Thursday, March 28, 2013
Everyone knows someone who has decided to go into small business but did you know that 70% of all small businesses fail within the first 12 months of operation. In some countries that failure rate is as high as 85 to 90%. Small Business is one of the toughest industries you can ever decide to take on and most people who go into small business go into it for the wrong reason.
I have started 4 small businesses over the last 10 years and every single one of them has been started from scratch and survived into a thriving business. Just recently I have decided to sell one of the businesses off cause it had done what I expected it to do which is the first issue you need to think about.
Issue 1. Have a Clear Understanding of What You Want To Achieve In Your Business
The majority of people, who actually go into business, go into it for the wrong reasons. Even I have been guilty of that. So what is this wrong reason, most people start a small business because they believe they can do a better job then their current boss. Maybe this is true, maybe it is not but what most people really want is better working conditions and better pay. No one can blame you for wanting that. If that is all you want, then I strongly suggest you stay away from small business.
One of the key issues you must remember before evening thinking about starting a small business is this. Do you know what your business will look like? If you were walking down the street, how would you want to be found? What impression do you want to give to your clients? What clearly do you what to achieve in this business?
The second clear understanding you must have of your business is, when will you know when it is finished? When you have built what you want to achieve and more importantly, how will you get out?
See most people when they go into business have no exit strategy and that is one of the worst things you can do. Before you ever start a business, the first thing you must work out is how you are going to get out of the business.
Two years ago, I started a small car cleaning business. My wife and I both started it because she wanted to see if she could build a business. Our exit strategy was to sell the business once it was done. How we would sell it was something we were not sure of?
See we could have taken a number of approaches to this. Our exit strategy could have been to franchise the business, sell it to a single owner or to float it on the stock market. We chose that we only wanted to sell it to another owner, but we still built the business in such a way that there was still plenty of growth and opportunity in the business for the new owner, but we had removed the risk for them on how to run the business by clearly documenting everything they needed to do to run that business.
Before ever starting a business, always think about how you will exit the business, when you have achieved your objective for that business. If you do not have an exit strategy in mind, then you will never get out of the business.
Issue 2. Keep a Strict Schedule
Small business is consuming. Unlike in large corporations where you can hire many people to do a range of tasks, small business requires the small business owner to do many of the tasks themselves. Some of the tasks include doing your books, lodging trademarks, doing the ordering etc. Often when you start in small business, you can not afford to hire people to do these tasks.
What I have personally found is that if you do not keep a tight schedule and document your meetings and tasks you have to do then it will not take very long before you will be swamped by all the things you have to do in the business every day. It is this phenomenon that often leads small business owners to quit and fail in the first twelve months. Let me tell you this, the warning signs that this is starting is when you say to your wife on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon that you are going down to the office to catch up on paperwork for a few hours. Once you get into this habit, you will never stop doing it and the business will consume you really quickly.
I strongly recommend all small business owners keep a diary. My preference is to use Microsoft Outlook, simply because it includes a calendar and you can make sure that each day you schedule your work plus your appointments to make sure you do not forget anything. If you do this, then you will find over time you can get through this plus you will learn how long it should take to do the various jobs that make up your business and whether it is worthwhile in getting someone to actually do those tasks for you.
Issue 3. Build Your Own Mastermind Group
I read a book a little while ago called Think and Grow Rich and is written by a gentleman called Napoleon Hill and he talks about the thirteen secrets to success and obscene wealth. One of the things that I learned both from this book and being a small business owner was that I needed a Mastermind Group.
The Mastermind Group is simply a group of professionals who can help me achieve my objectives for my business. Literally anyone can be part of your mastermind group and some of those would be people like a lawyer, an accountant and other people like your peers who can help you in building your business but it may also include people who are not in business as well to help you keep that balance. The Mastermind Group are really those people you turn to for advice and direction. You do not necessarily have to take their advice but a good mastermind group will allow you run through scenarios on what is happening and the potential outcomes.
Issue 4. Have one night when you do something on your own for you!
One of the big issues that I have had over the last ten years is that I have not been doing every single week is something on my own but I say that I am in the process of changing that. Often when you start in business, with the excitement of building your own business you get so consumed that you forget about a life outside of your business and your business becomes your life.
This is really not a good thing nor is it healthy. Even multi-billionaires do things for themselves outside of business. Look do not get me wrong, business is fantastic and fun and can be both enjoyable and a nightmare however there are other things out there outside of business.
When you start a small business, do not neglect your sports, do not neglect doing something social, if you do, in the long run you will find that you business suffers. Plus, in small business it is very easy to become bitter and twisted but by maintaining those none business activities it will help you to balance your life.
Issue 5. Don't neglect Your Partner or your Family
I would love to see the divorce statistics for small business owner's because I am quite sure that the divorce rate in small business would have to be about 70 or 80%. The majority of married couples (and I am talking about 90% of the small business people I Know) that I know who have gone into small business in their 30's have actually been divorced within 18 months of them starting the business.
Look there are lots of reasons why this happens, but in a lot of the cases, the partner who has gone into business neglects their family and money gets tight. In the partners case it is not their fault it is simply because the person gets consumed into the business and they forget they have a life outside of the business.
If you have a family, make sure that you do at least one activity a week as a family. Whether it is having a family night at home such as a video night or games night, or even just going to the park to play once a week, make sure that you do it. PLUS, you must ensure that at least one night a week must be for just you and your partner. If you do not do that your marriage or relationship will suffer.
One thing I share with all the people who come through our training business is that if you want to go into business that is cool but you must be prepared to accept two things -
1. You must be prepared to start from scratch if your business does not work
that is you must be prepared to start with just the shirt on your back.
2. You must have 100% support of your partner and family
If you cannot accept these two things, then do not go into business because too many people who I see that start on this journey fail and end up miserable and have such a downward spiral which leads them to doing something silly, like take up drinking, drugs or try to commit suicide. Remember, 70% of all small businesses fail within the first 12 months. If you were a betting man would you back something that only had a 30% chance of winning, not likely, yet people still go into small business.
The bottom line is this, small business can be the most awesome ride of your life, but it can be also the most difficult and when you choose to go into small business, take your time and plan what you want to achieve. Remember the old saying if your Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail.
Working with a bank to obtain a small business loan can be an easy or difficult process, depending on how prepared you are to meet with the lender and discuss your business' situation and needs.
One of the leading causes of business failure is insufficient start-up capital. Ironically, though, lenders rarely approve loan requests for the businesses that have the highest need for a small business loan. Instead, lenders tend to prefer to offer small business loans to those businesses that have been in operation for two or more years.
According to All Business, it is estimated that 95 percent of all entrepreneurs opened their businesses with capital from their own pockets, or from money they borrowed from relatives, friends, or another person in their community. Lenders want to see business owners risk their own funds in the business venture, and often require that the business owner or owners provide a minimum of 25 percent of the capital needed to start a business, and at least that much equity in the business if the business is already in existence. Simply stated, lenders aren't as willing to take a risk when a business owner doesn't even risk their own money in the investment. Businesses with a history demonstrating success in paying their bills for two and a half to three years will have the easiest time obtaining a small business loan because they've proven their ability to meet financial obligations.
Preparing a Small Business Loan Proposal
When preparing to apply for a small business loan, be prepared to face the facts that are against you, and use them in your favor. Persistency is necessary if you want to land a small business loan. Lenders follow certain criteria to determine if the small business loan is a wise investment for the bank. Most importantly, the bank will determine if the small business loan is likely to be repaid. As with other businesses, banks and other lenders must answer to their investors and stockholders, and unpaid loans show instability in the bank or financial institution.
Items compiled into a small business loan request include the following:
- Amount of money requested
- Likeliness of business profitability and demonstration of cash flow needed to service a small business loan
- Collateral, if any is owned by the business
- A reasonable balance between debt and equity
Know Your Banker
Whether you have a start-up small business or an established small business, the first step in obtaining financing through a small business loan is to develop a business relationship with your banker. Consider asking your bank's manager to open a file for your business, and provide quarterly or yearly profit and loss statements. When your business is in need of financing, the bank will already have a file and will be at least somewhat familiar with your operations. When the time comes to apply for a small business loan, approach the banker with a solid business plan to inspire the lender's confidence in your business. Provide information on business operations, marketing efforts, management ability, and financial projections for three years, as well as a cash flow projection and personal balance sheet demonstrating the worthiness of the business.
To prove worthiness for a small business loan, prepare proper documentation. Keep your credit reports as clean as possible. A lender will assume that you operate your business in the same manner that you manage your personal finances. The lower your credit rating, the slimmer your chances are of obtaining a small business loan.
When applying for a small business loan, search for a lender by first approaching the bank or banks in which you currently do business. Since you'll need to share all of your personal and business financial information, it can be beneficial to apply with a financial institution that already has that information on file and is perhaps familiar with your profile and spending habits. If your credit rating is high, your changes are good of being approved for the small business loan.
If you are unable to work with a bank or credit union in which you currently do business, or if you'd prefer not to work with your bank or credit union for your small business loan, look for a lender who wants your business. Search the business section of your local newspapers for special financing offers on small business loans and other loans. These lenders are actively looking for people needing small business loans, and the process of obtaining a small business loan with these types of lenders may be easier and faster. Additionally, check into credit unions. Because credit unions tend to be smaller financial institutions, you may be able to speak directly with a loan decision maker. Larger banks and other types of large lenders may have more rigid rules for small business loans, and the processes that they employ may be more complicated for small business loans.
If, at First, You Don't Succeed
If your first attempt at obtaining a small business loan fails, don't be discouraged. Small business loans are often not approved with the first lender that you approach, and be assured that you're not alone. Especially if you have a start-up business, lenders don't always approve small business loans, even in the most ideal situations. Search for other lenders, or become resourceful and look into other sources for loans rather than a small business loan, including home equity loans and personal loans, both of which can be used for business purposes.
Small business owners spend years growing their dreams into income streams that support them and their families. They sink every dime they have into developing websites, offering new products, and getting in front of potential customers. Over time, these businesses grow into entities of pride and value. It is impossible not to feel proud of an endeavor that started as an idea and evolved into a way to earn a substantial or comfortable living.
In the process of becoming a consistent and viable way to earn a living, small businesses become inherently valuable. Owning a business is like owning stock, only you own all of it. The problem, though, is finding a way to recapture some of the value you have created. Imagine owning a $1 million dollar business, but not being able to access any of that $1 million. It is a challenging situation, and it is not unique. Small business owners tend to have nearly all of their wealth in their businesses, which means that they cannot diversify their investments and protect themselves from normal business risk.
There is a way out of this predicament, and SME Capital Markets is ready to help. With a plethora of resources and advice available, small business owners can learn how to take their businesses public on http://www.smecapitalmarkets.net. Going public is not the exclusive domain of large companies with hundreds of millions of dollars in their war chests. A small public offering can be a viable way for small business owners to recapture some of the wealth they have created.
Your Most Valuable Asset
Small business owners tend to have the vast majority of their wealth tied up in their businesses. This means that you can take the actual cash that you earn (after expenses), but you cannot tap into the full value of your business. For private companies, a rule of thumb is that your business is worth 2.5 times earnings - essentially 2.5 times what you make after business expenses and salaries. After you pay all your expenses, including your salary, you have a certain amount of cash left over. Your business is worth more than twice that amount, but you cannot reach the total value. So, you have a dilemma.
SME Capital Markets helps small business owners increase the value of their companies and access that value. Focused on small companies, SME Capital Markets provides information and advice on how to go public. The information and advice is focused on the issues that smaller businesses face; large companies should look elsewhere.
SME Capital Markets offers all the resources that small business owners need to make an informed decision about going public. The website offers reports, original research, and mountains of data. Using this information, small business owners can decide if going public is right for them. If it is, they can contact the company's principal, Brad Smith, to explore a public offering in more detail. Prices for information are quite reasonable, making it easy for small business owners to understand what it means to go public, and whether to take the next step.
SME Capital Markets offers real advice for small business owners. Their goal is not to drag you into a difficult decision that is not appropriate for a business of your size. Instead, they prefer to help you make an informed decision. If the decision is to go public, they will help you every step of the way. Electing to go public is a serious decision, requiring a considerable amount of work (just to make the decision). SME Capital Markets endeavors to make this a realistic option for small business owners while not pushing them into unnecessary complexity.
There is a special environment for small businesses that go public - the Over the Counter Bulletin Board ( OTCBB ). Unlike the big IPOs of the dotcom days, the OTCBB is for smaller companies that want to generate more capital (either for growth or as a way for the business owner to cash out). Stock prices are lower, and the stock trading patters are a bit trickier than for large companies. This venue, though, allows successful small business owners to recapture much of the wealth that they created - and otherwise would not be able to touch.
Going public also can increase the value of your business. As mentioned earlier, the value of a small business usually is determined by multiplying your earnings by 2 ½. Not bad, right? Your business is worth more than twice the income it generates. By taking your small business public, though, it could be worth much more. Public companies tend to trade at more than 5 times the company's earnings, so by going public, you can double the value of your company.
That is the goal of SME Capital Markets. They want to help small companies that are ready to take a big step. But, they want to help in a way that only works to the benefit of the small business owner.
How the Web Helped
SME Capital Markets chose to market its services via the web for many reasons. Essentially, the web opened a much larger market to the company than simply pursuing clients through word of mouth networks or traditional print advertising. Small business owners represent a diverse, disparate market. Small business owners can be hard to find. Print advertising would have been inefficient, since small business owners read the publications that matter to their businesses. A small online retailer, for example, is more likely to read publications that cater to online retailers than small businesses. The information in the former is much more directly valuable.
The information offered by SME Capital Markets is easily delivered over the web. Small business owners can save up to 10% of the cost of a report by downloading it instead of paying for shipping and handling. The information is easy to find, and customers can access it quickly. As a result, using the web for its major presence was natural; SME Capital Markets can make its products more accessible and less expensive by operating online. This helps SME Capital Markets fulfill its mission of helping small businesses make difficult decisions without having to spend a fortune.
Lessons for Small Businesses
SME Capital Markets offers a twofold lesson for small businesses across the country. First, the services offered by this company offer small business owners a way to tap into the value of their businesses while potentially increasing that value (by going public). Also, SME Capital Markets has used the web as a way to communicate information quickly and efficiently to a distributed audience without having to increase its prices to reach this audience.
Helping small companies is fundamental to the mission of SME Capital Markets. In the world of finance, fortunes are made with larger businesses. To enter the small public company space requires a focus on service instead of astronomical profits; there is no other reason to enter that market. Consequently, SME Capital Markets remains focused on its purpose of helping small business owners enjoy the wealth they have created but cannot access. Going public is not the right decision for every small business, but SME Capital Markets can help you decide if it is the right decision for you.
In accomplishing its mission, SME Capital Markets has demonstrated the importance of using the web. The entire business would not have been viable without a way to reach a diverse, fragmented market. With the development of a simple website, using prepackaged and inexpensive components for processing payments and disseminating information, SME Capital Markets was able to launch in a short period of time and begin to serve its constituency. Its materials are accessible to entrepreneurs who may not be able to find them otherwise.
SME Capital Markets used the web to assemble expertise, generate information, and reach its market quickly and effectively, demonstrating the potency of an online presence for small businesses. With the work of SME Capital Markets, entrepreneurs can focus on new growth techniques while learning the flexibility of the online business environment.
Copyright 2006 Daniel Scheff
I believe that it's easier to succeed with small businesses than ever before. There are more opportunities for entrepreneurs to start small businesses today than at any previous time.
Here are some good reasons for why I believe this is true.
A) With the increase in population comes an increase in opportunities for small businesses.
Generally, a sparse population requires a small business owner to provide a wide variety of goods or services to survive. With a denser population, the small businesses can still survive by providing a very narrow range of products or services.
For example, in a smaller population a small business which provides gardening services would probably need to offer many things. Services could include general garden maintenance, planning, tree felling, lawn cutting, vermin control, pond planning and maintenance, hard landscaping etc.
With a bigger population a small business could thrive perfectly well by providing just one of these services, as there are more people who will need it.
B) The costs involved in starting and running small businesses has never been so low in proportion to income.
Technology has replaced many of the things which people used to do, and technology does the job a lot more cheaply.
Today it's possible to reach literally millions of potential customers around the world very cheaply.
For example, only a few decades ago the cost of mailing to thousands of households was prohibitively high. Unless you had a very good product or service which sold well, a small business just wouldn't risk it.
Another example, business premises security used to involve security guards walking around checking that all was well. Now a good security system can be bought for less than 1 week's pay for that security guard, and it will work 24 hrs per day for years, for no pay.
C) Because modern life is so complex today, small businesses and individuals are open to new ideas, products and services like never before.
This creates a huge market for training courses, information provision services, educational aids, specialised products and services, novelties, etc.
With this great diversity come great opportunities to combine different products and technologies, thus making whole new areas of business possible.
For example, you can combine a low-light camera with wireless communications and a bird box. This means a nest may be watched remotely on a television or personal computer screen.
Another example would be to combine voice-chip technology with passive infrared technology to make it sound as though you have a huge dog indoors whenever anyone approaches your house.
In our recent history, these opportunities just didn't exist.
D) It may not feel like it, but many people today have a lot more leisure time and a higher disposable income than in any previous age.
This spare income (and with the current attitudes to loans, a little more besides) tends to get spent on sports, games, hobbies, crafts, amusements, entertainments, holidays and weekend breaks etc.
This creates many opportunities for the entrepreneur to start up small businesses to satisfy all this extra demand.
E) To thrive in a modern society you need to have a lot of different skills.
Nowadays people cope with a variety of complex tasks. They buy and use a wide range of consumer equipment, fill out many forms, and communicate with all kinds of people from all walks of life (often from different countries and cultures). They also do difficult transactions like house purchasing, and so on.
All this is a long way from the average people who were around just a few hundred years ago. Many were farm labourers who could barely read or write and never travelled more than a few miles from home.
So now, the pool of potential business people is far greater than ever before. If a person can live well in a modern society, they already have the abilities they need to start up a small business enterprise and succeed.
The good news also is that if you lack a certain skill which your small business needs, then you can probably employ someone with that skill far more easily than ever before.
F) More people have access to money than ever before.
Until the late 1960s, most people were paid weekly and spent money as they earned it.
It was normal among manual workers to run right out of money around the time of their next pay packet, which often contained notes and coins!
Today most people have many bank accounts (with overdrafts) and access to credit cards, which alone have spending limits equal to a half or full year's income.
Savings and share holdings are greater than ever before. A large proportion of the population can raise money on their house and if they don't mind paying a high interest percentage, they can borrow with no security at all.
A great variety of people and institutions are now willing to lend money for good small businesses proposals.
With access to credit, you can buy the product, ship it to the customer and get paid before you have to pay for the goods which you sold. This just wasn't possible until very recently.
G) Advice, courses and books about starting small businesses are within easy reach of everyone.
Researching your chosen business area has never been easier with the Internet so readily available.
Not so long ago, you would have needed to buy many books and read them all to get the specific information you required. Now you can ask a search engine very specific questions and get very specific answers, almost immediately.
This frees up small businesses and enables them to be far more productive and enterprising.
H) If you start a small business today you have an immense amount of technology available to you.
Computers, printers, copiers, audio and video recording and playback equipment, telephony and the internet are all easily available to any entrepreneur wanting to get started in a new small business enterprise.
Not long ago, the average multi-national company lacked the computing, communicating and printing power available to the ordinary person today.
You can probably think of at least 6 different ways to get a simple message to someone on the other side of the world. 5 of those messages would typically arrive less than 1 minute after you sent them.
Just 100 years ago, (and remember mankind has been around for about 3 million years) this same message would have involved horses and steam ships and would have taken months.
This massive improvement in technology (especially in communications and information) has really opened up the field to the individual who wants to go ahead with a new small business venture.
I) Small businesses starting up today have far more choices available to them.
In previous times, it was quite common for there to be only a few companies that they could go to, to buy business supplies. Whatever business you care to name, you would not find many suppliers of the materials needed to conduct that business.
Unless your business is in a very specialist area, you will now find you can source your supplies from a great many firms. This in turn drives your costs down, as you can shop around for the best deals.
For example, there used to be very few ways to get your goods delivered to your customers. Nowadays you could chose from literally hundreds of different carriers.
New companies can chose anywhere in the world to set up their small businesses, or indeed where to place any part of their business.
I know of a successful paintball company, which operates in the UK in summer. But when the business falls off due to the cold winter, they find new customers by simply moving the company to Brazil, and then return the following spring.
They also take advantage of the cheaper labour in Brazil to manufacture the paint balling equipment, and when back in the UK use the greater expertise in the UK to program their systems.
Not so long ago this flexibility of operating a small business would have been totally impractical.
There are far more opportunities to start small businesses than ever before and entrepreneurs who do start new small businesses at home are more likely to succeed.
There are more potential customers, it costs less to start up and you have more choice over the kind of business to go into. Other benefits are a more skilled and educated workforce, and easy access to financial support.
If you do want your own enterprise, you can also use the power of the Internet to carry out good and fast research, and to support your business in many ways. I believe there has never been a better time to start up new small businesses.
A diamond is the hardest known mineral that occurs naturally. It is basically an allotrope of carbon in which several carbon atoms are bonded tetrahedrally and it crystallizes into the face-centered cubic diamond lattice structure. Each carbon atom has four other carbon atoms joined to it by covalent bonds and so, diamond has a very strong 3D shape. This arrangement makes it hardest known mineral and hence, suitable for a number of applications. Diamonds offer high dispersion of light and this makes them very suitable for a number of industrial applications and for jewelry as well. Regular diamonds are put under specific pressure and temperature conditions to produce Type-II diamonds.
Properties of diamonds -
- Electrical Conductivity
Some diamonds are natural semiconductors whereas some are perfect insulators. However, substantial electrical conductivity has also been observed for some diamonds.
Diamond is a tough object i.e. it offers good resistance to breakage when forces are applied to it. Diamond's toughness is good when compared to other gemstones but it is poor when compared to engineering materials.
- Thermal Conductivity
Diamonds offer high thermal conductivity. The strong covalent bonding within the crystal results in an easy conduction of heat and the conductivity further increases at lower temperatures.
Diamonds occur in different colors and the wide range of color includes violet, pink, blue, green, orange, translucent white. However, brown and yellow are the most common colors.
- Refractive Index
Diamonds have a high refractive index and diamonds offer high optical dispersion.
- The high optical dispersion of diamond makes it very suitable for jewelry industry. Diamond is usually used in engagement rings, bracelets, earring and necklaces and also, in many other forms. The crystalline structure of the diamond allows it to be cut in different shapes and this also makes it very suitable for jewelry industry as it is not difficult to create new designs.
- It is the hardest known substance and this makes it very suitable for cutting purpose. It is effectively used for cutting glasses, tiles and other materials.
- Billions of dollars are traded annually in the diamond industry. A lot of people which include jewelers, diamond miners, designers, buyers and others base their livelihood on this trade. So, a number of people depend on diamond for their livelihood.
- Diamond trade is also responsible for progress and development of some countries as
- Diamonds are used in semiconductor coatings for computer processors and for the microchips.
- Diamonds are used in laser components for precise optical equipments.
While many diamonds are sold loose, as a precious commodity on diamond exchanges, nothing may equal them when set in jewelry. No engagement ring would be worth the name, unless containing a diamond, which, appropriately enough was considered in a successful advertising company the gem that lasts 'forever'. And no cubic zirconium or whatever other stones resembling a diamond could ever replace it.
So what is so unique about this gemstone? While it is both incredibly old and hard, what makes it unique is its luster, namely its quality of dispersing the white light into all the colors of the spectrum. No other precious stone could do this, and the diamond can because of its unequaled purity. While it is true that there are many diamonds that are not a hundred percent pure or transparent, a thing reflected in their color - blue, yellow, green, red, brown, pink, purple, orange or even black, it's as true that people consider the genuine stones to be colorless, or rather of all colors at the same time, thanks to their miraculous quality of dispersing the light. After all, color, carat and clarity are, besides the cut, the properties that distinguish them from one another. And you'll never see any royal jewelry without white diamonds.
But given the pace at which diamonds are being extracted nowadays, almost half coming from central and southern Africa (26,000 kg a year), of course, everyone can afford to have at least one piece of jewelry with diamonds set in, besides the traditional engagement ring for women.
The way in which they disperse the light makes them look much bigger than they actually are; therefore, some small studs or cuff links could draw the attention of a whole room, especially if strongly artificially lit. This makes diamond jewelry priceless for being worn on formal occasions, such as at formal dinners, at the opera or theater, at balls or any other formal gatherings. On the other hand, less conspicuous diamonds, such as the black ones would make elegant and classy jewelry for business suits, especially if set in platinum or white gold. Without the dazzling reflection of light, they may also afford to be bigger. As fit for corporate clothing could be brown diamonds, which would look besides as beautiful, if set in yellow gold.
If diamonds, in general, wouldn't look utterly gorgeous, they wouldn't sell for as much as 24 million dollars one piece, like the blue diamond once owned by the King of Spain, and neither would they total, in terms of wholesale jewelry, 28 billion dollars a year (as far back as 2002).