How to Make Money in a Small Town?

Examples of making money in a small town. Pros, cons, and ideas for leading business in such places.

A great deal of people doesn’t know how to make money in a small town and thus, leave for bigger and more promising cities. If they aim at steady well-paid jobs at solid corporations, they do it right.

But small towns mustn’t be neglected in terms of expanded opportunities for steady businesses and higher incomes. For making money they can offer more than enough.

Many people consider bigger cities a better platform for a startup: they provide a higher demand, richer opportunities, better logistics, and plenty of suppliers. Start from a scratch and get your 99.9 % guaranteed profit.

Partially, they are right: bigger cities offers more chances that walk hand-in-hand with higher risks.

So, what should you do if you were born and raised in a small town? Put up with a miserable salary at a local factory?

I am more than sure that you have pictured yourself differently and aspire for a better life.

So, it’s high time you thought about your business.

But how can you launch your business in a small town? What to start with? What to focus on? How to begin?

A plethora of questions require quality and well-thought answers.

Key factors impacting making money in a small town


Every area and every town have their specifics. But population is the main factor influencing the development of business. Larger cities provide more opportunities for your startup.

So, what distinguishes small town and big town businesses and what should you first and foremost take into consideration?

  • Competition.

    As a rule, small town can’t boast of many potential businessmen. Well, probably, I must be corrected: every other person might cherish a dream of being an entrepreneur, but very few dare fulfill it. Thus, a number of niches are unique and more favourable for business.

    However, competition has a flip-side. If you decided to start your business in a small town, provided it already has several entities of this kind, be ready to struggle for winning the market.

    Your success will depend on the number of clients that have already made their choice in favour of your «rivals». The small-size population can’t promise you many new customers and enticing the existing ones is a pretty complicated endeavor requiring considerable work and financial investments.

  • Recoupment.

    World Wide Web reeks with various business plans, estimates, and entrepreneurial advice. However, bear in mind: most of them work only in big cities and megalopolises.

    Building your business in a small town, remember that it might take a longer time for your investments to pay back. Firstly, it’s due to a lower commodity turnover. No matter how you slice it, you can’t make people buy more than they need: only large global corporations can do it. You’ll have to content yourself with what you’ve got.

    It’s very important to understand your real terms of recoupment to know when to anticipate pure profit and when to start implementing additional resources for developing your business.

  • Limitations.

    Small town business is usually highly field-specific. While big city residents are used to living actively and are fast at grasping novelty, small town inhabitants can be reluctant to welcome innovations.

    In this case, you must act regarding current business situation and already existing effective models of entrepreneurship.

Read also: How to Make Money with Amway?

Cons of launching business in a small town


  1. Low circulation of potential clients, which directly depends on the total number of inhabitants.

    Of course, the more populated a town is, the more customers you can attract and thus, provide your business with more opportunities for development.

  2. Low salaries.

    This problem is common for all small towns and, consequently, constitutes a difficulty for business.

    The logic is obvious: lower wages stipulate lower purchasing ability and limit regular set of purchases to the essentials.

  3. Competition.

    As we have mentioned above, this is the sword that cuts both ways; it can be both a huge advantage and a huge vice.

    Consider the situation: even if you find a highly promising and profitable niche, which is already occupied by someone else, be ready for tough competition, especially in the realities of a small town.

  4. Staff.

    “Staff rules” – this statement never loses its topicality. A well-established dynamic business cannot be built without qualified employees.

    As a rule, professionals look for jobs in bigger cities where they are offered well-paid positions. Small town disposes of average and lower-class workers, which doesn’t favour the development of business.

Pros of starting business in a small town

  1. Rent.

    This is the most important determiner. A small town offers spacious offices in convenient places for a relatively low rent.

    Small, nice, and good-looking offices can be rented for a song.

  2. Competition.

    This double-edged sword can be safe and protective if you occupy a promising niche and establish yourself in it. It will be hard to move you out of it, and that’s how you can remain a monopolist for a very long time.

  3. Staff.

    See point 2. If you start a business requiring specific knowledge and qualified personnel, then you are not in a winning situation.

    But if you can easily do with cheap labour force as, for instance, loaders or movers, you won’t beat them away.

  4. Customers’ Trust.

    In a small town, it’s easier to advertise your business by means of word-of-mouth marketing.

    May you just get on the right side of the influential local figure, and he will advise you to his friend, the latter – to his friends and… I think you got it. Small towns see good news spread fast.

Read also: Ways to Make Money with a Truck

How to make money in a small town: business ideas

1. Opening a pizza restaurant is quite a good idea for your business.

The main advantage of starting such business in a small town consists in low prime cost of products along with their rather high selling cost and a minimum quantity of competitors.

Such business can be started in several ways: as your own restaurant, a pizza place in a mall, or a delivery of self-made pizza.

The last option spares you the need of renting a place for visitors; all you need is a good kitchen with necessary equipment.

2. Another idea for making money in a small town is your own shoe repairs.

However, it is important that you don’t work as a single multitasking shoemaker in a plain booth; think of a well-equipped repair shop with modern technologies and materials, where you can provide repair service of any complexity.

To establish such business in a small town, you’ll need to make it easily managed and profitable. For this reason, when planning your shoe mending works, consider the change of seasons.

Remember, no matter what happens, people will always wear shoes.

3. “Pet-sitting” can also be an attractive and unique business for small towns.

That is, you can take care of pets while their owners are out of town.

Accompany this service with selling necessary items and accessorizes for pets, professional photography, production of houses for cats and dogs, and so on.

4. Another idea for making money in a small town is opening a store of worn clothes, i.e. a “secondhand” or a used good store.

There will always be a category of people, unable to buy trendy stuff, namely elderly people, indigent families, young people making their living with a scholarship.

You’ll need an expert for building a financial plan and a consultant for registering your business.

5. A hobby can be a decent business idea for ladies on a maternity leave.

Those who are good at embroidering, knitting, making cakes for celebrations and corporate parties can receive orders for working at home and thus get their steady clients.

Offers from local newspapers and Internet can also work; as a last resort, get a home based telephone operator job. The benefits of such way of making money are that you don’t need to go anywhere; the only thing you are required is staying by your phone and informing your clients. The disadvantage is, however, that you may receive calls any time of the day.

Interesting: How to Make Money Selling Avon?

6. Also, you can start a flower business.

First of all, buy one or several booths and set them in different parts of the town. When your investments begin to pay back, think of getting more booths or opening your own full-scale flower shop.

7. Computers and household equipment can also be a good source for making money in a small town.

A computer shop or an equipment maintenance firm can be an off-beat business idea for a small town.

Global computerization has reached the most remote parts of our country; consequently, the demand will only grow.

If the competence is low, take a shot at sales. As long as the giants of computer equipment haven’t entered your town, you have all chances.

Also pay attention to maintenance and repair shops. Any devices and machines have a built-in common quality: they can – and someday they will – break. Being an expert in the field, you can start your business.

8. Making money in a small business is possible by providing consumer services.

Curiously enough, but it’s not that easy to find a good electrician, plumber, or simply a good repairman.

Formerly, every man had plenty of tools at home and could build a rocket out of any materials at hand. Nowadays it’s different: people prefer to call an expert and have him do all the work quickly and professionally instead of scrutinizing instructions themselves.

This niche is frequently free in small towns, so you can easily assay your strength at creating a company specializing in fixing trivial household problems. At first, you can be a solo worker, but in a course of time, when the number of orders grows, the range of provided services can be expanded.

9. Make money on beauty.

Beauty industry has always and everywhere been in demand. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a big city or in a small town; people always want to take care of themselves and regularly visit hairdressers’, barbers’, and spas.

Thus, establishing such business can be a good idea for you. Beauty will always be in demand regardless of the city size, economic situation in the country, and people’s incomes.

Everybody will need to have her hair cut or done, his beard shaven or moustache trimmed. Of course, some things can be done on our own, but others will require us going to a professional.

Don’t forget that business in such conditions has its hidden pitfalls. Thus, before learning how to make money in a small town and investing in it, think it all over. Only after being considerably sure that your town will require your business, go from theory to practice and implement your idea.

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