In my best infomercial voice: “Do you want to build a business in Belize? It’s easier than you think!” …and harder than you can imagine haha! Actually, it’s really straightforward to form a new business in Belize; it’s all the other things that business entails that can become a huge irritant to entrepreneurs- work permits, POS systems, availability of products or import duties, etc. But if you’re game to give it a go and want some ideas of what I think would work here in Belize, but specifically in Placencia, then keep reading! And check out my past post, Build a Business in Belize, for other ideas too!
I jog past this empty commercial building that’s for sale several times per week and I often ponder, “what could work in this space?” I’ve come up with a few ideas that I think would not only be successful, but would benefit the peninsula and its residents.
A Funeral Home
Okay I know I came out of the gate kinda hard with this one- a funeral parlor?! Welp, yeah. We don’t have one, and you know- death is part of life. The nearest funeral home is in Dangriga town, a 2-hour drive from Placencia. I’m fairly confident the peninsula has a significant enough population to support its own funeral service. I don’t know much (or anything really) about embalming or cremation or what-have-you but couldn’t this space be sufficient for preparatory actions on one side and viewings and services on the other? It’s 6,000 square feet. Perhaps even space for a casket and urn showroom?
Crossfit Box/ Studio space
Placencia had a crossfit gym at some point a number of years ago; I remember doing a drop-in class with Tony while on vacation when we were still in our looong scouting phase pre-move. San Pedro has more than one crossfit option and we really enjoyed our time out there because of it. How great would this space be for a big Box? It wouldn’t even be too difficult or costly to convert- a couple of squat racks (plenty of talented welders locally that could sort that for you) and some imported weights, viola. You could easily finish the second level (in either wood or concrete) as your home and live above the business. With such a large commercial space you could finish one section with mirrors and maybe air conditioning as a studio space for dance or karate or jazzercize- whatever! Other instructors in the area would LOVE a studio space to rent and hold their classes.
Suite of Doctor’s Offices
We have 2 General Practitioners in the village (the public clinic and a private physician) and one dentist. That’s it- for the entire peninsula. Need to see a specialist? Need an eye exam? You have to make a trip to Dangriga or Belmopan or Belize City. It would be so wonderful and convenient if some of these services were available close by. A gynecologist, a physical therapist, a dermatologist- even if they had practices elsewhere and came to Placencia a few days a week. You could outfit the second story with simple apartments and rent the professional suites with corresponding residential space above.
Re-sale super store
Okay, this is my best idea and I know it sounds a bit strange but hear me out because- this could be a golden business in Belize. A thrift store that sells everything besides clothing (because we have loads of secondhand clothing stores already). I’m talking: furniture, appliances, toys, tools, housewares, even building materials. Think about it! Consider the transient nature of the peninsula and consider the demand for quality home goods at a discount. People sell used blenders or pre-loved furniture at around 80% of retail value on Facebook market place; yard sales are an event. Dozens of houses are being built on the peninsula at any particular time and there’s always the odd box of tiles left over or a vanity that was ordered but doesn’t quite fit… home owners or contractors could sell surplus to you at one price and you could turn a bit of a profit at the resale level. Same with estate sales or on the revolving door of immigrant families that import all their stuff then move on a year or two later; they often sell off all that stuff but would just as happily not be bothered with the task if you would take the whole lot off their hands in one go. I really think this could work!
What are your ideas? Let us know in the comments below!
**I work super part-time in Real Estate at the Property Shop; I take a handful of clients a year and I’d, of course, be ecstatic to assist Real Life Recess readers. So, if you’re intrigued by this post, this property, or have interest in other real estate near Placencia- let me know! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I do not represent this property, I just thought it was an interesting one to post about. Click here for the full listing on the BMA website.