Merchants In The Bad Economy

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This bad economy is a great time for small business owners. You can get away with atrocities of a magnitude and frequency not seen since the second world war, and blame it on the economy. Government is doing exactly this, and pulling the wool over the people, so don't forget to do your part.

A good way to remember your intended victims is CEGSY, which stands for Customers, Employees, Government, Spouses and Yourself.


With respect to customers, remember buyers are liars. They are not to be trusted in this economony, and will seek to rip you off any chance they get. For example, they try on a diamond ring and, while you are distracted, they switch it for a fake. Later they are gone, and you find out you have lost big time. Another example is using stolen credit cards to pay for goods. Don't assume the bank will refund your losses, you have to prove what they took, and that you did your best to check the buyer's identity. Most often, your overworked and underpaid employees can't be bothered to check everyone. So you have to strike first, if you want to come out on top with customers. Examples include:

  • Selling fake goods, perhaps the one switched by a previous customer
  • Overprice something and claim it is on sale
  • False advertising, lying to the liars!
  • Charge their credit card twice
  • Fail to honor your warranty

Stick it to EmployeesMoving on to employees. In this economy you get to lay off people for no reason, have everyone take a pay cut, and stiff them on holidays and sick pay. When asked, you claim the bad economy is forcing you to do these things. In good times, this excuse does not work very well, but now is the time to use it to the max! Ask everyone to work excessive hours for no extra pay, "just until we get through the bad economy..." If you can force someone to quit, and claim they were caught stealing, then you can cheat them out of severance and UI benefits too. Then take them to small claims court, saying that you lent them an advance, which they owe you.

We all know the government is perhaps one of the best when it comes to ripping people off. Now is your time to get back what they owe you and some extra. I am not talking tax evasion, that is too trivial to waste your time on, although by all means don't stop on my account. I mean, look at the bailouts that GM is getting. Do you think it trickles down to employees, customers or suppliers? No way! This is executive bonus bonanza time. So if you can get something from the government, you go for it. Apply for all sorts of trumped up grants, for example. Claim all your employees are disabled verterans and minorities. There is no limit to the cash cow here, and no limit to your creativity.

Next is spouses, who are always drifting into the business like they own it, and demanding monies like they think they earned it. Be sure to leverage all your assets with loans, and pocket the money in your hidden account in the caymans. At the divorce, they will find all the assets they were hoping to get half of were worthless, while you are grinning inside. And of course if you had something on the side in Vegas, you could put that as a business expense and hide it under trade show expenses.

Rip yourself off before someone else doesLast is yourself. That's right, you have to cheat and steal from yourself. If everyone else is going to do it, you should be at the front of the line. You can clean yourself out before the others get to you. For example, take some stock and sell it for cash and pocket the cash. You can even use this later to blame your employees for theft, and fire a manager or two for taking their eyes off the ball. Be sure to keep changing the inventory system and constantly move stuff around, like a shell game to make it impossible to keep track of inventory.

Steal from your personal accounts, and make yourself look like the victim in all of this. Another benefit here is that if you can steal enough from yourself, then you have little remaining in assets if you declare bankruptcy. Your creditors cannot get you where it hurts, and they may even feel sad for you. Ripping yourself off gives you freedom as well. If you need to skip town, you have lots hidden away where noone can find it. If you own properties, use an alias to avoid creditors.

So there you have it. Just remember the CEGSY way and you will be making the most out of the bad economy!