According to money.cnn.com, Nashville is receiving 31,153 people every year and growing. With this growth, consumers simply are inundated with choices. This is a growth city but it also means that you’ve got to market and make calculated moves to stay in front of your audience here.
In order to start a successful business in Nashville – we’ve compiled a list of 4 things that you must have done before you cut the big red ribbon.
1. Be an active part of the community.
Join the Nashville Chamber of commerce: https://www.nashvillechamber.com/membership/investment-levels and get involved in what makes Nashville unique. Your membership will help you gain visibility, build a network and grow professionally. In addition, the Chamber will listen to your needs and advocate on your behalf regarding key legislative issues. Get connected with important players in Nashville business and create a network to help grow your brand.
Join the Nashville Entrepreneur Center: http://www.ec.co/ This non-profit supports entrepreneurs by providing valuable mentorships to help them navigate the path of a startup lifecycle. The Nashville Entrepreneur Center provides year-round initiatives in the music and healthcare communities as well as physical communities, where startups can have a home with options like co-working space and dedicated desks. Your membership will provide you valuable advice and networking.
What other local groups does your business work with? Research and join. You’ll make connections that will grow your business organically – through relationships. Nashville, despite its growth, will never be a New York or San Francisco. We are still a tight knit, helpful, and relationship-centered city. To grow here, become engrossed in the community and help. Cut throat business will get you nowhere but lending a helping hand without asking for anything in return will put people in your corner southern style.
2. Budget and Enlist Experts.
A common mistake new business owners make is thinking as long as they can get a large sum of money, they start a business checking account and surely it will suffice to cover expenses. It doesn’t work. Don’t get so busy in other aspects of the business that you lose track of spending and carefully curated books. Make a detailed budget before you spend a dime. If you aren’t an expert at budgeting and finance, enlist the help of someone who is. “So many startups make the mistake of hiring professional help after crucial moves have been made. Hire a professional early. You’ll save money and you’ll save yourself from making critical and costly mistakes” said Tommy Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Cohen CPA, working with Nashville businesses for over 25 years.
Considering that a lot of entrepreneurs tend to be more “big picture” thinkers, crunching numbers is not a favorite task. As such, is too often glazed over. Think about every aspect of your business budget and make a plan, then stick to it. Be disciplined and thoughtful or you’ll be out of business. (forbes.com)
3. Spend Marketing Money Strategically.
If you want to be seen in the 7th fastest growing city in the country, you’ll want to make smart marketing materials and investments. This can mean staying prepared and printed with everything from business cards to banners. We like Advocate Printing http://advocateprinting.net as they have skilled designers on-hand, quick turnaround time, and good pricing.
When you create these materials make sure that you are thinking about the Nashville consumer, inundated with new choices. It would be wise to include your location or city subset in your marketing materials: “Edge Hill’s Finest Eatery” so that Nashvillians can find you. Don’t get caught up in a “cool vibe” and forsake functionality, websites, and basic information so that the inundated consumer is able to find you.
4. Start a social media following.
You don’t need brick and mortar or customers to start your buzz. Get on social media in as many avenues as possible. Nashville is full of artists, musicians, families, and professionals – reach out to each of these demographics within your target market and start somewhere. This might mean tweets like “Can’t wait to join the ranks of Nashville success like ______.” <-insert competitor” to bandwagon followers. Don’t wait until your grand opening. Do this now.
According to Entrepreneur magazine: “For those willing to hustle, the Nashville sense of community, camaraderie and friendliness opens some big doors.” In a city of 650,000+ we trust that you will feel right at home with your new business in the biggest little city in the country. Welcome ya’ll!