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Some of the strategies for choosing the best small town business ideas will be the same or similar to the strategies used for choosing any other type of business, but you will need to examine your locale very carefully to discover the businesses that will work best. Remember that small town business ideas will need to take a smaller client base into consideration, which means extra steps may need to be taken to make the business profitable. Adding an Internet sales component, for example, opens up a new market that can make the business more profitable, especially during slow seasons.
Tourist towns have an advantage because a significant amount of tourist traffic can make a business profitable. Small town business ideas in tourist towns may focus on presenting the best of that region or locale to people from other locations. A restaurant that serves locally grown food or a photo studio that sells photos of the area may thrive because tourists come to a particular place to learn more about it and come away with a piece of it. A souvenir store with well-chosen items on sale can also do well, and these small town business ideas can be modified to focus more clearly on a town's assets. If the town is coastal, for example, a fishing museum or even a kayak guiding business may thrive in that area.
In order to stay competitive and profitable, it may be necessary to broaden the scope of any small town business ideas you consider. If you will be providing a service to the town, you are likely to have customers year-round as long as that service is not season-dependent. If you are selling goods to tourists, however, or if you open a sports store that focuses on a sport prominent in only one or two seasons, you are likely to experience slower profits in the off-months. Expanding your business to the Internet increases your chances of finding clientele in the off-season, though you should keep in mind that this will take extra work and some web savvy.
Before you open a business, you will need to do some analysis of the area. Think about what the small town lacks that is really needs, and think about what services or goods you are willing and able to provide. Analyze the competition, too. This step is especially important in a small town, since only one other competitor can severely dampen your sales ability.