Should you grow your business?

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Growing your business for growth's sake is a path to failure. Case in point: Gateway. The Irvine-based company rivaled Dell through the 90s. Good revenues, good employees, good start. Good catch: cow-spotted computer boxes and computers. It had brand recognition. But, it wasn't perfect: It still had to take care of customer complaints. Its computers weren't reliable. Its support were non-existant. Too many issues to take care of. Then, in spite of those issues, the company focused on growth. Next thing you know, Gateway's opening Gateway Country Stores. Then, it's selling home entertainment. Digital cameras. Blah. Blah. Blah. It's expenses ballooned like Anna Nicole. All for the sake of growth. All for the sake of me-first-customer-second. The conversation in the boardroom, we're sure, wen't like: "Let's avoid our current problems. Let's forget our customer complaints. Let's outsource our support to an unqualified staff. Let's just...grow." Too bad. If Gateway had built a solid "small" company before building a solid "big" company, it could've been something.

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Posted on May 31

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