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“The dream was, however, rooted in a harsh reality: Joe had a company that had been unprofitable for its first 3 years, and he now was responsible for 40 people working for him. The bedrock on which Theo had built its foundationâ€”socially responsible business practices throughout the value chainâ€”had yet to prove that it was strong enough to support a profitable business. The next few years, and especially the next year, would be crucial. Chuck was still crunching the numbers for Q1 FY10 (Julyâ€“September 2009), but they looked very promising, and given the orders coming in, the last 3 months of 2009 was expected to be Theo’s best quarter ever.
Joe had always been focused on the internal operations of the company, trusting Debra with the marketing and sales of his products. It was Debra who needed to find and capitalize on Theo’s growth opportunities. But first, she had to determine whether Theo could continue to operate with its current business modelâ€”or whether that growth necessitated compromise on some level. All signs pointed to eventual profitability, with steady and significant increases in salesâ€”but Theo was still hemorrhaging. Did Theo have â€œsomethingâ€ worth persevering with its unique positioning? Its vision and strategy were certainly laudableâ€”but were they viable? Could Theo withstand more unprofitable quarters to achieve its visionâ€”or would it have to take measures to stop the bleeding, and thus compromise its principles?
With Theo’s busiest period fast approaching, Joe and the rest of the management team were expecting to hear her opinion, and a plan for moving ahead, soon.”
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Originally posted 2020-09-18 02:58:59.