Business ideas for small towns. Top 20 ideas for small town business


The idea of starting your own business comes to almost everyone, but most people immediately dismiss it. Many believe that opening your own business requires a solid start-up capital. When it comes to a small town, choosing a business idea becomes more difficult.

Features of doing business in a small town

Before you start your business in a small town or buy a franchise, consider the peculiarities of small towns. Otherwise, there is a risk of choosing an unsuitable business idea and go bankrupt in the first year. Let’s understand the intricacies.

The advantages of opening a business in a small town

The opportunity to use unoccupied niches in business

Developed types of business in a small town, usually limited and typical. A start-up businessman has the opportunity to offer something new, especially in the area of highly specialized services.

Minimum investment

Large capital is not needed to start, as the cost of renting premises, employee wages and transportation costs are much lower than in metropolitan areas.

Special conditions for promotion

In a small town, news spreads very quickly. Word of mouth will help to quickly promote a new project.

Disadvantages of small towns

Low paying capacity of population

Income of residents of small towns is less than in large cities.

Low demand for goods and services

Many types of business, widely developed in large cities, simply will not be in demand. For example, it makes no sense to open a store selling smartphones in a small town, as chain stores are able to offer much more favorable conditions and prices.

Underdeveloped labor market

Small towns often lack qualified specialists. If the business will need narrow specialists, such as metalworkers, it will not be easy to find them. If the business idea is connected with production, employees will have to be sought in advance.

High business competition

In small towns is very stiff competition. The market is divided by entrepreneurs who dared to launch earlier. In order to compete with them, you need to make accurate analyses, to study well the target audience and to form the best proposal.

Consumer habits

The specifics of life in a small town has a big impact on their habits – they go to the same store, get their hair cut at the same barbershop, they go shopping in big cities. You have to change the mindset of people to make them want to buy from you.

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As you can see, small towns have a pretty extensive list of features. So before you choose a business idea and start your own business, do not be lazy to order a market research or study the market in detail yourself. Profitability and speed of return on investment depends directly on this.

Top 20 business ideas for small town

Cooking and selling home cakes and pastries

  • Features: To open such a business, you need to have culinary skills, calculate the cost of finished products, think about prices, solve problems with packaging and transportation of products, develop a competent marketing strategy. Quite an unusual business for a small town.
  • Payback period: 3-4 months.
  • Difficulties: Permits are required. It is better to consult with a lawyer and to bring the room into line with sanitary regulations.



  • Features: It is important to choose a place with high traffic, to think about the range and design of the room, to consider pricing policy.
  • Payback period: from 6 months.
  • Difficulties: Permits from Sanitary and Epidemiological Station, Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Fire Safety Inspectorate are needed.

Selling beer on tap

  • Features: You need to think through the range, find reliable suppliers, a license to sell alcoholic beverages, buy KTKT.
  • Payback period: 4-6 months.
  • Difficulties: high competition and seasonality of demand.

Opening a sushi bar

  • Features: It is important to select staff, obtain permits from the regulatory authorities, decorate the premises, buy utensils, think of ways to deliver products to your home, develop a marketing strategy.
  • Payback period: 5-6 months.
  • Difficulties: high competition, periodic checks by regulatory agencies, staffing problems.



  • Features: You must have taste and experience in graphic editors, buy equipment for printing portraits, rent premises (if you live in a small apartment).
  • Payback period: 1 month
  • Difficulties: high competition, sporadic (non-permanent) demand


Repair of phones / PCs

Features: Suitable for people who know the basics of electronics and know how to repair complex digital technology. High demand, as inexperienced users do not like to read instructions and are constantly breaking something.

Payback period: 2 months

Difficulties: high competition, increased demands on marketing strategy, the importance of professional reputation.

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Decorative stone business

  • Features: Unusual business. It is important to learn the technology of production, find a production facility, to formalize IP, develop a competent advertising campaign, find customers.
  • Payback period: from 6 months.
  • Difficulties: It is difficult to find a market.

Growing mushrooms

  • Features: The original idea for the business. You need to learn the technology of cultivation of mushrooms, correctly calculate the initial investment and payback period.
  • Payback period: 5 months.
  • Difficulties: It is difficult to find buyers.

Restoration of baths

  • Features: You must learn the technology restoration of bathtubs in different ways, consider a marketing strategy.
  • Payback period: 1 month.
  • Difficulties: It is difficult to find customers, inconsistent demand.

Production of frameless furniture

  • Features: You need to learn the technology of sewing frameless armchairs and sofas, to find qualified employees, to rent suitable premises.
  • Payback period: 3 months
  • Difficulties: it is difficult to ensure a constant flow of customers, to find a reliable company that will deal with delivery of goods within the city and other regions.

Sewing workshop

  • Features: Suitable for professional craftsmen. It is important to think in advance about the range and pricing policy, so as not to work at a loss.
  • Payback period: 3 months.
  • Difficulties: earning a customer base, building a reputation.


Cleaning services

  • Features: This idea requires minimal investment, special skills and knowledge is not needed. You will have to study the local market and choose the best ways to promote the services.
  • Payback period: 1 month.
  • Difficulties: High competition.

Installation of stretch ceilings

  • Features: A very profitable business. It is necessary to learn the technology of installation of suspended ceilings, procure equipment and tools, to agree with suppliers of materials, to think through pricing policies and marketing strategies.
  • Payback period: 5 months.
  • Difficulties: high competition, you need a good advertisement.

Web Studio

  • Features: You need to find good professionals – layout designers, programmers, SEO-specialists, copywriters – to rent space.
  • Payback period: 2 months.
  • Difficulties: finding professionals, gaining a customer base.

Making wedding invitations and accessories

  • Features: Suitable for creative people with a good imagination and a good sense of style. With a competent marketing strategy can quickly reach the top line.
  • Payback: 3 months.
  • Difficulties: gaining a customer base.

Insulation of walls and facades

  • Features: You must have permission to work at height, to open IP, know the technology of insulation of buildings, to agree with suppliers of materials.
  • Payback period: 3 months.
  • Difficulties: the search for customers, high competition
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Studio for the organization of holidays


  • Features: It is important to think through the program for children’s parties, write scripts, order or own sew the costumes, pick up music, buy sound equipment
  • Payback period: 3 months
  • Difficulties: High competition

Store funny surprises and gags

  • Features: We must learn the interests of the target audience, think through the range, find and rent a passable place for business, arrange a showcase.
  • Payback period: 6 months.
  • Difficulty: High competition and seasonal demand

Services for retouching and restoration of furniture

  • Features: Basic knowledge of carpentry and woodworking skills are needed. You will need at least one assistant.
  • Payback period: 3 months.
  • Difficulty: finding a customer base

Commission Shop

  • Features: It is important to form pricing policies, to find a suitable location for the store, to seek outlets for suppliers of goods.
  • Payback period: 4 months.
  • Difficulty: Creating a customer base, you’ll need a good advertisement.

What’s better – an inexpensive franchise or your own business idea

In small towns with a population of up to 150,000 people, you can develop your own business or open a franchise business. Let’s compare the options and determine which is more profitable.

Business idea

  • The entrepreneur comes up with and tests the business idea, studies the market and demand
  • The franchisee offers a ready-made solution.


Business plan


  • The entrepreneur prepares the business plan himself. There is a risk of mistakes and miscalculations
  • Ready-made business plan tested onĀ  franchisees. The risk is minimal.

Investments at the start

  • Ent – Depends on the type of business
  • Fr – Lump sum fee


  • Ent – Large investments in the development and testing of a marketing strategy
  • Fr – The brand is already promoted and recognizable; no substantial investments are required

Staffing and informational support

  • The entrepreneur searches for specialists and information that can help optimize business processes.
  • Franchisee provides support, training and consulting assistance on various issues.


If you want to minimize risks and are willing to adhere to the franchisee’s requirements, consider buying a franchise.
If you are not satisfied with playing by other people’s rules, develop your own business. In this case, you will have freedom of choice.


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