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How Do I Choose the Best Small Town Business Ideas?

Selecting the best small town business ideas requires understanding local needs and gaps in the market. Consider the town's demographics, existing businesses, and what unique services you can offer. Prioritize adaptability and community engagement. A successful small town business not only fills a niche but also fosters relationships. What could your business bring to the heart of a small town?
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

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.

Someone with a background in education can start a small business as a personal tutor.
Someone with a background in education can start a small business as a personal tutor.

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.

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Discussion Comments

In a small town you can ask around to find out what services are needed in the community. Once you narrow down a few businesses that are missing in the town, concentrate on one that you could be good at and go from there.
I know it's a cliche, but it is true that everyone in a small town knows everyone else. That is not to say that everyone has met everyone else in the town and they are all on speaking terms. However, in a small town everyone is connected by relatives, friends and coworkers.

The key to starting a successful business in an environment like this is word of mouth advertising. You have to be good at your business and the word will spread. And if you are bad at your business the word will still spread. So regardless of the business you choose, you had better do a good job and offer a quality service or product.

I enjoy the atmosphere of small towns, so when I was considering opening a B&B, I looked for interesting small towns in areas I might like to live. Of course, I needed to find a town that could support my business.

I searched for towns that had at least one strong tourist season. Even better, were small towns that had attractions that brought tourists to the area during the warm and the cold months. I also looked for towns with colleges near by. Parents visiting their children are potential B&B guests.

When you are considering setting up a business in a small town, you have to be versatile and not put all your eggs in one basket.

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    • Someone with a background in education can start a small business as a personal tutor.
      By: cmlndm
      Someone with a background in education can start a small business as a personal tutor.