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Tips on Starting a Business in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Business News – Business failures might not be what you want to read about, when hoping to start your own successful business in Costa Rica, but as hindsight is 20/20, maybe you can learn from the mistakes of others. Here’s how to avoid some common pitfalls. Here’s to your success.

costa rica start up businessCircle the “must dos” on your list and stop procrastinating. Don’t be afraid to hire locals to help you navigate the bureaucracy. On that note, only hire quality staff. The difference in what you will pay for someone who is trained and with experience is not much higher than the minimum wage, at least not by American standards. Be dedicated in finding the right time, because firing someone is difficult and costly.

Take time to focus your efforts on reaching a specific set of key clients. Know about how your target customers live, what they values, and their demographics, such as age and family size. Choose a “USP,” a unique selling position. This will be more specific than “great service.” Market specific products with search engine optimization. Next, listen to customers. Have a way for them to leave feedback, whether on your website or in an old-school comments box in the store. Be flexible. If you are missing a key employee one day, you will have to take over that position and do it well.

The next tip is about the type of business. If you had a successful restaurant back home, don’t think you can own a successful surf shop in Costa Rica. Why not stick to what you have had proven success at? Starting a business in a foreign country is hard enough without having to also learn a new market altogether. Do research before choosing a location. Location and cash flow are everything. With a remote location, you won’t have cash flow. With a busy one, you should hire someone to manage the money so none of it goes missing on a hectic night.

Business planning and management are not easy and not something you can pick up overnight, no matter how determined you are. Bring in a specialist in management systems who can pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Credit control is different in Costa Rica. If someone owes you money, you need to be able to collect in a timely fashion, because it’s hard for you to get credit. Most suppliers need immediate payments. Lastly, while business etiquette and norms are important, don’t be like everyone else. Let your personality shine through.

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