here….”
“Oh, Andy, stop..” Katrina giggled.
“Anyway, guys, she’s going to help us sell the new microdermabrasion product and I want you guys to show her the ropes,” Andy said.
Andy left the conference room for conference call he had in his office and Mike and I went back to the sales office while Steve stayed in the conference room chatting with Katrina.
“So, do you like sushi? I know a place downtown that we can hit after work,” Steve said.
“I like totally love sushi! My girlfriends and I go out for sushi at least once a week!” Katrina said.
“You have girlfriends? Maybe they can come along?” Steve replied.
Once Mike and I were back in the sales office he launched into another one of his tirades about Andy and his stupid decisions.
“I knew it! He only hired that girl because they are sleeping together! That’s just great, now we have two idiots that are supposed to be doing outside sales for this company!
We’re going to be out of a job thanks to them! I don’t know what possessed Andy to invest in that business in the first place, why didn’t he take the money and put it into the website business? What an idiot!” Mike said.
“Calm down Mike, I’m sure it will work out,” I said.
“It’s not going to work out, Andy wants me to market the microdermabrasion product, what do I know about microdermabrasion?” Mike asked.
Mike was right, what would an overweight, chain smoking sales manager know about microdermabrasion? How would he market the product when all he knew was the life of a sales manager and the world inside his little office.
Later that day Andy pulled me away from selling websites and made me work fulltime on designing a website for his microdermabrasion business. I used our new do it yourself website product and was able to have an e-commerce website online in a matter of days to sell the skin creams and other microdermabrasion products.
A few weeks later it quickly became clear to Andy that all Katrina was doing every day was flirt with Steve and talk on the phone to her girlfriends he fired her.
This put added pressure on Mike, Steve and I because since no microdermabrasion sales were coming in Andy became desperate and starting looking to cut costs, sell off excess office equipment and bring in money any way he could.
I focused harder than ever on selling websites and was able to keep selling when I could but I kept getting pulled away from selling by Andy when he needed to use me to help him on another project for one of his other businesses.
Andy eventually stopped paying Steve a salary and promised to pay him 80% commission if he sold something, which never happened and he became indebted to Mike when he had to borrow money from Mike to pay the electric and phone bills to keep the company afloat.
Every night I went home exhausted from work, too tired to work on my art or do anything creative because after working ten hour days, week after week I didn’t have the energy to do anything when I got home but lie on the couch and watch TV.
Andy tried to get more control over his company and actually sold the microdermabrasion products and websites himself for a time but any new revenue that he brought in quickly went out the door to pay bills, salaries and other expenses and with our final month in the office building fast approaching he became desperate for the “magic bullet” that would turn his company around and make him a rich man once again.