Small Town Business Startup Ideas - How to Start from Scratch in 2021

When opening your business in small cities, you need to take into account their specifics. Not every job is good for them. First, you need to analyze the selected city. Most likely there is an acute shortage of basic services or goods. Neither it is better to focus.

The intricacies of starting a business in a small town

With the right approach, you can open a profitable business in a small city and at the same time earn no less than competitors in large settlements. The benefits of entrepreneurship in small towns include:

  • the opportunity to occupy an absolutely free niche;
  • savings on basic costs, since, for example, renting premises is very cheap;
  • business support on the part of the state;
  • full understanding of the target audience.

Small businesses in small towns are supported in every possible way. Many business ideas for a small town will turn out to be profitable even with a minimal investment of money and time. This is a win-win for aspiring entrepreneurs. The main thing is that the startup is relevant for a specific locality.

Niche Assessment

In order not to burn your investments, you need to start with market analysis. This is the only way to select effective options. It is recommended to analyze which niches in the city are not yet occupied or are underdeveloped.

You don't have to come up with something new. You can choose a niche that already has competitors. The main thing in this case is to add something of your own, for example, free shipping. You need to stand out favorably against the background of competitors.

It is necessary to focus on the needs of the majority of the population. If possible, you can conduct a survey and find out what exactly people in a particular area lack. In many areas, for example, there is no pharmacy or normal grocery store. The results obtained after the survey need to be analyzed. This usually makes it possible to understand what people in the city lack and choose a demanded business.

Small town retail business

Trade is the most widespread area of ​​business in small towns. This niche is always beneficial if you organize your own business correctly.

Maternity Clothes

This is always an up-to-date and profitable business. Annual growth is estimated at 18% on average. The target audience will be young girls who become pregnant for the first time. They are the ones who are ready to buy everything for pregnancy and childbirth even before there is a real need for it.

There is a widespread belief that big money is earned in megacities, while provincial businessmen in a small town have much more modest incomes. This is partly true, because there is a large population in megalopolises, and therefore, the demand for certain goods and services is higher. The purchasing power of the population is also higher here. However, this does not mean that the very idea of ​​opening a business in a small town is something meaningless.

Moreover, according to all economic forecasts, small business is the future, therefore, in a small provincial town there is every reason to count on success.

What is typical for a business in a small town, what are its features?

Let's analyze the main differences between businesses in small towns.

Minimum competition and cheap start

On the other hand, the main disadvantage should be taken into account - it is the low purchasing power of the majority of the population. People in the regions do not have much money and first of all they cover basic needs - food, housing, cheap entertainment, clothes, and only then cafes and restaurants.

Further, we note the low, on average, level of qualifications of the workforce. Brains drain first to large cities, and then possibly abroad.

Mentality is an important provincial factor

Well, and finally, another important provincial factor - mentality. In a small town, where half of the residents know each other, reputation sometimes plays a much more important role than in a large regional center. But it all depends on the city.

Main direction - trade

Posted by Natali Killer Published August 31, 2021 Updated June 21, 2021

Brief content of the article

Tips and pitfalls when starting a business in a small town

In small towns, starting a business can be both successful and disastrous. And to make your startup successful, ask yourself and your friends with different income levels:

  • what are you missing in the village;
  • where do you buy groceries, clothes, are there enough existing stores;
  • what part of income do you willing to spend on entertainment (if you plan to start a business in this area);
  • are there any problems with public transport (if you are planning a taxi service);
  • what is the average level of income of citizens.

Consider income and employment. It is important to understand that a profitable business that becomes successful in a big city (for example, car rental) may simply not find its audience in a small village. The business plan should be based on the real situation and the possible clientele. Learn the basic nuances of the economic development of the settlement. If agriculture and animal husbandry are flourishing, find out where farmers buy feed and necessary things. They may have to travel far and wide and need a local wholesaler. So a business from scratch in a small town is a real opportunity to gain a foothold in a new market. Do not use provocations - news spreads very quickly in villages, and word of mouth is the main source of advertising. If customers are satisfied, then this is guaranteed to attract a stream of buyers. If not, they will quickly find out about it, as a result, a startup may not bring the planned income.

Ideas for a small town with minimal costs

The less money invested in a startup, the better for the entrepreneur. A profitable idea is not always expensive. We offer 4 niche ideas in a small town with minimal investment and quick payback.

Furniture padding

In small towns and villages, the level of wages is lower than in large ones. And not all residents have the opportunity to buy new furniture, but there is always a desire. Providing furniture hauling services will help meet demand and can become a stable source of income. Initial costs will be:

Organizing a successful business in a small town differs significantly from an urban one. The answers to the questions: how to choose the right niche for a commercial project, how long it will pay off, where to start an entrepreneurial activity, what business ideas are relevant for a small town, are contained in this review.


Niche selection

A well-chosen niche is the foundation of a successful business. The search for a project for implementation must be approached with all seriousness: to study and analyze the market, the purchasing power of the population, the needs of the townspeople and a number of other nuances.

Market Analysis

Business in a small city involves a number of factors that differ from the entrepreneurial models of a metropolis:

  • Salaries are much lower than in large cities, therefore, purchasing power is decreasing. You shouldn't bet on setting up a VIP service company or opening a boutique with the latest Valentino collections. Trade in food, clothing, medicine or a beauty salon with reasonable prices within a small town will be much more successful.
  • It is worth considering the points of repair, rental or providing a wide range of services at affordable prices. The opportunity to save money is what attracts customers to the periphery.
  • Needs for walking distance. Where do the residents of the district go to buy the essentials? Are there pharmacies, grocery outlets within walking distance? Where do townspeople buy clothes? Analysis at this level will reveal a promising direction.
  • Extension options. Will the product or service be in demand six months after the opening of the enterprise? And in a year or two? It is worthwhile to think over a strategy for promoting your business and opportunities for expanding your business in advance.


It is quite difficult to guarantee the success of a business in a small town, as it depends on many factors.

But it is possible to increase the chances of a firm being in demand in the market if the following factors are taken into account:

Hello, potential entrepreneurs and businessmen living in small towns. Hello and those who habitually read my blog, regardless of the topic, just wanting to pass the time or to gather some useful information for themselves. The other day I asked my friend: "What business is the most profitable in a small town?" To which he received an almost immediate response - "beer and cigarettes." Probably, there is some truth in this, but usually there are plenty of beer and tobacco outlets in cities, this niche has been occupied for a long time, so I will not consider such options. Below I will tell you about what nuances you need to take into account when opening your own business in a small town, I will give the five most promising, in my opinion, business ideas with a description of their essence, and in conclusion, I will simply list the options that I dug up on the network or thought of myself. There are no identical people. Sometimes, in order to achieve something, a talented person lacks just an idea. Maybe among the long list you will notice something interesting for yourself and this will be a turning point in your life.

Advantages and disadvantages of small towns

Organizing a business in a small town is no less difficult than opening something in the megalopolis of Russia, or in any other country. I will make a reservation off-topic that the geographic location of the settlement in which you plan to launch a small business is also important, because the mentality, for example, of residents of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and so on is very different. In Tataria, one cannot earn millions by selling pork, and skull-caps are unlikely to become popular among Ukrainians. And yet there are factors that unite all small cities, regardless of their location. I'll tell you about them.

A small town is understood as a settlement with a population of about 100 thousand (a little more or a little less). If we take Russia as an example, it can be noted that there are almost a thousand such cities in it, and the total number of inhabitants exceeds 30 million people. They all want something and need something, but ...

You should take into account the disadvantages of such settlements regarding opening your own business in them:

  • Small target markets due to small population, so the idea needs to be chosen carefully, taking into account the needs of the residents and the number of competitors.
  • Low wages, so too expensive things or services may remain unclaimed.
  • Average age of the population. Young people, as a rule, leave to study in megacities, and then stay to work there. The size of the solvent population is decreasing - those who remain with low wages and have left to study children, respectively, they need help at first, the elderly have a low pension, which is very difficult to clear up.
  • Traditions and habits. Residents of small towns have their own unspoken rules, something like “to dress cheaper in the market”, “it is better to buy meat in the villages”, “for serious purchases, it is better to go once a year to the capital”.

It is necessary to take these disadvantages into account and choose a business option that is not afraid of them - something vital and urgent, not too expensive and interesting for a person at any age.

Small towns have advantages in this regard:

The advantages described above set you up for an optimistic mood. Friends, the most important thing is not where you plan to become a businessman, the main thing is to put your soul into the business and then your "money tree will take root, turn green and soon begin to bear fruit."

Briefly about how and what you can open

Before moving on to business ideas, I'll tell you in one short paragraph what and how you can open (from the technical side) in a small town. There are three main options:

  • Own business from absolute zero. You yourself work out the idea, prepare a business plan, look for a place, organize everything and start working.
  • Purchase of an existing business - a cafe, shop, salon, enterprise, and so on. Perhaps you feel that you can breathe new life into a business opened by someone, but not brought to mind, and make it profitable.
  • Franchise. This is when you open a representative office of a well-known company in your city - Adidas sportswear store, Adamas jewelry salon, Sovetskaya Apteka, Etazhi real estate agency, Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor, KFC fast food restaurant. There are a bunch of options, there are catalogs of franchises on the network with offers and the exact size of the initial investment.

Think, sometimes it is easier and more profitable to buy a ready-made business or, having capital, invest it in a promoted, recognizable brand by everyone. But if you have a dream that you carry in yourself for a long time, cut it in your head, turning it into a diamond, then go for it. Remember, the main thing is to invest your soul and do what you love.

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