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Old Feb 3rd 2017, 8:29 pm   #1
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Smile Open Fitness business in Barbados

Dear all,

I love Barbados and after 11 years in London I am looking to relocate there in two years time. I am a Swedish national and I would in the near futire like to open a small venue in Barbados. I have read many stories on how hard it has been and some stories on how easy-ish it had been. So I would really appreciate some advice on the process and good areas (you who lives out there) where to open my venue. I am very open to suggestions and tips. I want to do this venture the proper way and hopefully I can achieve my dream of assisting people in Barbados to be healthy and fit.

Thank you all

Kind regards,

Linda

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Feb 4th 2017 at 2:41 pm. Reason: Sorry but you cannot mention your biz or use the forums for any type of promotion. Thanks.
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Old Feb 4th 2017, 1:10 am   #2
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

welcome to the group Linda.. As usual, i'll be the voice of doom .. Barbados has TONS.. Almost too many, if you can figure that, fitness location, businesses, individuals etc.. from large gyms, to in the garage or back yard gyms. South coast, West Coast, middle of the island.. swim fitness, aerobics, dance,weightlifting, walking, hiking, running clubs, arial fitness, yoga, Pilates, sports etc.. you name it , we got it.

Feel free to try opening a fitness facility, I would highly recommend checking with this website to start. thttp://www.bidc.org/registering-your-business

This likely isn't going to help you run your business as you have to have a work permit..

sorry.. and good luck.
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Old Feb 4th 2017, 8:42 am   #3
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Hi,

Thank you for the constructive reply I appreciate the cold faceted truth. I will certainly investigate the website and also all the competition when I come out in April.

What I am looking to open is however different to what is already on offer and I hope with my Olympic background that could spark some interest as well.


Linda

Last edited by BEVS; Feb 20th 2017 at 10:18 pm. Reason: Snip. Research/canvassing is not what Be is for. Thanks
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Old Feb 4th 2017, 2:34 pm   #4
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

ok.. i'll bite...

I am from the US (North Carolina) but have lived in Barbados since 1992. Married to a Barbadian and have citizenship.

I am a swimmer by nature.. swam and trained competitively from 8 years old until 19.. that was a long time ago. I'm not a member of a gym, and to be honest , mainly due to issues with 2 separate fitness facilities in the North Carolina when I lived and worked there in my 20's (again, long ago). and the cost. I also prefer to swim rather than to join a gym (would rather swim laps than run any day of the week).

I am a travel/cruise/hospitality/event planner/customer service profession, among other things, and have worked in the field for over 30 years, although currently not employed but selling cruises with a friend in the business (This is not a plug for my work, it's just part of the answer to the question). I have also recently , August 2016, broken my right leg (tibia) and meniscus tear, and am recovering and doing water exercise for rehabilitation and physio. and yes.. I'm over weight and out of shape.. (but have never been skinny in my life, even when swimming, and that can be traced as a family trait as well).

I have been a member of Forever Fitness.. been in business for maybe 3 years, but have changed venues a couple of time and have just reopened a new location.

so I will ask a questions back to you. beside having an Olympic background, what will make your facility any different that what is already here. as said.. there are many and varied place to go get fit in Barbados.. and we also have our own Olympians that people look up to and want to be like. We do have a big sports culture in Barbados as well.. training all the way through.. Football (Soccer), swimming, track and field, sailing, gymnastics, cricket, equestrian, and the list goes on..

Understand, I'm not trying to discourage (sounds like it, doesn't it).. i'm just being very realistic.. and the island is only 166 square miles.. relatively small.
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Old Feb 4th 2017, 3:39 pm   #5
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunniebgi View Post
.... and the island is only 166 square miles.. relatively small.
And IMO more significantly, has a population of less than 300,000, so it is a tiny market compared to London.

Approximately 40,000 of the population are identified as being in poverty, where the poverty income threshold is BD$5,500/yr/person, which is only US$2,750, or about £2,300 - which is about 1/6 of what the US defines as poverty! So I am pretty certain that a lot of the population that isn't technically "in poverty" isn't going to be in the market for a swanky healthcub membership either.
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Old Feb 6th 2017, 11:07 am   #6
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

people in Barbados are quite resourceful in many things they do.. thus the "back yard work out stations", the home gyms made out of what thy can find etc. They use the southcoast board walk to walk, as well as the Fitness Stations that have been put up around the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports complex and Gymnasium.

and yes.. while many will not join a gym.. there are many that will, for the prestige.. but I still want to know what will be the real difference .. I cannot access a website for what is listed above.. my firewall software warns me not to go there..
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Old Feb 17th 2017, 3:56 pm   #7
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Its interesting, i think people who arent there do have a lot of misconceptions about how sophisticated life can be on small islands.

Grenada is 120k people but we must have a dozen gyms, some with all the toys and high profile supporters. I have been asked similar questions about other business opportunities - hair styling and nail saons - by the bucket load - cycle hire - amazingly for such a mountainous place with bad roads we have at least 3 shops plus a racing club.

Recently the first 10 pin bowling facility opened, its rammed daily now, but 6 months - we'll see.
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Old Feb 17th 2017, 3:58 pm   #8
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Ocean distance swimming, triathlon and hashing are also popular.
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Old Feb 22nd 2017, 9:57 pm   #9
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

There is also the reminder here that anyone can start any business in Barbados providing it is deemed ethical and legal but this gives no one the rights to reside or work in Barbados...including the owner, backer or director of a business. These rights are completely separate from the right to register and set up a business ..assessed and awarded by completely separate entities and Immigration will only be concerned as to the ongoing financial benefit to the island of such business if they are asked to consider status based on owning it
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Old Apr 2nd 2017, 3:49 am   #10
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

It seem that Linda PT has opened a facebook page and is advertising her Nordic Wellness Barbados as opening in 2018. She says on here, that she will be in Barbados this month, but I seriously doubt she has done any type of due dilagince in what it will take to actually start, built and open a facility of that type here (or buy, renovate etc) considering the current state of the financial aspect of this island. and I still don't think she understand she can't just open a facility and also work there, if she doesn't automatically have the ability to do so.

anyway. doesn't seem she's coming back this side as well.. we shall see.
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Old Apr 2nd 2017, 11:36 am   #11
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Brave approach [using british govt speak]. If the immigration people se it she'll presumably be in bother when she arrives asking for a tourist visa...
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Old Apr 2nd 2017, 2:08 pm   #12
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_grenada View Post
Brave approach [using british govt speak]. If the immigration people se it she'll presumably be in bother when she arrives asking for a tourist visa...
The website link on her Facebook page, is broken.
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Old Apr 2nd 2017, 5:22 pm   #13
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

it's likely not published yet.. it appears she has investors, talking to real estate agents and has spoken to a local "invest" organizations that would know how to navigate these waters.. so she certainly will not be coming in as a tourist.

I don't wish her ill, even though some would say I do.. however.. gyms come and go.. the strong survive.. and not all bajans have deep pockets and not all deep pocketed tourists are here year round.. Funny thing that..
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Old Apr 2nd 2017, 5:30 pm   #14
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

As the MD of a firm here once said 'its easy to make a small fortune here, just arrive with a large fortune...'. Im surprised at how many gyms we have good ones too, and very reasonably priced in 1st world terms. Even the oap and resident discounts are good.

The thing that does surprise me - in places like dubai all the 5* hotels run huge pools and gyms as health clubs and for their guests. Here the hotels just dont. Their gyms appear unused 95% of the time.
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Old Apr 3rd 2017, 12:40 pm   #15
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Default Re: Open Fitness business in Barbados

Lol UK Grenada that is an amazing statement if I understand it correctly - does that mean come to Bim with a large fortune and end up with the remaining small one lol?

Sunnie - re Linda PT we can only give advice and if its not what people want to hear then she may feel she has nothing to loose - she may get lucky sometimes people decide to gamble on their dreams where as we are more the solid do our homework and not break the rules type - having said that look where they at got me lolololol!!
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