Father and son team Rick and Brian Kroeker were working 14-hour days, feeling like they were “literally in the situs slot online” as they struggled to save their company, Little Rock Printing.
“We were coming in at four or five in the morning every day and working until eight or nine at night and then back home, trying to figure out how the fine details of our business worked,” says Brian Kroeker, who still leads the printing company located near downtown Calgary.
The business was losing money and Brian’s parents had to dip into their personal savings to keep the business afloat during a 24-month period of declining sales.
By September 2016, the business seemed to be turning a corner; the team had their first profitable month in nearly two years. But the hard work, long hours and poor diet had taken their toll and Rick had a sudden heart attack just as Brian and his nine-month pregnant wife were moving into a new home.
“All that work that we were putting in led to that kind of episode for Rick,” Brian says.
The company then had a loan called from the bank in what was a miscalculation of company receivables.
“When it rains it pours! Had we known how bad it was when we were in it, I don’t know if we would have been able to get out of it,” Brian says of the critical situation. “The saving grace during this period was that we had faith we were going to come out of it.”