Best Businesses To Start in a Small Towns

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A common consumer trend is to shop locally. Small-town enterprises that focus on products might take advantage of this interest in locally created goods to boost sales. Your hometown could be included into your products or brand.

Your town’s name could be part of your slogan or even your company’s name. You can incorporate elements of the town into the design, packaging, or even the items themselves, such as a favorite street or some local history.

If you reside in a small town or are considering moving there and want to contribute to the local economy, here are a few businesses that every small town should have.

Hardware Store

Local hardware stores stock all of the supplies that locals require to maintain their homes. They’re also known for their attentive service and knowledgeable advice. In today’s world, opening a hardware store—a physical location that sells, well, hardware (as well as anything else you’ll need to build a house, replace a leaking faucet, or paint the garage)—might seem difficult.

Smaller hardware stores, like small businesses in every industry, face fierce competition from big box stores like Home Depot and ecommerce behemoths like Walmart and Amazon, as well as other local businesses. But often times, these large businesses can’t afford to setup a store in smaller towns, leaving the opportunity open for a local entrepreneur.

Boutique for Clothing

Customers will notice that your store is unique if you call it a boutique. Clothing stores provide a further degree of versatility because, as a consignment shop, proprietors can focus on contemporary new goods or exclusive secondhand items. While larger retailers are expanding into more small towns, if they haven’t yet, there is an opportunity for you to capture a larger share of the market.

Handyman Service

When you live in a rural region, handyman services might be difficult to come by, leaving residents with leaky faucets and broken windows for days. When the problem is more serious, such as a flooded bathroom or an unlocked door, they usually have to pay a premium to get professionals out soon.

This lucrative small town business idea may be a wonderful fit for you if you know your way around plumbing, home improvement tools, electrical wiring, or drywall repair.

Hair Salon or Barber Shop

Haircuts are a necessity for people of all ages, and in small areas, your salon or barbershop can be the only option within a few miles. Anyone who isn’t ready to take a chance on a do-it-yourself haircut or dye job will rapidly become a regular. As a result, the same clients are likely to return every few months (or even sooner).

You don’t just go to the beauty salon or barbershop to get your hair cut and groomed. It might be the center of local news in a small community. It’s a people-oriented endeavor, like many service enterprises, especially since consumers form connections with their favorite stylists over time. Staying on top of trends while concentrating on what makes your salon unique is essential for this type of business. That could be your friendly hairdressers or the retro design of your old-school barbershop.

You may even turn your hair salon into a full-service beauty salon by adding makeup, waxing, and facial services to attract residents seeking for a little pampering.

Auto repair shop

You could wish to open a shop in town if you’re already an expert in auto repair. You can draw business from nearby places, especially if you’re service a rural area where you’re the only shop for miles. While distance may be an advantage, it may also be a disadvantage for shipping parts or providing specialized services, so keep that in mind as you conduct your research.

Owning a vehicle is essential for small-town people who need to commute to work or access commodities or services that aren’t readily available. An auto repair shop is a great small-town business concept since it puts you in front of people who are having car problems, flat tires, and other concerns. Because roadside help might have unusually long wait times in rural locations, there’s a considerable possibility your local business may get the call if a car breaks down in the region.

You can assist with routine auto maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations when repair services aren’t required.

Start a Bed and breakfast

Small towns may not be the first location that comes to mind when thinking of tourist destinations, but this is precisely why so many people are flocking to rural places these days.

People are looking for unique, real experiences outside of big cities, therefore rural tourism is on the increase.

Small towns often have unique attractions that can draw tourists. A bed and breakfast can provide a cozy, personalized lodging experience that bigger hotels can’t match, thus attracting visitors who prefer a more intimate setting.

A bed and breakfast is an excellent way to draw visitors to your little community. A delightful bed and breakfast, on the other hand, makes the stay an experience in and of itself, but a full-sized hotel may be too huge and expensive to maintain. You won’t have to pay a monthly charge for a separate residence because most B&B owners live on the site.

Service for lawns and gardens

Because tiny towns are more likely to be located in rural settings, residents are more likely to have lawns and larger gardens. People will be looking for lawn and gardening services as a result. Predictability, reliability, and scalability are just a few of the advantages of launching a business like this in a small town. Once you’ve found consumers, as long as you provide high-quality services at a reasonable price, you’ll likely maintain them for years.

You’ll also be able to anticipate the services that clients would require on a regular basis. Lawns must be fertilized and treated for weeds and bugs on a regular basis, in addition to being cut frequently. A landscaping company is also a good small-town business idea that can grow. You can begin by providing a few services, such as lawn and shrubbery care, but you can eventually grow to include snow removal.

Garden Center

A local garden center can cater to the needs of home gardeners and landscapers. It can offer a variety of plants, garden tools, and expert advice on local growing conditions.

Start A Small Town Restaurant

A few good restaurants are needed (and deserved) in any community, big or little. For all occasions and gatherings, the neighborhood pizza palace will not suffice. Opening a restaurant, like owning a bakery, is not a venture to be taken lightly. You must possess the passion, drive, and obsession of a great entrepreneur as well as a chef (or at least a hard-core foodie).

Being a restaurateur, on the other hand, can be a lucrative undertaking and a terrific business for a small town if you have the necessary desire and experience. Just keep in mind that, no matter how dazzling it appears on the outside, one-quarter of all restaurants fail within the first year. We don’t say this to discourage you; it’s just helpful to be aware of the challenges you’ll face. Prior to beginning, conduct market research and invest in technology such as a restaurant POS system to ensure your business stays open and profitable.

Local Grocery Store

A local grocery store can thrive in a small town as it caters to the everyday needs of the residents. By sourcing locally grown produce, it can support the local economy, and by offering specialized products catered to local tastes, it can become an essential part of the community.

Coffee Shop

A coffee shop provides a gathering place for locals, serving as a community hub for meetings, study sessions, or just catching up over a cup of joe. Small towns can benefit from the sense of community that a cozy, locally owned coffee shop can foster.


A cozy bookstore can become a cultural hub, especially if paired with the coffeeshop suggestions above. You can host reading groups, author signings, and other community events. It can offer a curated selection of books that cater to the interests of the local community.

Local Artisan Shop

An artisan shop selling locally made goods, crafts, and artwork can help support local artists and crafters, and offer unique products that wouldn’t be found in larger retail stores. It can be a point of interest for tourists and a source of pride for locals.

Fitness Center

Fitness centers can do well in small towns where options for staying active may be limited. Offering classes and personalized attention can make a fitness center a valuable asset to the community, promoting health and wellness.

Farmers Market

A farmers market can serve as a weekly event that brings the community together, while also providing an outlet for local farmers and growers to sell their products directly to consumers.

Pet Services

Offering pet grooming, boarding, or pet-sitting services can be a successful venture in a small town. Pets are often considered part of the family, and a trusted local service can be a valuable resource for pet owners.

Bakery or Deli

A local bakery or deli can offer freshly made food items that cater to the tastes of the community. Such establishments can become a daily stop for residents, contributing to the local economy and community feel.

Bicycle Repair Shop

As people look for greener transportation options, a bicycle repair shop can provide valuable services. In a small town, this shop could also rent bicycles to visitors wanting to explore the area. In areas where mountain biking is popular, setting up a bike repair shop can be a lucrative business

Local Brewery or Winery

If the location is suitable, a local brewery or winery can be a great draw for both locals and tourists. It can also add to the town’s identity and pride.

Hair Salon or Barber Shop

A locally-owned hair salon or barber shop can serve the grooming needs of the community. It can become a trusted place for residents to refresh their looks and chat with their neighbors.

Wedding and Event Planning

An event planning business can cater to local events such as weddings, birthdays, and community events. It can offer a personalized, local touch that out-of-town planners might not be able to match.

Outdoor Adventure Tours

If your small town is near a natural attraction, providing guided tours can be a great business opportunity. This could include hiking, bird-watching, fishing, or boating tours.

Antique Shop

An antique shop can draw both locals and visitors looking for unique items. It can also offer a way to preserve and share local history.

Home Cleaning Services

A home cleaning business can serve the needs of busy families, elderly residents, or vacation property owners. It can build trust and reputation through good service and word-of-mouth referrals.

Landscaping Services

A landscaping business can help residents maintain attractive lawns and gardens. It can offer services tailored to local climate and plant species.

Ice Cream Shop

An ice cream shop can be a popular spot for families, especially during warmer months. It can offer classic flavors and local specialties.

Catering Services

A catering business can serve events of all sizes, from family gatherings to larger community events. It can offer menus that cater to local tastes.

Craft Classes

A business offering classes in pottery, painting, knitting, or other crafts can provide a creative outlet for residents. It can also sell supplies for these crafts.

Home Inspection Services

A home inspection business can serve home buyers and sellers, providing detailed reports on the condition of properties. It can be a valuable service in towns with active real estate markets.

Child Care Center

A child care center can provide a valuable service for working parents in the community. It can offer a safe and educational environment for children, and peace of mind for parents.

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