Beware the Dangers of Self Employed Business Opportunities

With unemployment rates climbing across the globe - it's no wonder people are looking at self employed business opportunities. In the US alone nearly 15 million people are unemployed (August 2009) and increasing at the rate of 4 -500,000 per month. The unemployment rate in the US is close to 10% - That's one person in very 10 out of work. Each country across the globe is experiencing similar rising unemployment rates - only the numbers are different.

The meltdown in global financial markets has caught most people flat footed and for those struggling with losing their job or even the threat of losing their job, the picture is even bleaker when they look at their decimated savings or retirement funds, many of which have fallen 20 - 60% in value.

As a financial planner, I recently talked to a young couple, struggling to make ends meet after both losing their jobs in the mining industry. A little over 2 years ago they were cruising, just married, and earning a combined $200,000. They bought a house, new car and took on a mortgage.

The picture today shows the stark reality from the fallout brought on by the greed and manipulation of Wall Street. Both are now unemployed, or able to find only part time work, were forced into selling their home for less than they paid, downsized their car by ten years and now have a young child.

Lured by the power of the internet they sought a way to break free of their situation and began looking for self employed business opportunities only to lose money again (twice) by getting into programs they didn't understand. They became victims of the new greed now sweeping the internet. Having said that, there are plenty of legitimate self employed business opportunities out there on the internet - you just have to find them.

Research is the key. With so many people looking to start a home based business or looking for a self employed business opportunity its essential people take the time to understand and learn what it is they are getting into. Research any opportunity thoroughly before committing any money. Use the Google keywords like 'scam' or 'review' with any business opportunity you research. Make sure you can answer 3 basic questions which most people should ask when looking at any self employed business opportunity:

  • Can I do it? There are so many different opportunities out there you need to consider whether you need any special skills that you don't already have. Eg. Do you have to design your own webpages?
  • Is it easy? Most new businesses will involve acquiring some new skills. Are those skills within your capability?
  • What support will I get? No matter what new business you start most people will need support to show them the ropes. Make sure there is a solid and reliable support system or team in place to help you succeed.
The lure to making quick and easy money on the internet is growing as fast as the rising unemployment numbers. If you can't get positive answers to these basic questions then you need to move on.


Rob Bourne has been involved in the financial services industry for over 35 years. As a practising financial adviser he focuses on the need for practical and down to earth financial education. The aim is to educate people through financial education so they can take control of their own financial future. Visit Rob's website here for more information on business opportunities, investing and financial education or the complete guide to superannuation a...

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