Big business can happen in small towns. The unique advantage of small towns is the ability to access a large market and the challenges of having a small population. It is about satisfying demand by offering great products or services to small towns. In this blog, top small town business ideas for startups.
You will need to do background research on the market and the geography to establish a business in small towns. You are more dependent on smaller groups for business in a small community, so it is important to choose the best location to maximize store traffic. It doesn’t matter if your business plan is service-based. However, it is a good idea to know how large your market is.
Once you have the best idea of your local consumer market, you can start to plan for small town businesses. Then you can decide which one you like the best for small town businesses. After you have a better understanding of the local resources and the businesses that are nearby.
You can start to talk with entrepreneurs and assess the costs and requirements for starting a business in a small community. We’ve put together this list of 26 small town business ideas every community should have. This list can be used as a starting point to research or even help you find the perfect idea for your small-town business.
Best Small Town Business Ideas
It takes careful research to understand your local community before you can start a small-town business. Once you have an idea of the local businesses and local demand, you can start to build your business.
Here is a list of the best small town businesses, so you’re ready for the decision. Find a service or industry where small businesses can make a profit and meet the needs of the community. These are some small-town business ideas that you might want to consider:
A successful small-town restaurant can be either a diner or a fine dining establishment. It’s all about giving people what they need, but not necessarily what they already have. It might be tempting to duplicate a well-known restaurant in the area, but it is better to cater to a specific need or desire that locals don’t have. This will make the restaurant worth the trip from another town.
For example, A farm-to-table restaurant is the best idea for small towns. However, it’s not feasible if your area doesn’t have enough agricultural land or if there is already such a business in your community. Consider what your family enjoys when they leave town. Perhaps it’s an exquisite meal or a slice of New York-style pizza. There’s always a market for new restaurants. It’s up to you to find out what people like and want.
Also read: 70 Best Startup Ideas for Students
2. Hybrid bar/coffee shop
You can make up for the slower business traffic by offering the beverages people love all day. Coffee shops may not be a popular choice in your area. However, by serving coffee every day at places people go to — such as a bar — you can gradually normalize the activity and encourage cross-border business. You might dream of opening a small business in your hometown, but a coffee shop could be your next big idea. As long as you provide a worjobsking environment day and night, if you have the right people, a coffee shop could start to bring in some money.
3. Liquor store
It all depends on the state taxes and county laws. One of the most profitable small-town business ideas is opening a liquor shop. Particularly in areas that prohibit grocery stores from selling alcohol liquor stores manage the alcohol market in small towns. Learn how to open a liquor store. It can be difficult to secure the documentation you need (e.g. a liquor license).
4. Handyman or contractor
Even in small towns, a handyman is always in high demand. You might be on your way to starting a small-town business that actually works if you get frequent calls from family, friends, and neighbors asking you to look at a leaky or wobbly pipe.
If you have experience with odd jobs and know who you will be hiring, starting a contractor business will be easy. You can reach out to a general contractor if you aren’t familiar with your work and offer to do a small project. This will help you to pass your name on to potential clients. A word-of-mouth business such as service work is a good way to make money. Repairs and construction: The people you know and who are familiar with your work are your best salespeople.
5. Automotive repairs
If you live in a small or rural area, you are almost required to own a car. Routine servicing can be difficult if you live far from a dealer. Small towns have a clear need for auto repair services to make life easier for locals. You might also consider opening a shop in your locality. Similar to cars that break down all over the place, most tow trucks charge by the mile. If your town lies between major cities, There may be an opportunity to tow cars even if your shop isn’t fully equipped.
6. Home Cleaning
There are some people who don’t like cleaning, and you might have a few. Start a cleaning company for them. This service can also be referred to by word-of-mouth and can be combined with other services like yard work or babysitting. This skill is valuable, but it doesn’t require you to spend a lot of money on certifications or courses. It’s a great side hustle option for those who are looking for low overhead.
7. IT and computer services
Every business and individual needs technology support no matter where they are located. No matter how big or small the town, you will always find people using technology and having trouble connecting their WiFi.
Because it is less visible than a shopfront business and more frequent than a house cleaning service, this service will need more advertising to reach the public. If you don’t intend to do major repairs, you won’t need much equipment. This will help you keep overhead costs low.
8. Grooming, boarding, and pet store
If there aren’t any local pet shops or large chains like PetSmart and PetCo, opening a pet shop in your community is a great idea. There might be demand for grooming or boarding services depending on how many pets live in your local area.
Ask local pet owners about their current food and grooming habits if you are interested in opening a pet shop or service business. If you are interested in grooming, walking, or boarding services for your pet, an existing pet shop owner might be a great resource.
9. Salon or barbershop
There’s a good chance that your local barbershop has one or more salons. This could be a great advantage if you want to open your own salon. One demographic that isn’t served well — i.e. If there is only one barbershop that caters to men, find out who else needs hair services.
If you have full-service barbers and hair salons in your area, You might want to consider a niche hair care business, A salon, or a blow-out bar that offers hair services such as makeup, eyelashes, and tanning.
10. Gas Station
Although they may not be the most glamorous of businesses, filling stations are essential for communities that rely heavily on trucks and cars for transportation. A small town located near major highways may see significant traffic. And unlike other businesses, a gasoline station might be able to benefit from being far away from larger cities. You can also make a lot of money selling tobacco and lottery tickets, especially if your only vendor is in the area.
11. Grocery Store
If a town without a grocery shop is unable to sustain one, There’s probably a good reason. Perhaps most people commute daily and shop at other stores. Or maybe there are not enough people to support a chain store. A grocery store is the best small town business ideas for the startup.
You can choose to take the independent route (i.e. not open a franchise shop), You can specialize your store to avoid spending too much on large quantities. To help you make this decision, consider local trends, products, and tastes.
In agricultural areas, Local produce and seasonal goods can be found in farmers’ markets, which are popular among both tourists and locals. If a town already has a large chain grocery store but offers few options for organic, vegan, or gluten-free products, it is a good candidate for a specialty store.
It takes more work to open a drugstore or pharmacy — from buying insurance to hiring a pharmacist, to installing security precautions, but it could be a great opportunity for your community to start a long-lasting business.
This could be one of the best small town business ideas for individuals who are either pharmacists or active in the local medical profession. A pharmacy is an important business in any community. However, if you open your own pharmacy, it is important to be aware of the potential competition from large chains.
13. Antique or thrift store
In tourist areas, small gift shops may be able to make a profit from estate sales, flea markets, and junkyards, especially if they are located in high-traffic areas. Your inventory will not expire or need much maintenance, even though turnover can be slow for antique stores. You might be able to specialize in consignment, second-hand clothing, or artwork made by local artisans if there are already several such shops in your area.
14. Gym or fitness studio
People are becoming more active in fitness and taking good care of themselves. There are likely to be a few fitness junkies in your area. A small business idea that will help you is to open a gym or fitness studio. You can either focus on a specific fitness niche or offer a general space for the community to exercise.
This is the most expensive of all the small-town business ideas. It involves investing in equipment. If you are able to attract new members quickly, you will be able to make the money back, especially if your niche is small-town fitness.
15. Tutoring business
There are children in every town who must go to school. If there are students who require extra help beyond school hours, tutoring can be a great option for both parents and children. A tutoring business is a great option for small towns looking to give back to their community. Your tutoring business can be set up to serve students at all levels, including high school and college prep. Think about something you are passionate about and you will be able to connect with kids in need. Parents who are connected to other families in their community will find this a great business idea for them.
16. Ice cream shop
Small towns can have some of the most successful food-related businesses. If you don’t want to run a full-fledged business, you might think about opening an ice cream shop. Ice cream shops are a popular choice for both locals and visitors, especially during warm seasons. A local ice cream shop might be a good idea if your town does not have an existing business in the dessert market. If you have success with ice cream, you might also be interested in candy, cakes, and even children’s birthday parties.
17. Dry cleaner
Even though it is not something that anyone likes to find out, dry cleaning can sometimes be a necessity. This is especially true for items such as suits, dresses, and jackets. This could be the perfect small-town business idea if your community is without a dry cleaner. A dry cleaner is a great business idea for anyone, especially if your town has many business workers who commute into the city for their jobs. A dry cleaner in your area will allow you to take good care of your clothes without going too far.
Amazon and Walmart are big online sellers. You might be tempted to think that opening your own bookstore is absurd. However, in small towns, you may be able to capture a particular market of readers who would visit a local bookshop. A bookstore is a great small business idea. Your bookstore can sell books and hold events such as readings with local authors. You could also incorporate television and film into your offerings. A bookstore could be the ideal business idea if your community lacks a place for reflection, discussion, and reading.
19. Bed and Breakfast
No matter how small your town is, You’ll always have visitors whether they are family from far away or tourists passing through. Offering visitors a place for their stays, such as a bed and breakfast can be a great idea for small towns. Bed and breakfasts can serve a wide range of clients, are open all year, and don’t need a lot of space or staff. A bed and breakfast in a small town close to major roads or cities can appeal to locals or visitors looking to spend a weekend there.
There will always be a demand for photographers and creative professionals. Professionals will continue to be sought after by people for their photography services, such as weddings, engagements, and graduations. People may also seek out a photographer to take portraits or studio shots of their families.
You might consider starting a small business in your locality if there isn’t a photographer. This is especially true if you have a creative experience. While equipment for photography can be expensive, it is possible to keep costs down by sticking to the basics and maximizing your local market. High school seniors can benefit from school photos.
21. Hardware store
Even if there is a grocery shop in your area, most residents will need to find a more specific place to go if they need supplies or help with home maintenance. A hardware store is a great way to meet the many needs of your community, such as painting, gardening, and pool maintenance. If you have a passion for building or fixing things, a hardware store is a great business idea. Plus, there will always be thriving markets for maintenance and repair.
22. Real estate agency
Who do people turn to when they are trying to sell or buy a house or other property in their area? If you are a real estate entrepreneur, perhaps they should look to you. Individuals and businesses will want to purchase and sell property in every town, even the smallest. A local agent can be a valuable resource and facilitator. You can also expand your real estate business by exploring other markets and taking advantage of them, which will help you better serve your clients and improve your business.
23. Planner and event venue
We’ve talked to many small-town business owners about how people want to celebrate special events. This could be anything from small gatherings to large-scale celebrations. You might open an event planning and venue to fulfill the celebration inclination of your community. A venue for events can meet all sorts of needs. It will encourage people from your community and others to use the space. You can also offer event planning services outside the space to increase your customer base and expand your business.
24. Food truck
Why limit yourself to your small town’s location? Start your own food truck and travel the world with your food business. Food trucks can be mobile so you can serve multiple towns in your local area. They’re also great for hosting parties, graduations, and other town events. You can take advantage of specific markets by offering a wide variety of affordable, high-quality food from your food truck without having to run a restaurant.
25. Health Clinic
These are the best businesses in small towns that will require more funding and resources. However, it could be a very lucrative business if you live in a small town without a clinic. Everyone gets sick, and everyone needs to be able to access the appropriate diagnosis and medication. Another example of proximity being key: When you or your family member are sick, you don’t want to travel far to seek care. You’ll want to be close to the nearest hospital.
A small-town bakery is the best — it’s a place where residents can go to get a slice of cake, a cookie, or a croissant. This could be the ideal small-town business idea if you are a baker or have someone who is. By starting a bakery, You can satisfy the sweet tooth in your town and also serve those who are looking for a quick bite to eat before heading to work. You can also make cupcakes, cakes, or other specialty desserts for parties and events. It’s even more rewarding to start a bakery in your small town if it doesn’t exist yet. Plus, it’s less complicated than a full-service restaurant.
Last Line — Choose the best small town businesses
You might be interested in opening a small business in your locality. Before you get started, there are many things to consider. Before diving into small-town business ideas, it is important to do extensive research and think personally about the area. Consider what type of business you are interested in, how much money you have, and how you plan to get your business off the ground.
The best way to find the best small town businesses is by looking at the following: It is important to spend time in your small town to learn about the businesses that are already operating within the community. Talk to local business owners for insight. Essential goods and services, such as restaurants, gas stations, and pharmacies, are the best choices for small-town business owners. You may be able to succeed with smaller-scale business ideas if you have the right community support and planning.