Everyone seems to think that in order to make it big, you’ve got to pack your bags and head on down to the “big city.” But that’s simply not true. There are limitless possibilities for successful businesses in every small town, even if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. Although the bright lights, glitz and glamour of big cities can draw us in like a magnet, there’s plenty of money to be made out in the boonies. So how can a regular townsperson like you rake in the cash ? Not only is it easier than you think, but there’s also tons of different ways to do it. The business ideas we’re going to talk about are just a small taste of what’s possible in a small town.
- The Challenges Of Starting A Business In A Small Town
- The Benefits Of Starting A Business In A Small Town
- What To Consider Before Starting Your Business
- Start Your Own Bakery
- Create The Best Restaurant Ever
- Enjoy Guaranteed Sales With A Gift Card Shop
- You Can Never Go Wrong With A Bowling Alley
- A Grocery Store Is Always A Safe Bet
- Take Advantage Of The Booming Microbrewery Industry
- Start Your Own Sports Bar
- Provide A Quality Lawn And Garden Service
- Open Up A Massage Therapist Business Or Spa
- Flower Shops Can Be Extremely Profitable
- People Love Coffee Shops And Bars
- Create The Town’s Best Tour Guide Business
- Rake In Enormous Profits With A Food Truck
- Everyone Will Make Use Of Your Cleaning Service
- A Specialist Food Store Could Be A Great Idea
- Everyone Loves A Good Thrift Shop
- Be The Best (Or Only) Pet Grooming Shop In Town
- Hair Salons And Barber Shops Are Always In Demand
- Book Stores Are Surprisingly Profitable
- Kids Will Always Need A Tutoring Service
- Clothing Boutiques Can Become The Talk Of The Town
- An Electronics Boutique Can Supply The Town With The Newest Tech
- A Car Wash Is A Great Business Plan
- Farming Is Still Profitable In 2019
- Start A Local Museum For Your Town
- A Bed And Breakfast Can Be Insanely Profitable
- Vape Shops Are Bigger Than Ever In 2019
- A Home Improvement Business Is A Great Option
- Open Up A Gym
- Start Up Your Own Ice Cream Shop
- Wrapping Things Up
- How I earn over 6 figures and beyond this 2019
The Challenges Of Starting A Business In A Small Town
Before we get started, it’s important to be aware of the biggest challenges you’ll face when starting a business in a small town. First and foremost, let’s tackle the most glaring and obvious hurdle – small towns have less people. A lower population means less potential customers. In order to become successful, you’re going to have to convince a lot of these townsfolk (hopefully all of them) to make use of your business.
Less people also means fewer business connections, and your ability to network with others will be severely impacted. You’re also going to have to win over people’s trust. Small towns are often very tight-knit communities, and word travels fast. Your reputation means everything, and making a good first impression is essential. Of course, this is less of a challenge if you’re already a resident of the town, and people know who you are.
The Benefits Of Starting A Business In A Small Town
Don’t despair – starting a business in a small town also comes with a lot of interesting benefits. First of all, the fact that news travels fast can actually work to your advantage. Create an amazing business, and word-of-mouth will do all the advertising for you. Less people also means less competition, and there’s a potential to completely monopolize a particular area within a small town.
You’ll also enjoy much lower operating costs. Real estate in small towns is obviously going to be a lot cheaper than prime locations on busy city streets, and this can make getting a business off the ground much easier. Speaking of which, small towns are a great way to test new business ideas, even if you don’t actually live in these areas. It’s a smaller market that’ll give you an idea of how the general population will react to your product, and there’s less risk involved when you start out on a smaller scale.
What To Consider Before Starting Your Business
Before you start your small town business, there’s one thing you should definitely consider. It’s the same general concept behind any business – figure out what your market needs, and find a way to supply it. Some of these business ideas we’re about to talk about might sound awesome, but they’re pointless if there’s already a massive supply. For example, if your town already has five coffee shops, it’s probably not a good idea to start yet another one- unless your coffee shop is offering something no one else has. One the other hand, if there’s not a single video game store in town, it’s a obvious opportunity.
Once again, the rule is simple – figure out what the town needs, and find a way to supply it.
Let’s get on with it – here are 30 Businesses To Start If You Live In A Small Town…
Start Your Own Bakery
Bakeries have been around since the beginning of history, and for good reason – they’re very profitable. Not only that, but they’re always in demand. Your townspeople are going to need a place to buy fresh bread and pastries, no matter who they are. Baked goods aren’t a luxury – they’re a necessity. That being said, bakeries can do a lot more than just selling bread and croissants. They’re some of the most versatile businesses around, and you can expand them into selling coffee, pizza, full meals, and much more. You might even consider turning it into a successful catering business.
Create The Best Restaurant Ever
But if you’re truly passionate about serving top-notch cuisine to your community, then a restaurant is definitely the way to go. This is a business with a lot of risk, and you need to be aware of this going in. We’ve all heard those ominous statistics – 25% of all restaurants fail after only a year in business. But with risk comes great rewards, and restaurants definitely have the potential to become incredibly profitable.
This is another business that can expand and grow, and who knows, it might even turn into a franchise one day. You can take heart in knowing that there’s probably not going to be a lot of competition, and the whole town will be lining up outside your restaurant if you play your cards right. Another option is to offer a delivery service. This is often something which people just can’t get access to in small towns.
Enjoy Guaranteed Sales With A Gift Card Shop
We’re betting a lot of our readers have never heard of this type of business before. But hear us out. Untold billions of gift cards are purchased each year, but people tend to buy them at big retailers like WalMart or Target. Small towns don’t always have easy access to these big stores, and so you can sweep in and make a lot of cash with a gift card shop. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a shop dedicated to selling gift cards. Townsfolk will love shopping at your place for easy gifts, as well as the convenience of having gift cards for their favorite stores.
You Can Never Go Wrong With A Bowling Alley
We mentioned earlier that you should be providing townsfolk with something they need. Well, often what these people really need is something fun to do with their spare time. We all know that small towns can get a little, well… boring from time to time, and it’s definitely one of the downsides of living in such an area. That’s why opening up a bowling alley is such a good choice. Bowling alleys are a little expensive to get going, but the profits can be huge. Remember, you can also serve food and drinks at your bowling alley.
A Grocery Store Is Always A Safe Bet
No matter what kind of town you live in, people will always need food. So in many ways, opening up a grocery store is one of the safest businesses to start. But there are some major obstacles to consider. Since a grocery store is pretty much essential the survival of townspeople, you can bet that your small town already has one. That means you’re going to have competition, which in turn means you need to set yourself apart somehow.
Consider offering lower prices. Or perhaps go the opposite route, and offer high-class, luxury food items for higher prices. Sometimes it can be as simple as creating a really awesome dairy aisle.
Take Advantage Of The Booming Microbrewery Industry
You’ve probably noticed that there are a TON of microbreweries springing up everywhere you look, and there’s a really good reason for this. They’re very profitable businesses. And luckily for you, a small town is pretty much the perfect place to start a microbrewery. Some say the market is oversaturated, but there’s still massive demand for unique, quality beer.
Microbreweries can be as large or as small as you want – that’s pretty much the beauty of these businesses. You can start your own with limited equipment and space. But in order to be taken seriously, you’ll need to up your game eventually.
Start Your Own Sports Bar
If there’s one thing you’ll find in any town, it’s a group of hardcore sports fans. And sports fans need a place where they can watch the big game, scream at the television, and order endless pints to their heart’s content. If your small town doesn’t have a sports bar yet, it’s definitely a business to consider. Assuming your town is crazy enough about sports, you can become the main attraction of the entire town, especially when you’re the only one hosting expensive pay-per-view events, such as UFC fights or boxing matches. Make sure you do your market research first, and figure out if your town actually has the sports fans required to make this profitable.
Provide A Quality Lawn And Garden Service
If you live in a small town, you already know that the land is dominated by rural areas, and people generally own a lot more land than your average city slicker. That means more land to take care of, which means that some of them are going to need help with all that work. That’s where you come in. A Lawn and Garden Service can provide genuine assistance to the townspeople, and you can build lasting relationships with your clients that can span an entire lifetime.
If you’re looking for a dependable business that you can scale easily, then this is a great choice. You can start small with a truck and a few tools, and grow into a massive operation within years.
Open Up A Massage Therapist Business Or Spa
Luxurious living doesn’t have to be associated with big cities. You can bring a slice of that celebrity lifestyle to the common folk in your town with a massage therapist business. First thing’s first – you’re going to need a lot of training to make this work. Alternatively, you can simply hire qualified individuals as employees, but they might be hard to come by in a small town.
This business is all about forming strong relationships with your clients, and it’s a great choice if you’re a “people person.” This business can also be expanded quite significantly as you add more services, such as nail art and facials.
Flower Shops Can Be Extremely Profitable
If you’re looking for a profitable business with low startup costs, then a floral shop might just be your best bet. Interestingly, you don’t need much to get started with this business. Put your green thumb in a store with a plant-friendly temperature, and you’ve got yourself a flower shop. Flowers never go out of style, and the tradition of giving flowers to loved ones is definitely here to stay. Although you’ll be competing with online delivery services in 2019, people will instead choose you – as long as you’ve got style, personality, and great customer service.
People Love Coffee Shops And Bars
Coffee shops and bars are both proven, dependable business ideas that will succeed in just about any location on Earth. But did you know that you can actually combine the two businesses? This is a slightly newer trick that savvy entrepreneurs have been doing recently, and it all stems from the fact that coffee sales dip after noon. Instead of losing business, you can start selling wine and beer after 4pm, combining two businesses into one. That way, you’re offering something totally unique that the town has probably never seen before – plus you’re appealing to a wider range of people. It really is one of the most attractive businesses for a small town.
Create The Town’s Best Tour Guide Business
The general consensus is that for this business to work, your small town has to have something interesting going on. This is a business that will depend on a pre-existing tourism industry, so make sure there’s a steady stream of newcomers before diving headfirst into this one. Let’s say your town has abandoned goldmines, beautiful caverns, or interesting wildlife nearby. You could easily start a successful business giving guided tours through the town’s most popular spots.
The great thing about this business is that costs are incredibly low – all you really need is your own knowledge of the surrounding terrain. Of course, you can scale your business by offering numerous tour options by adding more expensive things such as whale-watching tours or heli-skiing packages.
Rake In Enormous Profits With A Food Truck
If you like the idea of starting a restaurant, but you don’t quite have the funds to start one up, then there’s a food truck out there with your name on it. Or maybe it’s not a matter of financial limitations, but rather the amount of risk you’re willing to take. Whatever the case, food trucks are very popular these days. Why? Because they’re profitable.
When you own a food truck, you can pack your operation up and shut down when business is slow, only to re-open again in the busy season. In a small town, this busy season is usually in summer, when the baking heat attracts scores of tourists. You can also act as a catering service, providing food to weddings or special events.
Everyone Will Make Use Of Your Cleaning Service
No one likes to clean, and people in small towns are no different. Hiring professional cleaners is something a lot of people require these days, and it’s more common than you might think. People selling their homes often make use of cleaning services to get that sparkling “new home” look. Landlords often get their suites professionally cleaned before renting them out. And some normal, everyday people just can’t face cleaning their bathrooms. We’re not judging. And neither should you, seeing as there’s a massive business opportunity here. You don’t need a traditional storefront for this to work, and sometimes rural people can’t rely on big companies to get the job done. That gives you a clear business opportunity.
A Specialist Food Store Could Be A Great Idea
We’ve already covered grocery stores in this article, but a specialist food store is a completely different type of business that really deserves its own entry. Specialist Food Stores sell rare or obscure food items that grocery stores don’t bother stocking. Do some market research to figure out what kind of specialty items your townspeople are craving. Maybe a vegan diet is trending. Perhaps they’ve got a soft spot for rare and expensive cheese. If you really want to score customers, find out what nationality or ethnic background your townspeople identify as. Sell them authentic, imported goods from their “home country.” Examples would be German foods, authentic British foods, or even Kosher foods.
Everyone Loves A Good Thrift Shop
Opening a thrift store might not sound like the most glamorous idea, but hear us out. Everyone ends up with more useless stuff than they actually need, and the majority of people are begging for someone to come and take it all away. You could be that person, and by reselling it to other people, you could make some serious profits.
In many cases, people will simply donate old furniture and clothes to your thrift shop, meaning you can charge a 100% markup to the next buyer. If they do end up selling it to you, it’ll be for pennies. Hell, you could even charge THEM when you swing by their house and grab their old furniture. Saves them a trip to the dump, right? This is a seriously profitable business, and it also helps communities make a positive change by encouraging recycling and reusing.
Be The Best (Or Only) Pet Grooming Shop In Town
Most pet owners seriously love their animals, and you could help give their little friend the best treatment imaginable. For those who don’t know, pet businesses are worth billions of dollars in the US alone, and more people are getting pets every single year. You could focus only on grooming, or you could create a one-stop-shop filled with food, treats, and even a pet hotel for folks who are on vacation. The exciting thing about this business is that your small town probably doesn’t have one yet, which means you can dominate the market.
Hair Salons And Barber Shops Are Always In Demand
Forget giving pooches haircuts, what about actual humans? Hair Salons and Barbers will always be a requirement in any town, and it’s a great business to get into. Both men and women get their hair cut several times a year, and that means a steady stream of dependable business. A single haircut can cost upwards of $100, depending on the style, and fads are constantly coming and going.
If your town already has a hair salon, don’t despair. You can be that new, trendy hairdresser that every woman in town depends on. You don’t even need to know how to cut hair to start this business. Just hire hairdressers or simply rent out chairs to talented stylists.
Book Stores Are Surprisingly Profitable
We know what you’re thinking – no one actually reads anymore. While it’s true that there are less bookstores these days, they remain highly profitable businesses if you play your cards right. Less bookstores means less competition, and that’s never a bad thing! If you’re looking for a business that your small town doesn’t have yet, a bookstore is a safe bet.
So how do you make a bookstore profitable? The answer is simple: Don’t just sell books. Make your bookstore the funnest place in town by adding magazines, quirky gifts, and maybe even a built-in coffee shop. Magazines and kids books are always a great way to appeal to a larger audience, and you might even consider becoming the town’s premier destination for comic books and graphic novels. The point is, bookstores can easily become the town’s hotspot.
Kids Will Always Need A Tutoring Service
You can supply kids with books, but it’s no good if they can’t actually read them – and that’s why every town needs a tutoring service. Almost every parent takes their child’s education very seriously, and they’re always thinking of ways to boost grades and improve those all-important report cards. You can provide a real, positive service to the townsfolk by helping kids achieve their highest potential. This can open up many new career paths for them down the road.
With a tutoring service, you won’t necessarily need a storefront. You can travel to your customer’s homes, providing lessons to children there. Parents will probably prefer this anyway. You’ll be competing with a plethora of online tutoring services, but the vast majority of people prefer and benefit from face-to-face teaching. You’ll probably need to hire a few tutors, and the quality of your employees will be very important.
Clothing Boutiques Can Become The Talk Of The Town
One of the biggest complaints people have about living in a small town is that they can’t keep up with the latest trends. The vast majority of people care about staying informed about pop culture and new fads, but sometimes living in a small town can feel like living in a bubble. But if you’re able to supply a trendy clothing boutique, you can help your townsfolk feel like they’re living in a fashion capital like London, New York, or Milan.
Your biggest customers will probably be teens and young adults, so keeping track of the latest trends is very important. You can choose to stock super-expensive, “hype” clothing, or more budget-friendly items. You might even consider creating your own clothing brand. Why not manufacture in house? This will push the costs up considerably, but as long as you’re providing quality items, people will shell out the cash.
An Electronics Boutique Can Supply The Town With The Newest Tech
If there’s one thing people in small towns hate, it’s being called “backwards” and “old-fashioned.” In 2019, keeping up with the latest trends means a lot more than just buying the latest clothes – it also means purchasing the latest technology. Most of the time, people in small towns have to either order their tech online, or drive long distances to the nearest megastore.
But you can offer them a place nearby where they can see, touch, and test the most advanced tech on the market. An electronics boutique is definitely a great business to consider, and there’s so many different directions you can take it. Specialize in all kinds of different products, or focus on just one. Video game stores might be just what the town needs. Selling drones is actually surprisingly profitable. Better yet, you could also offer a repair service for laptops and smartphones. Whatever you choose, it’s probably something the town really needs.
A Car Wash Is A Great Business Plan
People take enormous pride in their cars, and this is true all across the globe. A small town is no different, and you can give people an easy way to keep their vehicles sparkling clean. Your small town might already have some of the businesses we’ve listed so far, but we’re betting it doesn’t have a car wash. This is something often found in larger metropolitan areas, but there’s no reason you can’t profit from putting one in the neighborhood.
Location is very important when it comes to this business, and you might consider putting it next to a mechanic or auto dealer. You’d be surprised how many people make use of your car wash, as the only other option is to wash cars by hand, which no one really wants to do…
Farming Is Still Profitable In 2019
Farming is probably something that almost everyone in your small town is already doing, which should tell you that it’s quite profitable. There’s definitely an art to farming, and not everyone is cut out for it. That being said, almost everyone can grow food on their property while still engaging in other types of business. You can grow a surprising amount of quality produce in your backyard, and sell that food at your local farmer’s market. Almost zero startup costs are needed, and you don’t need a storefront.
But if you really want to go all out, you can engage in larger scale farming endeavors that require more time and energy. Mushroom farming is great because it requires very little space for high yields. The most important thing about farming is to figure out what no one else is growing. Perhaps there’s some exotic fruit or vegetable that you think the town would go crazy for.
Start A Local Museum For Your Town
If you’re the type who wants to open a quirky, fun business, then you might fall in love with the idea of opening up your very own museum. Like some of the other business ideas we’ve listed, this one will depend on a relatively strong tourism industry. It’s also pretty much essential that your town has a somewhat interesting history. But if you dig hard enough into the past, you’ll discover all kinds of interesting secrets surrounding virtually any town.
There’s going to be a few challenges with this business. Entry to museums is typically by donation, and the townsfolk are probably going to get bored with the exhibits after one visit. That being said, you might be able to convince the local government to help fund the creation of your museum. Local people might also be willing to donate important artifacts, providing they’re taken care of and stored properly.
A Bed And Breakfast Can Be Insanely Profitable
This is another business idea that you can run without devoting all your time and energy to every little detail. We all know that the rise of Airbnb has been a total game changer for people all around the globe. Your spare room or basement is suddenly becoming a viable source of recurrent income. Even towns without a booming tourism industry will benefit from the addition of a Bed & Breakfast, as your town is bound to get visitors from time to time.
You can easily scale this business and move past the confines of an Airbnb as time moves on. You might consider purchasing, leasing or renting a property close to the town center, and turning that into a full-on, dedicated bed and breakfast. You’ll probably need to hire staff at this point as well. If there’s nowhere for visitors to stay at your town, then this is a no-brainer.
Vape Shops Are Bigger Than Ever In 2019
It might not be the most traditional business idea, or one that will appeal to everyone in your small town, but there’s no denying that vape shops are very profitable in 2019. Even though you might think it’s a bit of a niche market, traditional smokers are ditching their cigarettes for vape pens by the millions. It’s just like any other store really, but it’ll be harder to open in some states due to certain laws. You can also take heart in knowing that you’re supplying a much healthier option to smokers, and you might even help a few people quit.
A Home Improvement Business Is A Great Option
Whether you’re living in a small town or a fancy downtown condo, there’s one thing that never changes – things break down. This is a constant stream of revenue that is left untapped in a lot of small towns, with people relying instead on handymen who drive in from the big city. You can be a local hero in your town by supplying a Home Improvement business that helps people will all their home needs. We’re talking plumbing, repairs, and much more. You don’t need a storefront to start this business – only a ton of general knowledge and a willingness to get your hands dirty.
Open Up A Gym
The fitness trend is massive these days, and if no one in your town has figured out a way to cash in, there’s a massive opportunity to be had. Do some research and figure out what kind of gyms are profitable in 2019. In fact, we’ll save you the trouble: Boutique fitness studios are all the rage. These are smaller gyms with few machines and a focus on one or two fitness areas. Kickboxing gyms or yoga studios are two examples.
These businesses will always see a lot of business, whether it’s summer, winter, or anything in between. Adding a gym or fitness boutique to your town can be a great way to encourage healthy living habits, and you can help people connect and have fun together.
Start Up Your Own Ice Cream Shop
Let’s end the list with something fun and interesting. If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s ice cream. It doesn’t matter what kind of town you live in, the people there are guaranteed to buy ice cream. It’s basically a law of physics. But keep in mind that this is a pretty seasonal business idea, and people generally only buy ice cream when it’s hot out (the second law of thermo-gelato). You might want to invest in a food truck style of business, where you can pack everything up when the weather cools down. But hey, if you live in a town where it’s hot all year round, you can’t go wrong with an ice cream shop.
Wrapping Things Up
Remember, choosing the right business for your small town is a lot more complicated than simply picking whatever interests you the most. Like we said before, creating a successful business is all about figuring out what your town actually needs. That being said, it’s not all about being cold and calculating. Market research and preparation are crucial, but you’re never going to succeed if you’re doing something you’re not passionate about. So get out there, have fun, and give your small town something they’ve never seen before!
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