Starting a small business can be a great way to earn money while doing something you enjoy, but before you invest time, money and energy into something new and exciting, you might want to do your homework and check things out to avoid getting taken advantage of.
When an opportunity or idea presents itself, it might be a good idea to check with others who have been successful in a similar business for many years. If the opportunity is something that you saw advertised, check with consumer organizations and inquire about complaints or rip-offs.
If you do not know what questions to ask or how to get started, check things out with state and federal business organizations who can help with everything from mentoring and developing a business plan to funding.
Organizations like the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and the Small Business Administration offer a lot of information for those just starting out or looking to grow their business.
If you have recently started a business, you may want to watch out for some common scams such as hackers who pose as a bank or one of your customers, telling you to wire or send money or payments to a different location, fake invoices or notices or complicated schemes involving large orders paid with a credit card that are difficult to verify.
When in doubt, check things out by calling your bank or a number that you know is legitimate for a customer or company.