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Do you often have a creative moment, just like I do? If you are a creative person, Costa Rica is probably a good place for you. In fact, you need to be creative to be able to survive.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you can make a living by being creative, probably not. Unless you are outstandingly creative and find a niche market of people willing to pay a lot of money for your creativity.
Quite a few people who moved to Costa Rica have tried to start a new business in Costa Rica, most trying to have a creative moment and make a living. Quite a few have tried, and have left the country again, broke. They decided that it is just too difficult to be successful in starting up a new business in Costa Rica. This is why they say “The best way to leave Costa Rica with one million is to bring two million”.
Having a creative moment and a lot of money might not be enough.
A spice business
I have tried to be creative when starting up new businesses in Costa Rica, most lost money except for my spice business. Then, when I was market leader, I got a great offer which I of course rejected. Less than a year later, I got hit left and right by the big supermarket chains. Then I got hit by a freight train and went out of business. Then I got creative again and GoDutch Realty was born. Yes, the one that can give you the Ultimate Costa Rica Real Estate Experience.
Few have been able to survive for long doing business in Costa Rica. But those are the ones with balls, excuse the French. Oh, there are quite a few restaurants that have done very well for a while. But I can count the restaurants that I know who have survived more than 10 years on my two hands.
One of my card-playing buddies has a very successful Tortuga Island Cruise that he started in 1975. We love to exchange experiences, the good ones and the bad ones. The ups and the downs. We both look back and enjoy how hard it has been. We are happy survivors, are you one of us?
The hardest part of Costa Rica’s business is the culture. Do you think you have a great idea? Think it through well. I have found that most of my great ideas didn’t work because the country wasn’t ready for them. Many of my creative moments were way ahead of time. Or I didn’t have enough money to promote the idea.
Also very important is to understand that doing business in Costa Rica is quite different from elsewhere. If you ever want to do business in Costa Rica, Tico Time is a must learn how to handle. Selling on credit is a whole different story. How to handle employees? A lot of fun.
A creative moment
Back in the ’90s, there was a factory in Guatemala that made these incredible security deposit safes for delivery trucks. Usually, companies like Coca-Cola and others that sell to pulperias y smaller stores, do the delivery and the cash collection at the same time. Guatemala had delivery truck robberies every day. This factory made really good safes at a great price. For weeks, I visited the largest manufacturing companies in Costa Rica with samples, knowing that soon we would have the same need here.
Everybody thought I was crazy, and that this cash collection safe was totally unnecessary to install in their trucks. It took another 5 years before Costa Rica was getting hit by such robberies and by then I had started a real estate company.
The result of my creative moment is the following recommendation: retire in Costa Rica but don’t work. Don’t start a business or have patience and creativity, lots of it. The creative adult is the child who survived.
Sit back, enjoy life, your retirement, nature, and the people. Don’t do ANYTHING, read a book or my blogs.
Or have a creative moment and get involved in doing business in Costa Rica. If you still decide to get involved in doing business in Costa Rica, research before you invest. Learn Spanish and have a look at buying an existing business. See what the reasons are that the owner is selling and find out what’s wrong. Can you do better? Costa Rica has been good to me and I have tried to return the favor. But it’s hard work. Good luck with it then, make a load.
I hope it helps. Looking for a business or a commercial location? Contact us now.
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