Small town business ideas for young entrepreneurs

What are some small town business ideas to benefit the town?

Small towns can have big business opportunities. Whether it’s bursting at the seams or sparsely populated, every town has to have essential businesses to cater to their everyday needs. From local services to product-based stores, gone are the days when aspiring entrepreneurs had to consider bigger cities to start a new empire. So, if you’re looking for promising market potentials and small town business ideas within your community, your search ends here.

small town business ideas

In this article, we’ve listed some popular small town business ideas that you might want to get started on if you’re based in a small town or planning to relocate and contribute to the local business scene. But, be reminded that a limited population can be a little bit of a blessing and a little bit of a curse. While it’s generally easier to determine what your target market demands when it’s small, it can also mean that there’s a limited amount of customers to get in your pipeline.

Aside from seeking business funding opportunities, performing background research into the local market is crucial when starting a small-town business. And, this list is a good place to start for small town business ideas.

What businesses does every small town need?


Are you a professional chef or someone who works in a similar field? If yes, a nice restaurant in a small town can be a lucrative business. Fast-food restaurants or food trucks, for example, are ideal for customers looking for something to grab a bite of while on the go. Or, you can go all out and be the first fine-dining restaurant owner in your developing hometown. Every community needs at least one steakhouse that offers an upscale menu for people who might want to experience fancy night outs.

One simple yet highly effective rule when opening a countryside restaurant is to be the only one in town. Because there’s quite a limited population, you don’t want to be the second, third, or fourth option. You need to make sure your restaurant provides unique services that will make it stand out from the competition. How about a hybrid bar slash coffee shop? You’ll certainly gain larger store traffic by providing the food and beverages people want day and night.

Same-day food/Grocery couriers

Small towns are typically home to businesses that are inspired by what is lacking. Look around your target location and determine what kind of service or product you can contribute. In many remote areas, people usually drive to the next town to get food and grocery supplies. But you can make their life much easier by offering same-day delivery services to the community.

People won’t have to leave their houses and travel far and wide just to buy a slice of ‘real’ pizza or get a shampoo refill. They simply have to place their orders to you, and your couriers will have them delivered on the same day.

Handyman services

A general contracting business is always in demand, even in small suburbs. Houses need regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. So, if you are frequently getting calls from your neighbours to drop by and examine a rusty roof or a leaky pipe, then it’s time to put your skills to good use. You can offer daily handyman services to your community yourself or create a construction team for large-scale projects.

While it might be too soon to think about expanding the business, if you’re a visionary, you may also consider putting up a specialised shop that provides hardware tools and equipment rentals alongside your construction firm. So that when duty calls, you’ll have all the tools you need. That’s an ideal way of doubling your income.

Automotive repairs

Vehicles are quite a necessity for people living in remote areas. They make travelling from home to work and vice versa so much easier for locals. However, routine servicing can be a hassle with dealerships and automotive shops very far from the town. And for that reason, it is only natural for a small rural community to have its own car repair shop. If you have a knack for automotive works, such as cleaning, repairing, vulcanising or selling car accessories and cleaning products, you can capitalise on being the nearest one-stop auto shop in the area.

Auto servicing a small town where you are the only one around between suburbs can bring a lot of traffic from nearby areas. This is particularly the case when your shop is close to a highway or any accident-prone area.


A drugstore is probably the most complex business on the list so far. It requires more research and legwork, from hiring a pharmacist (unless you’re a trained pharmacist yourself) to getting necessary licenses and installing security measures. Not to mention, a substantial amount of working capital is another key factor when it comes to running and growing a drugstore business. Nonetheless, you can absolutely thrive in this line of business if your target location is not yet served by a pharmacy or even a local healthcare centre.

It is very important for a community to have adequate access to medicine. Driving to the next city to obtain over-the-counter medicines is obviously the last thing a sick person wants to do. Hence, being the first drugstore to operate in town could be a great opportunity.


Now more than ever, people are extra conscious when it comes to their health and wellness. They get into fitness, have a well-rounded diet and take good care of their bodies. If you think this is the case in your area and you yourself are a well-experienced fitness guru, then starting a gym membership business might be an excellent idea. A gym or fitness studio is particularly useful for corporate workers who take a trip every day into the city for their jobs looking for a place to work out after office hours. Having a local fitness studio will give them the chance to get into their daily fitness regimens without having to go too far out of their way.

Key takeaways

Starting a new business is always an exciting time, especially for young entrepreneurs. Regardless of whether you’re considering a small town or a major city to set up your dream venture, big businesses can happen anywhere. Doing research beforehand and filling the needs of a local community are great steps towards a small-town business’ success.