ideas for a small business

Hi All,

New to Blog so I will sort of cut to the chase. My wife (originally from PR) and I are  looking to make a new start in Rincon PR. We have a small house in Puntas on an acre of land.

I am looking for ideas for a small business or service needed in and around Rincon.

I really do not want to cash in my small pile of chips in the states until we have more confidence in a good business idea. I would be leaving the financial service industry (which does not sound promising in Rincon) and my wife is a certified personal trainer and has a degree in social work (and is bi-lingual)

We have a fair amount saved , but really would need to work to supplement our earnings from savings.

ps health insurance is another confusing concern in PR

Open to any ideas thanks Much!!


Greetings and welcome, Steven~  My husband and I are retired and also want to move to Rincon, hopefully soon.  We'll be there again in Feb. 2015 for a visit.  I believe it may prove to be difficult to work in PR but you may find a niche for a start up business and be very successful.  I'm afraid I don't have any helpful information for you in that respect.  Others may chime in with ideas.  You could put a post up on the general section.

You said you have a home in you visit often?  Maybe while on a visit you could ask some business owners there some of your questions.  Sorry I'm not very helpful but just wanted to welcome you.  Bless!

Hi, Steven. When formulating your plans, you cannot rely on finding work or generating business in PR. The chances of doing either successfully are just too small.

Setting up a business here is generally more difficult than in the US or Europe.
The economy is in a bad shape and the government isn't really helpful.

Having said that, it can be done. I know a couple of expats who are doing OK to great with their own business.
I run my own business (computer & network service) and it's generating our income.
Now, the bulk of my customers are non-local. For those customers it's an advantage that I'm non-Puerto Rican and that my English is pretty good. I wouldn't want to have to depend on local customers only, no way!

It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to do it.
Unless you have this great marketing idea that will get you a wonderful income from the get-go be prepared for a long and hard start-up phase. If you don't bring enough money to get through at least the first year (including your living expenses of course) don't even think about it.

Good luck!

Hello Steven,

Welcome to! :)

I have created a new topic as from your post on the Puerto Rico forum for more visibility.

All the best,

Here is the list of most profitable small business ideas  for 2016:
Auto repair @How to Start a Startup
Computer repair
Cell phone repair
Aluminium windows and doors
Steel grills and related fabricated products
LED AND LCD electronics repair

Hope i have offered some help here

Like in most places, new businesses fail within the first 18 months. Like Gary said, you have to have enough money to carry you thru the critical time, this includes your living expenses, your business expenses and taxes, licenses and legal help.
Underfunding is the primary reason most businesses close, this not just in PR, but all over the world.

A lot of local businesses like beauty parlours, convenience stores, bakeries, food kiosks are open in the downstairs part of a home that they own, this significantly lowers the expenses. Most have other incomes, so the business downstairs is extra income or something to do while retired. The main reason those go down also, is not enough clients, supermarkets,malls and internet are very convenient and a lot of times cheaper.

Besides needing to have enough funding, you also have to study the market, see what is missing, see what competition you have, see if you really have the knowledge or inclination to run a business of the type that is needed in your area, see how to lower you expensive so you can get past the critical 18 months. There may be grants, and federal programs that can help also.

Do not just rely on being just better than other business, with time they can get better also and wipe you out. Rely instead on offering something unique that is badly needed and others don’t offer. It would also not hurt to be the best at it, so continue to improve the product and the service. Make people crave your products and service.

If you can think about a services or tourist oriented business and locate it accordingly. These tend to be less dependant on the locals and economy and taxes are better or paid mostly by the tourists.

Just because you and your family likes your food it does not means your clients will. Pass bite size samples to at least 200 people of the 5 main items that will be in the menu (one item per day) and ask them to fill a form so you can get feedback. Once established continue going into the public with samples for new dishes and get the feed back, make sure this time you mention the name of the restaurant and give them a copy of the menu. This is fairly low cost, cheaper than other forms of advertisement, and at the same time you get feedback on your food.

Think, study, seek help before you jump.

Looking for opinions on starting an AirBnB/hostel in the Rincon/Aguada area. We are moving down in September and have been giving it serious consideration as supplemental income.

Extremly good idea, Kim and Hector (melendeski in this site) have a very succesful short term rental business. They list their place in multiple sites like AirBNB and others and they are booked most of the year. PM them for some hints and their listing as an example.

Here is my working formula for creating a successful life in Puerto Rico. I have created a niche market in multiple forms so all my eggs are not in one basket. I do have an internet business selling hand made glass cabinet knobs that I produce in PR and can ship with USPS flat rate priority. Along with that I have a room available on airbnb . Because the house is old and basically open air I promote visitors who are generally younger, creative., with organic and alternative lifestyles. We discourage the so called predictable tourist as they are too fussy, etc. This has proven to be very interesting and most guest are an absolute joy to share an intimate space with and we get paid for this. Many of our Guest are international travelers. It seems we have become somewhat of a destination. My future plans are in the works now. We have a 32 acre organic permaculture farm that will also serve as an airbnb sort of enterprise. It will be an affordable off the grid glam camping feet on the ground experience. Guest will be able to harvest their own veggies, fruits, etc. and share an open air kitchen and gathering space. Secluded waterfalls and gentle rivers are within a 20 minute walk in the valley and majestic long range views of the Caribbean  Sea, the South coast of PR and the highest mountain in Pr can be seen on the top of the farm. surrounding the farm is 100s of acres that are not inhabited which allows lots of exploration. Along with this we are considering having an alternative cafe,/juice/beverage/tea bar in the house using the produce from the farm. The overhead will be minimal so it will be quality versus quantity. All of this will be catering to a niche market using word of mouth and social networking to generate interest. I have also consider doing a crowd funding site to promote interest and involvement along with generating working capital since all my projects have been on shoe string budgets.  One project helps finance another. I do not depend on the local economy but I am very open to encouraging others to consider another way to exist and survive on an Island that seems to have a mindset that all forms of support comes from outside.

Hi Mrkpytn!
Thanks for sharing. Very inspiring. Much luck to you. I applaud your creativity and resourcefulness in finding new and differing opportunities that really fit your life style.

Rincon area is at it busiest from November to April with snowbirds and surfers. However the rest of the year it still gets visitors. So you should be able to count with 6-8 months out of the year being busy with visitors. Above that is extra Gravy.

Thanks for the input! I really value this forum so much, it's been a huge factor in my decision to move down to PR. We are so very excited and I'm feeling so grateful for this amazing opportunity.

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