The Right Manager

Nine years ago, Susan Purnell, owner of Kuhn’s Jewelers in Salisbury, Md., hired Diana Barber to manage her store. Barber, whom Purnell describes as “a breath of fresh air,” has not only helped get the store on track with its accounting and paperwork, but has also helped boost sales and lighten Purnell’s workload. Every jewelry store needs a manager to help manage an owner’s duties, to provide strengths and expertise the owner doesn’t have, to allow an owner to expand or diversify the business, and to let the owner leave the store once in a while and—gasp!—even take a vacation. Strength in Numbers “How many hats can an owner wear well?” asks Harry J. Friedman, founder and CEO of The Friedman Group in Lenexa, Kan. “Today’s independent retailer has to be an expert at 57 different things, but an owner should actually be conducting business like an orchestra.

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