20+ Small business ideas for small towns

Small business ideas for small towns

What business does every small town need? Are there small business ideas for small towns?

The answer is yes and yes.

Several small town business opportunities that one can take advantage and profit from it. I know you’ll like the small business ideas that will stick.

Just give me your time as I show you some of the small business ideas for rural areas.

Not all business work in every location. Therefore, there are several factors you need to consider. These factors can include the size of the population, the income of most of the residence and the demand for the products/services in that area.

We shall look at the small business ideas for small towns, but before we go into the list proper, let’s look at what small towns means.

What is a small town

Well, the definition can mean different things to different people. But generally, a small town can range from hundreds to some thousand, usually with low activities, social life and mostly with more old folks than youth in the town.

In such towns, not all business will thrive. For instance, in a small town, it may be difficult for sales of car business thrives in a small town when compared to big towns.

Why take advantage of small town business opportunities

It’s a fact that there are reasons why small towns business opportunities will thrive for those who take advantage of it. Some of the reasons are:

  1. The market is great for a startup business. This is because the competition will be low as there will be small business opportunities with a lack of options to customers.
  2. Small business owners may benefit from the product or services you can provide therefore creating small town business opportunities for skilled and product providers in the community.
  3. Whichever small town business ideas you intend to pursue, you may need little startup to start the business.

Now that you know the why below are some of the small business ideas for small towns.

20+ Best small business ideas for small towns

These business ideas for small towns are carefully selected and will work.


Because in a small town it’s necessary that drives business. In other words, in a small town, it’s hard to find people buying as a result of impulse or luxury.

Below is a list I’ve compiled about small business for small towns, not because they’re 100% perfect, but because they’re small town business opportunities that give options and appreciate each customer irrespective of their age or educational background.

  1. Grocery store

This is the most popular business in small towns, simply because a grocery store sells things that are required for daily use in virtually every household to restock. A grocery store is another mom and pop style business which requires little capital to start.

The business is easy to setup and once it’s up and running, it brings in a daily cash flow into the hands of the entrepreneur.

You have to take the time to do your survey to know what people are buying and try to stock your store with the right product.

Even though it’s easy to setup, the grocery store business will require effective management for it to bring in profit consistently.

  1. Water refill station

Access to clean water in most small town is difficult. You should consider opening a water refill station. This begins by digging a well or borehole.

When you have clean water, you’ll definitely begin to get customers. The business of water refill station is one of the profitable businesses you can do in small towns.

  1. Call cards and data bundle

Call cards and data bundle business is another lucrative small business you can do in a small town. You can get the cards and data bundle of the different network as people buy it on a regular basis.

Depending on your location, you can choose the telecommunication companies that operate in that location, then buy the call cards and data bundle base on the network that operate in the location.

Call cards and data bundle business is one of the simplest business to start with low startup without any skills.

  1. Gourmet business

If you’re looking for a small town business that thrives, then you can consider doing a gourmet business. This business is simple and to be successful you’ll need to put your business outlet close to public places like sports center, event venues, cinemas etc.

  1. Packaged drink and table water business

The packaged drinks and table water business is another small business opportunity serious entrepreneur will want to do in a small town.

This is because the drinks and table water do not only use for occasions alone but has become daily food needed in households. Some of the product you can sell include soft drinks, juice and table water.

The packaged drink and table water will bring in consistent profit especially when you’re located in the right location.

  1. Open a restaurant

The restaurant is another profitable business in the food industry not only in small towns but also on a global basis. The restaurant business works irrespective of the location and can stand the taste of time.

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Any person, who joins the restaurant business, has the guarantee of having a high return on investment. The owner of the business has the right to decide the location, the price and the type of food that will be served to customers.

For this business to thrive, you’ll have to focus your restaurant on the food that the locals will like and willing to buy.

But that will depend on the type of restaurant you intend to operate. Some of which are fast food restaurant, casual dining restaurant, a local restaurant, intercontinental restaurant are among the small ones among the popular type.

  1. Vegetable and fruit mart

This is one of the profitable businesses that a community cannot do without. The business entails the setting up of a mart for vegetables and fruits.

The business requires small startup and requires no skill to start the business. Your number one thing to consider is to ensure you’ll have access to the vegetable and fruits in other not to run out of stock when the business starts.

You will need to find vegetables and fruits that will serve as the major thing that will attract customers to your mart regularly.

  1. Open a meat mart

This is another business to consider doing if you cannot go into the vegetable and fruit mart business. Meat is among the food that is consumes globally, hence the business will be viable and profitable even in a small town.

When starting the business, strive to consider the location of the business as that will affect the success of the business.

In a small town, the best location will be to locate it in a farmers market, food market or close to the residential building where household will have access to it easily.

  1. Food stuff retailing

This business involves the selling of foodstuffs like beans, rice, yams, macaroni, spaghetti, potatoes, guinea corn etc. to customers.

Food stuff retailing business is one of the largest markets in the world because the food is a vital commodity that supplies the daily need of living things in growth and development.

When it comes to food stuff retailing, the way you package your package food stuff will make the difference and attracts more customers. The decision on the quantity of food stuff to the package is all in your hand.

However, package in a way that will make people purchase the food stuff no matter how their income is.

The food stuff retailing business will thrive irrespective of the town you’re and require little money to set up.

  1. Bookshop

There is no town that cannot do without a bookshop. Bookshop business is where books of different use can be sold, writing pad, measuring instruments of different type, envelope and so on.

Before starting a bookshop business, you have to do your research to know the type of books and other material that will be needed in a community or the town.

Most often, in a small town the bookshop that will bring in profit consistently will be an academic bookshop where writing materials, measuring tools etc. are sold. This type of bookshop will target the student in the community.

Like other retailing business, you have to find a good business location, preferably, in a place where schools are located or major route for students.

Starting the bookshop business is one of the profitable small businesses that can work in a town which there are a number of students.

  1. Pharmaceutical store

The pharmaceutical retail store is another profitable business you can consider to do in a town. It involves the sales of drugs from different manufacturers.

The business will require you to get the license before going into it. This is simply to ensure your business does not sell fake drugs that will affect the community.

Even though this is one of the profitable retail business, it’s one of the must regulated business that will require the necessary license and permit before going into the business.

Find a suitable location that’ll make people easy to locate the business and accessible to everyone who wants to visit the store.

  1. Bread retailing

Bread retailing is one of the universal stable food eaten globally. Starting the business will require you find the bakery where you can secure the deliveries from the bakery and distribute it to several grocery stores and your own bread retailing store.

This business does not require any special skills and requires a small startup to start the business.

As a rule of thumb, bread has a short shelf life and should be sold as quickly as possible before losing it.

  1. Open a healthcare center

Having access to healthcare is what many want in a community, that’s why starting a healthcare center is important.

But like the pharmaceutical store, to start a healthcare center will require you to have the necessary permit and license before you can start.

Another thing to really consider is to make sure there is no existing hospital before opening a hospital. However, if there is a hospital, try opening a healthcare center that cater for specific health need.

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For instance, you can decide to open a healthcare center specific for an eye, born or diabetic patients.

  1. Auto repairs business

Another business that comes to mind when you think of starting a business in small town is the auto repair.

Auto repair is one of the thriving business in the world today and it’ll continue to be so as long as people use cars, bikes, trucks to ply different route, they will always visit the workshop to change or service some part of the vehicle in other to maintain the car efficiency.

Whatever the reason for the visit, there is sure of cash flow on a daily basis.

To start the auto repair business, you’ll need to acquire the skills. Then find a suitable location that will be easily accessible.

  1. Sales of auto spare parts

Auto spare parts are one thriving business you can consider doing in a small town. This is because as long as people use their automobile, there will always need to replace certain parts to make the vehicle in good shape.

This is why the demand for auto spare parts will continue to be high.

Unlike auto repairs, starting the business does not require any skills, but you’ll need an informal training on the auto spare parts you’ll need to buy and sell.

  1. Phone repairs

Phone repair is yet another thriving and profitable business one can start on a small scale. All you need to do is to acquire the skills of phone repairs, get your tools and find a suitable location for your business.

As long as people use the phone, this business will continue to boom and will not be old fashioned.

  1. Carpentry shop

The carpentry shop is another thriving business in any community because they do produce what many people use in the community. Some of it includes chairs, table, room dividers, hangers, cushion etc.

You’ll need to learn the carpentry, get the tools and find a shop where you can produce the much-needed furniture.

  1. Photography business

The photography business is another business that can be successfully started in a small town.

You can start the business by opening a photo studio where you can attract people and equally go on to cover events, wedding ceremony, birthdays and concerts.

As long as people continue to snap, the business of photography will continue to thrive.

  1. Event management business

You can start an event management business in a small town and begin to make a huge profit from it. You can begin to help create and manage carnivals, concerts, and another related event.

This will begin to attract people from the different location into the community and open more small town business opportunities to other business in the community.

  1. Open a barbing saloon

Barbing saloon is another business that will be profitable in a small town. To succeed in the business, you’ll need to find a suitable location, get the tools and maintain the barbing best practices.

This business will never be out of fashion.

  1. Open a beauty saloon

This is another profitable business that will work in a small town. You have to ensure that you can make different styles base on customer need and the business can be pretty time consuming.

Find the location that your customers will like and focus on giving them the best.

  1. Electronic repair shops

No community can do without electronics and can be difficult to find a house without one or more electronics.

Like any other gadgets, these electronics are bound to develop one fault or the other. You can start an electronic repair shop that will fix all these gadget problems.

The good thing about this business is you can learn the technical skills from another repairer, find a suitable location and begin the business.

  1. Local car hires service

Who says in a small community you cannot do car hire service? Think again. Local car hire service is another profitable business you can do from a small town.

To start you’ll need a car, and then do your own local marketing about your services and the distance you cover.

The type of car hire service that you do will depend on the type of car you’re going to buy.

For instance, if you’re going to base your car hire service that helps move people’s goods from one place to another, you may want to get an open van.


There is no doubt that there are small business ideas for small towns that will not go out of fashion.

The misconception about the small town as nothing will come from is just a myth. Just look at your community and you’ll see small town business opportunities that an entrepreneur can take advantage of. As the town grows, so also will your business grows.

Your turn

Here you go, the complete 20+ small business ideas for small towns. Which one did we leave out? Which one do you think should not make the list? Feel free to let us know by making your contributions in our comment box.

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1 Response

  1. Hodijah says:

    Some of ideas is great and inspiring me to open small business in small town. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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