So you live in a small town and you want to start a small business and are looking for an idea, right?

There are so many small business ideas for small towns, but not all of them work the same. I share some of the good small business ideas here, because obviously you are that type of person who is looking for a regular brick and mortar business, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this page. Different types of locations have different business dynamics. This is exactly why the business requirements in small towns are very different from top cities.

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That could have worked as a very successful business proposition in metro might not be among the most successful small business ideas in small towns. Therefore, the question is what could count as a great small business idea that works properly in a small town?

I will share some of the good small business ideas with you, because obviously you are that type of person who is looking for a regular brick and mortar business, otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this page. The business ideas I am sharing below, are for those who want to have an income to make a living with. They are not for those who want to become rich and financially free.

Maybe you say you are among the ones who just want to make a living and you are not after becoming rich through your small business, specially because you live in a small town. That is an absolutely wrong mentality. Living in a small town, or needing to make some money to survive, doesn’t mean that you can’t think about becoming rich. I am not going to refer you to a get-rich-quick program.

I am just talking about “thinking” and “dreaming”. It is not a crime to think big and have big dreams, is it?

It is not harmful as well. So, read the below small business ideas while you are dreaming of something: What if you become the richest person of your small town?

Think about it and I will let you know at the end of this article.

Small Business Ideas for Small Towns to Make a Living With

Small Business Ideas for Small Towns

Well, there are actually many alternatives. The idea is to undertake the right kind of market study and gather suitable information to cater to the right set of demand profile. I created a handy list of successful small businesses in a small town to help you navigate through your entrepreneurial dreams more efficiently and get a better grasp of your business.

1. Coffee Shop as a Good Small Business Idea for the Small Towns

Coffee Shop

Think about the quaint little coffee shops in sleepy little towns and instantly you will realize owning a coffee shop is among the most successful small businesses specially tailor made for small towns. You must realize that most international coffee chains would make a beeline for the top tier cities given the higher business opportunity and revenue prospects. However thanks to globalization, people in even distant and remote areas could nurture the ambition of getting these classic cafe experiences and that would be your opportunity to cash in on.

You can even look at expanding the reach by keeping a possibility of serving alcohol post work hours. In that way, you can cater to two different types of clientèle under one roof. On the one hand, you would have the afternoon college crowd taking a break over some small tit bits and coffee and then comes the post work crowd ready to unwind with some alcoholic beverages after a hard day.

2. All Purpose Grocery or Convenience Store in Small Towns

Convenience Store

The grocery store too can be considered as top contenders in the list of successful business ideas for small towns. A mom and pop style shop requires significantly low startup capital and the relative investment in provisions is also significantly manageable. This kind of business will ensure that they will always have a continuous chain of cash flow on a regular basis. Because on an average however well planned a shopper one might be, there is always constant need for regular provisions like jam, bread, biscuit, drinking water and the like.

This type of grocery store will comfortably fill that void and make it a great hangout joint over a bar of chocolates. If you are looking to expand, you can also stack up latest newspapers and magazines that people could either buy or read for a price like a mini journal library too. But you need to conduct some sizeable market study in the kind of products that you should store, the kind of demand that’s there for essentials. Most importantly pay close attention to the kind of things that people are struggling to get around you and that’s your cue to get exactly that and in bulk.

3. Water Refill Centre in Small Towns

Water Refill

This could be among the top 5 in the list of the most successful small business ideas if you are in a small town which has a scarcity of portable drinking water. In one master stroke, you will be addressing the basic and greatest necessity of the residents and also churn out sizeable profit for you. Water is one of those basic needs that you cannot ignore. So you will be simplifying a major challenge in your effort to realize your entrepreneurial dreams. It could really help you to make this decision is that the relative cost of these water stations is significantly lower.

4. A Boutique


A small town often tends to lack a great shopping place, but that also means that you have another listing for a small business idea. Yes indeed, if you have always wanted to be a designer, have a reasonable sense of cuts and patterns and can get the raw material, grab this golden opportunity. You could even save the people from making those painfully long drives to the big city to buy good looking clothes. They can now buy quality clothes right from their neighborhood and you too experience the joy of doing something you like.

5. Vape Shop Small Business in Your Small Town

It is a misconception that vape shops are only for big cities. In fact, it is among the most successful small business ideas for small towns. The latest data indicates that there is still a demand for these vape shops despite an overall decline in smoking rate. Of course, the place that you are in and the specific state that you are targeting could make a difference depending on the local regulation. But overall, there is a strong demand for it despite a niche placement for this type of business in small towns.

6. Bakery


There are hardly options that could better this one in your tryst for the most successful small business ideas for the small towns. Particularly if you enjoy baking, have the resources to start a shop with a steady supply of most in demand goods, this could be one of the easiest business to start even from home. You could even use the living room window to be your storefront if required. Food items always yield high profit margin if managed carefully. The trick is to identify the right type of products and the kind of customers you are catering to. That will no doubt help you make more sustainable choices.


All in all, the most successful small business ideas that you can choose to open in a small town are all about identifying the right kind of business. You must undertake a very detailed study of the market you are catering to and the existing demand trends and average behavior of the people. All of that would help you get a better understanding of the small businesses that you could plunge into. We created a list of some promising small business ideas that have a higher chance of success in small towns. The trick is to capitalize on them and adapt them as per the precise needs of your locality.

But now I am going to talk about something that I promised at the beginning of this article.

Most probably you have found this page because you are looking for a good business idea that works in the small town you are living in. The above small business ideas are all good, but there are some problems with them, and so, I don’t recommend you to spend any time and money on starting them. First, they need a lot of money to start while it can take a long time to take them off the ground and start making profit with them.

Therefore, you have to have a lot of money to start and a good backup to survive while the business doesn’t make profit. That lowers your success rate, and it is possible that you give up after losing a lot of money and wasting a lot of time. Borrowing money from the the others is a terrible solution, simply because you never know when you will be able to return their money. This can get you into serious troubles specially because you live in a small town.

Second, the above businesses, although they are among the top small business ideas that have the highest success rate in small towns, are not scalable and are always struggling. It means even if you can make them profitable, you have to work day in day out to keep a fixed income coming. If you stop working for a week for some reason, you will be in trouble to pay the rent.

You will like to increase the income but you can’t do it easily.

How can you increase the income of a boutique or bakery in a small town?

It is somehow impossible because there are so many factors that aren’t under your control. Even if you offer the best service, the number of your customers will always be under a special limit. The other question is how you will deal with the economic recessions and the occasions that people don’t make enough money for a while?

I have seen that even barbers get into trouble during a financial crisis and recession because surprisingly most people go for a haircut less frequently when they make less money or they lose their income. The conclusion is that it is a terrible idea to run any of the businesses that I listed above, and if you do so, the chance of your success is below 5% according to the statistics (read this). In spite of this, you had no option in the past, and you had to go for a small business like the ones I listed above. You couldn’t do better and you had no better option.

But things have changed a lot, and you will be a loser if you don’t make the most of the new things like the Internet.

You can start a scalable worldwide business that gives you money, time and location freedom, and can make you rich: What Is Data Technology and How It Can Make You a Millionaire?

So, run a “small” business which is as wide as the world, and can be managed from anywhere not only from your small town.