Chapter 1

The Challenges of Growth

Sara Johnson owns a pet store. She started this small business out of a passion for helping people take care of their pets. The store is off to a good start, but she really worries about how she will grow the business. The competitive environment that surrounds her store is challenging, with the big-box stores having full-blown pet departments, specialty stores improving, and Web-based operations providing access to low-priced supplies. In addition, customer needs seem to change over time.

In contrast, Ken Smith is a brand manager for a $900 million division of a major consumer products company. Ken worries about the exact same things as Sara, just on a different scope and scale. He has customers who have supported ...

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