I know Nashville pretty well. Lived in Brentwood. My Daughter lives in Franklin & works in N'ville. Some of the Metro areas are not "Cart Friendly".
Here are the steps I suggest:
- Research locations and pick several of them. Count cars and pedestrians. Check for all food competitors. # of offices, homes & apartments nearby. Accessability - You need a concentration of people with easy access to the location. Find some that might work.
- Go to the Government agencies and Health Depts that govern those locations and learn EVERYTHING from them that would apply to those locations. See if it's even permissable to operate a cart in those locations. If not permitted or too restrictive, repeat steps 1 & 2.
- Keep doing that until you find a location that will work before you spend a dime on anything else.
Here's some advice I gave another Roadfood'er with similar circumstances:
"As a Small Business Consultant, I can tell you the #1 issue in small business failures is the lack of proper preparation and adequate start-up and working capital.
Regardless of the type of business, whether is selling shoes or BBQ skewers, most entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they're in the business of selling their products.
WRONG!! They're in the business of managing their financial resources.
Positive Cash flow is King!
As good as your products may be and as good as your sales and marketing plan may be, unless you have the financial resources to start, maintain and build your business, you will die a slow and painful death known as Negative Cash Flow.
My point is---while you're scheming and dreaming about your business, you need to be building a financial savings base because in today's world, there are very few outside resources to finance a business. As the saying goes, "Figure out how much you need---then double it!"
There are different levels of risk. Based on your family profile, you should be looking at yourself as a low risk investor. So focus your time and efforts on "crunching the numbers", get outside help from a experienced business accountant if you can afford it, or save up enough money to afford one.
Do adequate Due Diligence into every aspect of the business and when you think you have it figured out, do it again.
The less capital you have, the higher the risk. You need to determine what your level of personal risk is. What are you willing to loose if it doesn't work?This may not be what you want to hear but it's the real world.
Remember---Happiness is a Positive Cash Flow.
How do I know all of this?
In my case, it took a personal and business bankruptcy to figure this out.
I bought a 25 year old established business with good products and I had a good sales & marketing plan. I did not do good Due Diligence and had numerous "Surprises" after buying the business that drained my capital. What I didn't have was adequate capital to pay for my mistakes, maintain and build the business. I died the slow, painful Negative Cash Flow Death!"
<message edited by Foodbme on Sat, 08/25/12 7:58 PM>