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Re: Starting a Business [Re: Wizardofaahs] #429739
02/06/12 06:09 PM
02/06/12 06:09 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 48
Colby Offline OP
Colby  Offline OP
Originally Posted by Wizardofaahs
If you can't offer something unique and geared to what locals want and need (they're the ones that are there day in and day out) your business will probably fail within the first year. Just sayin'....

But good luck with that.

Thanks for the replies. Regarding Wizards comment-not to go against your thoughts (they are much appreciated!), however, tourism must account for a huge percentage of most local businessesí income. I don't think that most locals are paying to stay at expensive resorts, chartering dive boats, paying for golf cart rentals etc... Yet these companies do thrive and exist in significant numbers on the island. I certainly agree a service for all, local and tourist, would create less risk for a startup.

In reference to Bears post about dilution- I would think that populations of all major vacation destinations increase over time allowing room for more businesses going forward. I do agree that if there are already a number of one service being offered that a market could easily become over diluted. The better business usually makes it and those lacking fail rapidly in these markets, making it especially difficult to make a start.

Last edited by Colby; 02/06/12 06:10 PM.
Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby] #429741
02/06/12 07:05 PM
02/06/12 07:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 9
Canadachick Offline
Canadachick  Offline
I plan on moving down. I stayed on the island for a few months this year and kept a low profile so I could figure out if I wanted to buy or rent and see where my next step was.
Unless you are going to buy an existing tour company or bring a new type of tour in. There are a lot of good companies who have been here a long time and offer great services. The best advise I can give you is go to San Pedro check out the diffrent business that would be your competition see if there really is a need.
Also you may go to Belize and see a need for a business that no one else has realized.
One comment I heard while sitting at one of the bars enjoying a lighthouse. A few local expats were sitting there talking and a tourist was talking to them and made a comment about what kind of buisness they should open up if they moved down. One guy said...If I could tell you what would make you rich down here then I wouldn't tell you. I would just open it up myself and make the money...

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby] #429743
02/06/12 07:07 PM
02/06/12 07:07 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
PACWest, SACSouth
Bear Offline
Bear  Offline
Originally Posted by Colby
In reference to Bears post about dilution- I would think that populations of all major vacation destinations increase over time allowing room for more businesses going forward. I do agree that if there are already a number of one service being offered that a market could easily become over diluted. The better business usually makes it and those lacking fail rapidly in these markets, making it especially difficult to make a start.

Hi Colby, Of course youre right tourism is a very large portion of the local economy. More than just local in fact; I read a statistic recently that AC accounts for, someone correct me please, 25%? of all the tourist/hotel tax dollars in Belize. But it gets little of that back for improvements that would allow for responsible growth.

The intent of my post was to address your question about Snoopy's comment; the reason why a new non-local tour operator would be seen as a threat. The TO market is saturated with and by locals. It's not a rational reaction; its a gut reaction based on how locals would see it. A new operator, and a non Belizean, at that, would be seen as taking money from their mouths. That's what I was getting at when brought up dilution, less for them. Explanations of supply and demand economics and postulations on the chances for a new startup simply don't change (or mean) a thing when it comes to how they feel.

It seems to me it's an almost jealously guarded, Belizean business with a lot of "local ownership" assigned to it both literally and figuratively. It's because of that feeling of local ownership that a Non-Belizean would also find themselves perceived as a threat even if one was to get licensed. It's not that you couldn't work through it given enough time. I simply have no idea how many generations it would take ( wink ) Economics aside it's going to be a very tough nut to crack for a variety of "human" reasons. Just sayin'.

As to growth? lacking serious improvements and concerted control, the island can only handle so much more "growth and increase" before it's infrastructure implodes. Unchecked and unaddressed the resulting environmental consequences will make any of these discussions moot.

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Bear] #429744
02/06/12 07:11 PM
02/06/12 07:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
Heres one for ya: Monument and Jumbo-Tron maintenance

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby] #429750
02/06/12 08:14 PM
02/06/12 08:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,224
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
As a former tourist maybe I can offer some market research, however dated it may be. I would not take a tour of Belize with a non-Belizean guide, regardless of their knowledge or fabulous personality or free drinks or whatever ...... most of us come here to experience Belize and a big part of that is the people of this country - ergo, a Belizean to show us Belize.
Colby, you may be the nicest coolest person on earth - but that doesn't make you (or me, or Marty or Jesse) from here.
Often the best businesses are totally non-glam. Maybe one of them is right for you here - in our everyday world.

Question - what is often asked for, frequently given and rarely appreciated?
Answer - advice

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Diane Campbell] #429751
02/06/12 08:21 PM
02/06/12 08:21 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Beautiful San Marcos, Texas
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Colby, seems to me, is fishing, has no idea what he/she has in mind.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby] #429760
02/06/12 09:46 PM
02/06/12 09:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,479
SimonB Offline

SimonB  Offline
I don't know that you've thought through all the important factors.

1) Where are you going to locate the business? Walk through town and you'll see that almost all the docks already have a tour operation of some kind located there. Thinking about running an operation out of town? Then you will likely have to partner up with a hotel or condo that's willing to partner up with an unproven operator and risk their reputation if you don't provide quality service. Add in the lack of traffic and the additional fuel costs of course.

2) A small new boat set up for tours will run you at least $25KUS. A second hand boat will cost less up front but will cost you more down the line in maintenance and reputation when it fails to start and you have to start handing out refunds.

3) Advertise as much as you want it won't matter. Referrals are the only way you will do any kind of business. As you'll be a newcomer with no reputation very few people will be willing to do that for you unless you kick back way more than your competitors.

4) Start up costs. Good equipment doesnít come cheap and doesnít last long and will cost you many thousands a year at a minimum. If you donít keep it up your reputation will be in the toilet faster than you can flush it.

Sorry but such is the reality of the type of business that you're talking about.

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Colby] #429765
02/06/12 10:24 PM
02/06/12 10:24 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 353
Noelle Offline
Noelle  Offline
I think you should open an Apple computer parts and service store!

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Noelle] #429802
02/07/12 09:25 AM
02/07/12 09:25 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 51
North Beach, Ambergris Caye
Rachael Eteson Offline
Rachael Eteson  Offline
Bingo Noelle!

Re: Starting a Business [Re: Noelle] #429836
02/07/12 12:56 PM
02/07/12 12:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 600
new haven, ct,usa
ron Offline
ron  Offline
Trouble is they are owned and operated by Apple. Doubt they coming to Belize soon.

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