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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by the gorgon View Post
    it would not work. colmados are neighborhood things. they work on credit. the owners know the clients..they have these little books in which they note how much Don Chanchi and Rosa owe. foreigners could not do that...
    It's possible, but you'd need some help from a close family member. An esposa/o, tio/a that won't skim the till. It's definitely a cultural feature.

    There's strong laws around skipping out on your bill. Most people won't go there, and your colmado becomes almost an extension of your house.

    It originally drove me nuts when just to make breakfast you had to run to the colmado or colmados to round up the ingredients. Here in Fort Lauderdale, I could probably go a month eating out of my stash without missing a meal, but in Puerto Plata, the wolf of hunger would start scratching at the door by sundown without a trip or two to the colmado. Of course, my German heritage comes from people that had to store up food to survive the winter. It took me 2 years to get use to the "extended larder".

  2. #82
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    I think I mentioned this before, but I ran into a guy that started a discotheque in Puerto Plata. The dominicans ate him alive.

    He didn't speak Spanish nor had an abogado to help him. Employee problems first. Then the owner decided that he did such a good job fixing up the place that they doubled the rent which made the business unvia. On the home front, he was robbed. He bought some dogs to guard the house, but they loved the poison surprise and he was robbed again. The next set of dogs, he taught not to take food from strangers, and I met that lot. I thought they were going to take a part of my backside, but walked away without buying anything. He said that he lost about 100k Euros.

    He gave up. Sold everything at a deep discount and disappeared from whence he came. It's a sad story because I think he really had his heart into it and didn't expect to make a lot of money. I think it would have been completely different if he had gotten use to the locals first and found a good bi-lingual abogado and manager.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by jricks76 View Post
    What are the things you miss most? If any?
    Boiled crawfish in the spring time would be nice.

  4. #84
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    Sad story but very true.... best thing to do down here is stay low key.....any signs of money the animals gather...

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavok View Post
    McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell.
    Good suggestions. Also a Tim Hortons and a reliable postal service.

  6. #86
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    I've posted this before, but deserves to be reposted:

    [Wet Blanket Alert]
    • Do not take advice from anyone who has never been in business successfully whether the DR or elsewhere. Their advice is worthless.
    • Do not take advice from anyone who has never started a business in the DR, successful or not. I am referring to formal, tax-registered businesses, not some freelancer doing something for petty cash.
    • Do not start a business that can be duplicated with modest capital or effort by a local. They WILL compete with you and grind you into a pulp on price, and they *will* outhustle you.
    • Only start a business with significant barriers to entry, whether capital, specific and rare expertise or cultural.
    • Do not start a business that depends on revenues coming from the local economy, whether tourists, expats or Dominicans, unless the product is extremely rare or you have great expertise.
    • To think there is some niche that locals have not figured out is to be woefully naive.
    • Do not invest a peso into any business run by someone else without a verifiable track record of both success and honesty.
    • Never start a business because some local says it would work.
    • Never start a business that has significant debt that you cannot personally afford.
    • Never start a business that is seasonal unless you can pull the plug on all costs during the off-season.
    • Never start a business without 3 x the expected start-up costs in the bank, and do not touch that stash for personal needs.
    • Never start a business that depends on a "Key Man" for success.
    • Never start a business without sole signature authority on the bank account.
    • Never start a business in the DR if you have any addiction issues, whether women, drugs or alcohol. You need clear thinking 24/7/365 without distractions.
    If you look around at businesses started by expats that fail they violate one or more of the above. If you look at businesses started by expats that succeed they violate none of the above.
    Cabin Attendant,
    Augusto Pinochet Helicopter Tours

  7. Likes Africaida liked this post
  8. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobraboy View Post
    I've posted this before, but deserves to be reposted:

    [Wet Blanket Alert]
    • Do not take advice from anyone who has never been in business successfully whether the DR or elsewhere. Their advice is worthless.
    • Do not take advice from anyone who has never started a business in the DR, successful or not. I am referring to formal, tax-registered businesses, not some freelancer doing something for petty cash.
    • Do not start a business that can be duplicated with modest capital or effort by a local. They WILL compete with you and grind you into a pulp on price, and they *will* outhustle you.
    • Only start a business with significant barriers to entry, whether capital, specific and rare expertise or cultural.
    • Do not start a business that depends on revenues coming from the local economy, whether tourists, expats or Dominicans, unless the product is extremely rare or you have great expertise.
    • To think there is some niche that locals have not figured out is to be woefully naive.
    • Do not invest a peso into any business run by someone else without a verifiable track record of both success and honesty.
    • Never start a business because some local says it would work.
    • Never start a business that has significant debt that you cannot personally afford.
    • Never start a business that is seasonal unless you can pull the plug on all costs during the off-season.
    • Never start a business without 3 x the expected start-up costs in the bank, and do not touch that stash for personal needs.
    • Never start a business that depends on a "Key Man" for success.
    • Never start a business without sole signature authority on the bank account.
    • Never start a business in the DR if you have any addiction issues, whether women, drugs or alcohol. You need clear thinking 24/7/365 without distractions.
    If you look around at businesses started by expats that fail they violate one or more of the above. If you look at businesses started by expats that succeed they violate none of the above.
    Love it, applicable in DR and beyond imho

    * Never start a business because some Expat says it would work.

    Witness it as well, by expat trying to get rid of their failing businesses to the unsuspecting newbie (but i guess it falls in other of your categories).

  9. #88
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    And for what it's worth: I run a free zone based business.

    When we set it up, we were the only ones offering the service.

    Needless to say, it takes a whole lot of money, time and effort to set up a successful business in a free zone environment. Much more than a non free zone environment.

    Now there are dozens of them, many who have come here from other countries. They have done the same thing as us, only much bigger and much more $$$$ spent.

    Deep pockets willing to offer services for less to eliminate the competition.

    So, even if you have a good idea nobody else has thought about, be prepared for somebody to do it for less and run you into the ground.

  10. Likes cobraboy liked this post
  11. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
    So, even if you have a good idea nobody else has thought about, be prepared for somebody to do it for less and run you into the ground.
    So far, after 11 years, I have survived.
    Cabin Attendant,
    Augusto Pinochet Helicopter Tours

  12. #90
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    Piracy on the sea has been transferred to piracy on land. The average European or North American is no match to natives trying to separate you from your money. After living here for 21 years I still get "taken" occasionally. Personal security is tentative at best if you are a pensioner with most of your assets abroad, live in a gated community and keep a low profile you may survive relatively unharmed.

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