21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own small business while living in a small town? If you have answered yes! then this guide on “21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024” is a perfect match for you.

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024

However, you must remember that other than the fact that small-town business comes with the benefit of a concentrated market, it also comes with the challenge of a limited population.

But once you have an idea about the marketplace, nobody can stop you. So, if you are still waiting to get that golden opportunity well, you have it now!

Read our ultimate guide to find your ideal business and get all the details surrounding it.

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start

1. Restaurant

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024-Restaurant

Opening a restaurant in a small town can serve as a highly profitable venture. Unlike in larger cities, a small-town restaurant can quickly become a community hub, attracting a loyal customer base.

However, potential restaurateurs should be mindful of the initial expenses, which can be substantial.

These costs include leasing or purchasing property, kitchen equipment, interior decoration to create a welcoming ambiance, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses.

So, you can expect to spend around $300,000 for a small-scale restaurant.

2. Coffee Shop

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024-Coffee Shop

In smaller communities, a coffee shop can quickly become a beloved gathering place, offering not just coffee but a sense of belonging. However, entrepreneurs should be prepared for the initial and ongoing expenses involved. 

The start-up cost in opening this business includes:

  • Securing a prime location,
  • Purchasing high-quality coffee brewing equipment, and
  • Creating a cozy, inviting atmosphere through thoughtful interior design. 

On average, the cost to open a coffee shop can range from $50,000 to $300,000.

3. Handyman Services

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024-Handyman Services

This venture appeals because of its relatively low initial investment compared to other businesses. Under this, obtaining the necessary licenses and insurance to operate legally and protect the business is crucial. 

The start-up cost in starting this business includes:

  • Purchasing tools and equipment,
  • Acquiring a reliable vehicle to reach clients, and
  • Investing in marketing
  • Fuel
  • Maintenance of tools and
  • Labor

One of the advantages of launching this business in a small town is you don’t need a ton of money. An investment of around $5,000 is enough to start this business.

4. Open A Salon

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024-Open A Salon

Next on our list is opening a salon. The success of a salon in a small town relies on personalized service, a welcoming atmosphere, and building strong customer relationships.

Under this business, the start-up cost can be substantial. However, a well-run salon can quickly become a staple in a small town, generating steady profit through loyal clientele and word-of-mouth recommendations.

5. Gas Station

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024-Gas Station

A gas station represents a strategic business opportunity. The initial investment for establishing a gas station includes

  • purchasing or leasing land in a suitable location, 
  • construction and installation of fuel pumps,
  • obtaining the necessary storage tanks, and
  • ensuring compliance with environmental and safety regulations. 

There are also additional costs associated with the opening of this business. But despite these costs, gas stations can achieve profitability through careful management.

6. Drugstore

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024- Drugstore

A drugstore or a pharmacy can also be a lucrative business to start in a small town. However, this business requires more paperwork which starts from hiring a pharmacist to installing security precautions.

Generally, you might need an initial investment ranging from $250,000 to $600,000. This estimate includes expenses for securing a location, licensing, inventory, staffing, and marketing. 

As for earnings, a well-managed drugstore in a small town can expect a profit margin of around 3% to 5% after the first few years. 

7. Antique Or Thrift Store

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024- Antique Or Thrift Store

Starting an antique or thrift store in a small town can be a profitable and fulfilling business. The startup costs for an antique or thrift store are relatively modest compared to other retail ventures, largely because of inventory sourced.

As for the start-up costs of the business, you can expect to spend from $10,000 to $50,000. On average, a well-positioned store in a community can expect to see annual profits ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 after the first couple of years.

8. Ice Cream Shop

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024- Ice Cream Shop

The startup costs for an ice cream shop can vary based on factors such as location, size, and whether you opt for a franchise or an independent shop.

On average, initial expenses can range from $20,000 to $50,000. Additionally, depending on your shop’s location, quality of products, and marketing efforts, you could see annual earnings from $30,000 to $100,000

9. Tutoring Business

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024- Tutoring Business

Every town has children who go to school and need help with studies outside of school. This makes tutoring a highly profitable business.

Initial expenses might range from $500 to $5,000, covering marketing, supplies, and any necessary software or licensing fees. 

The earning potential for a tutoring business can be quite promising, with tutors charging anywhere from $25 to $75 per hour depending on the subjects offered and their qualifications.

10. A Bookstore

21 Profitable Small-Town Businesses To Start 2024- A Bookstore

Opening a bookstore in a small town can be a heartwarming and profitable endeavor. The startup costs for a small bookstore might range from $75,000 to $150,000. This includes the cost of securing a location, initial inventory purchase, shelving, a point-of-sale system, and marketing efforts. 

A well-run bookstore might expect to see annual profits ranging from $40,000 to $100,000

11. Dry Cleaner

Dry Cleaner

A dry cleaner can become a staple service in a small community. It is a lucrative venture due to the steady demand for professional cleaning services for clothing and linens.

The startup costs for a dry cleaning operation can range from $200,000 to $500,000. This business offers potential annual profits of $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the volume of business, pricing strategies, and operational efficiency. 

12. Floral Shop

Floral Shop

This opportunity taps into the local market’s needs for flowers and related services for occasions such as weddings, funerals, celebrations, and everyday gifts. The startup costs for a floral shop can range from $30,000 to $75,000

A floral shop can expect to generate annual profits of $25,000 to $50,000. However, the profit highly depends on the shop’s ability to source flowers at competitive prices, the creativity of its floral arrangements, and its success in marketing services to the community.

13. Clothing Boutique

Clothing Boutique

Opening a clothing boutique in a small town can carve out a niche by offering unique, high-quality apparel that caters to the local community’s tastes and preferences. The startup costs for a boutique can range from $50,000 to $150,000.

The profitability of a clothing boutique can be significant, with potential annual profits of $30,000 to $60,000.

14. Real Estate Agency

Real Estate Agency

This business can really be a lucrative one especially if the local market has a steady demand for buying, selling, and renting properties.

The startup costs for a real estate agency are relatively low compared to other businesses, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.

On average, a successful small-town real estate agent can expect to earn from $50,000 to over $100,000 annually, with the potential for much higher earnings.

15. Daycare


Success in the daycare business hinges on maintaining a safe and nurturing environment and developing a strong reputation within the community. This business idea is also one of the most lucrative business options in the list of small business ideas for women.

The startup costs for a daycare can range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on whether you operate from a home or lease a separate facility.

Once established, a well-run daycare in a small community can expect to generate annual profits of $30,000 to $60,000.

16. Food Truck

Food Truck

Opening a food truck offers unique, high-quality food options that cater to local tastes and preferences.

To start this business, you can expect to spend $30,000 to $100,000, depending on factors such as the cost of the truck, kitchen equipment, initial inventory, permits, and licenses.

With the right concept, location, and dedication to quality, a food truck can quickly become a beloved staple in a small town.

17. Bakery


The cost of starting a bakery can range widely, from about $10,000 for a home-based operation to over $70,000 for a fully equipped commercial location.

This variation depends on several factors, including the size of the space, renovation needs, kitchen equipment, and initial inventory.

18. Grocery Store

Grocery Store

Starting a grocery store in a small town can present a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs. The cost to open a small to medium-sized grocery store typically ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. However, this can escalate to over $1 million for larger stores with a wider range of products.

Despite the sizable initial investment, a well-positioned grocery store that caters to the specific needs and preferences of the local community can become highly profitable.

19. Gift Shop

Gift Shop

Opening a gift shop in a small town can be a profitable venture, especially if it offers unique, locally-made items that appeal to both residents and tourists.

The initial cost for setting up a gift shop can range between $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the location, size of the store, and the inventory’s nature and volume. 

Gift shops can thrive by establishing a niche market, such as specializing in handmade crafts, local artisan products, or themed merchandise that resonates with the town’s character or history. 

20. Car Repairs

Car Repairs

Next on our list is the car repair business. The cost of opening a car repair business can vary widely, typically ranging from $50,000 to $100,000

This estimated startup cost includes

  • securing a location,
  • purchasing necessary tools and equipment,
  • obtaining licenses and insurance, and
  • initial marketing efforts to attract customers.

21. Event Planner

Event Planner

Starting an event planning business in a small town can be a rewarding venture with relatively low initial costs, typically ranging from $2,000 to $10,000

Moreover, you can capitalize on the market by specializing in community, social, and corporate events, leveraging personal relationships and local networks. 


Any of these 21 profitable small-town businesses to start 2024 can be both a fulfilling and profitable endeavor.

Each business idea presents its own set of initial investments and operational costs. But they also offer unique advantages in terms of community engagement, customer loyalty, and market niche exploitation. 

With the right concept, dedication to quality, and a strong understanding of the local market, you can build a business that not only becomes a staple of the community but also provides a healthy return on investment.


What is the easiest business to start right now?

The very first business, which is the easiest among all, is Freelancing services. Other than these services, you can also opt for selling on eBay, pet sitting, becoming a tutor, and providing cleaning services.

What is the cheapest and most easiest business to start?

The cheapest and easiest business to start is launching your online store. However, you need to follow all the necessary steps like marketing your store before launching it.

How can I finance my small-town business?

These are a few ways through which you can finance your small-town business:

  • Personal savings.
  • Loans from banks or credit unions.
  • Grants and funding programs for small businessesness
  • Investment from family, friends, or angel investors.
  • Crowdfunding platforms.

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