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Starting a business?

tuggs
December 15, 2009 01:51PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 9

I have heard a lot of different things about starting businesses in St. Croix. I would like to hear from people who have done it. Real life scenarios from real people, not millionaires. What does St. Croix need? What has been tried 1000 times and does not work? My wife and I would love to move to St. Croix and start a business but need real world advise to try and avoid failing like so many others.

Thank you for your time and honesty.

Re: Starting a business?
avatar

Bombi
December 15, 2009 02:07PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,088

[www.vitaxhelp.com] This gives some great info about how to start a business in the VI.

There seems to be a lot of opportunity with the cruise ship traffic.

Mold testing and mitigation is huge here so would blown urethene foam

Maybe a small boat rental business

It would be best to visit and get the vibe

Re: Starting a business?

tuggs
December 15, 2009 02:13PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 9

Thank you for the info.

Re: Starting a business?

rks
December 15, 2009 06:26PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 396

Mold mitigation could be a huge winner.

There are vast numbers of tradespeople but reliable service businesses do well.

The number one pitfall is labor. Successful new state-side employers are rare simply because they force an outside model onto a culture that won't accept it for many reasons. Employers (service sector) who do well hold a high standard while understanding and respecting the culture and not fighting it. It's a tricky balance and one must have abundant patience.

Best advice is to visit and check it out thoroughly as Bombi says.

Re: Starting a business?

DUN
December 15, 2009 09:25PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 812

Quote
rks
Mold mitigation could be a huge winner.

There are vast numbers of tradespeople but reliable service businesses do well.

The number one pitfall is labor. Successful new state-side employers are rare simply because they force an outside model onto a culture that won't accept it for many reasons. Employers (service sector) who do well hold a high standard while understanding and respecting the culture and not fighting it. It's a tricky balance and one must have abundant patience.

Best advice is to visit and check it out thoroughly as Bombi says.

Well said, & that is quite a balancing act to say the least!

Re: Starting a business?
avatar

Edward
December 16, 2009 02:12AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 702

I've started a branch campus of a US college and a new European university and am now building a new international university on the Black Sea coast. Is there a demand for a small, private college in STX or STT?

Re: Starting a business?

rks
December 16, 2009 10:15AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 396

Interesting. Possibly.

There is planned a $50million+ Marine Research + Education Ctr (MREC) as a collaboration between the National Park Service who have the land and support infrastructure, as well as funding and a mandate, and a consortium of universities in the 'States and UVI.

I don't know what sort of population base an institution such as you describe would need. Bear in mind, however that the territorial population is 100K ish. Because we are an island territory, this equates to a mainland town of approximately half that size with the other 50K residing in the outlying area.

A school would have to draw from elsewhere to be viable. But it HAS been done: Saba (pop 1300) has a well regarded university school of medecine.

Re: Starting a business?

Lizard
December 16, 2009 10:27AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,842

Fairleigh Dickinson University, A Major Private University in NJ had a campus on ST Croix from 1972-2002. After the Damage caused by Hugo the school closed the campus.

Re: Starting a business?

chockman
December 16, 2009 11:47AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 512

This question is for those of you who have started a business in the Islands.

Would it be easier and more efficient as well as cost effective to buy a business that currently has all of their licensing in place and is operational as well ? Or would it be just as simple to start from scratch ?

I am contemplating,trying to at least get the business and liquor license pointed in the right direction while we are on Island in Feb. I would like to have as much as I can in place before I relocate permanently.

Re: Starting a business?

kimd
December 16, 2009 12:13PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 113

Quote
chockman
This question is for those of you who have started a business in the Islands.

Would it be easier and more efficient as well as cost effective to buy a business that currently has all of their licensing in place and is operational as well ? Or would it be just as simple to start from scratch ?

I am contemplating,trying to at least get the business and liquor license pointed in the right direction while we are on Island in Feb. I would like to have as much as I can in place before I relocate permanently.


We bought an existing business in St Croix in October and just got all the licensing complete today (YAY!). You can't really buy the previous owners licenses, you will still need to get your own. AND there are perils to keeping the same name. As you've heard previously in the thread, there is a delicate balance here. I would agree and add that a lot of patience is also involved. If you're easily impateint, this is probably not the place for you. Addiitonally, remember that you will need deposits and cash for all sorts of things like WAPA, phone, internet, that cannot be transferred from the old owner to you. Getting as much done as you can in advance is wise. However, remember that a lot of things here are better done in person, so following up via phone or email from the mainland can elongate the process.

Re: Starting a business?

chockman
December 16, 2009 12:16PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 512

Thanks for the info KIMD. Were you able to operate in any capacity while you waited for all of the transfers ?

Re: Starting a business?

kimd
December 16, 2009 12:30PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 113

chockman - I just sent you a pm. let me know if you didn't receive it

Re: Starting a business?

fdr
December 16, 2009 02:46PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 1,115

Quote
Lizard
Fairleigh Dickinson University, A Major Private University in NJ had a campus on ST Croix from 1972-2002. After the Damage caused by Hugo the school closed the campus.

Good afternoon Lizard -- can you explain more? Hugo came through in '89, so why did it take 13 more years to close the campus?

Re: Starting a business?

terry
December 16, 2009 02:53PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 2,514

Island Time. It may have taken that long to realized it was damaged.big grin

Re: Starting a business?

Lizard
December 16, 2009 03:03PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,842

They never rebuilt their campus, shared buildings with the UVI to complete marine projects they had started, and whatever their process to close a campus via donated lands, equipment etc to the Universtiy of the Virgin Islands.

Re: Starting a business?

li2stx
December 17, 2009 10:37AM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 94

Does anybody know what a small storefront in C'sted rents for per sq/ft ?

Re: Starting a business?

AllMashUp
December 17, 2009 04:17PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 225

Quote
rks
Mold mitigation could be a huge winner.

.

I'm curious to know what exactly people believe "mold mitigation" is and why you could create a business doing it....

Re: Starting a business?

rks
December 17, 2009 05:49PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 396

The black mold that grows in HVAC systems is prolific and toxic. It occurs everywhere, but here we don't have a winter season where we can kill it by heating (drying out) the ducts. From the ducts is spreads over everything in a structure. It makes some people very sick. Several public office buildings have been closed because of it. (STX VIBIR, NPS Customs house among others) Cleaning that up is a business in itself, and it is a repeat business because it never goes away.

Re: Starting a business?
avatar

Bombi
December 17, 2009 08:38PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,088

Mold mitigation is huge. Almost every school and govt building are air conditioned and have no insulation, so the cold air reacting with the hot roof or ceiling creates the conditions for condensation which means water and moisture which creates the ideal semi tropical environment in which mold thrives. The mitigation process can include removing building materials that are affected and killing and removeing the mold by using basic cleaning techniques. Not a lot of skill required but proper training and personal equipment and training are essential.
A companion business to mitigation could be spray applied insulating foam to the underside of roofs to temper the dew point to prevent moisture. Also installing either passive or mechanical ventilation, radiant barriers and reflective roof coatings.

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