When you say ‘small town’, a lot of people tend to think about rural areas with commercial streets operating at a snail’s pace, barely any entertainment options, and a sluggish local economy. However, the definition of a small town today is not as desolate as you may think. While there are still small towns that are operating in the same way they did thirty years ago, a lot of small towns today have bustling local economies.
That said, running a business in a small town can be just as lucrative as in the big city. If you currently live in a place that can be categorized as a ‘small town’, here are some business ideas that you may want to consider:
1. Electronic repair store
In the big city, you won’t be hard-pressed to find a place that can repair your electronics. The same is not always true for small towns, especially those that are a great distance away from urban areas. If this is the case for the town that you live in, why not buy and open a tablet repair franchise? Or perhaps build your own electronic repair store from scratch?
This type of business often requires smaller capital as compared to other types of businesses. Aside from the establishment, tools, and small equipment, what you really need to invest in is your repair skills—or skilled repair people that you can hire. If there is a shortage of commercial repair shops in your area, then you may just gain a monopoly over a highly profitable market.
2. Specialty food shop
There are likely plenty of restaurants and diners even in a small town, so entering the competition may be a little tricky, especially if the locals are already so used to eating at the same places over and over again. Instead of a restaurant, perhaps a specialty food shop can be more interesting for the local clientele.
Scoping out the local food options can give you a good idea of what kind of specialty food shop to open. For example, if the local grocery store has limited options on wines, why not open a winery or wine shop? Maybe add special cheeses to the products you offer. Or if the restaurants in the area are mostly the usual American, Italian, and Mexican fare, what about opening a specialty shop that serves unique foods from other exotic places?
3. Car wash
A car wash is relatively easy to operate and maintain. So, if there is no existing car wash in your small town (and if you can find a great location by the main road), this business venture may be the right one for you. Even people in small towns want convenience, and who knows? Maybe they are tired of washing their cars themselves.
4. Pet store, pet grooming
If there isn’t already a local supply shop or a large pet chain in your small town, definitely consider opening a pet store or a pet groomer in your area (or a hybrid of the two). Currently, around 67% of American households own one or more pets, and the pet industry expenditure is expected to hit $110 billion in 2021. The potential may be too great to pass up if there is a great need in your small town for pet supplies and pet grooming services.
5. Health food store
One of the rapidly rising industries in the country today is the health food industry. Having proven to be more than just a passing trend, health food has become a lifestyle staple for an increasing number of health-conscious Americans. Opening a health food store in a small town where no similar business exists is a great way to tap into this potential, especially if the local clientele has a hard time finding fresh and organic foods.
6. Event venue
A lot of small towns have a shortage of event venues to choose from. For this reason, many people in small towns tend to look for venues in other towns or big cities to celebrate special occasions like weddings, birthdays, and holiday parties. If this is the case in the town that you live in, consider opening an event venue in a strategic location in town, ideally, one that can be used for many types of events.
In larger cities and urban towns, the competition amongst businesses tends to be high. But in smaller towns—especially in rural and suburban areas—there is often a lot of potential yet to be unlocked. If you want to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams in a small town, these business ideas may just be what you’re looking for.