Starting a business is not easy. It requires a lot of time and effort, from brainstorming business ideas to registering your business, hiring people, and offering services.

But every business starts with an idea.

To help ambitious entrepreneurs, we’ve put together a list of the best business ideas to start in a small town. Whether you already live in a small town or are planning to move to one, these small town business ideas can help you start your entrepreneurial journey.

However, before you check out the small town business ideas, let’s take a look at what all small business owners need to get started.

Things You Need to Start Your Business in a Small Town

Whether you choose to open a cafe or run a digital marketing agency, there are a few steps that every business owner needs to follow.

To turn your business idea into reality, you will need:

For LLCs and Corporations, you will have to register your small town business with the Secretary of State.

  • An EIN number/Tax ID: Regardless of the entity type you choose, you need to file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS to acquire your nine-digit tax ID. This number is used for hiring employees, filing business taxes, and opening a business bank account.

While applying for it manually can be tedious, you can easily fill out our EIN application to apply online.

  • Business licenses and permits: Small business owners need to check with the state and local authorities to find out which business licenses and permits they may need. It differs based on your state, county, city, and nature of business.
  • A business bank account: You should open a business bank account to separate your small town business finances from your personal finances.
  • Bookkeeping service: As a business owner, you should set up a bookkeeping process to track and manage your business finances. You can either do it yourself, hire an accountant, or use a bookkeeping service.

Business Ideas for 2021: Best Business to Start in a Small Town

Here are some of the best small town business ideas that you can use to start a business in 2021:

1. Grocery Store

People living in rural areas and small towns have basic demands and needs. You should identify and leverage a business opportunity that fulfills their basic needs.

For example, find an area in your small town where people have to cover long distances to get food and open a grocery store there. It is one of the best small town business ideas to serve the local community and make money.

2. Food Business

Do you love street food? If so, you’re not alone. Many people relish the special local delicacies offered by food trucks and stalls.

If you’re an expert at cooking a specific dish, you can easily start a food truck in your small town. Or, you can join the local farmers market to set up a booth to sell your food product. You could also partner with existing food retailers to sell your product at the point of sale.

You need to check what the legal requirements for food businesses are in your area and make sure your kitchen and process are up to the laws and regulations. You most likely will need to acquire a commercial kitchen space to prepare and sell food.

3. Hair Salon or Beauty Salon

Everyone needs a haircut from time to time, which makes a hair salon one of the best businesses to start in a small town. Depending on the size of your town, you can open a hair salon in an area where there are no hair salons.

Along with offering haircuts, you can also offer other services to your customers such as waxing, manicures, facials, massages, and other spa services.

4. Coffee Shop

Opening a coffee shop is one of the best business ideas for small towns. Many people love coffee and a local coffee shop is all they need to spend their leisurely evenings.

Along with a variety of coffee, you can offer snacks, ice creams, and local delicacies to make sure customers have a good time at your cafe.

You’ll need a small space for your cafe, basic equipment, talented staff, and creativity to plan the decor of your coffee shop. You can also create a book corner or have board games to entice customers.

5. Cleaning Business

Cleaning is one of the most time-consuming and boring household chores. That’s why many people happily hand over house and office cleaning jobs to maids and professional cleaning service providers.

You will need little investment to start your cleaning business, register it, hire maids and cleaning staff, and buy cleaning supplies and equipment. You can start earning quickly as cleaning services are in great demand in small towns and cities.

If you offer good services, you are likely to get referral customers, who can help grow your business quickly.

6. Landscaping and Lawn Care Business

The landscaping industry in the United States is predicted to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.6% from 2020 to 2025. This makes landscaping one of the best business ideas to start in a small town or city.

You will need basic training for land mowing, edging, trimming, irrigation, and weed treatment. Then, you can register your lawn care business and start offering services to lawn owners.

As a lawn care provider, you can charge $30/hour to $120/hour on average. Some businesses also charge up to $220/hour for mowing large lawn areas with a sloping landscape.

7. Auto Repair Shop

Automobiles have become an essential part of today’s lifestyle. They are no longer limited to big cities. Even people living in small towns and rural areas ride bicycles, motorbikes, and cars to commute within the locality.

Setting up an auto repair shop could be a great small business idea for you. Along with offering repair services and extra parts, you can also offer bicycle, motorbike, and car wash services to your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a good business to start in a small town?

The best businesses to start in a small town include:

  • Grocery store
  • Food business
  • Hair salon
  • Coffee shop
  • Clothing boutique
  • Pet store
  • Auto repair shop

2. What are the most successful small town business ideas?

Here are some of the most successful small town business ideas:

  • Grocery store
  • Food business
  • Hair salon
  • Coffee shop

3. What is the best business to start in a village or small city?

The best businesses to start in a village or small city include:

  • Grocery store
  • Food business
  • Hair salon
  • Clothing store

4. What are the most successful small businesses of 2020?

The most successful small businesses of 2020 include:

  • Food delivery businesses
  • Digital marketing agency
  • Gaming apps
  • Online hobby classes
  • Online tutoring services
  • Personal wellness businesses

5. What is the easiest business to start?

The easiest businesses to start often include online businesses and service-based businesses because they require minimal investment and greater profit-making opportunities.

Some of these include:

  • Online tutoring business
  • Virtual bookkeeping business
  • Digital marketing agency
  • Freelance business in writing, graphic design, accounting, etc.

If you have a place to set up your business and money to invest, you can also consider starting brick-and-mortar businesses such as:

  • Grocery store
  • Food truck
  • Coffee shop
  • Auto repair shop
  • Pet store

Ready to Start a Business in a Small Town?

There are numerous options when it comes to the best small town business ideas, from setting up a coffee shop to a grocery store, food truck, restaurant, or pet shop.

You can also start service-based businesses in your small town such as a digital marketing agency, accounting service, tutoring service, or cleaning business.

When choosing the best business to start in your small town, you should conduct market research, understand what your customers need, analyze competitors, and create a strong business plan.

You should make the most out of every business opportunity to satisfy your customers and grow your small town business efficiently.

Do you need help starting a small town business? Let us help you register your new business and help you get started the right way.