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Don’t Let an Economic Down Turn Be Your Down Fall

Beware of multi level marketing plans! Many sold in seminars or with presentations in your home that down play the products while talking about all the money to be made by just recruiting a few people who will recruit a few people. We have seen many clients over the years selling water filters, household products, vitamins and cosmetics, who have a garage full of products or samples and a big credit card bill and little else to show for getting involved in a multi level marketing business. These clients all shared one thing in common, not only did they not make the big money that was promised, they lost what they invested. 

Along with new technology have come a number of new ways to separate you from your money. These new opportunities often produce big profits for those promoting them while doing nothing more than separating those buying them from their money. Take for example any of the many companies offering (for a fee) to set-up a web site for you, so you can become a “distributor or retailer” of their travel services, retail products, or information services. All you have to do is pay the fee, then promote your site so people go to your site and buy their products. For performing this simple task you receive a commission and will make piles of money.  They are allowing you in on this ground floor opportunity because they just want to help people succeed …“Right”. That and the fact that it takes tons of money and lots of time to drive real traffic to a web site, so why should they spend their time and money when they can charge you for the privilege.

From vending machines to payment processing terminals we have seen business opportunities of all types and in every price range. Unlike a franchise, these business opportunities have very little regulation and most have no ongoing relationship with you beyond selling you some start-up materials and product inventory. They make few if any disclosures about the back ground of the owners, their experience and the success or failure rates of their business opportunity clients in the past.

The scams and rip offs all share one thing in common-  they offer easy money, with little or no work, require no special expertise  and you need to make a commitment NOW without speaking to competent advisors like your accountant or attorney. Protect yourself and your money, check out every business or investment opportunity, with your accountant and or attorney before you sign on the dotted line and before you part with any of your hard earned money.

Having said all of the above we don’t want to imply that there is not money to be made in starting your own business, buying a franchise or existing business, or many other ways. However, all new ventures require lots of hard work and the investment of both time and money. Take your time, do your homework and be prepared to work harder than you have ever worked before and you too can start and run a successful business. Just remember there are no shortcuts, and a little professional advice when starting up can go a long way to protecting your and your money.

Written by: Steven J. Weil, PhD, EA. Mr. Weil is a principal of RMS Accounting. Questions and comments on this article and in general may be addressed to Mr. Weil by email at


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