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What to Look for When Hiring a Store Manager … Plus More of Your Questions for May

Also … is it worth it to sponsor the local elementary school’s annual school play program?




What to Look for When Hiring a Store Manager … Plus More of Your Questions for May

Are there any special considerations when interviewing candidates for the position of store manager?

There are two things you’re looking for with a manager: skill set and culture fit. The first is fairly straightforward to ascertain. Do they have a burning desire to bring out the best in people, and do they have the professional know-how and industry experience to enable them to do that? The second is a bit trickier, in part because one of the things about interviewing a manager is that they’ve likely conducted many interviews themselves, so it can be hard to get a great deal out of a typical sit-down-in the office session. Questions that bring out a person’s true passions include: What makes you howl at the moon? Tell me about your favorite piece of jewelry and what it means to you. On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you? Tell me what you think would be a great night out in New York … and so on. Your goal should be to determine if this is someone you would choose to have dinner or drinks with, even if they weren’t working for you. Are they going to be good for the culture of your store? Are they going to make it a fun place to work according to your definition of fun?

Should I tell my staff early that I’m planning to sell?

Yes, yes, and yes. Here’s why:
1. You want to be able to reassure your workers that you have their interests at heart as you consider a sale; and a late panicked exodus of staff will not help you close the deal.

2. A prospective buyer will be eager to find out how indispensable you are to the business, so a well-prepared transition plan that phases you out of the day-to-day running may well boost the value of your store.

3. And possibly the most important reason is insider sales, where the store is sold to staff. They often make for the most successful transitions. And even if your staff aren’t interested in taking over the store, the more people they tell the better.

My daughter’s school asked me to be a sponsor of their annual school play program. I’m happy to do it, but purely from a business standpoint, is there anything to gain? I’ve seen these lists of local companies before and thought, “That’s not going to make me choose to use that business.”

Purely from a business standpoint, marketing theory says a small store in a crowded market would be better served putting ad dollars into advertising that helps you build a distinct reputation for something (or occasionally into a special campaign to support a promotion). If, however, you’re in a business category in which no one advertises but you, or where you’ve established top-of-mind dominance and simple name recognition will be enough to make customers think of you when they next need a repair or Valentine’s Day gift, then yes go ahead and sponsor that program.


Should I take a business class?

Different people take different things away from college business courses. For some, it’s the chance to bat around ideas among a group of like-minded people. For others, it’s a fresh way of thinking and maybe even methodology about business. Few people, however, discover a newfound entrepreneurial talent within classroom walls. We’re huge advocates of further education. If you need credentials, GIA may be your answer. If you need to add practical business skills, perhaps focus on practical courses or even online programs. If you’re looking for a new direction for your business, sure, consider a straight business course or maybe even an MBA.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson: “They Feel Like Family”

Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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