Starting the New Business: Costa Rica

Starting a business in Costa Rica

I remember talking up our business plan to anyone that would listen back in early 2010. “We are going to build our portfolio as we drive across the U.S.A. and then open a Bed and Breakfast that offers Photography Classes in Costa Rica.” The star-shine in my eyes must have been blinding. We didn’t have all the details figured out but we already had a farm and were on our way to gaining residency. It was simple in my mind, build the facility and get people to come. It wasn’t going to be big money but was surely enough to live on for the rest of our lives in a developing country (the Worlds Bank’s term not mine).

There were many things that, in hind sight, would have been helpful to know…

For example, having to build our business Costa Rica with the help of a horse is slower than say a truck.

or  “there is no way to build a bridge here you are going to have to drive through your stream everyday and of course the fact of the prices for just about everything are going up in Costa Rica (just like everywhere else) and your cost analysis from back in 2009 is sooooo…well 2009.”

I find myself here in mid-2014 and I have taken my first baby steps. It’s a far cry from my previous plans of the early 2011 Grand Opening or Gran Apertura, but such is life! There have been a few photography jobs but mostly for trade of food products. I am currently building a website for Lecheria Las Lapas, a dairy that provides us with milk and cheese (see the promo video we created for them here), I have a restaurant credit from a pregnancy shoot, in June a trade was agreed to that will swap a family session for two nights in an all inclusive resort in Matapalo Beach Guanacaste, and you probably saw my Will work for Beer post!  I did get get a payday from an advertiser in the UK just to be mentioned in on of our blog posts.

Where We are Now

A lot of people reading this may already have heard the news from following my Facebook or Twitter accounts. I SO appreciate you following me and showing me your support. Advertisers wouldn’t even consider doing business with this project if I didn’t have some consistent reader numbers to flaunt in front of them. A lot of my friends and family help me with this and I have made new friends just through our social networking efforts. That is the real pay when it comes down to it. So TELL YOUR FRIENDS! Please.

The Guest Rooms:

You can not invite people to take photography classes in the middle of the country and not have a place for them to stay, right? This was one of the biggest hurdles. We first had to build a place for us to live so that we didn’t have to pay rent somewhere else. We knew it would be used as the higher end rental after we built my house so we had to consider guests standards and not just our “I’m ok with peeing outside” standards that I acquired in Peace Corps.

After that, I had to start work on the “Socalo” cabins. At first, I just wanted a camping area with a sauna and bathroom. I wanted to keep hostel style pricing so people could budget travel with us and yet make it a place to relax. But no one would pay to stay in a place that would ruin their five thousand dollar cameras. Who knew?! So, after much deliberation I took extra time and to build these cabins that I absolutely love. I sit down there at night, grill out, and watch the birds when there are no visitors.


Fun stay

Guest Cabins



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