21 Rural Business Ideas

rural business ideas

If you’re living in a regional area or small town, the idea of starting a business can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of rural small business ideas for regional areas and small towns like cleaning services, grocery stores, or a restaurant business.

So if you’re ready to take the plunge, read on for some profitable business idea inspiration.

Why You Should Start a Rural Business

Are you looking for small-town business ideas that are both profitable and fulfilling? If so, starting a profitable business in a rural location may be the perfect option for small business owners like you.

Here are four reasons why you should start a rural business:

  • There is less competition. In a small town, you are more likely to be the only business of your kind. This gives you a unique opportunity to build a loyal customer base.
  • You can tap into an untapped market. By starting a business in a small town, you can serve a customer base that has previously been underserved. This could lead to high profits and strong word-of-mouth marketing.
  • You’ll have lower overhead costs. Rent and utilities tend to be cheaper in small towns than in major metropolitan areas. This will give you more room to reinvest in your business and grow your bottom line.
  • Be a big fish in a small pond. As the owner of a small town business, you’ll have the chance to make a real impact in your community. This could lead to personal satisfaction and a sense of pride in your work.

Business Ideas for Regional Areas

If you live in a rural part of the country, you may feel like you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to starting an online business or a brick-and-mortar store.



However, there are many businesses that are well suited to small towns and rural areas. Here’s a list of rural business ideas to get you started:

1. Bed and Breakfast

Running a bed and breakfast in a small town is a great way to bring in some extra income.

Plus, operating one in small towns is a great way to meet new people and learn about different cultures.

2. Small Town Gas Station

For small-town residents, chances are there is only one gas station in town. Why not start your own and take advantage of the lack of competition?

Business opportunities like this are perfect for anyone who wants to be their own boss.

3. Local Guide

If you know your way around the local area, why not start a business as a local guide? You could offer tours of nearby cities and nearby towns.

Rural Business Ideas

4. Coworking Space Owner

Profitable businesses are smart and utilize remote workers to grow. If you have a spare room in your house, why not start a coworking space for these remote workers?

5. Organic Food Sales

You can start a food business in the organic food delivery niche market. Customers in rural areas are looking for healthy and organic food options that a health food store may offer.

6. Thrift Store Owner

Opening a thrift store is a great business idea especially if your target market is low-income earners. These stores provide a needed service at a lower cost.

Rural Business Ideas

7. Local Flea Market

Selling at local flea markets is a great business for those who want to be their own boss and have a passion for antiques and collectibles.

Small Town Business Ideas

Business owners in small towns should focus on the unique needs of their community to increase their chances of success. For example, a business owner might have a business idea to open a small town shop that specializes in local products or services.

Here are some small town business ideas:

8. Food Truck

Starting a food truck business in a small town is a great way to get noticed and serve the community. Food trucks are generally profitable with low overhead costs.

9. Coffee Shop

Coffee shops can be the perfect business idea for a small town. It can be a very profitable venture and it’s easy to attract customers, but you need to have a solid business model.

Rural Business Ideas


10. Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream shops are always a popular business venture, especially in the summer months. They can be profitable, but you need to choose the right location.

11. Health Center

Starting a doctor’s office in rural areas is a great way to serve the community and make a good income. There are many opportunities for health centers in small towns.

12. Computer Services and Hardware Store

Another small town business idea to start that’ll be a lucrative business for you is a computer service and hardware store. Small businesses and home users will be your main customers.

13. Succesful Hair Salon

If you’re interested in having a successful hair salon, you’ll need to focus on providing a great customer experience. This could include offering complementary services, such as makeup consultations.

14. Pet Store

Opening a pet store is a great way for a small business owner to serve local pet owners and make a good income.

Rural Business Ideas

Business Ideas for Rural Locations

A rural area can be a great place to start a business, but you need to make sure that there’s a market for your products or services.

Once you’ve done your market research, you can start thinking about which business idea would be the best fit for your rural location.

Let’s check out some ideas for you:

15. Small Farm

Small farms are a great way to serve the local community in rural areas. They provide fresh produce and meat, and they can be profitable if done correctly.

16. Real Estate Agency

Real estate is a great business to get into, especially if you’re interested in rural businesses. There are many opportunities for real estate agencies in rural areas.

17. Photography Business

If you have a passion for photography, starting a photography business is a great way to do what you love and make a good income. You can specialize in weddings, portraits, or landscape photography.

18. Landscaping Business

Starting a successful business in landscaping can be a very profitable venture. It’s a great way to start your own business if you’re interested in working outdoors and serving the local community.

19. Funeral Home

Opening a funeral home can be one of the most profitable businesses, but it’s also a considerable investment. There are several things to consider before starting a funeral home, such as business planning, the costs of starting the business, will you need a business loan, etc.

20. Vineyard Owner

Starting your own vineyard business can be hugely rewarding, both financially and emotionally. Before taking the plunge, do your homework and talk to successful vineyard owners to get an understanding of what’s involved.

21. Bee Keeping

The bee-keeping business can make you a lot of money, and it can also be a very fun hobby. Make sure to properly educate yourself on beekeeping before getting started.


Exploring Rural Business Opportunities

If you’re living in a regional area or a small town, the concept of starting a business might seem challenging. However, it’s important to recognize that there are numerous viable business ideas tailored to such settings. These ideas can not only thrive but also bring economic growth and stability to rural communities. So, if you’re ready to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship in a rural context, here’s a collection of compelling business concepts to consider:

  • Cultivating Community Growth: In small towns and rural areas, the impact of a well-thought-out business can extend beyond profits. It can become a cornerstone of the community, driving local growth and fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Meeting Underserved Needs: One of the advantages of setting up shop in a small town is the opportunity to identify and address unmet needs. By catering to demands that larger businesses might overlook, you can create a niche market that thrives on personalized service.
  • Profitable Ventures with Low Competition: Small towns often lack the extensive competition found in urban centers. This opens doors to innovative enterprises that can flourish without the constraints of fierce competition.
  • Rural Resilience: Rural areas possess a unique resilience, as the connection between residents is often stronger. Starting a business in such a community not only contributes to your success but also fortifies the fabric of the region.
  • Balancing Innovation with Tradition: Small-town businesses have the chance to blend innovation with cherished traditions. This dynamic allows for the creation of enterprises that resonate with both modern trends and timeless values.
  • Nurturing Entrepreneurship: By launching a business in a rural area, you play a pivotal role in encouraging others to explore entrepreneurship. Your success can inspire and motivate fellow residents to follow suit, thereby promoting economic diversity and stability.
  • Enhancing Quality of Life: A well-established small-town business contributes to an improved quality of life for its residents. It provides essential services, fosters local talent, and adds charm to the community’s identity.
  • Sustainable Growth: In many cases, rural businesses have a built-in commitment to sustainability. They often emphasize local sourcing, eco-friendly practices, and community support, contributing to the overall environmental and economic health of the region.
  • A Catalyst for Change: Entrepreneurial ventures in rural areas have the power to catalyze positive change. They can pave the way for infrastructure development, attract tourism, and elevate the overall standard of living.
  • Seizing the Rural Opportunity: Starting a business in a regional or small-town setting isn’t just about commerce; it’s about embracing a lifestyle and embracing the potential for lasting impact. As you explore the possibilities, remember that your entrepreneurial journey in these areas can yield rewards that extend far beyond financial success.
Cultivating Community GrowthBusinesses in small towns contribute to local growth and community identity, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.
Meeting Underserved NeedsSmall-town businesses can identify and cater to niche markets, providing personalized services that larger businesses might overlook.
Profitable Ventures with Low CompetitionRural areas offer opportunities for innovative businesses to flourish without the intense competition of urban centers.
Rural ResilienceBusinesses in rural communities benefit from strong resident connections, contributing to both personal success and regional resilience.
Balancing Innovation with TraditionSmall-town businesses can seamlessly blend innovation with cherished traditions, creating enterprises that resonate with both modern and timeless values.
Nurturing EntrepreneurshipLaunching a business in a rural area encourages others to explore entrepreneurship, promoting economic diversity and stability within the community.
Enhancing Quality of LifeWell-established small-town businesses improve residents' quality of life by providing essential services, fostering local talent, and adding charm to the community.
Sustainable GrowthRural businesses often prioritize sustainability, emphasizing local sourcing, eco-friendly practices, and community support for long-term environmental and economic health.
A Catalyst for ChangeEntrepreneurial ventures in rural areas can drive positive change by influencing infrastructure development, attracting tourism, and raising overall living standards.
Seizing the Rural OpportunityStarting a business in a regional or small-town setting goes beyond commerce, embracing a lifestyle and potential for lasting impact on the community beyond financial success.

Image: Envato Elements

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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.