Got an opportunity to own a bar in Cancun - no experience 24yo

Discussion in 'Living in Cancun & Riviera Maya' started by Thwar077, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Thwar077

    Thwar077 Guest

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    Found this opportunity while on vacation. Here is the deal, I have this opportunity, the time and money is in my favor. I have been working about 3 years full time as a software engineer. The bar would cost only half my savings, so it doesn't really hurt as much, I am debt free. I believe this opportunity is gold for me to grow as a man to learn business and of course social skills. I know Spanish so communication wouldn't be a problem.

    The issue is that I have no experience of owning a business, the current owner says he will teach me how to manage the bar. I am not sure if anyone has experience with this kind of situation, but in review I will be leaving the US to live in Mexico to run this bar, is this a bad idea? The bar is pretty popular and there is money to be made.

    In my personal opinion, I feel this could be a fresh start for me to self redevelop myself, I've been through a lot at this point I don't mind taking risks. I don't care if I have a lot of money or if I have a family (not that I am looking to start one). I want to work on myself and I feel this opportunity will help with that. A lot to process. Thoughts?
     
  2. gabesz

    gabesz Addict Registered Member

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    You will make far more money as a software engineer after another year or two of experience than you ever will owning a bar which you know nothing of. Even if the current owner will teach you how to run it, what if its not properly managed? Will you suffer the mismanagement skills they teach you? This is not a really good idea especially you have zero experience in a bar ownership or management and on top of this its in a foreign country as well.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Administrator Owner

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    I would say go for it!

    You're debt free and if it all goes wrong you have only lost half your savings and (if you keep up with your profession) you are still a young software engineer, able to get back into the market back home and recoup that money back quickly if it all turns to shit.

    I was in a similar position 12 years ago and have no regrets taking the chance. I didn't want to stick with my comfy life and then ten or twenty years later say 'I wonder what would have happened if ?'

    I see so many people move here with no money, no skills, no Spanish and settle for jobs paying $400 US a month. Plenty of those make it long term, but many more don't last long. If you bring with you more than that your chances are vastly improved.

    A few things to watch out for - being ripped off by the seller (exaggerated profits, possibility of inheriting debts, inflated price), staff trying to rip you or clients off - they will try for sure, and especially with a bar the possibility of drug gang threats/protection etc.

    Whatever happens, successful or not. It will certainly build your life experience and as a young guy you will learn many lessons that help you in future life.
     
  4. tequila69

    tequila69 Enthusiast Registered Member

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    I have to restaurants here in the us and I have two other business between Mexico and the us of exports, I end up in the restaurant business because my friends invited me, but this is too much of a time consuming, also dealing with bartenders, servers and clients is a hazel,
    People don't sell the business because is good !! Remember that !
    Also like Steve says you may end up been involved drugs as this business are very popular for it,
     
  5. BVG_Steve

    BVG_Steve Regular Registered Member

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    one thing to keep in mind with a bar or restaurant business it is a cash business and will require a ton of your time. So long as you know you may be working 80 plus hours per week then it may be worth the risk. You can make far more money working for yourself than being a software engineer or any other job that you are working for someone else. I have met very few people in my lifetime who became wealthy as a software engineer or any other position where you working for someone. Most wealthy people I know work for themselves.

    A few years ago I had an opportunity to buy a bar / restaurant in Cancun area and I had no doubt I could make a lot of money, however I was not willing to put in the 80 plus hour weeks I knew it would take. I ma older than you though and if i was 20 years younger I probably would have gone for it.
     
  6. Lenni & Jodie

    Lenni & Jodie The Unicorn Hunters Registered Member

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    I started my own business when I was 20 years old, not because I didn't like my income but because I liked what I thought would be my freedom. Owing a business you really don't have the freedom for the first few years until you've developed your clientel, then there is always that next $10K what if....

    Eventually you think you'll be happy making more and more $10K increases, wether its monthly or yearly. It will come but with time and blood sweat and tears. No business owner is ever going to tell you it was easy, it takes a lot of time and it's worth it, every single second it's worth it.

    For the comment about a business owner doesn't sell his business cause it's making him money is not true, he could be tired of it and wants a change in his goals, I was tired of my first business after 12 years and starting a new family & actually sold it for more money than I would of made working 24/7 for the next two years. The timing was perfect for me and the person who bought my business, plus he was able to make it bigger than I could dream of. The company still exist today so my first business is still doing well which makes me happy to see my first baby growing stronger day by day.

    My second business which I've had for the past 9 years allow me to work only 9 months a year and have the winters off, which we enjoy traveling to warm destinations, Cancun being one of them. We've become friends with people all over the world, including Steve here and his wife Jannet.

    I would say go for it, doesn't matter what condition the business is in, if you love what your doing you'll make it work somehow, you may even do a better job than what the current owner is doing. What you'll need to realize is to let go of the reins and also hire people who not only motivate you for when you're tired of it, but also hire people who love their job, and not just anyone looking for a pay check week to week. When you find the right combination of people it will work perfectly.

    Good luck and if it works out, let us know and we will come have a couple drinks at your new adventure, on the house of course cause good advise is never free lol
     
  7. Thwar077

    Thwar077 Guest

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    Awesome replies. Thanks so much! Very good knowledge in here. I know it is a risky move, but I am willing to do it. I could spend the rest of my life being a software developer, however I feel like I need a change like this in my life, I take things seriously so I will be putting my 120%. The main reason I am doing this is for self development to be honest, I just want to prove myself that I can do this, I like to do things differently. I don't succeed then let it be a learning lesson that I can let other people can learn about.

    The exciting part is that not many people don't have the options open like me, so I am curious about this journey. I've been wanting to create a blog as well to support my ideas on why and how I will take part into this adventure. Like I said it is mostly a self development journey, and learn from the experience , also help people and share my experience with others in the same boat and wanting to engage in changing their lifestyle.
     
  8. Jim and Cheryl

    Jim and Cheryl Guru Registered Member

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    Okay, I am going to be a naysayer and I am almost never a naysayer. I am also a business owner and it was the best move I ever made. Having said that, I also got involved in other businesses I didn't know as well and lost some serious money. I'm for taking a chance in life, I'm for owning your own business and I'm for relocating to Mexico if that is what you want.

    I can't get my head around this. If someone has a successful business, there are generally no shortage of people who know the industry and the market, who would be happy to buy it. Why does the current owner want to sell it to a guy with no experience? I guess I would need to know the answer to that question because the answer that comes to mind is that no one who knows the industry wants to buy it. There are other possible motivations for selling it to you, but I am so leary. I would want to employ someone who knows the industry as a consultant providing you can find someone you can trust. And I would want to see the books although I'm not sure how accurate the books for a bar in Mexico ( or anywhere) are.

    Lastly, I would also suggest that you work in a bar for a while - even a few weeks is better than nothing. Some people love it but many wouldn't want the headaches for all the money in the world. A little experience, if you have the time might go a long way.
     
  9. Thwar077

    Thwar077 Guest

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    Thank you for your comment. Well the reason the guy wants to sell it is because he appears to be tired and also wants to go back to his family in the US. He is Mexican and he ran the bar for 5 years. He says he is wiling to train me for as long as I feel comfortable. By just talking to him I already felt a good vibe on him and he probably did too from me. I know we only only met a couple days, but he seemed legit.

    It sure will be a learning experience. I sure will make sure to play it smart. I sure will miss my career however, but I am excited just for the idea of change.
     
  10. nmarcks

    nmarcks Addict Registered Member

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    I would highly recommend you find a Mexican business partner or without a doubt find a Mexican with bar/restaurant management experience to help run the day to day activities. I'd do some research like ask around at a few close businesses in the area about the bar. Anyone can talk a good game and cook books(Which is 10 times easier in the Mexico). Endless stream of gringos who dream of owning a bar by the beach can be con quite easily. At least your young and this isn't like your cashing in your 401K at 50 years old to chase a dream.

    My advice hire a Mexican with experience to more or less run the bar's daily business 60 to 70% of the time and pay them what there worth(maybe they work there already). Maybe offer a small ownership after a year if things are working out good. Trust me a Mexican dealing with things like vendors, contractors, etc. will get done much more cheaper, quicker, and way less hassle than a gringo. I'd also find a software/freelance job that you can do from anywhere in the world even if the pay isn't what your currently use to. With that you'll at least be protecting yourself a little better for the future. Plus your not relying as much on the bar being able to support you.

    Going all in by yourself on this bar venture chances are quite high it will fail. Bars/Restaurants are some of the hardest businesses to be successful in and doing it in a foreign country is even harder.

    I say go for it, but do it smart. A Mexican by your side will help you leaps and bounds.
     
  11. Tami Esquivel

    Tami Esquivel Newbie Registered Member

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    I think when an opportunity like this presents itself and you find yourself personally drawn to it, you should give it your best shot. I have worked as a business consultant for years and have helped several new business owners start up and put all operations in motion. If I could do that in Cancun, I would be on a plane tomorrow. My husband and I lived there for a short time, and since our return to the US we have been planning and prepping to return as soon as possible and do this exact thing.

    Working 80 hours a week when you are investing in yourself is so much more rewarding than doing it for someone else. Working 80 hours a week in Paradise serving people from all over the world hardly even sounds like work to me. Sign me up!

    I have no doubt that if you can get a business savvy individual to help you/manage you will do great things both professionally and personally. Additionally, you will need somebody who will also have a vested interest in the bar and your success.

    The hardest lesson I ever learned in being a business owner and helping so many other entrepreneurs is delegation. It is hard to let go of certain reigns at times. Delegation is key to the growth of any business. If you allow your staff to make their area of expertise their "baby" they will strive for greatness. Do not try to do everything yourself, or you will not be able to grow.

    I would love an opportunity like this. I am getting excited for you just by commenting.

    I look forward to your success!!
    Tami
    Andersen.tami@gmail.com
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016