10 Easy Steps To Launching A New Business In A Caribbean Paradise |
Feb. 24, 2009
Panama City, Panama
- Old Stone House In Italy For US$36,600...This Is The Kind Of
Opportunity That Gets Our Imagination Working Overtime...
- More On Shopping For International Health Insurance...
Why The Smart Money Is Moving To Panama
Panama is the best place in the world to think about weathering
the current financial maelstrom.
This country is the #1 choice right now for living, retiring,
investing, or starting a business overseas. Find out everything you
need to know.
All your questions answered in person by top experts.
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from our first-ever How To Retire Overseas Event at
no additional cost!
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Dear Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
"Please give me your opinion regarding a plan my son has to
start a business in the Dominican Republic. He
is retiring in a couple of months from the City of New York job he has
had for 26 years. He is 53 years old, and he has friends in the DR. He
has visited the island a number of times.
"His idea is to open a store with computers and a telephone service
for people who want to contact relatives out of the country.
"Do you think he could do this and be successful at it? I thought
maybe you could encourage him or perhaps discourage him from this type
Our entrepreneur abroad expert Kerri Salls replies:
"Years ago, I researched setting up a similar business in West Africa,
so I believe I have an idea of your son's plans.
"I'm the optimist who believes that, if you believe in something, you
can achieve make it work. From that point of view, I would indeed
encourage your son to pursue his entrepreneurial adventure abroad.
"However, even taking a more conservative position, I would encourage
"He has a strong work ethic and a lot of staying power (as evidenced
by 26 years working for the City of New York). These traits will serve
him well starting his own business.
"He has been to the Dominican Republic a number of times and has
friends there (who, we assume, will help him). He's not trying to do
this alone in a place he doesn't know.
"He has a passion for the business he wants to create.
"I'm assuming he believes he'll enjoy living and working on the island
as much as he has enjoyed his visits there.
"That said, I understand your reservations. Any entrepreneur will tell
you in hindsight that it's much easier to build your dream while
you're collecting a steady income. To that end, here's my best advice
for your son: Work now to get his new venture off the ground while
he's still drawing a paycheck.
"Your son should:
- Formalize his vision and mission into a basic business plan.
- Do the market research related to the demand for an Internet café
in particular locations in the Dominican Republic.
If his market is tourists, what about the off-season? Many hotels
offer Internet access; how will this impact his opportunity?
- Identify his target audience. How much traffic does he need daily?
If his market is locals connecting with family abroad, he'll need to
understand and to prepare for the level of computer literacy among his
clients. How much education should he plan to provide?
- Identify a location--a city or town with the infrastructure
in place to support his business (reliable power, high-speed Internet, and
available phone lines); the support services he'll need (IT
professionals, parts) at hand; enough qualified population to allow him
to reach the daily volume levels he needs; and an easily accessible and
well-trafficked store front (maybe in the center of town or maybe along
the airport road).
- Check out the competition. Are there other Internet cafes on the
island? What do the hotels offer? What works? What's missing? What unique
niche can he fill (and make money at)? His friends on the island could do much
of this legwork for him, visiting the local hotels, as well as established
competitive services and potential sites for your son's business.
- Investigate licensing requirements/costs/lead-times/logistics for
the space, the utilities, and necessary equipment. This research also builds
relationships on the ground with people who can become invaluable resources
for getting things done the island way.
- Draft a marketing plan of how he intends to announce and invite
people into his business. Build it and they will come is not a plan for
- Identify the technology and the technical skills required to set up
and run this type of business. Does he have those skills or will he
hire/outsource that work? Is the technology he wants to use compatible with
available local services, utilities, and service providers?
- Put together a financial plan that supports the marketing plan.
What is the required investment? What sources of funding will he use or apply
for? When will the business break even? Will it provide for the lifestyle he
wants as a resident in the Dominican Republic?
"This planning and research isn't rocket science, but it requires
focus and dedication. It amounts to the sweat equity that builds the
strong foundation of any business. And, with the help of his friends
on the ground, your son should be able to get these pieces in place in
a matter of weeks.
- Put together a timeline of everything there is to do to start the
business, including costs, efforts, and responsibilities.
"Finally, your son should document each step of this business-building
process. This not only adds clarity and legitimacy to the dream, but
it also demonstrates conviction. And these documents will become the
foundation of his portfolio and sales tools when he is ready to apply
for licenses, bank accounts, loans, leases, etc. This level of
professionalism and preparation opens doors and opportunities.
"Your son is in a great position right now, because he can start his
business with virtually no risk, from his kitchen table in New York
before actually investing in the move.
"I can't say if your son will be successful with his business in the
Dominican Republic, of course. I can absolutely guarantee, however,
that he will have a great adventure trying."
P.S. Kerri is the author of a complete course that lays out everything
you need to know to launch a new business overseas, including the
resources and tools to realize each step, in her 90 Day Expat
You can read more here.
Yes, You Can Retire (And Live Well) On US$694 A Month Or Less:
This caught my attention this morning. If I had time to follow up
today, I would:
In Abruzzo, Italy, right now, a typical property, on
three floors (160 square meters), including three large cellars, has
been reduced in price from 54,000 euro to 29,000 euro.
This is the kind of thing that gets my imagination working overtime.
This old stone house retains all its original features--terra-cotta
floors, stone balconies, stone carvings, fireplace...
The two-bedroom place is reported to be in good structural condition
but needs a new roof, new systems, new bathroom, etc.
Meantime, it sits in a panoramic position, in the center of a charming
little town between the National Park of Gran Sasso, Majella, and
Abruzzo, only 35 minutes from the sea.
29,000 euro...23,400 pounds sterling...US$36,600...
Hard to beat.
House Around Italy, a full-service outfit with more than
a dozen years helping foreigners buy in this beautiful region of the
world. They even offer renovation support services and rental and
"Kathleen, you are right when you say that
health insurance is a major stumbling block for Baby Boomers
who would like to move overseas. If your man, Kevin, is indeed the
authority on this issue, he needs to share his knowledge.
"Health insurance is easy for the young and healthy, but I am neither
any longer and have had to do research because all of these sites say
the same thing--buy BUPA. For those of us with pre-existing health
conditions, the international policies are worthless.
"However, the recent stimulus package passed by Obama contains a
clause that will allow the government to pay 65% of Cobra for those
who qualify. This means that, when I leave my job, I can continue my
coverage (which has no cap for coverage related to pre-existing
conditions, pays for all my meds, and covers me worldwide, including
in the U.S.), and the premium will be less than for the international
policies for more coverage.
"The trick is to qualify for Cobra; previously, I wouldn't have
considered it because of the expense, but this is a great benefit in
the stimulus package for those who qualify. I hope this is of use to
-- Connie B., United States
Indeed, Kevin is prepared to share the full extent of his long
experience with international insurance of all kinds, including
international health insurance, during both our How To Retire
Overseas Event (May 12-13) and our Live & Invest in
Panama Conference (May 14-16). Attendance is limited, and the
Early Bird Discount expires this Saturday at Midnight.
Register now here.
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