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It might seem like all the business opportunities are in big cities but the reality is actually quite different than that. Small business ideas for small towns might be just the thing you are looking for!

Starting a small business comes with many benefits but doing it in a small town has a whole set of perks you didn’t even know about. For starters, there are fewer competitors around, local people will probably support you, and it is much easier to find a free business niche.

Even better, you don’t need to have that insane startup culture within your company, and you can be a bit relaxed, while still focused on your goal.

Table of contents

Small businesses have been growing in popularity for quite some time and it would be a shame if you didn’t turn your business ideas into reality.

The List of Business Ideas for Small Towns

  • Farmers’ Market Vendor
  • Grocery Store
  • Diner
  • Specialty Restaurant
  • Food Delivery Service
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Roadside Food Stand
  • Flea Market Seller
  • Handmade Artisan
  • Furniture Upcycle
  • T-shirt Designer
  • Clothing Alterations
  • Water Refill Station
  • Sale of Call Cards and Data Bundles
  • Vegetable and Fruits Mart
  • Retailing of Bread
  • Open a Hospital /Medical Center
  • Open a Maternity Center
  • Open a Veterinary Clinic
  • Elderly Care Business
  • Open a Consignment Store
  • Start a Landscaping Business
  • Offer Lawn Care Services
  • Pet Store, Grooming, and Boarding
  • Gas Station

Now let’s look at these in detail.

Farmers’ Market Vendor

People in small towns often appreciate freshly picked fruits and vegetables that someone has grown in their backyard. If you have a green thumb, starting a farmer’s market vendor could be one of the best entrepreneur ideas for you.

Grocery Store

Small towns usually don’t have all those big grocery stores you can find in large cities. Starting a small grocery store is one of the best businesses to start in a small town.


While larger cities are all about getting food as fast as possible in fast food joints such as McDonald’s, KFC, and similar, opening a small and cozy diner is a much better way to go in a small town.

Specialty Restaurant

Everybody loves good food so if there isn’t a wide variety of restaurants in your small town, opening a specialty restaurant could be one of the most profitable small businesses. As it is easy to boost your business with the email marketing for restaurants and social media compaingns, which will generate new deals.

Food Delivery Service

Delivering food directly to people’s homes has also been growing in popularity over the last few decades. If there is no food delivery service in your town delivering food could be one of the best small businesses to start.

Ice Cream Shop

There is something particularly charming about a cozy ice cream shop in a small town, isn’t it? If your town isn’t already filled with all kinds of dessert options, opening a small ice cream shop could be one of the best small business ideas for small towns.

Roadside Food Stand

Do you have a signature homemade cookie? Or your famous lasagne? If there is a dish you are particularly proud of, you could always try and make some money off of it by opening a roadside food stand.

Flea Market Seller

At a flea market, you can sell your own handmade goods or you can resell all kinds of stuff.

Handmade Artisan

If you are into arts & crafts, you could sell your handmade goods on sites like Amazon, Etsy, and similar. The plus is that there is a chance you will find some cool and really unique supplies in a small town.

Furniture Upcycle

You can search for old, vintage furniture, do a bit of restoration and modification to it, and then resell it.

T-shirt Designer

You can easily design cool T-Shirts with platforms such as Redbubble, Printful, and Society6. That also goes for other stuff such as pillows, towels etc.

Clothing Alterations

If you know how to alter and sew clothing, staring a clothing alteration business could be one of your next great business ideas.

Water Refill Station

Opening a water refill station could be an awesome business to start in a small town where people struggle with accessing clean and portable water.

Sale of Call Cards and Data Bundles

Selling Call Cards and data bundles is one of the easy business ideas because it doesn’t require any particular skill, yet it could be one of the very profitable businesses as well.

Like most successful businesses, it starts with the research. First, you have to get familiar with the telecommunications companies that are operating in the small town of your choice. The more choices, the better for your business.

Vegetable and Fruits Mart

If you live in a small town where you can easily access fresh produce, opening a vegetable and fruits mart could be one of the greatest entrepreneurship ideas. You don’t need a huge startup capital and if you have some basic business skills, you should be able to run this business without breaking a sweat.

People in small towns usually support local farmers, gardeners etc. and they enjoy buying food that was produced in their town rather than imported from somewhere else. Having a vegetable and fruits mart with locally grown produce could be one of the best businesses to start with little money.

Retailing of Bread

You could always open a bakery but if you want to start a good business without investing as much money, you should consider retailing of bread. Your job will be pretty simple; you need to find good bakeries in the area, secure the delivery of bread from them, and simply display them in your shop.

However, what makes this job tricky is the time limit a business like this comes with. You can’t order too much bread if you can’t sell it as fast as possible because you will be losing money. Bread isn’t a long-lasting good so you will have to always plan ahead.

Open a Hospital /Medical Center

Opening a hospital is always on a list of small business ideas for small towns. And while hospitals and medical centers are really needed in small towns, this won’t be the easiest business to start. It takes some pretty big investments and a well-prepared and educated staff. However, if there are no other hospitals in the areas, this could be the best small business for you.

Open a Maternity Center

In some smaller communities, women often can’t afford standard hospital care for delivering a baby so they opt for a midwife of a maternity center. If, on the other hand, there is no maternity center in the area, starting one would solve many people’s problems. And we all know that the best businesses are those that offer a solution to a specific problem.

Opening a maternity center could be one of the best small business ideas for small towns for women, especially if you are a midwife. Of course, you would need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits but that should not be too big an issue.

Open a Veterinary Clinic

If you are a veterinarian, there is no question that opening a veterinary clinic in a small town is one of the best small business ideas for small towns ever. Choose a town with a lot of pet owners and/or livestock owners with no veterinarian in the area. Your business is bound to be successful if you do that.

Elderly Care Business

If you are a medical nurse or a licensed caregiver, maybe you’d like to consider starting and elderly care business. Those types of businesses are very profitable and growing in popularity so it should give you a good shot in starting to earn a steady income.

Find a suitable location, get all the necessary licenses and permits, find adequate employees, and you will have a great small business startup.

Open a Consignment Store

Consignment stores have always been popular in small towns and if there is no store of this type in your area, it could be the best startup business for you. Consignment stores are about selling used stuff of all sorts; from electronics to shoes. However, it could turn out to be the most profitable small business.

Start a Landscaping Business

If you are looking for small business ideas for small towns, starting a landscaping business could be the right thing for you. If you are interested in art, design, planning, management etc., do a bit of research to find out whether or not there is a demand for the business of this sort in your area.

However, don’t expect to make a huge profit right away. You have to have the necessary dose of talent and skill to make this a profitable business in the long run. No need to say that you have to deliver an excellent job every time and keep your reputation at the highest level possible.

Offer Lawn Care Services

The thing about small towns that makes it really different from the big cities is the fact that people usually live in houses instead of the big apartment buildings. Almost every house comes with a lawn and where there is lawn there is the need to care for it.

From lawn mowing to raking the leaves, you could offer lawn care services at a reasonable price and with almost no capital investment. All you need are the necessary tools and supplies such as the lawn mower, rake, wheelbarrow, shovel etc.

Keep in mind, however, that there are certain periods during the year when your services won’t be necessary. For example, if you live a town where the winters are usually snowy, there won’t be much need for lawn care services during those few months. On the other hand, you could offer snow shoveling services instead.

Pet Store, Grooming, and Boarding

People have never cared for their pets as much as they do now. From grooming to dressing them up, the pet owners want their four-legged friends to be in the best shape possible.

If there is no pet store in your area, one of the coolest unique business ideas would be to open one and offer additional services such as grooming and boarding. Ask around to find out where the local people currently get their pet stuff from to be sure that it makes sense to open a shop of this sort.

Gas Station

If you want to start your own business, you have probably not given too much of a thought to opening a gas station. However, try to give it another thought because the gas stations are absolutely essential in every community.

It might not be the most glamorous business ever, but it can be a very profitable one. In fact, it is possibly one of the best small business ideas for small towns. Not only will you earn money by selling gas, but you can also generate substantial revenue by selling all sorts of things, including tobacco and lottery tickets.

Small town business specifics

So what makes starting a small town business different than starting a business in a city? Let’s talk more about small business ideas for small towns!

Simplicity is the Key

Due to the huge competition, every business idea in a city has to be an innovative one. People in large cities have seen it all and they want to see more new stuff offered to them.

When it comes to small towns, the situation is the exact opposite. People cherish simplicity and traditional ideas –  and that is where you should start with starting the best business.

Free Business Niches

While the big cities have seen it all, there is a good chance you will discover a number of free business niches in a small town. Your small business ideas should probably cover some of those instead of doing the same thing other people have been doing in the same place for years.

Lower Competition

Forget about fighting for every client. If you provide a good service or product, the clients will come to you.

Better Connections

In a small town, people usually know each other pretty well. Having better connections can really simplify your business organization and help you get things done faster and without too much stress.

A Limited Number of Customers

Unfortunately, increasing the number of customers in a small town can be really hard. For example, if you own a bakery and every single resident of the town visits it every day, there is nothing more you can do to attract more customers because there simply aren’t any.

The best business to start will probably be some kind of business you are able to expand or you have to be okay with the fact that there are only so many people living in the small town.

Smaller Salaries

It’s in every business owner’s interest to pay the smallest salaries possible (as long as they are fair to the employees). The good news for entrepreneurs in small towns is that people usually work for lower wages than in big cities and they will be happy with smaller salaries.

Lower Starting Capital

It will cost you less convert your new business ideas into reality in a small town than in a big city. From cheaper rent and supplies to smaller salaries you have to pay, you will need a significantly lower starting capital in a small town.

Spend Less on Promotion

Marketing and promotion is a huge deal in big cities and it can cost you a small fortune. On the other hand, promoting a new business in a small town is usually quite simple – and cheap. There is no need to invest in large advertising campaigns and similar. Promoting good business ideas shouldn’t be a problem.

Good Reputation is everything

In a town where everybody knows each other, maintaining a good reputation is crucial. After all, one of the best marketing methods is word of mouth.

Ending thoughts on small business ideas for small towns

If you want to start a business in a small town, first do some research and think about which small business ideas for small towns actually make sense. Get a better idea about how the things in your community work, which products or services are missing, and whether or not it is possible to start a business that will solve one of the local problems.

Best small business ideas are usually simple, traditional ideas. Don’t get too caught up in the big-city way of thinking and instead think about the businesses that could benefit the small community.

One way or the other, you should give it a try and turn your small town business ideas into actual businesses. If you do it smartly, there is a good chance it will pay off. No matter what business you will be into, you will need a well-organized website to manage the operations and promote your services. In order to make sure that your business is running 24/7, delegate all the booking management activities to Amelia, our WordPress booking plugin.

If you enjoyed reading this article on small business ideas for small towns, you should check out this one on small business ideas for men.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like 15 reasons why your small business needs a website, how to start a small business, how to start a small business in Texas, small business management software, how to apply for a business license, small business management software, professional email address and contact management software.