Let me try to make this story as brief as I can because if you want more info from me for better advice I would appreciate a phone call or good email contact.
I just started my home inspection business last june and in the fall I was contacted by a company called Four Seasons Consulting who are grant writers. I had previously began filling out a grant application online thru a link that I found on my state’s web site. I have already paid a $3500 retainer fee. I have received a 112 page Business Analysis from them which is a very detailed analysis of a home inspection company starting and making it mid-michigan. We have had several conversations by phone and email. I did background checks on this company and thought why not. I cannot contact them in anyway now. Phones,email and all other points of contact do not work.
I have already filed a complaint with the FTC and BBB. What should I do now?? D I contact the local police department and report this. Do I get a Lawyer (even though I couldn’t possibly afford one)?? What do I do? Any HELP would be great.
If you are looking for business advice go to your local SBA. (small business administration ).
Many are located on collage campuses or nearby. SBDC - Small Business Development Center**
SCORE** - Service Corp of Retired Executives
It is all free or very inexpensive and is an excellent source of info and training
When you pay them $3500 they promise to apply for those grants on your behalf and they also tell you that they have a 100% success rate for qualified applicants. Trouble is, all applicants are qualified as long as they can afford to pay the $3500. They DO NOT have a qualification process beyond seeing if you can afford them or not.
You sign a contract that only promises to deliver some sort of business plan or analysis or something like that within three months. They do NOT have to write one single grant proposal on your behalf in order to fulfill the terms of the contract.
Ah Ray, Bruce is from Michigan. I do not know if you heard but the housing market really sucks there. In a market like that you will need a lot of money to get started, or work another job if one can be found in Michigan. It has to be tough. I bet Missouri is a cake walk compared to Michigan.
Bruce…very sorry to hear you got ripped off in this manner. Probably everybody here has endured some screw job at one time or another and many just dont like to admit it. Im sure you checked things out as well as you could and unless you have money to burn probably thought it was a viable deal. we can all usually point and say ‘i wouldnt have done that’ after something sucky happens. Ive been suckered in the past too…just teaches me to be far more cautious in the future. Dont know you but I really hope you can find a way to pull out of this because I hate to see bad stuff happen to people from all the shysters around. Luckily it is my experience that most people are pretty good. Sorry…I wish you the best