NEW BIZ IDEAS 2 CREATE &/or Ways to Get More CLIENTS in Costa Rica
#1 BUSINESS NEEDED IN COSTA RICA - One that goes in & BLASTS the mold out of a building•house - MEGA STRONG (at least the first process - not natural - then after - a natural process) since mold lives inside SOOOO MANY homes in Costa Rica & I'll bet is a BIG REASON MANY people are sick on LOTS of levels!!! I'll help promote the hell out of it!!!
LAUNDROMAT - U.S.-style Self-Service•Do-it-Yourself Laundromat – in tourist areas - even better if make it with a snack bar or better – full service restaurant with pizza & easy &/or fun foods. Theme nights/specials, bar/alcohol, club, tv/movie area, happy hour specials, Happy Hour whenever open, free lending library, FOOD – Smoothies (healthy or junk foods). Theme Dinners•Nights. 50’s theme diner. Kids area like at McDonald’s plus an area with a sitter & things to do/make - so moms can gather & have social time. Meeting space. Snack bar. Movie Night (set up in parking lot so people bring their own seating/blankets with traditional gringo movie food & treats [people can NOT bring their own food or drink). Coat Check to safely store laundry (while still eating/partying – by tip). Theme Nights – Singles Night, Paint & Wine, Tequila, Wine Tastings (on off/slower nights) . Have regular size machines for smaller loads or super size. MUST have hot water. Sell individual or larger size soap (cheap to organic, scented or unscented, or vinegar (bottle in re-useable containers so you can make more $$ from getting bulk), softener (liquid if machines can automatically put it in – or pads – or organic balls to rent), Iron/Ironing boards. Store to buy used things/lost & found & $$ goes towards Charity of the Month or a family in need. Donation Drop-Off area. Seamstress/Mending. Also have service where they do it. Make it a place people will stay for quite a few hours.
Have equipment to go around in a van to test vehicles for buying &/or Reteve (as well as help people buy & legally register a car, get their driver license, have a contact for an English-speaking Driving Lessons, as well as a mechanic & help people find parts in CR or get from the states for cheaper) - that speaks English.
POISONOUS PLANTS OF COSTA RICA - FOR PETS BOOK - Mention symptoms & listing remedies on what to do if your pet eats one. Help save a life. MUST have photos!!
POISONOUS BUGS, ANIMALS OF COSTA RICA - FOR PETS BOOK - Mention symptoms & listing remedies on what to do if your pet eats one (like a toad). Help save a life. MUST have photos!!
EDIBLE PLANTS & TREES BOOK - If you're going to grow things on your property, why not grow things you can use - help make your property Sustainable. Do it by region for all the climate differences.
RESTAURANT: Custom Make things -
• SALAD BAR
• SOUP BAR (have a few base flavors & then add things from Salad Bar)
• PASTA BAR - Different Sauces, Different Pastas, Different additions from meats, veggies, herbs/seasonings
• ICE CREAM BAR - different flavors of ice cream & toppings
• DESSERT BAR
• LASAGNA BAR - must be ordered in advance if you want it ready when you come - otherwise all the other things above can fill their time while they wait as well if this is an Italian themed music - have live music &/or dancing. Serve it family-style.
Even cooler if it's on an organic Finca where people can come out earlier in the day or before sunset to pick their OWN veggies & herbs.
Have around recipes they can choose from for the less creative/adventurous people.
& the property be completely Sustainable with signs explaining what you've done, workshops, speakers, movies they can watch (not while eating of course - but in areas where the thing has been done. Perhaps have some Hostel rooms/section where you can get people to do a Work-Stay-Trade? MUST be easy to get to.
INSIDE FLEA MARKET - An on-going (daily - or at least weekends) where people rent space. This is perfect for someone that has a warehouse that's just sitting there (since the chances of getting it rented in this market are slim!!!). Also have a bulletin board where people can post larger things & a Facebook page but ONLY the organizers contact info is on all so they are guaranteed to collect their %.
CONSIGNMENT • ARTISTS MARKET - again - inside a warehouse where people with something to sell can either have a little space that they man/sell at - &/OR - the space is set up but all sales go through the "office" - so you don't have to be there & you make money - while the "office" does also!!!
CONSIGNMENT SHOP - Like a thrift shop but where people bring their items to sell & get a % of (most I've seen - the consumer selling get about 30-50% on average). Owner MUST be GREAT at accounting/keeping track of everything because there are all sorts of sales/discounts involved as items have been there awhile. If you want to start this, let me know as I have an article on "Thrift Shop Tricks". Challenge here is clothes tend to be MUCH higher price than Ropa American's are - but they tend to be much higher quality.
ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND•DAY CAMP FOR KIDS - http://HuntingtonBeachCA.gov/residents/parks_facilities/parks/huntington_central_park/Adventure_Playground.cfm
Open an OPEN AIR CINEMA • MOVIE THEATRE!
GREAT for a restaurant ON the beach•a park so you could have some guests sitting IN the restaurant (a certain minimum bill required for each table) or people could bring their own blankets/chairs & watch it. Make it free or a nominal fee or "Love Offering"/Donation or people could bring some sort of "Donation" like gently used shoes, food/veges, medicine/medical supplies, paint/cleaning supplies, clothes, school supplies++ that you're not using (make it a different theme each month). Live in a beach community - show old beach movies (both movies like "Endless Summer" &/or old Gidget type movies!!). Show current movies (English with Spanish subtitles so the locals feel welcome) or famous old ones. This is a GREAT Community Service thing!! Have "Movie Specials" type foods that night at reduced prices (hot dogs, candies, popcorn, sodas, pizza++). Provide chairs - extra fee. Do on a quieter evening & it's CRUCIAL to get other business owners to agree not to create mega music/noise during that time! (this is a GREAT opportunity FOR businesses TO work together in that the biz next to you could be the featured AFTER event - or that one & someone even doing the After-After Party!!!
KITCHEN FOR RENT - COMMERCIAL Grade and Ministerio de Salud authorized. Are you a restaurant that isn't open all day or has a day or 2 closed? Why not rent it out to small entrepreneuers when you're not using it. MUST have enough space for them to bring in their own fridge or an empty fridge for them to store things while working on it.
SUSTAINABLE - RE-CLAIMED - RE-PURPOSED - RECYCLED THINGS FOR THE HOUSE - Like the toilet paper roll picture below - easy to replace, not as breakable as standard ones. I've started pulling together all sorts of things at http://SarongGoddess.com/Other/SustainableLivingHome
SPIRITUALLY (Self Empowerment) Oriented "Things" - Like the Spiral below
CERAMIC Bottled Water Dispensers & GLASS 5 gallon WATER BOTTLES (example - http://WaterCrock.net) - They're WAYYYY HEALTHIER for you than the toxic plastic ones!!
STANDS for Water Dispensers - made out of metal, bamboo or wood - standard design or custom.
RESTAURANTS - Already Open - I'm seeing MOST people (NOT all) are tightening the belt these days & eating out is a BIG place they're doing it. So what can YOU do to get people in?? #1 - SPECIALS!!! & the top way to do that is the Executivo Almuerzo (Executive Lunch) specials. This usually a special of the day served at lunch time (some are starting to do it all day! You want business - SMART!!) BUT they MUST be something that's PRE-MADE or MEGA FAST to make/serve as MANY people don't have long for lunch (along with the drive to/from) & a REALLY GOOD DEAL (usually with a drink & sometimes dessert). If you want some other promotional ideas - I am available for Consultation & soon I will have a suggested list people can buy) - info@YourCostaRicaConnector.com
Do you teach English or Spanish? English & Spanish teachers in Costa Rica are a dime a dozen!! It seems like 1/3 of the people that come here want to/think they can teach either. So the market is SATURATED (& if you work for someone else you'll make CRAP & have HOURS of wait time in between gigs so that crap pay is even worse if you put a dollar value on your time). So why would someone choose YOU to teach them? What makes YOU DIFFERENT - stand out from the crowd??? Find a specific category, type of business/industry & teach a group on that!! One friend was doing classes for Taxis. How about a class for Tourism Van Drivers. I had one friend even teach classes to strippers at a local strip club!!! Start off by teaching them the most common phrases that they'll use!! Get creative!!!
HOW YOU CAN GET PEOPLE INTO YOUR BUSINESS (this is mainly for restaurants, bars, book stores or shops):
BOOK SWAP - Leave a bunch of books out
HOST SEMINARS•TALKS•CLASSES - Have the space? Open up space for such things on SLOW days. Some charge a fee (but since not as many people are attending workshops & things these days, you might want to do a %. Look at it as this is also a way to get people to know your business as well. As that the speaker allows you to give a 2 minute presentation about your business/specials+ & to give out cards/fliers &/or pass some menu's around/leave them around (otherwise - trust me - sadly I've found RARELY will people offer to promote you back). Also, agree to help promote the event with your database, your Facebook, leave fliers at your business.
THINGS TO THINK TWICE ABOUT OPENING (as they're already in abundance or people aren't supporting them as much):
RESTAURANTS - YES - REAL Mexican. REAL Thai. REAL Indian (NOT Tico renditions!!). Do you know ANY areas in Costa Rica that need one more Italian, Pizza or Sushi restaurant - NOT!!! They're ALL over & there are PLENTY of them!!
WHAT I INITIALLY ENVISIONED BEFORE MOVING TO CR: