One and a half years ago I bought a design and print business that wasn't making money. In addition to generally scrutinizing expenses and cutting where I can, I invested $100K in expanding our digital capabilities. Then I shut down our production department laying off one third our staff and split the work that had been on our offset presses I'd shut down between the digital and outsourcing. I also slashed contributions benefits (mostly medical) by half. I did hire a new designer and focused the business more on the front end work. The result was for the staff left that we increased revenue by 20% and became profitable. - The staff who remain now work for a stable company with secure jobs. - The staff I laid off are having trouble finding new jobs and still mostly on unemployment because of the economy. Now the fun starts. I'm now buying a print business that isn't making money, I've been working on that acquisition for a couple months. We are closing on the deal Friday or Monday. The business I'm buying has customer service and presses, but no design capability. It gives us a whole new customer base with revenue to target the design work. It's a good business, but the owner's not a business guy like me. So, what's my plan? First, you guessed it, I'm shutting down production and this time laying off half the staff. I'm keeping the customer service side, the other half are going to have their benefits cut in half. I'm going to pay the upfront money by selling the production equipment and pay the ongoing payments to the seller from the staff reductions. So I get the business for free. At the same time, I am moving my business to their facility (theirs is bigger) and negotiated a rent cut. So I cut my rent in less then half and eliminate double payments for utilities, phones, insurance, etc. And I save money in production because digital and outsourcing is cheaper. I get the business for free and even make money before I even start to sell design work to their customers. So, am I: Good - The 60% of the staff remaining instead of worrying about their business shutting down all the time are a lot happier and working for a profitable company on the upswing. There will be raises at the end of the year instead of job cuts. Evil - 40% of the staff are gone, the rest have had benefit cuts and I made an evil profit doing it. What am I? I'm voting evil. Profit, disgusting.