If narrowing in on a single, successful business idea for your small town is stressing you out, don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
We’ve also come up with 27 of the most promising business ideas for small towns. So read on below and thank us later.
1. Coffee Shop and Bar
When you think of your neighborhood coffee shop and bar, you might not think of the same establishment. But if your town is small enough, and clientele scarce, merging these two business ideas might be just what the mayor ordered.
Now, before you go telling us that combining after school 12-year-olds and college 21-year-olds is a terrible idea, hear us out. We’re not suggesting a full on bar, simply a coffee shop that after 4 pm also serves wine and beer. The concept behind being a coffee shop that serves alcohol is that in the post-noon hours, coffee consumption begins to taper off significantly. If you’re looking to stay open later and need the cash, filling an additional need in your small community is the perfect business idea. Now you not only have a place for business meetings and freelancers, but also happy hours and first dates.
One additional thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your coffee shop design appeals to both a mid-day and a post-work crowd. Nothing says small town charm like a simple, relaxed business layout. Opting for a design concept that is genuine and modest will suit most customers and provide that small town ambiance patrons crave.
2. Pet Grooming and Boarding
Pet Businesses are a $60 billion industry in the United States, so it just plain makes sense that a small town has at least one pet grooming or boarding facility or a combination of the two. The pet industry is also one that shows no signs of slowing down. In 1988, 56 percent of households in the United States owned a pet, in 2016 that percentage jumped to 65. This means that there are almost 80 million households in the U.S. with at least one pet.
Pet grooming and boarding are also businesses where convenience and distance matter, making them perfect ideas for rural businesses. No one wants to drive two towns over to drop their pet off for a trim, nor drive back to pick them up. Since most small towns don’t have a pet specialty chain such as a Petco, businesses can also capitalize on the lack of a major pet store where owners would usually purchase food, toys, and clothing for their pets. If you plan your business well, you can become the one-stop shop for all things furry. And that translates to big profits.
3. Clothing Boutique
One of the primary amenities that small towns tend to lack is decent shopping. And we don’t just mean a large shopping mall. Often, those living in smaller towns and communities have to drive significant mileage just for basic clothing necessities. That’s why starting a clothing boutique will not only put you on the map but will make you a popular destination for most residents in the vicinity. You’ll pretty much be the mall substitute for all things teen-related. Just make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. But they’ll let you know if you don’t!
4. Vape Shop
Though this might seem like a very niche market for a small town business, the reality is that the vaping industry (and community) is currently exploding in the U.S. To give you a sense of how big the vaping market is, Quartz reported that Yelp has 10,591 “vape shops” currently listed in their database. That’s a huge number, especially considering that the rate of traditional smoking continues to steadily decline. Depending on where you are in the country, however, due to state regulations, opening a vape shop will be easier in some states than in others. So make sure to check out your state’s laws before pursuing this business idea. Resources such as VapeMentors can also help guide you when getting your business up and running.