We’ve blogged about starting a new wheelchair business in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta, but there is so much more to keeping it going.
When we started Beach Crossers we learned so much about all of the hoops you have to jump to have an international business. The banking, website, shopping cart and so on. The SSL, SEO, SAT, IRS, TRV, and other acronyms became common parts of our language.
Now that the beach wheelchair business has a year under our business belts there are new things to learn.
Understanding the cultural differences in the area we are working is a process. One of the things that has been interesting is that if we don’t do business at a resort for a couple of months they think we are out of business and no longer call. We have to continually go back to each resort and remind them that our wheelchair rental business is still active and that we are around to assist their guests.
I’m not sure what happens to the old rack cards that we drop off, but each time we visit they are completely out. Did they give them to guests? I don’t think so because that would have resulted in at least a few calls. Maybe after another year they will keep our promotional materials. I actually wonder how long that will take.
There is some competition in town. We spotted another wheelchair accessible van. We’ve since found out that they charge far more than we do so we’re not too worried about it. There is also another wheelchair rental company, but they’ve been around for years and rumor is that they don’t answer their phones. We are trying to be uber available to the concierges and guests. We’re also getting active in the expat medical community. I’ll write again as the medical expo comes around. That is going to be an interesting experience.
Today we actually had 6 products rented at various resorts. That was a new record for us. Someday hopefully that will be our average. We are definitely going to need more scooters. It’s weird, but when we started this business we thought that beach wheelchairs would be our primary product, but now we rent more scooters, power chairs, manual chairs and walkers. I would have thought people would bring those things with them when they travel, but it turns out that they always get damaged on the flight so people would rather rent. The accessible van has been really busy too. We are planning to have another before the season next year.
So for now I am thinking that quitting my teaching job in Washington State and moving to this tropical paradise of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to start a mobility rental company has been a dream come true. I wish I had done this 10 years ago, but all things in their own time.
As a side note, as all of my friends back in the states are posting pictures of fresh snow I can honestly say I am thoroughly enjoying these warm temperatures and sunshine.
I will definitely write about celebrating Thanksgiving in my next blog. I am so very excited to share this holiday experience with my good friends and new family here in Mexico. They are equally excited and have begun to call us the pilgrims. It feels like a true Thanksgiving to have two cultures come together to share food and fellowship. I have so much to be thankful for.