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7 Ideas for Small Town Businesses That Thrive and Change Communities


Nearly a third of all businesses fail within the first two years of opening. The stakes are even higher when you start a business in a small town. There is less room for failure because a bad reputation spreads like wildfire.

Where there’s a higher chance for failure, there are greater rewards for a small business. Being able to establish yourself as an outstanding member of the community is very rewarding. Your business is the answer to all the dissatisfaction of large corporate machines.

Small town businesses that thrive take on a whole new life. They become a community landmark, a hub, and a huge contribution to the local economy. All you need is a vision and a plan. 

If you’re unsure what type of business works for small-town communities, we have some ideas for you. All of these types of businesses are experience growth across the country. What type of business are you passionate about?

Personal Development Coaching

Many people who live in a small town, especially the youth, want to achieve bigger things. They don’t want to be stuck in a small town forever, but they don’t know how to break out of it. Many are looking for advice on starting their own businesses, too.

That’s where you come in, giving life and career advice as a startup business idea. You can provide them with information on growing on online business in e-commerce, taking their stores global, and making smart investments.

In fact, financial planning and advising services are extremely successful small town business ideas. There’s a lot more about this topic than putting money in the stock market or a 401k savings plan. The best part about the personal development space is that it’s easy to understand and doesn’t require having access to big city resources.


People are looking for something better than Starbucks. Not that you can’t get a decent cup of coffee at the major chains. Small towns thrive on community engagement, which Starbucks provide nothing of the sort.

You can build a simple cafe business, selling mediocre coffee, but with a strong community. Invest in the atmosphere, make people feel at home, host local acts, and you’ll easily turn a profit. The best thing about cafe businesses is that you can serve coffees nearly all day

Trade Skill Businesses

Competing as the local handyman may not seem like a lucrative business idea, but it is. Small town contractors often lack professionalism and competition to offer a higher standard of work. If you’re able to establish yourself as a trustworthy, accessible, and fair, you’ll go a long way as a contractor.

A trade skill business lives and dies by word-of-mouth advertising in a small town. A good startup business idea starts with growing a network of friends and family referrals. Once you start to develop a reputation for your work, you’ll need to spend less on advertising and more on expansion.

Mechanic Shop

The same concept applies here as it does with trade skill businesses. The automotive business is a little more strategic, however. If you can position yourself as an alternative to remote dealership locations, you’ll win big. 

Small town mechanics are often the only realistic option for residents needing car repairs. Most people aren’t going to want to pay a hefty towing fee to get their car to a major dealership. Your auto repair business can do housecalls as well as collaboration with towing businesses.

There’s always money to be made in the car repair industry. 

Electronics and Computers

Small towns are often underserved when it comes to technology infrastructure. This is a ripe opportunity to establish your own business for computer and technical support. There’s always going to exist a large demand for IT and computer repair.

You can leverage your business as a cheaper alternative to having to buy new devices and computers. Plus, most small town people prefer to keep using their older devices. It’s a different demographic than big cities surrounded by technology.

Specialty Groceries

Eating healthy is not a fad or a niche community anymore. People all over the country are looking for ways to eat smarter and healthier. Big box stores have everything you need, but not much of a variety when it comes to organic or specialty foods.

Local grocery stores offer the ability to find better organic foods, diet-specific foods for allergies and vegans, along with more raw ingredients overall. Farm-to-table eating is exploding in popularity. Small town populations want to know where their food comes from, and you can establish that missing link of trust.

From a pure business standpoint, specialty foods offer wider margins. 

Vape Shop

Vaping is a smart business idea whether you’re in a small town or not. The vaping industry is expected to grow to $47.11 billion by 2025. If you decided to open up a shop in a small town, you could establish yourself before large franchises start to take over.

Make sure you do your research on the local county and state laws to see what is permitted. Obviously, it’s a lot easier to operate in states that have legalized the sale of cannabis products. Cannabis products make up a large chunk of vaping users, but you can still succeed without selling them.

Small Town Businesses that Thrive

Establishing yourself in a small town community and making it better is a very satisfying journey. Authentic, people-power movements produce small town businesses that thrive. Don’t expect to awe people with fancy advertising or tossing in a few “yee-haws” on your signage.

If you approach this business opportunity with the right intentions, you’re going to succeed. Provided that you do your homework on the local economy and your competition, you can become the market-driver for that area. Local goods and services are synonymous with quality, creativity, and sustainability.

Get out there and find your niche, so that you can enjoy both financially and emotionally-fulfilling work that makes America great.

One thought on “7 Ideas for Small Town Businesses That Thrive and Change Communities

  1. I’m going to open a weed store on E Ridgewood Avenue because the state is going to legalize the process and the village will not be able to stop me. The legislation will be written as such to avoid local draconian ordinances that defeat the law being changed in the first place. Were here, we’re stoned, get used to it.

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