Recently I wrote an article on revitalizing a small town community. Part of that, as mentioned is the type of businesses that are brought into said small towns. This post is all about the best business ideas for small towns in America. These shops will make people want to come in and do their shopping.
1 – Coffee Shop – This one is a given. Every small town needs a coffee shop. Sure, Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, and Starbucks are great. But, have you ever gone into a small town coffee shop? The atmosphere is unlike anything else. My own small town bias is our coffee shop, Wholly Grounds :).
2 – Ice Cream Shop – This one, of course, is another given. Where else would we hang out after the Friday night football games?
3 – Pizza Shop – Everyone loves pizza! And since it’s not a large city with three shops on each block, we have to make them count. A lot of small towns have bigger chains that come in. Pizza Hut, Domino’s anyone? But small town pizza places are wonderful too!
4 – Dry Cleaner/Clothing Alterations – This is best as an all in one shop. Even people in small town America have big corporate jobs and of the dry clean only clothing that goes with those city jobs!
5 – Pharmacy – Pharmacies definitely make the top five best business ideas for small towns. People get sick. Who wants to drive half an hour to get medicine if needed?
6 – Auto Repair Shops/Gas Stations – Am I the only one imagining the TV shows (since I wasn’t alive to remember it first hand) where you pull into the gas station, the bell rings, the workers come out to pump your gas, clean your windows and make sure your tires have enough air? If there isn’t a repair shop close by, they would do great in a small town. Cuts down on the towing bill for the customer if the car can’t be moved!
7 – Florist – With the many open fields that may grow flowers? A florist shop is perfect. And of course, for that spouse in the dog house, a florist shop on the way home is very convenient :).
8 – Computer Repair – I know! People in smaller towns have computers too!
9 – Beauty/Hair Salon, Barber Shops – Having one in a small town would make great business sense. A lot of customer base, not a lot of competition.
10 – Tea Shop – Not to be confused with a coffee shop. The tea shop I speak of would have samples for people to try. The loose leaf selection availability for customers to select, bag up and take home.
11 – Spice shop – Totally going to throw a review in here. No, I was not compensated for this. (Although, I found out they have an affiliate link. So I did apply!) When I went to Tennessee in August for the Solar Eclipse, we met up with a friend of my son’s in Franklin TN. OMG. Can I tell you? ADORABLE small town doing it right! They had a lot to offer in their little small town! They have the Savory Spice Shop. This shop had SOOOO many spices, it’s not even funny. When you go in, they ask you if you’ve ever been there.
If you tell them no, they show you how to work the shop. They have tester containers. You pour some of the spice in the palm of your hand, taste it and let the rest drop on the floor. Just wipe your hands to knock the spice off your hands and go on to the next. Unless you’re like me and went back for seconds on the Buffalo Bleu Dip! So, if you’re ever in Franklin, make sure to stop here and get your spices. You won’t regret it! And they offer four hours of free parking. Yes, Franklin has a Starbucks :).
12 – Local Artisan’s Shop – These shops are perfect to help portray the creativity of the locals. I’m one of those local artisan’s :). I have some jewelry pieces in one of our local shops, Pickled Pickles. This cute shop has some amazing items from artisan’s in the area. Anything from jewelry, to clothing, to popcorn… Yes, I had to bring popcorn in it. Emma’s popcorn and the flavors are the best!
13 – Specialty Shops – These can be the local baker, a candle shop, gift shop and many other options.
14 – Microbrewery – If there is a large enough location, brewing your own beer and selling it in a small town could be ideal. Especially if people want more of a variety.
15 – Wine Cellar – Another great hot spot. People love to have their downtime and a girls night out after a hectic week. My own little town has a perfect spot called Flickerwood. Love the “Friends” vibe it has! And they only sell beverages made in Pennsylvania :).
16 – Book Shop – Most everyone loves to read! If there’s a little lounge area, maybe a few tables and sell coffee and cookies or other pastries? Even better. And it wouldn’t be a threat to the other local shops.
17 – Movie Theater – Small town American’s, for the most part, have to drive at least half an hour to forty-five minutes to a movie theater. If your small town has a big enough building for one or two screens? Get a theater in there! Your customers will LOVE you!
18 – Business Incubator – Help small startup businesses get started in your town. Check out this post on Business Incubator Ideas for Small Towns over at smallbizsurvival.com.
19 – Financial – Due to the need to have your money go somewhere, a bank or two is needed. Accountants and Financial Advisors are always good to have around too.
20 – Lawyers – Yes, even a law office or two are also beneficial in small towns.
21 – Clothing Store – By this, I’m not talking Walmart or Target. A small clothing store, whether it is high-end or fun clothing with trendy and/or vintage sayings on shirts or sweatpants has to be added to this list of best business ideas for small towns.
However, these are just 21 of the best business ideas for small towns that I’m including here. There are many more ideas that could be added, but I’d be writing all month long! If you live in a small town, what is your favorite shop? What would you like to see added to your town? Comment below or share on my Facebook page!
If you love a good YA Paranormal book, you should check out my book, Cavern Cove! Click the image to be taken to Amazon. It is also available at Barnes and Noble for your Nook and in Paperback! It’s also available on iBooks!