When you run a small business, there’s always something unexpected coming up — sometimes positive, sometimes negative.

And sometimes expensive.

For Big Survey 2016, we drilled down on the surprises that hurt jewelers the worst. Our question: “What unexpected expense has hurt you the most financially?”
Here are the top nine answers, along with the percentage of respondents who named them.

  • Building/equipment maintenance (16%)
  • Taxes (7%)
  • Theft or robbery (8%)
  • Insurance costs (5%)
  • Legal fees/lawsuits (5%)
  • Employee loss/theft/betrayal (5%)
  • Diamond loss/breakage (5%)
  • Remodel/renovation (4%)
  • Fire (1%)

And then there were the really unexpected expenses …

  • “A surprise in the generational transfer of assets from the last generation to our current ownership. Mom gave everything to the Salvation Army. We survived, but it was a mess for a while.”
  • “A car crashed into our shop in August 2009. We were closed six months. Damages were $800,000, but insurance only paid $700,000, so we were out of pocket $100,000. We’re still suffering.”
  • “Vendors cashing checks same day when they agreed to post-dated checks over four months. I had just mailed out checks for rent and sales taxes and to the IRS for about $10,000. I took about $10,000 in diamonds from a vendor with post-dated checks in return. He cashed them the next day. I had to sell the diamonds and scrap out what I had to cover all the checks. Lesson learned: no post-dated checks ever to anyone.”




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