Being an entrepreneur in a small town can be tough. There are fewer people, fewer suppliers, and fewer opportunities to build a large business. Many business ideas simply won’t work in small towns or you’ll have even more trouble getting started.
When it comes to starting a business, there are loads of factors that needs to be considered like the size / population of the city town you intending starting the business, the level of competitions you are likely going to face, and of course the availability of market for you services or products.
That said, there are many benefits to conducting business in a small town once you have the right business ideas. You can enjoy less competition and become well-known in the community, so marketing yourself and achieving repeat customers is easier.
Here we have a raft of business ideas that can work well in small towns. It’s all in the execution, of course, but these kinds of businesses can be found in small towns all over the world. We have a lot to cover, so we have linked to supporting materials where we can.
These provide more detail for some of the more complex business ideas in this guide, so we can move on to the next great idea. Before we get into the business ideas, we have some tips on entrepreneurship when you’re in a small town. Startups fail all the time, in both the big cities and the small towns of America, so you’ll still need entrepreneurial skills to succeed.
Don’t think that a small town business will be easier than a big-city venture. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, sure, but starting a business is still hard work. By keeping these tips in mind, you should find it easier to start a business in a small town.
Small Town Business ideas That Will Stick and Succeed
Coffee shops have been social hubs since medieval times. Likewise, pubs, bars, and other alcohol-serving establishments have also been at the center of towns for centuries. If you want to capture local interest, starting a coffee shop and/or bar seems to be the way to do it.
Unfortunately, you’re virtually guaranteed to have stiff competition. A town without one of these is a town in decline, which is a red flag for startups. Instead, you’ll want to outcompete others and become the best spot to hang out in the town.
A merged coffee shop and bar can cater to everybody, selling coffee and snacks during the day and beer and wine during the night. In most places, you’ll need to have certain licenses to serve alcohol. By serving both, daytime customers smoothly transition into evening customers, because nobody drinks coffee at night.
For a small town, make the space homely and keep it modest. You don’t want it to be artificial and feel too glitzy like some big-wig establishment has rolled into town.
Everybody has pets. In fact, many small towns and rural areas are full of pets like dogs that may need some TLC. That’s why starting a dog grooming & boarding service is a great idea for small towns. If there’s farmland around, there are farm dogs that get dirtier than city dogs, and that’s what we call repeat business.
The pet care industry is huge in the US and it’s only growing. In a small town with enough people, there should be enough pets around to make some money by grooming and caring for domesticated animals.
They’re also a convenience service, which means that the closest, easily accessible business is the one that gets all the customers. If people are going to the neighboring town to get their pet groomed, they’ll save time and money by going to you instead. As for growth, many of these businesses open small stores selling pet supplies and toys, too.
With a coffee shop/bar, we said to keep things modest. In small towns, however, they tend to lack a clothing store with great, high-quality options, so starting a clothing boutique may be a great idea. Consider the kinds of people in town and offer great clothing at a reasonable price point.
It’s not uncommon for people to travel to neighboring towns and cities to do their clothes shopping, so finding a profitable clothes store model can capture the town’s interest. This becomes harder if there are other clothing stores in town or a nearby mall.
Another problem is staying up to date. Good stock can become bad stock fast if fashion trends get ahead of you. It also helps to have the best point-of-service tech so you can do business and clear stock faster and more efficiently.
4. Vape Shop
The cities are already full of vape shops, so competing there is very difficult. For small towns, however, there may be a profitable niche you can exploit. While niche, it’s also an exploding industry in the USA right now.
Opening a vape shop may be more difficult if you’re in areas where stringent permits are required. Often those are in place because there is a large customer base for vape products, however, and so they want to make sure they’re all safe.
People in small towns also smoke more than those in the city, so vape stock can sell well if it’s offered as an alternative to harmful nicotine-based products. Cigarettes are also becoming more and more expensive, so many working-class people are looking to jump ship and find healthier cheaper alternatives.
Many small towns have a bakery. Like bars, they are a staple that the townsfolk use for savory and sweet treats, from meat pies to birthday cakes. If your targeted town doesn’t have one, you should consider filling that gap in the market. If the town does have one or two, find ways to stand out and compete.
Of all the business ideas we have covered so far, this one requires a lot of skill to stand out from the crowd. You need to know how to bake good products and make them look good, too. Getting employees can be easy if there’s a lot of youth in the community, plus that’ll help make inroads with the locals. When trying to stay competitive, pricing pastry can get difficult while still making a profit.
Along with bakeries, small towns need to get groceries and other foodstuffs too. These are another of those convenience services, where the closest and most accessible stores tend to do the best in terms of customer interaction.
Only the smallest of towns won’t have a grocery store, so you’ll probably be competing against somebody. Fortunately, grocery stores are solid, practical businesses that have a lot of versatility. You can take them in many different directions, specializing in certain products to stand out from your competitors.
Can you make a storefront that sells something new, food that nobody else in the town has sold before? If you can, you’re already ahead of every other startup in the area code. Once you source the products, they should be a hit with the local community. Specialty food shops are usually built around one of these three things:
- National/regional food from other places.
- A wide selection of a few foods (like cheese and wine).
- Homemade recipes that can’t be found anywhere else.
Do you know what small towns have over cities? Grass – and a lot of it. In small towns, it’s common for most houses to have gardens. There aren’t many domineering apartment blocks, like in the city, so almost everybody has a garden that needs trimming and tending.
That’s where you can come in. This business model is reliable and scalable, two things that are perfect for a new startup.
Sourcing customers should be a breeze as long as you’re reasonably priced and do good work so that your reputation isn’t trashed before you get off the ground. It also guarantees repeat business as the same customers will come back every season.
8. Food Truck
Food trucks are great for serving small towns, though they are at the mercy of the weather and the seasons more than a storefront business. The food can be as varied or as specific as you want, though there’s a reason many trucks stick to the classics like burgers, hot dogs, and tacos. If you choose to do one kind of food, do it well.
If there are many events in the area, like market fairs, seasonal festivals, and sports games, then showing up can be a great way to pocket some cash. In some areas, you’ll be able to comfortably service multiple towns without pouring every free hour into the business. You can go to the crowds, instead of baiting the crowds to come to you.
9. Thrift Shop
While city living doesn’t allow for a lot of clutter, small-town homes can gather a lot of trash that they don’t need anymore. Starting a thrift store can be a great way to buy the town’s unwanted items and sell them on. Thrift stores are ideal for those who are looking for cheap furniture and specialized clothing.
Sourcing items is easy if you establish yourself in the community. People will literally walk into your front door with bags of donated items! From there, you need to wrestle with inventory logistics and make sure you turn a profit by selling the items to interested parties.
10. Tutoring Service
Another business idea that relies heavily on becoming part of the local community is tutoring. With the Internet, people can find guides at the swipe of a finger – you are here, after all.
But with that said, offering personal, in-person tutoring can still be successful as long as you are qualified and trusted by the community. People learn best from a fellow human, not a computer screen, and so you can offer that for a profit to the local community and its youth.
What you teach is up to you. Typically tutors help with academic topics, though you could start a driving instructor business once you’re licensed to do so. To scale academic tutoring, you’ll need to acquire people who can teach reading, writing, math, and science-related subjects.
11. Car Wash
Speaking of driving, you may be able to start a car wash and make some profit. You don’t need fancy machinery, just some cleaning equipment and a bay for people to leave their cars with you. Location is the most important factor here.
The best place for a car wash is at the main entrance/exit of a small town, preferably surrounded by messy, muddy, dusty countryside that will make the cars dirty. When those cars have been out, they’ll rejoin civilization by getting cleaned by you.
Gyms and exercise places are another great convenience service where people flock to the closest one, as long as it’s not asking for too much. That said, they do much better in places where the weather is colder, so exercising outside is out of the question.
Exercise studios/boutiques are doing better than gyms right now but there will always be people who want to pursue their fitness goals. Gathering equipment can be a significant investment, so identifying an enthusiastic customer base is essential. Towns with a bustling sports scene are the obvious targets for a business like this.
Most small towns have a restaurant. Like other food-serving establishments, restaurants can be varied enough that you don’t need to compete with your neighbors. If there are restaurants in the town, try not to offer the same menus as they do.
Running a restaurant can be very stressful, however. You need a great point-of-service system to stay on top of busy nights, a source of good, enthusiastic employees, and a chef team that knows what they are doing. Reputation and service quality are very important when opening a restaurant.
Scalability can come from opening multiple venues across other towns, building the brand. It can also come from offering takeaway food by getting a driving employee to deliver food.
14. Sports Bar
Sports bars are the rowdy evolution of our first business idea – the coffee shop/bar. With a sports bar, the idea is also to create a space where people can come to relax, but this time there’s a massive TV showing guys charging at each other. Football, baseball, boxing, and UFC events are very, very popular at sports bars.
You’ll need a sophisticated point-of-service system designed for busy bars to keep up with the chaos but, if you can maintain an acceptable standard of service and keep the right atmosphere, the customers will keep themselves happy.
These businesses are just like the specialty foods that we’ve already talked about. Instead, their unique selling point isn’t the gimmick of new, exotic, interesting recipes – it’s about being healthy instead. Healthy food is hard to come by, especially in some small towns that don’t have farmer’s markets.
As such, you can start a shop that offers healthy organic food for a decent price. People will always be interested in healthier alternatives if it’s affordable and convenient. Sourcing organic food in the countryside should be easier than in the city, too.
People need grooming too, which is why starting a hair salon or barbershop can be a great idea. No matter a person’s age, they’ll need to get their hair cut several times a year, on average. Barbershops tend to just cut hair, which needs to be done by somebody that knows how to cut hair and achieve certain styles.
With an experienced barber, men will pay handsomely to get a good haircut. Hair salons, however, can offer a wide range of beauty products and services. Many hair salons start off as or transition into beauty salons, where they offer hair dying, manicures, pedicures, and professional makeup as well.
17. Ice Cream Shop
In small towns where there isn’t much variety, starting an ice cream shop can be a great idea. Everybody loves ice cream (just remember to stock dairy-free alternatives) and it has enough flavors and types to keep things varied and interesting.
You should stock the most popular flavors and not be afraid to introduce new concoctions if they are tasty. Working in an ice cream shop often means a lot of night and weekend work, however, when people are relaxed, looking for a good time, and want something sweet to eat.
These perform better in warm areas, naturally. Fewer people go for ice cream in the winter, though the seasons do provide an opportunity to create and sell special flavors based on the seasons.
18. Home Improvement
If you or somebody you know is a handyman, you should consider offering home improvement services. You don’t even need a storefront for this one, you can use a van and keep everything stored at your home. Handymen already have the tools lying around anyway, so there won’t be much overhead to get started.
You just need to put your name and number out there. Many small towns need to contract larger companies to come in, sometimes weeks in advance. As a small independent contractor, you are more agile and can do your work on shorter notice, getting paid for your timeliness.
19. Gift Card Shop
You may not have given it much thought but gift cards are a multi-billion dollar industry in America. Most of that is trafficked through supermarkets, of course, but there aren’t many of those in a small town. When so many people are buying multiple greetings cards every year, there’s a lot of money to be made if you can become the town’s #1 spot for greetings and gift cards.
The profit margins can be quite high once you’re established. As for scalability, gift card shops often expand to become gift shops, offering the whole package. The inventory can be as varied as you want, to meet the needs of the town based on your most common-selling cards.
20. Flower Shop
Just like gift cards, people also need to buy flowers from time to time. Whether it’s a special occasion or somebody has messed up, there is usually enough business to make a buck. The real secret to the profitability of flower shops is how cheap they are to set up.
They have few startup costs, making them one of the cheapest ideas here. You’ll need to have the store, the plant seeds, and a cooler to keep them fresh for when product turnover isn’t very fast. You’ll also need to figure out delivery if you want to compete with larger, online services from out of town.
21. Cleaning Service
A cleaning service will function very similarly to a home improvement service, though most people are better at cleaning than they are with a toolbox! You don’t need a storefront, just the ability to turn up at customers’ properties and clean the place up.
Just like the handymen, you’ll be more agile than larger cleaning services from out of town, so you can build a loyal client base, and it comes with little overhead.
Your small town may lack a quality bookstore. There’s a reason for that, of course, as the publishing industry turns towards digital products. However, that doesn’t mean a bookstore can’t work when combined with other services. People are still reading books; the trick is getting them into the store where they’ll pick up the books instead of downloading them.
Bookstores should be quiet, convenient places where you may also sell crafts, gifts, e-reading devices, and even amenities like tea and coffee. It needs to be a hangout spot, essentially, and it can even be used as a place to host events. Right now, that’s the best way to bring bookstores into the 21st Century and make some money while doing it.
Having mentioned selling e-readers, why not sell other electronics? As you’d expect, the overhead can be high on acquiring electronic stock, which is why these businesses usually specialize. Identify a device that is common in the town, start a shop that sells that device, and repairs walk-ins.
Drones are an emerging market in some rural and suburban areas. This is usually for photography and videography purposes, so having beautiful vistas in the local area would be ideal if starting a commercial drone dealership.
If the small town is a tourist trap or is located near one, you can make money with a bed and breakfast business. This is where guests show up to your property, which can be your home if you don’t have a second place, and then stay there, and are catered to by you or somebody you’re working with.
Most places have a bed and breakfast but, if the area is popular, there should always be tourists looking for a place to stay.
The flow of tourists will be very season-based, however. You can start small but you need to make sure the place looks good and is comfortable, and you’ll need to make good breakfast food. For more sophisticated operations, you’ll need a point-of-service system to keep track of things.
25. Bowling Alley
This is one of the most expensive business ideas on the list, though it is also one of the most profitable ones too. In a small town, opening a bowling alley can quickly become the town’s social and entertainment hub.
Bowling alleys charge to play, eat, and drink at the establishment, including serving alcoholic drinks. They can also be rented out for events or expanded with an arcade or gaming section. If pursuing an idea with high overhead like this, you need to have a solid business plan.
If you’re passionate about beer and know how to brew it, you can start a microbrewery in the town. Even with bars around, microbreweries can be interesting and offer a unique selection of drinks instead of the same old beverages that every pub offers.
Microbreweries are easy to market in small towns that have a lot of drinking-age youth. University towns are a great place to start a microbrewery.
Starting a massage therapy business is also possible when you’re in a small town. Rural areas are full of people who do hard work, so you may find that you’ll get a lot of business. You’ll need to be trained and skilled as a massage therapist, or hire somebody who is, to do business properly and find success.
You will need to be licensed, too. Massage therapists can have a property they work from or they can have mobile apparatus that allows them to work remotely. They also set their own hours, so it can be a great side gig for you.
28. Clothing Line
It’s possible to start a clothing line from a small town, though scalability will be an issue. Nowadays, it’s possible to start a clothing line from your home and, when you do, you can start by approaching local businesses and selling your product to them.
You’ll need to be skilled at designing clothing that looks good, follows trends, but isn’t too unoriginal or plain. If successful, you can sell to neighboring towns and cities until you’ve grown beyond the small town. Even then, you can still headquarter your operation from there. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t need to go to the city to build a large business.
29. Book Publishing
As we mentioned earlier on this page, the publishing industry has become heavily digitized and oriented on the Internet. You can capitalize on this by starting a book publishing company from your small town, whether that’s selling your own books or others, or a bit of both.
You’ll need a professional brand with a strong online presence to source customers and, if you’re recruiting writers, them too. From your home or a small office, you can solicit publishing opportunities and then sell e-books on online marketplaces like Amazon.
If you live in a small town where people find it difficult to access clean and portable water, then you should consider opening a water refill station. Water refill station is of course a business that can do pretty well in a small town; it requires low running cost and it is indeed a profitable business.
33. Sale of Call Cards and Data Bundles
Selling of call cards and data for different networks is another easy to start business that an entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town. Aside from people that subscribe to post – paid packages for their mobile phones / GSM, most people buy call cards and data on a regular basis.
Depending on the country you reside, there are several telecommunications companies that you can deal in their call cards and data bundles. Selling call cards and data bundles is a simple, easy to establish retail business that does not require any skills.
As a matter of fact, this type of business can thrive in any location as long as there are people who make use of mobile telecommunication and the internet.
Gourmet business is another typical retailing business that can do pretty well in a small town. If you are looking for a simple but highly thriving small business to start, then you need to consider starting a gourmet retailing business. It is indeed a profitable business and if you want to make the best out of this type of business, then position your gourmet outlet around a cinema, football viewing center, sports center and outdoors event centers.
33. Drinks and Table Water Retailing Business
Drinks and table water retailing business is yet another viable and profitable business that any serious minded entrepreneur can successfully launch in a small town.
Once you start the retailing of minerals, soft drinks, wines, beer, other alcoholic drinks and table water, you are sure going to make good sales if the business is well located. Just ensure that you have a fridge to always keep the drinks and water chill. You can run this type of business from your home.
If you are looking towards starting a retailing business as an entrepreneur and you live in a community where you can easily have access to fresh vegetable and fruits, then you should consider opening a vegetable and fruits mart. It is indeed a simple business that requires little start – up capital and as a matter of fact, any serious minded entrepreneur can successfully run this type of business.
This type of business does not require any special skills to run and it is important to state that if you stock your mart with varieties of fruits and vegetables, you can easily attract customers. You have to however, have good business acumen.
Frozen food mart is another typical retailing business and it is indeed a thriving and profitable business venture. Frozen foods such as fish, chickens, turkeys et al are generally consumes worldwide. So if you are looking for a business to start in a small town; a business that is not capital intensive and simple to manage, then you need to consider setting – up a frozen food mart.
It is important to state that the location you choose to start this type of business will go a long way to determine if the business will become successful. The ideal place to locate this type of business is market place or residential estates et al.
36. Open a Meat Mart
Another business that an entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town is to open a meat mart. Aside from vegetarians and a couple of people, meats are generally consumed in all the parts of the world hence it is a viable and profitable business to start.
Just like most retailing business, the location you choose to start this type of business will go a long way to determine the success of the business. The ideal places to locate this type of business are food market and residential estates if the law of your community permits it.
37. Retailing of Food Stuffs
You can open a store where food stuffs such as rice, beans, spaghetti, macaroni, maize, yams, potatoes, and grains et al can be retailed to consumers.
When it comes to retailing food stuffs, you can decide to repackage them in smaller quantities that can make easier for people with little income to purchase. Food is an essential commodity in any part of the world and there is a large market for food.
As a matter of fact, one of the retailing businesses that you can start that is likely going to thrive with little or no effort on your part is food retailing business. This is so because food is considered as the number one need in the Maslow hierarchy of human needs.
Another ideal retailing business where products (drugs and medical supplies) from different manufacturers are retailed is a retail pharmacy store.
If you are a licensed pharmacy and you looking towards starting your own business as against working for someone, then you should consider opening a retail pharmacy store. This type of business is highly profitable and thriving of well located.
Pharmacy retailing business is one of the few retailing businesses that are highly regulated. Before you can start this type of business, you will be required to secure permits and license from the regulatory bodies in your country or city.
39. Retailing of Bread
Bread is a stable food that people eat in all parts of the world and it is easier to find entrepreneur retailing bread. If you are looking for a business to start in a small town, a business that requires little capital to get started, then you should consider retailing bread.
All you need to do is to secure deliveries of breads from different bakeries and then display them in your store. It is a cool way of making money but you must ensure that you sell them all as fast as you can because breads have short shelf lifespan.
Some of the first business options that readily come to mind when it comes to starting a business in a small town is to open a hospital.
But before you establish your hospital, you must conduct your market survey and feasibility studies to be sure that there are no hospital in the community where you intend opening your hospital. Hospitals are indeed needed in small towns.
41. Open a Maternity Center
In rural community most especially, there are loads of pregnant women who can afford standard hospital for the delivery of their children which is why they opt for maternity center or enroll under a midwife / Douala. So if you are midwife and you are interested in starting a business in a small town, then one of your options is to open a maternity center; a rural area might be the most thriving location for this type of business.
It is important that you would need a license from the required medical regulatory authority before you can legally operate a private maternity center in the united states and in most countries of the world.
Another thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur who wants to start a business in a small town should consider starting is to open a veterinary clinic. As a matter of fact, if you are a veterinary doctor, this is the most suitable business that you can successfully start in a small town.
Just ensure that you locate your vet clinic close to a place where there are loads of pet owners, animal farms and cattle ranches et al. These are your target market and it is wise to take your business to your market.
Another thriving and profitable business that a medical professional preferably a qualified nurse who is interested in starting a business in a small town should consider starting is to go into elderly care business. It is a business that takes care of the elderly and of course there will always be the aged among us who would need this type of services from time to time.
So if you are thinking of starting this type of business, then it will pay you to conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey before choosing a location for this type of business. Demography matters a lot when it comes to position this type of business. Of course a small town that is populated with retirees and aging people are most suitable for this type of business.
Auto repair business is amongst the highly thriving and profitable easy to setup auto services related business idea an entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town. All over the world, car repairs is one business that never goes into extinction.
This is because daily, fleets of cars are being added to the garages of people and so whether it is a brand new car or a fairly used one, you can be sure that sometime in the future car repair would be inevitable.
As long as people use their cars and trucks regularly, there will always be reasons for them to visit an auto workshop if indeed they want these vehicles to continue to ply the roads. This is because you can never rule out wear and tear when a machine is in use.
People visit auto garages for different reasons; it could be for routine servicing, major repair works, or for refurbishing their cars. For whatever reasons; auto repair garage will always translate to money for the owner of the repair garage.
As long as people still use automobile on our roads, the need for auto spare parts will continue to be in demand. Auto spare parts business is indeed a profitable business because the replacement of damaged or worn – out auto parts is compulsory if you want your vehicle to continue to be on the road and serve the purpose you bought it for.
If you are looking for a business to start in a small town and you have interest in the automobile industry, then you should consider starting your own auto spare parts sale business. Although you don’t need a college degree to establish your own auto spare parts store, but you would need some form of informal training, you might have to work as an apprentice with someone who owns an auto spare parts store.
It makes it easier for you to learn the ropes and how to manage your own auto spare parts stores. It is important to point out that auto spare parts business is one the businesses that can’t go out of fashion simply because of the role it plays in the auto industry.
There are men and women out there who for one reason or the other did not attend formal schools hence they can’t read and write. Good enough this set of people have the opportunities to go back to school; many thanks to adult education.
If you are in the education sector or you are interested starting a business in a small town, one of your option is to start an adult education school. If you intend awarding recognized certificates / diplomas in your adult education center, then you should apply for accreditation and license from the education board in your country.
Another highly thriving and profitable business venture an entrepreneur who is interested in making money from the agriculture industry should consider starting is to go into fish farming. Fish are consumed in all parts of the world hence there is a large market for fish.
Over the years, quite a few people have made fortunes from fish farming, as the population is swelling and protein needs are far outstripping the available supply. Before now, people find it easier to rear only catfish, but in recent time fish farmers can comfortably rear tilapias, trout and salmons fish et al. All you need to get started is a space, tanks or ponds, fingerlings and fish feeds et al.
Hens, various birds, quails, guinea fowls, ducks et al are all birds that can be comfortably reared in a poultry. Chicken and birds are widely consumed in all parts of the world hence there is a large market for poultry farmers.
If you are looking towards starting a business in a small town, then one of your options is to settle for poultry farming. Poultry farming is a highly thriving and profitable business venture. Aside from the fact that people consume birds and chickens et al, supply of eggs is also a major source of revenue generation for poultry farmers.
Opening a consignment store is yet another profitable and thriving business that an entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in a small town can successfully launched with little start – up capital. Consignment business is all about selling used stuffs such as electronics, shoes, clothes, caps, bags and kitchen wares et al.
So if you are looking towards starting a business in a small town, then one of your options is to open a consignment store. It is a cool means of earning money.
Another thriving and profitable easy to start business in a small town is landscaping business. Landscape architecture is all about the art, planning, designing, management, preservation and rehabilitation of the land and the design of a large man – made construct; it beautifies our environment.
Landscaping business just like Lawn care business is not one of those businesses that someone can start and make big money from without truly working pretty hard and smart.
Any entrepreneur who intends starting his or her own landscaping business and making huge profits from it must be very creative and must be ready to go the extra mile to convince clients that he or she can deliver an excellent job and he or she must prove beyond every reasonable doubt that they are competent.
In recent time, it appears that plumbers are difficult to come by; the plumbers that are available in most communities are not enough to service the community. So if you are looking for a home improvement business to start in a small town, then one of your options is to start a plumbing business.
It is important to state that you would need to acquire a plumbing skill is you intend starting a plumbing business. This type of business is a business that you can successfully run alone or with one or more employees.
Home painting business is yet another highly lucrative and profitable home improvement business that an entrepreneur who is interested in making money should consider starting in a small town. One of the easiest way of improving the appearance of your home is first to paint your house. This goes to show that there are indeed loads of business opportunities for professional painters.
So if you are looking towards starting a business in small town, a business that requires very minimal start – up capital and a business that you can successfully operate alone or with one or more employees, then one of your options is to go into home painting business.
It is important to state that you would be required to acquire training as a painter before you can successfully launch this type of business.
Repairing of computers (laptops and desktops) is yet another thriving and profitable info tech business idea that an entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in a small town can successfully start. All you need to do to get this business going is to acquire computer repair skills, purchase the required repair tools and then rent a shop in a good location. There is indeed a large market for this type of business.
Another Info tech business idea that an entrepreneur can launch in a small town is to open a smart phone repair shop; a place where people can repair their smartphones, tablets and pads.
The truth is that if you can successfully secure a nice location to open this type of business, you will attract loads of clients simply because of the large numbers of people that owns smartphones, tablets and pads et al. So if you are techie inclined, then with little training you can open your own smartphone repair shop.
55. Start a Community Vigilante Group
Community vigilante group is one of the security related businesses that an entrepreneur who has experience and training in the security should consider starting in a small town. The main duty of community vigilante groups is to provide security for a specific community especially at night.
So if you are looking towards starting a business in a small town, then one of your options is to start a community vigilante group. Please note that you would have to apply and obtain permits and license before your vigilante group can start carrying arms legally.
Another thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in a small town should consider starting is to open a carpentry shop. Of course there is hardly any small town where you won’t find at least a handful of carpentry shops.
This is so because the services of carpenters are needed in most communities. So if you are a carpenter and you are looking towards starting a business in a small town, then one of your best options is to open a carpentry shop.
Roof maintenance and restoration business is yet another profitable and thriving construction related business that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town. No doubt roofs are subjected to wear and tear due to the exposure to harsh climatic conditions which is why after a period of time you will find out that a roof is leaking when it rains.
It is the duty of roof maintenance and restoration companies to help fix leakages in roofs and also to replace worn out roofs with new ones.
So if you are looking for a construction related business to start in a small town, then one of your options is to start a roof maintenance and restoration business. It is safe to classify this type of business as post construction maintenance business.
Forex trading just like most Online business is one business that you can start in any location of the world as long as you have internet facility; you can successfully start this type of business in a small town. Trading currencies online could be a risky venture but it is indeed a very rewarding online business.
If you have good analytics skills and you have sound knowledge on cash flow and the exchange market, you can do well as a forex trader. You can Google forex trading platforms and tutorials to learn how to become a professional forex trader.
Freelance writing is yet another easy to launch business that anybody can successfully run in a small town. If you are a skilled and creative writer and you have enough time at your disposal, then you can earn good income from freelance writing business.
There are loads of websites you can secure high paying writing jobs. Some of the sites where you can bid for freelance writing jobs are freelancer.com, upwork.com, guru.com and elance.com et al. From these sites you can get writing jobs that can comfortable pay your bills while you are still schooling.
Cosmetic shop is yet another thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur can start in a small town. There is a large market for cosmetics and good enough the cosmetic business is not meant for women alone but all genders. If you are looking towards starting a retail business in a small town, then you should consider opening a cosmetic shop.
Just like any other retail business, location is an important factor that determines the success of the business. So before making a choice as regards where to rent or lease a shop to start your cosmetic retailing business; ensure that you conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies.
61. Motel and Lodge
Of course it is a must for visitors to look for places to lodge when they visit any town, except when they have a host who is ready to accommodate them for the duration they stay for. So, motel and lodge is a very vital business that is needed in small towns.
As a matter of fact, before tourists visit a tourist town, part of their findings will be how to locate the nearest hotel and lodge in the town. The truth is that if a small town lacks standard hotels and lodge, they are likely to attract fewer visitors.
So as an investor, if you are looking towards starting a business in a small town, then one of your options is to invest in hotels and lodge.
Photography business is yet another business venture that an entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town. Of course as a photographer with a good studio, you will not only attract people to your photo studio, but you will also have the opportunity to cover events such as wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, concerts et al. So if you are a professional photographer, you can consider opening your own photography business in a small town.
63. Organize Carnivals and Other Related Events in Your Community
Another interesting means of earning money from a small town is to start organizing carnivals and other related events in your community especially if your community attracts tourists and visitors on a regular basis especially if you are good with organizing events.
If your events are well packaged, you can successfully get financial support and sponsorship deals from your local government, corporate organizations that operate within your community and from individuals who are interested in the event you intend organizing.
Beauty salon is yet another highly thriving and profitable business that an entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in a small town should consider starting. Just like barbing salon business, this type of business can be demanding and time consuming.
Make sure you locate your beauty shop in a busy location in your small community so as to attract clients at all times. It is worthy to note that if you do not know jack about the hair, that you can go acquire some trainings. This is so that you can be able to give your clients the very best.
Dogs breeding business is yet another profitable business that an aspiring entrepreneur can successfully start in a small town. Amongst domestic animals, dogs are considered to be one of the closest companions to human. Dogs breeding business is a lucrative business especially in countries where people value dogs.
Dogs are used for hunting, for security as pets, for games and in some climes as a major source of protein. In essence there is a global market for dogs howbeit different breeds of dogs are used for different purposes. If you are looking towards setting up your kennel, ensure that you source for dog breeds that are highly marketable in your area. It is important to state that it is easier to sell puppies than to sell adult dogs.
A typical agro allied related services business that an aspiring entrepreneur who is considering starting a business in a small town should consider starting. Fumigation is done to eliminate unwanted insects, and weeds et al. It is a highly thriving and profitable business venture that is easy to set – up and manage.
If you looking towards starting a fumigation services business, then you need to apply to the appropriate authority in your country to secure the required chemical handling permits and license.
Baking and selling of cookies is yet another thriving and profitable business that an aspiring entrepreneur who is interested in making money in a small town should consider starting; it is easier to learn how to bake cookies. All you need to do is to ensure that your cookies taste good and are well packaged.
With that you are likely not going to struggle to sell your cookies. It is a business that anybody including a teenager can successfully start in small town.
68. Music, Movies, Computer Games and Apps Download Center.
If you are looking for an easy to setup business to establish in a small town, then one of your options is to open a center where people can pay to download music, movies, computer games, and apps. Basically what is needed to start this type of business is a laptop and the willingness to work; it is a business that can be successfully launched with very minimal start – capital.
This type of business if well managed will surely yield good returns on your investment and you can actually run this type of business without renting a shop.
Buying and selling happens to be one of the easiest means of making money and one of the biggest online platforms that you can leverage on to make money buying and selling stuffs is eBay. EBay is an internet platform that you can sell your stuffs on.
All you need to do is to sign up for their services, play by their rules in listing selling your products and be extra careful when dealing with your clients. Just like most online business, your location as little or no influence on your business, so you can start this type of business in a small town.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you can successfully start this type of business with little cash and no experience in business. In test – running this type of business, you can start by buying and selling used books that are highly marketable.
Opening an electronics repair shop is another money spinning business that an aspiring entrepreneur who is looking towards starting a business in a small town should consider starting. One good thing about this type of business is that you can learn the technical skills from someone who is already in the business or from a technical school.
All you need to do is to rent a shop in a good location in a small town and then setup your shop and advertise your electronics repair business. If you are lucky to be one of few electronic repair technicians in your community, you will sure make good money from this type of business.
How to Start a Business in a Small Town
1. Find The Gap
Any entrepreneur will tell you to find the gap in your local market. This is the thing that is missing from the area, the product or service that would be ideal, that has little to no competition. Such gaps are perfect entry points for a startup business.
In a big city, you can’t easily figure out how many businesses you’re up against. In a small town, one online search and a walk through the main street can tell you everything. Take a walk, find local businesses, and scope them out. Is there something missing on the street, a business you’d like to see that isn’t there?
Compare the place to other small towns you’ve seen and businesses you’ve enjoyed, if that helps. It helps to live there but, if not, at least rent a room and spend some time getting to know the area before jumping in.
Consider geography too – any natural resources that businesses aren’t using? Is there a big city nearby? What would catch their eye when passing through this small town? After that, ask around the town to figure out what other people think.
They would be your future customers, after all. Ask what they wish the town had and when they need to leave the town for certain services. The more people you poll, the better, and you should start to see a repeating interest in certain subjects if you catch enough people.
2. Make Connections
While you’re asking around, it’s a good idea to build rapport with the business network in your town. Most small towns have one or two streets filled with storefronts, the owners of which all communicate with one another, and you’ll need to do the same if you want to fit in and build beneficial relationships.
It won’t just give you valuable insight into the local market, it’ll also ingratiate you with everybody (assuming you’re an outsider who is relatively new to the area). You can also find suppliers for items and materials you may need to build your business.
Likewise, your business could prove beneficial for your entrepreneurial neighbors, who will offer advice and may buy from you once your venture has been started.
3. Be Pessimistic
No matter which business idea you’re pursuing, you should ask the hard questions and try to poke holes in your current research. There are many questions you can ask – here are some basic ones:
- Are you experienced enough to make a product/service and compete in the local market?
- Is your product/service too narrow to build a business around?
- Will you have enough customers to get a return on your investment and make a profit?
- Do you have the real estate to start your business, either in your home or at a local store?
- Is your business going to survive the next decade, based on foreseeable circumstances?
4. Get A Business Plan
To get your business off the ground, it helps to have a business plan. While it’s dangerous to generalize, small towns often have older businesses that are hardened through experience, and they sometimes don’t strategize as much because they’re already popular and embedded into the community. Family-owned businesses are great examples of this.
In those cases, you can offset their experience by being a straight-edge businessman with a great strategy. This means you need to have a business plan that details how you’ll enter the local market and fend off competitors, so you can profit.
Remember that business plans are living documents that change over time, as your business and your skillset grow. The best plans aren’t rigid and restricting, they allow for adaptability and serve as a guide.
5. Don’t Underestimate Brands/Stories
Following on from that last point, do not underestimate any older local businesses that you’re up against. As we said, they are embedded in the community, so if you’re new to town then they’ll have much more sway than you with local customers. That’s why building relationships with local business owners and suppliers is so important.
While a new, fresh business idea can garner some interest, you’ll also need to have a brand and story if you want to build a long-term customer base. What brought you to the local area? Did you grow up there? Why did you start the business? With the Internet and social media, building a brand and getting your message out there is easier than ever.
That brings us to the end of our 29 business ideas you can start in a small town. Hopefully, one of them sounds ideal for you or has inspired a similar idea that may work in your local area. There are many more ideas out there, in which case you should pursue them to see if they’ll be fit for a small town.
In that case, make sure that you do your research before making any moves. It is true that starting a business in a small town can be somewhat discouraging. This is none other than the fact that the level of competition might not really make one attract the number of clients they envisaged.
So, you have to do some thorough homework to arrive at the best. Things like feasibility studies, and mentorship with an expert or consultant will help broaden your horizon.