Should You Start a Business in Nashville?

If you are a resident of Nashville, Tennessee and you are looking to start a business in 2021, then many reports conclude that you are in the right place! Named as one of the best cities in the US to start a business by Inc.com, if you have been forced to restart your career by the COVID pandemic, then you may want to research the opportunities available in regards to starting your own business.

Inc.com compiled the report and ranked cities according to criteria which included available funding for startups, wage growth, net business creation and job creation. Nashville has specific organisations that aim to help new businesses get off the ground, including Launch Tennessee and Nashville Entrepreneur Center. 

Nashville is known for its music, its food and hospitality. The area is also known for having a growing economy. Major cities such as New York are still attracting talented graduates and millennials. However, thanks to housing becoming unaffordable and many cities lacking a sense of community and a work/life balance that promotes wellbeing – other cities such as Nashville are benefitting from talented people who are seeking a somewhat easier and friendlier way of life.

People who move to Nashville and successfully start and run a business will have an opportunity to buy and own property. This opportunity is the exception rather than the rule in major, crowded cities. 

The Nashville startup community is known for being helpful and creative. The community, like many in Nashville, will look to help each other succeed, rather than compete or outdo each other when unnecessary. Speaking of competition – the housing market is not as competitive in many other areas with a burgeoning startup scene, with many properties available to buy at affordable prices, in and around the city center.

With the cost of living said to be 50% less than in New York, Nashville is a great place for graduate, entrepreneurs and business owners to put down roots. 

Organizations who Can Help

If you are starting a small business in Tenessee, there are several organizations that you can turn to for help. Tennessee Small Business Development Center, for example, have offices all around the state including a Nashville center. Nashville also has its own – Nashville Entrepreneur Center which offers to connect you with business advisors and mentors.

Starting a Business is Not Easy

The US Small Business Administration reports that at least 50% of businesses close down within 5 years of being established. The Administration attributes this to a lack of experience, a lack of planning and a lack of capital.

You may have a passion for the business sector that your startup will operate within, but you will also have to work long hours, fill in lots of paperwork and do other ancillary operations such as marketing and even phone call answering.

Remember that you can look to outsource rather than employ people directly. It can also save you time and money if you research apps and software related to your business. Many free and paid-for apps can help to reduce the burden of tedious administrative work for example. You can also look to hire a local or overseas virtual assistant or virtual receptionist for a reasonable cost. Assistants can help with administrative work, whilst websites such as PeoplePerHour, UpWork and Moneypenny can help with specific and highly skilled tasks such as website development.

You can also visit MoneyBrighter to learn how to start an LLC and get things moving in the right direction.

Write a Business Plan

A lot of thought and research should go into starting a new business. Make sure that the planning is meticulous and that the decision to start your own business is a logical, not emotional one! Starting a business can be as easy as buying some stock and signing a lease on commercial property – and this can allow impulsive decisions.

Start by writing a business plan. Make sure the business plan covers start-up costs, marketing, operations,

management and overhead costs.  

Your plan should also include:

Market Analysis – Who are the competitors? What are their strengths & weaknesses?

Target Audience – Who are your prospective clients? Where do they hang out online and in ‘real-life’? What problems do they have that you can solve?

Finances – How will you fund the business startup costs?

Executive Summary – This normally includes the mission, the company directors, the services or products on offer and a summary of the market, your business’s competitive advantage and financial projections.

One aspect of starting a business that can cause problems is the financing of startup costs. Many people go ‘all in’ and risk all their savings and the savings of family and friends. If people are lending you money, it is generally advised that you should write up a contract to make sure everywhere is fully aware of the risks and potential benefits involved. You can borrow money from the bank in the form of a loan, and you might be eligible to apply for an SBA loan. The TSBDC also advises not to use credit cards to fund the business. Using credit cards is fine, just not to lend money on for long periods. There are grants available, but they can be difficult to acquire if the business is not educational or offer some service that directly benefits the community. For more information on grants, see the Tennessee Small Business Grants website.

Speak to a Lawyer

Speak to a lawyer or attorney, so that you can decide on the format of your business. A lawyer will help you decide whether or not it is a good idea to establish a sole proprietor, a partnership, Limited Liability Company, an S-corporation or a C-corporation.

Licenses may also differ according to exactly where the business will be located and the type of business. Local and state taxes and tax laws also need to be accounted for. With this in mind, it can be a good idea to hire a Certified Public Accountant.

An accountant can help minimize financial risk, help you to complete paperwork related to legal papers, registrations and filings with the Internal Revenue Service. They can also provide or help you to choose spreadsheet templates or accounting software which will help with income statements. You can ensure that you apply with all government taxes and related laws.

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