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Out of Control

You may think you're on the right track, striving for excellence in all areas. But are you heading for disaster?

This story appears in the September 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Bobby Friedman understands that art collectors looking to frame million-dollar pictures don't patronize Chestnut Hill Framing Inc. because he possesses special technology, a unique location or the lowest prices in town. "The reason they come to my shop is because of me," says the Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, entrepreneur.

Twenty of Friedman's 42 years have been spent designing and crafting frames for discerning clients who pay as much as $20,000 for them. He knows how to build relationships with customers, understands what they want, and executes their desires in an impeccable fashion. That's why Friedman has resisted temptations to enter higher-volume businesses, such as framing inexpensive posters, or expand his 11-year-old business beyond its single location. "I can't duplicate myself," he says. "And I have a good thing going."

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