Many people around the world re-locate or purchase holiday homes in different countries. Like so many others we chose our destination ‘Bulgaria’.
The language barrier can be a bit of an issue in the beginning which makes communication rather difficult. Here in the UK, we can find anything we want nearby within seconds, searching online directories. I found this was not the case in Bulgaria. All countries have their differences but I still wanted to see a directory for Bulgaria.
Not only did I have the passion to make this happen, I was on a mission!
I wanted Bulgaria Directory to appeal to everyone, especially the smaller business and individuals. As many small businesses in Bulgaria do not have a website, I wanted to offer the next best thing.
I did wonder if I was wasting my time and money?
Is has not been an easy ride for me (or a cheap one). Having little experience creating websites, at first. It was also getting expensive but I had started and wasn’t going to give up easily.
If I am unable to locate services that I need, how are they going to find me? Some of the older generation may not use the internet, we will be relying on the younger generation to add listings for family members and others in their village.
Bulgaria Directory is non profit, I am not rich but I will make this work.
Spending only 10 days a year in Bulgaria for the first few years, was not the relaxing time that I had in mind. Most of which was searching for buildings to register for utilities. I didn’t have time to visit lots of shops to promote this free service. More on this later.
Even on a UK wage it was an expensive project to complete, To complete the website that you see today was a long slow progress due to financial restrictions.
Creating a website can be inexpensive but the scale of the website that I wanted to achieve comes at a cost. Regardless where you are in the world the costs remain the same.
We were excited about our newly purchased dream Bulgarian holiday home. We wanted to checkout all the local stores for ideas how we could put our stamp on it.
Our last day was allocated to go window shopping in Varna. We wanted to see furniture, electricals and more.
Varna is a large city and our hire car had been returned. Covering Varna on foot, especially when you don’t know where you are going was a bit optimistic. Of course there is public transport but we had no idea which way to head. Once you step outside the cities into the smaller towns you would think it would be easier…. sadly no.
Prior to meeting people and joining social media groups (which can be really helpful) the excitement slowly diminished. I wanted to plan but our plans had to be put on hold….. for now anyway.
Recently we visited Novi Pazar (our nearest town) which did not appear to have any furniture shops. We decided that we would have to go to a city, either Shumen or Varna (our nearest cities). I mentioned this to a friend who recommended a store in Novi Pazar, I had never seen this shop as it was hidden in a back street. They offer a wonderful service with same day delivery. I do not have an image of this store, if anyone could send me one, that would be great.
Novi Pazar Pedistrian Area. There are plenty of shops which I will get round to listing one day.
Social Media Groups
Although there are plenty of helpful people in social media groups, sometimes a quick online search is all you have time for. Also, there are many people that do not use social media and cannot take advantage of the information that is shared within.
There are many things that I would not turn to social media for. If I wanted to buy curtains, I could make a 60km round trip to visit a large store when there is probably someone in my village that makes curtains.
Many groups are against sharing information beyond the group. I personally don’t know why. I understand that a lot of work may have gone into specific posts, so why not share to a larger audience and ask for the credit. Whatever the reason, I ask that you list your group under the category – Other. So new members and easily find you.
Permanent move or holiday home?
When you move to Bulgaria as a full time resident, you get to find your way around, in time.
If you have purchased a holiday home it takes a bit longer. You spend the first few years looking for translators, shops, builders, plasters, and other services that may be required. Where to register for utilities and pay your bills. Holidays seem to come to an end far too soon without time to relax and enjoy your new home.
If all this information was easily accessible. All necessary tasks could be completed in one trip, allowing you to enjoy and relax in your new holiday home on your next trip.
Notary Office in Novi Pazar
Where are all the skilled workers?
When buying from an agent, they will either complete required works for you or provide contacts.
Generally, agents will provide a great renovation job at a good price. However, it is nice to get a comparison.
When you purchase from a private seller, you are on your own in a desperate search for good workmanship.
There are many skilled workers in the towns and villages of Bulgaria and our free service allows them to be found. This is why we encourage pictures with listings, to show examples and for you to see the quality of their work.
There can still be a language barrier. Bulgaria Directory translates from Bulgarian to English and visa versa, solving that issue. We may add more translations in the future.
I wonder if some of the so called ‘ghost towns’ would be just that if work was available. There are lot of foreigners that buy in remote locations of Bulgaria. Most of which are likely to need restoring and will at least need a service of some sort. There should be plenty of opportunities for everyone.
Could ghost towns be restored to their natural beauty?
Surely the opportunities are there as most ghost towns are surrounded by beautiful scenery. Seasonal outdoor cinemas, craft fares, luxury spa resorts, well being retreats and festivals. The profits wouldn’t be massive but it would create jobs, boost the economy and regenerate some life which has sadly been lost.
The initial idea was to list shops and recommended trade persons for those of us that are yet to master the Bulgarian language. Also, I wanted to share our experience of purchasing from a private seller.
The Bulgarian Dream was our starting point but to simplify things, I created a second website.
1 – The Bulgarian Dream was re-named Life in rural Bulgaria which explains the process of buying from a private seller, based on our experience. I am sure others are in a dilemma as whether to buy privately.
2 – Bulgaria First was the modified directory. We never really felt that Bulgaria First was a good fit and changed this to Bulgaria Vibes which still didn’t feel right. Finally we agreed on Bulgaria Directory.
Bulgaria Directory Logo
|*Category||Choose the best category for your business or service.|
|Franchise||Add multiple locations.|
|*Place Title||Name of your business, or the service you offer.|
|*Description||Include as much information as possible.|
|Tags||Add words that describe your business or service.|
|Images||We want to see what you do.|
|*Address||**Place map pin|
|Telephone Number||Mention Languages spoken in your listing|
|Translate enquiries with Google Translate.|
|Website||Link website, if you have one.|
|Social Media||link to your personal or business Twitter or Facebook page.|
I had the time and the passion, I like to keep busy and always have a project on the go. Already having a job that I love allowed the time and the finances.
Bulgaria Directory offers a *FREE full page listing for your business or service.
When you add your *FREE listing you can add as much or little information as you like, choosing some or all of the fields in the column to the right.
We understand that some people like to test the waters to see if there is a need for their business idea. Bulgaria Directory is a great place to start.
The hardest part of starting a new business is getting the information out there.
Maybe you are retired and just looking for something to keep you occupied.
What business idea do you have?
- Do you make crafts or soft furnishings, put your skills to good use.
- Do you speak fluent Bulgarian or speak a second language and want to offer your services?
- Perhaps you are trained as a therapist or are a qualified beautician or hairdresser?
- Are you a fitness fanatic and want to offer personal training locally?
- Starting a book club, tea mornings or offering cookery lessons.
If you have an idea, give it a go, there’s nothing to lose.
Bulgaria Directory is a free service (with the exception of real estate agents and property listings) to make it accessible for everyone. Especially, new businesses and individuals that offer a service on a part time basis.
Customers can find you quickly with Bulgaria Directory.
A full page listing to showcase your business or service.
Why we offer property listings and charge if non profit.
We see Bulgarian properties for sale everywhere including auction sites and property portals.
Problems Associated with property and auction sites.
Firstly, these methods were not designed specifically for Bulgaria so fees are expensive. The cost of living in Bulgaria and property prices are lower than that of the countries these websites were designed for.
We charge a fee more in line with the cost of properties in Bulgaria and our fees are in Bulgarian Leva.
Secondly, there is a matter of trust. I have been researching since 2014 and the biggest issue for buyers is who to trust, this is why we offer a review system.
There are many agents in Bulgaria that offer a great service, providing everything for a smooth transition into Bulgarian life.
Our review system helps buyers find reputable agents.
There are also sellers that prefer to sell privately, sometimes with the help of a neighbour or friend that speaks a 2nd language, if they do not.
When purchasing from a private seller you should appoint a lawyer. If you decide to go it alone you will at least need to find a government registered translator. Even if you speak the language.
That’s just the way it is in Bulgaria
What happens with profits from property listings?
Our fees will pay for the running costs of Bulgaria Directory and the remainder will be distributed between Bulgarian charities.
Which charities will benefit?
Dog rescue charities and we are also looking for other charities that help people in need. If you run a charity in Bulgaria please list. If you are aware of any charities in Bulgaria please let me know in the comments below.
Listing your properties with Bulgaria Directory is affordable and helps those in need.
Who will benefit in general?
- All Businesses located in Bulgaria
- New start ups.
- Sole Traders
- Bulgarian Nationals
Our slogan……. For Bulgarians, ex pats and those just passing through.
Holiday makers looking to see the real Bulgaria, off the beaten track.
Everyone looking to locate everything from the best restaurants and bars, guest houses, where to shop, what to do, recommended trade persons and everything in-between.
Bulgaria Directory is currently available in English and Bulgarian, more languages may be added at a later date.
Our sign up process is simple requiring just the necessities as follows:
- Choose a password
We do not have a newsletter and we do not send marketing emails. We do have a blog and would like to encourage guest articles as we welcome and value your input.
- Was you born in Bulgaria?
- Are you an expat who started a business in Bulgaria?
- Have you retired to Bulgaria?
Its all about Bulgaria and we want to hear your story. If you would like to contribute, please get in touch. We are sorry that we cannot pay as we are non profit. Do you love Bulgaria too? If you do I am sure that you will want to have your say .
No true review is a bad review and those that are less complimentary helps a business to improve their service.
Adding a review does not require registration as we have made it simple to encourage reviews.
We will check reviews for approval prior to publishing. On occasions reviews can be detrimental with the intention to harm a business. Reviews of this nature will not be published.
Supporting your community
Feel free list a business near you, I am sure that many locals would be grateful of this.
We would love to see village shops listed. If you would like to add details of a village shop near you that would be awesome as Bulgaria Directory is all about providing information. Potential house buyers would like to get a feel for the area they are considering moving to.
What could you do to help?
Why not add a picture of you and the locals are enjoying a drink outside with a brief description of what’s on offer inside. Or you could just add a picture of the outside and inside if this is permitted.
My question to you. Are you as passionate about your business? and would you turn down the opportunity of free publicity for the business that earns your living?
To good health and success on the exit of Covid 19
If you like what we do and would like to add a link to your website, just copy and paste the following code.
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