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55 Small Town Business Ideas That Will Help You Thrive

Small Town Business Ideas

Have you been to small towns or do you currently live in one? Are you looking for some small town business ideas to help you thrive in your community?

If so, you’re in luck.

This blog post will provide 50 different small-town ideas that you can use to help you build a successful business.

With years of experience in entrepreneurship and small business development, we’re well-equipped to offer guidance on this subject.

Whether you’re looking for an online business idea or a more traditional brick-and-mortar business for a small town, we’ve got you covered.

Start reading and get inspired.

Table Of Contents

1. Flipping Affiliate Websites ($110K/Year)

Affiliate websites are one of the perfect small town ideas you can think of. They make money by recommending products or services to their readers and earning a commission on each sale.

Affiliate Programs

For instance, you can start a blog about pets and recommend pet products in your small town and make money every time someone completes a purchase after following your affiliate link.

Currently, affiliate websites are sold for an average of 55X their monthly earnings.

This means that if you can build an affiliate website that generates $1,000/month in revenue, you could sell it for around $55,000. Not bad for a part-time business idea!

You can earn money through affiliate marketing either by starting a website from scratch or finding websites that are underperforming and then improving them so that they start generating more revenue.

Each method has its own set of pros and cons, but both can be quite profitable. If you are a beginner, we strongly recommend you start your own website and as you learn more about affiliate marketing you can start finding and improving existing websites. Homepage

Building websites is no easy task. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money, and to be honest if you don’t know what you are doing, it can be quite overwhelming.

That’s why we created a step-by-step course that teaches you everything you need to know about building and flipping affiliate websites.

We start by teaching you the basics of affiliate marketing, how to find a niche market, how to drive traffic to your website, and how to maximize your earnings.

Then, as you get more experienced, we show you how to find underperforming affiliate websites, how to improve them, and how to sell them for a big profit.

For more information, read our free beginners guide here: Learn Affiliate Marketing: A Beginners Step By Step Guide

2. Web Design Agency ($65K/Year)

If you’re good at web design, then take the opportunity to form a web design agency as it’s one of the most promising small town business ideas.

New Websites

The average web design project costs around $2000, so if you can land just a few clients each month, you’ll be making some serious money.

And since more and more businesses are moving online, there’s no shortage of work for web designers in any small town.

Web design is also a career path that you can easily get started in by watching free tutorial videos on YouTube and taking advantage of other free resources.

3. Online Advertising Agency ($62K/Year)

Another great small-town idea for making money online is starting an online advertising agency.


Advertising agencies help businesses promote their products and services through various online channels, such as search engines, social media, and email.

And since there are so many different online channels available, there’s a lot of work for advertising agencies.

The key is to niche down and focus on a specific type of online advertising that clients in your small town need, such as search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, and becoming the go-to social media manager.

This will make it easier to land clients and charge higher rates.

4. Graphic Design ($65K/Year)

Graphic design is another great small-town idea for those who are creative and have a knack for design.

Graphic Designer Illustration

Graphic designers help businesses create logos, brochures, business cards, websites, and other marketing materials.

And since there’s a lot of demand for graphic designers, you can charge a pretty penny for your services.

5. Content Writing Agency ($50K/Year)

All businesses need content, whether in a small town or city. That’s where a content writing agency comes in.

Content writing agencies help businesses create blog posts, articles, eBooks, and other forms of content.

Best Freelance Writing Job Boards

And since there’s a lot of demand for quality content, you can charge a premium for your services.

You can start as a freelance writer in your small town and as you get more clients, you can hire more writers and start outsourcing your work.

The key is to ensure that your clients are happy with the quality of your work.

6. YouTube Channel ($60K/Year)

Small towns also enjoy visual content, which is more popular than ever. That’s why starting a YouTube channel can be an amazing small-town business idea.

YouTube Channel

YouTube channels allow you to create videos about anything you want, and if you can build a large following, you can make a lot of money.

You can monetize your channel through advertising, sponsorships, and product placements.

And as your channel grows, you can start branching out into other forms of visual content, such as webinars and courses that can help people all over the web, including your small town.

7. Podcasting ($50K/Year)

Podcasts are the next big thing, and if you’re good at talking, you can start your own podcast and make money.


Podcasts are like radio shows, but they’re usually shorter and more focused on a specific topic. People love podcasts because they’re easy to listen to, and they can learn something new while they’re commuting or working out.

If you can build a large following, you can make a lot of money through sponsorships and advertising.

Plus, it’s a great way to build your brand and connect with people.

8. Virtual Assistant Agency ($40K/Year)

Outsourcing is big business, and that’s why starting a virtual assistant agency can be a great way to make money in a small town.

Thanks to the internet, businesses can now hire virtual assistants from all over the world to help them with a variety of tasks, such as customer service, bookkeeping, social media, and more.

Virtual Assistant Illustration

And since there’s a lot of demand for virtual assistants, you can charge a premium for your services.

The key is to find businesses that need your help and offer them a package deal.

9. Photographer ($30K/Year)

If you’re good with a camera, starting a photography business in a small town can be a great way to make money.

There are many ways you can earn money as a photographer, including shooting weddings, events, portraits, and more.

You can also sell stock images and videos, and if you’re good enough, you can even get paid to teach photography classes.

10. Sell Handmade Goods (10% Profit/Item)

If you’re crafty, you can start a business selling handmade goods.

There are many ways to sell handmade goods, such as through Etsy, craft shows, and more.


The key is to find a niche market and focus on products that are unique and high quality.

11. Artist ($50K/Year)

There are many ways to make money as an artist, such as selling paintings, illustrations, and more.

You can also sell your art on a variety of platforms, such as Etsy, Fine Art America, and more.

12. T-shirt Designs ($1-$5/Shirt)

The demand for unique and stylish t-shirts is always high, which is why starting a business designing t-shirts can be a great way to make money.

There are many ways to sell t-shirts, such as through online stores, print-on-demand platforms, and more.

Custom T-Shirts

And if you’re good at design, you can even get paid to design t-shirts for other businesses.

In addition to t-shirts, you can also design other products, such as mugs, phone cases, and more.

13. Children’s Clothes Store ($50K/Year)

Whether living in a small town or big city, people would do anything for their children. Starting a children’s clothes store in a small town can be a great way to make money.

There is always a demand for high-quality and stylish children’s clothes, so you’ll never have to worry about finding customers.

You can sell your clothes online or in a brick-and-mortar store.

14. Toy Store ($40K/Year)

Parents are always looking for new and unique toys for their children, even if you are not a parent, you can understand why a toy store would do so well in a small town.

15. Bookstore ($30K/Year)

While online bookstores have taken over the industry, there’s nothing like curling up with a good book.

People love the smell and the feel of a paper book, which is why starting a bookstore can be a great way to make money.

You can sell new and used books, as well as offer a variety of other services, such as book clubs, events, and more.

16. Grocery Store (2%/Product)

Every town, whether big or small, needs a local grocery store.

Meat Farm Food Affiliate Programs

You will need to do your research to see what the grocery store in your small town is lacking and capitalize on that.

17. Thrift Store/Second Hand Shop ($12K/Year)

There’s always a demand for secondhand goods, which is why starting a small-town shop can be a great way to make money.

Among the many different ideas that you can think of, a thrift store can let you sell a variety of items, such as clothes, furniture, and more.

Plus, you can also offer a variety of services, such as consignment and repairs.

18. Floral Business ($20K/Year)

Flowers are symbols of love, appreciation, happiness, and even grief! It’s a perfect business idea that can bring you great returns.


Whatever the occasion, there is always a demand for flowers.

You can start a floral business by becoming a florist or starting a flower delivery service.

19. Card & Gift Stores ($2/Card)

People love giving and receiving cards and gifts, which is why starting a card and gift store can be a great way to make money.

You can sell a variety of cards, such as birthday cards, thank you cards, and more.

In addition to cards, you can also sell gifts, such as flowers, chocolates, and more.

20. Electronic Goods Store (15%/Product)

There is always a demand for electronic goods, whether it’s a new phone, laptop, or even a simple charging cord.

You can offer a variety of services, such as repairs, replacements, and more.

No Technical Knowledge Required

Plus, you can also sell a variety of accessories, such as cases, screen protectors, and more.

21. Pharmacy ($200K/Year)

We literally can’t live without pharmacies. Without medications, many of us would be in a world of hurt.

Pharmacy Store

In addition to medications, you can also sell a variety of other products, such as first-aid supplies, beauty products, and more.

You can also offer a variety of services, such as home delivery and online ordering.

22. Vendor At Farmers Market ($20K/Year)

If you love to cook or bake, then becoming a vendor at a farmers’ market can be a great way to make money.

You can sell a variety of goods, such as fruits, vegetables, and baked goods, or offer a variety of services, such as cooking demonstrations, consultations, and more.

23. Flea Market Vendor ($40K/Year)

A flea market is a great place to sell a variety of goods, from clothes to furniture to electronics.

Flea Market

Most vendors can make $200-$500 per day, so it can be a great way to make some quick cash.

All you need is a good eye for finding bargains and few haggling skills.

24. Roadside Stand ($20/Year)

If you live in a rural area, then starting a roadside stand can be a great way to make money.

You can sell a variety of goods, such as produce, flowers, and baked goods.

Plus, you can also offer a variety of services, such as car washes, pet-sitting, and more.

25. Start An Export-Based Farm (Up to $90K/Acre)

Yes, farming can be very profitable if you know what you’re doing.


The key is to find a crop that is in demand and start exporting it.

To be completely honest, starting a farm is not very easy and many farmers fail within the first few years, but if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a great way to make money.

26. Garden And Lawn Care Business ($40K/Year)

If you love spending time outdoors, then starting lawn and gardening services can be a profitable idea.

You can offer a variety of services, such as lawn mowing, weed control, and more.

Plus, you can also sell a variety of products, such as plants, seeds, and more.

27. Home Cleaning Business ($50K/Year)

Everybody hates cleaning their house, which is why a home cleaning service can be a great small business model.

Cleaning Service

Whether it’s a one-time deep clean or a regular weekly service, people are always in need of a good cleaning.

And the best part is, you can start this business with very little money and grow it into a very profitable business.

You can hire a few employees and offer a variety of services, such as carpet cleaning, window washing, and more.

28. Home Contractor ($90K/Year)

There is always a demand for home improvement services, whether it’s for remodeling, repairs, or even simple maintenance services.

Home Maintenance

You can start your own business and offer a variety of services, such as painting, carpentry, and more.

29. Handyman ($70K/Year)

The difference between a handyman and a home contractor is that a handyman offers smaller services, such as fixing a leaky faucet or hanging a picture frame, while a home contractor often takes care of big projects that require permits, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom.

So, if you’re good at fix-it projects, then starting your own handyman business can be a great way to make money.

30. Massage Therapy ($40K/Year)

There is nothing more relaxing and rejuvenating than a good massage.

And if you’re good at it, then you can start your own massage therapy business and charge people for your services.

There are many places where you can offer your services, such as spas, hotels, and even in people’s homes.

31. Tutor ($30K/Year)

If you’re good at a particular subject, then you can start your own tutoring business and help people improve their grades.

Outschool Affiliate Program

You can offer your services to students of all ages, from elementary school to college.

Plus, you can also offer your services online, which makes it even easier to start and grow your business.

32. Sewing And Alterations ($30K/Year)

Most people nowadays buy their clothes from stores. Sewing and alterations can be a great idea since there are still many people who prefer to have their clothes custom-made or altered to fit them perfectly.

If you’re good with a sewing machine, then starting a sewing and alterations store can be an amazing small-town business.

33. Hair Salon ($20K/Year)

Another solid business idea is salon. People care about how they look and would do what it takes to keep up with their day-to-day hair needs.

Hair Salon

Hair salon is a fairly inexpensive business idea and here are many places where you can learn how to cut hair, such as cosmetology schools or even online courses.

Once you’re trained, you can start your own salon and offer a variety of services, such as haircuts, styling, coloring, and more.

34. Gym Fitness Center ($60K/Year)

With the rise of obesity and health problems, many people, including owners of local businesses are now looking to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle.

If you’re passionate about fitness and health, then opening your own gym or fitness center can be a great way to make money in small towns.

The key is to offer a variety of services and programs that people are interested in, such as weight loss, dancing classes, and more.

35. Woodworking ($25K/Year)

If you’re good with your hands and enjoy working with wood, then woodworking can be a successful small town  business for you.


There are many different things you can make, such as furniture, cabinets, and more. Moreover, most local businesses need these pieces to furnish their workspaces.

Plus, you can also sell your products online, which makes it even easier to reach a larger audience and grow your small-town business.

36. Furniture Upcycling ($30K/Year)

With the popularity of shows like American Pickers and Antiques Roadshow, more and more people are interested in old furniture.

If you have a knack for finding hidden treasures, then starting a furniture upcycling business can be a great way to make money.

All you need is a business plan. You can find old furniture at garage sales, flea markets, and even online.

Once you’ve found a piece of furniture, you can then refurbish it and sell it for a much higher price.

37. Car Washing Business ($40K/Year)

We all have a friend or two who care about their cars more than anything else in the world.

Carwash Website

And if you’re one of those people, then starting a car wash business can be a great idea for small-town entrepreneurs.

All you need is a water supply and some basic equipment, such as hoses and brushes, and you’re good to go.

You can also offer other services to local business owners, such as waxing and detailing, to further increase your earnings.

38. Car Repair Business ($50K/Year)

If you’re mechanically inclined, then starting an auto repair shop can be a very lucrative business for small-town residents.

There are many different things you can do, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and more.

39. Bike Shop ($50K/Year)

People are now more interested in cycling than ever before.

Bike Shop

This is because it’s a great way to get exercise and it’s also very eco-friendly. And with the rising gas prices, many people are now looking for alternative ways to get around.

40. Minigolf Course ($100K/Year)

While many people think of it as a large town business idea, offering minigolf courses can be a great place to start if you’re looking for a fun and unique small-town business idea. Starting your own minigolf course can be a great option.

This is a great local business model for small towns because it’s a fun activity for people of all ages.

41. Arcade & Bowling Alley ($70K/Year)

Every town needs a place for people to have fun and let loose. But you need a strategic business plan for this kind of business.

An arcade and bowling alley can be a great small-town business idea.

The key is to offer a variety of games and activities that people will enjoy and never get bored of.

42. Water Park ($200K/Year)

Water parks are great business ideas. They are a great way to make money in small towns during the summer.


This is because people are always looking for ways to cool off and have fun in the sun.

The key to a successful small business is to offer a variety of attractions and activities that people will enjoy, such as slides, pools, and more.

43. Pet Groomer And Trainer ($70K/Year)

People love their pets and are always looking for ways to make them look and feel their best.

If you’re passionate about animals, then starting your own pet grooming and training business can be one of the best small-town business ideas.

In addition to grooming and training, you can also offer other small business services, such as pet sitting and walking, and sell pet products.

44. Firewood Delivery ($200/Cord)

If you have a truck and some strong arms, then firewood delivery business idea is a good option. This can be a great way to make money in small towns.

Firewood Website

Firewood is always in demand during the winter, so this is a great small-town business to start before the cold weather hits.

You can find firewood for sale at lumberyards, sawmills, and online.

Once you’ve sourced your firewood, you can then deliver it to people’s homes and businesses.

45. Restaurant Or A Diner (40%/Year)

Restaurants are always one of the most popular business ideas in small towns.

This is because people are always looking for places to eat, whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Restaurant Affiliate Programs

If you’re passionate about food, then starting your own restaurant or diner can be a great way to make money in small towns.

The key to success is to offer a variety of food that people will enjoy, as well as excellent customer service.

46. Food Truck ($12K/Year)

If you don’t have the capital to start your own restaurant, then starting a food truck business idea can be a great alternative.

Food trucks are becoming increasingly popular, especially in small towns, as they offer a variety of food that people can enjoy, and they’re also very mobile.

47. Bakery ($50K/Year)

The smell of fresh baked goods is hard to resist, which is why bakeries are always popular small-town businesses.

Bakery Website

You can start your own bakery in small towns and offer a variety of baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, pies, and more.

The key to success is to use high-quality ingredients and always bake fresh.

48. Food Delivery Service ($30K/Year)

Another perfect food business idea is to start your own food delivery service.

Restaurants and grocery stores are always in need of delivery drivers, and this is a great way to make money in small towns.

The key to success is to offer a prompt and efficient delivery service.

49. Coffee Shops ($100K/Year)

People love coffee, and a coffee shop can be great places to socialize and meet new people.

Volcanica Coffee

If you’re passionate about coffee, then starting your own coffee shop can be a great way to make money in small towns.

The key to success is to offer a variety of coffee and tea, as well as a comfortable place for people to relax and chat.

50. Sports Bars ($60K/Year)

Sports bars are always popular in small towns, as they provide a place for people to watch their favorite teams and socialize.

You can start your own sports bar and offer a variety of food and drinks, as well as TVs for people to watch the game.

The key to success is to offer a great atmosphere and excellent customer service.

51. Christmas Tree Farm ($30k/Year)

While some people choose to use the rural property for 40 years to produce oak or walnut, the most practical choice would be a Christmas tree farm.

Christmas Tree

You may stagger the planting of a few acres of pines, allowing you to harvest one portion one year and plant another the following year.

Once you figure out the pattern, you could make a nice sum of money every winter.

The small business strategy might work well in rural areas where there is plenty of room to grow. You can supply your city and the surrounding cities.

52. Beauty Salon (Up to $300k/Year)

A beauty salon is a great way to make money in a small town by using your skills in hair, makeup, and skin care. All the while ensuring that your clients look and feel their very best. 

Beauty Salon

Also, owning a beauty salon can give you a chance to express your creativity and build strong, personal relationships with customers, which can help build a sense of community in a small town.

Owning a beauty salon can give you a chance to express your creativity and build strong, personal relationships with customers, which can help build a sense of community in a small town.

53. Local Tour Guide ($30k/Year)

What is available in the area? Can you still find evidence of earlier communities? Are there any intriguing rural cemeteries? Excellent fishing, hunting, and hiking areas?

There is always something to brag about, so why not become an expert on your tiny town and its surroundings?

54. Computer Repair/It Support Service ($70k/Year)

Starting a computer services business might be a fantastic option if you’re looking for low-key ventures to start in a smaller city.

You might want to try to sell, repair, and provide IT assistance in your area if you have some IT knowledge.

Computer Repair Shop

As more and more people rely on technology for both personal and professional purposes, the demand for computer repair and IT support services is likely to continue to grow. Starting a computer repair business in a smaller city can provide a valuable service to the local community, and potentially allow for a strong, loyal customer base to develop. 

Additionally, owning a computer repair business can provide the opportunity to work with a wide variety of technology and develop expertise in the field, making it an engaging and fulfilling small business venture.

55. Start a Local Paper ($150k/Year)

Print newspapers are struggling everywhere around the globe. People are not even relying on big online newspapers as much as they used to. But many local internet newspapers in small communities are thriving.

You might potentially receive reliable support from the city, in addition to revenue from advertisements or companies purchasing online ad space.

Many people still see the value in both print and digital versions of a local newspaper.

How To Find The Right Small Town Business Idea:

1. Find What Your Local Community Lacks

The first step to finding the best small town business ideas is to find out what profitable businesses are already in your town and what your small community lacks.

Property Search Engines Illustration

This will give you a good idea of the types of businesses that would be successful in your area.

If there are already a lot of restaurants, for example, you might want to start a different type of food-related business, such as a food truck or a bakery.

You can also look at what businesses are doing well in other small towns and see if there’s a way to convert the ideas to your small town business.

If you’re not sure what businesses are in your town, you can check the chamber of commerce or look online.

Another way to find out what small town business ideas you can try in your small city is to talk to people and ask them what they would like to see in the community.

This can give you some great ideas for a small business that would be popular in your area.

2. Monopoly Is The Game You Want To Play

In business, it’s often said that monopoly is the game you want to play.

This means that you want to be the only small town business in your town that offers a certain product or service.


For example, if you’re the only sports bar in town, you’re likely to do well, as there are no other options for people who want to watch the game.

To find out if there’s a potential monopoly in your town, you can research the businesses that are already there and see if there’s a way to fill a void in the market.

You can also talk to people in your local community and see their top small town business ideas. This could be what they would like to see in the town.

If you can find a way to offer something that no one else does, you’re likely to be successful.

3. Your Business Location Can Be More Important Than You Think

When you’re choosing a location for your business, it’s important to consider the foot traffic in the area.

local ranking google map

This is especially true in small towns, as people are more likely to shop at businesses that are conveniently located.

If you’re not sure where to locate your business, you can talk to a real estate agent or look online for commercial properties.

The bottom line is that you want to choose a location that’s convenient for people in your town.

4. Start A Business That Matches Your Skills And Budget

When you’re choosing a small town business to start, it’s important to choose something that you’re passionate about. This will make it easier to stick with it, even when things get tough.

Save More Money

It’s also extremely important to calculate the start-up costs and plan for how you will finance your business.

If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, there are still plenty of businesses you can start.

You can look into starting an online business, such as a blog or an online pet store.

No matter what small town business you decide to start, make sure you do your research and create a solid business plan or you’re likely to fail.


1. Which Business Is Most Profitable In Small City?

Meat Farm Food Affiliate Programs

The most profitable business in a small city is usually the one that monopolies the market. This could be the only grocery store, wine or cheese shop, hardware store, an ice cream shop, or sports bar in town.

2. What Lucrative Business Can I Start In A Small Village?

You can start any type of small town business in a small village that you could in a large city, the only difference is that your customer base will be smaller.

A few small business ideas for rural areas include a gas station, a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, a bed, and breakfast, or an online store.

3. Which Business Can I Start With 20K?

How Do I Make Money As A Proofreader

There are plenty of small-town business ideas that can be started with 20K, such as:

  • Building affiliate Website
  • Car Washing
  • Coffee shop
  • Home cleaning services
  • Gardening/Landscaping Service
  • Pet Training
  • Open a small ice cream shop

What Is the Best Small Town Business Idea?

There are many different types of small town businesses ideas you can start in a small town, it just takes some creativity.

If you’re looking to be successful, you should consider starting a small town business that has the potential to monopolize the market.

It’s also important to choose a location that is convenient for people in your town and to start your own business that matches your skills and budget.

With some hard work and dedication, you can start a successful small town business.

If you would like to learn more about how to flip websites for profit check out this free webinar and learn how to easily get started.



Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.


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