7 Highly Rewarding Small Town Business Ideas for 2021 (and Beyond)
By the end of 2020, 27 million Americans declared their income was from self-employed work.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of a small town startup, you could be on your way to a goldmine business. With so much demand and so little competition, starting a business in your familiar little town can be a great way to boost your local economy, interact with your neighbors, and make a sustainable self-employed income.
You’re rearing to go but there’s only one little problem. You don’t have any small town business ideas.
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of seven of the best small town business ideas that are sure to succeed in rural areas. Follow along to discover these sure-fire ideas and business tips and tricks you need to know to start a business today.
1. Grocery Store
There’s no denying that a grocery store is a high-demand business idea. Since everyone needs to eat (and ultimately needs to buy that food somewhere) grocery stores come with a built-in customer base.
Even if your small town already has a grocery store, opening another can create healthy competition, choice, and even more community support. The problem with a singular grocery store is that customers have no choice but to head to the city when they need something that isn’t stocked.
Unfortunately, once in the city, many shoppers continue to pick up the rest of their goods and make a worthwhile trip of it. By opening another option, customers will have a better chance of finding what they need and keeping their business local, which is more convenient and better for the economy.
To stand out as a community supporter, consider sourcing foods from local providers such as fruit from local orchards, milk from dairy farmers, and eggs from the chicken coup down the road.
2. Cafe & Bar
Small towns often face the same unfortunate downfall: There’s not a whole lot to ‘do’.
If your neighbors are often complaining about the sleepy town, consider a bar or lounge for your small town startup. These venues create buzz and can often draw in an audience that would otherwise head for a city pub.
Bring your business ideas into the daytime by doubling up your venue as a cafe. This dual-purpose venue can quickly become the local hangout to know and draw both the coffee and alcohol crowd. Keep it fresh and trendy by introducing a wine bar vibe or bring in live entertainment on the weekends.
This business idea is a great option for those with a background in carpentry.
Think about all of the families or little old ladies that had no choice but to bring in a plumber or builder from the city to fix simple problems around the house.
Develop your business plan by deciding if you will target long-term contracts with venues like the school or church or offer odd job services to all local residents.
Word of mouth will quickly have your schedule filling up with trustworthy neighbors and other small businesses in the area who could use a little fix-up.
Parents with young children who work full or even part-time know the struggle of coordinating good child care.
If your small town is full of these working parents, opening a daycare could be an incredibly lucrative way to help out local citizens and pursue your passion.
Offering additional services such as afterschool pick-up and educational development can take your daycare business to the next level and encourage long-term clients.
Get started with this sustainable small town startup idea by putting together a detailed daycare business plan and approaching potential customers to gauge interest.
5. Pet Store
Pet owners will happily tell you their dog, cat, spider, or bird is ‘like their child’. These individuals grow such a connection with their pets that they would do or spend nearly anything to keep them happy and healthy.
If you’re a fellow pet lover, opening a pet store in your local town could be a great venture.
Having a gentle hand and genuine love for the furballs that enter your store will have customers eager to bring their 4-legged friends in for a new toy or treat. You can even offer additional services such as grooming, dog walking, or even boarding services for vacationers.
6. Fitness Center
Health and fitness are becoming a solid trend and this increase in exercise is a highly profitable habit.
Many small towns don’t have many options for gyms or alternative exercise classes and leave people stuck with nothing to do but run or play sports.
If you are a fitness junky and love helping others discover the benefits of an active lifestyle, opening a gym, hosting classes, or even creating a yoga studio can all be fantastic business ideas.
One of the best parts about fitness center models is that your income is based on a membership fee. This helps you get a better idea of what you can expect to see on the books and make decisions about staffing and hours to align.
7. Bed & Breakfast
One of our favorite business ideas for rural areas is opening a quaint and comfortable bed & breakfast.
If you live in a beautiful rural area, there’s no question that city slickers will love paying you a visit to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. By providing a cozy place to stay, you’ll have the opportunity to share your piece of paradise with holidayers and make their vacation one for the books.
As a bonus, bringing new people and tourists to town will increase the amount of traffic visiting local stores and establishments. This boosts not only your business but all of the small businesses around you, supporting the economy and helping your community thrive.
Launch Your Small Town Business Ideas
Now that you know seven of the best small town business ideas, you can set forth in creating your business plan and ditching your mundane day job. From supporting a healthier local economy to building valuable community relationships, a small town is an ideal location to launch your startup.
Want more business tips and ideas? Visit our other blog posts to discover everything you need to know to see business success in 2021.
Samantha Gaines wrote this article on behalf of FreeUp. FreeUp is the fastest-growing freelance marketplace in the US. FreeUp only accepts the top 1% of freelance applicants. Click here to get access to the top freelancers in the world.
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