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48 Small Town Business Ideas

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on June 30, 2022

Updated on November 12, 2022

48 Small Town Business Ideas

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48 Small Town Business Ideas

You might think you can’t do business in a small town. But did you know that some major corporations are based in small towns? Walmart is in Bentonville, Arkansas. MasterCard and PepsiCo are in Purchase, New York, while Dick’s Sporting Goods is in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. 

If you live in an area with a small population, you can still attain entrepreneurial success. Why not consider starting a quaint coffee shop, a general merchandise store, or a bakery? Check out our list of small town business ideas below.

1. Coffee Shop

How to start a coffee shop business

Nearly 200 million Americans drink coffee every day, which is why you’ll find a coffee shop or cafe on just about every street. Like many industries, coffee shops took a hit during the pandemic, but now they’re on the rebound and expect steady growth in the years ahead. You could take advantage of this trend by starting your own coffee shop and providing a nice pick-me-up to countless people everyday while making a good living. 

Of course, opening a coffee shop will take some real work. The best coffee shops offer excellent pastries and other foods, and create a comfortable atmosphere for people to linger and enjoy. So you’ll need to make smart choices in terms of your product offerings, furniture and overall design, as well as your location. You’ll also want to be careful in choosing your coffee source, to make sure it’s eco-friendly and fair trade. But if you’re passionate about coffee and have the drive to see your business succeed, it can be an incredibly rewarding and profitable experience.

2. Retail Store

Retail Business

Are you thinking of starting your own retail business? If so, you’re in good company. The retail industry is a huge part of the economy, and it’s only getting bigger. But starting a retail business isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to think about, from choosing the right location to setting up your payment system. And let’s not forget the most important step: deciding what you’ll be selling! 

A good way to choose your product offerings is to first do some research — see what’s out there, and more importantly what’s not. You’re looking for what sells well, as well as a market gap to fill.  Once you know your products, finding a great location for your store will be the next big step. However, you might want to initially run your retail business out of your home. This would significantly reduce your costs and give you time to build a brand and a reputation. 

After a year or two, assuming your products are well received by the market, you’ll be in a much better position to find a great location and run a successful retail outlet.

3. Clothing Boutique

How to start a clothing boutique business

Do you have an eye for fashion trends? If so, starting your own boutique may be a great fit for you. Even small towns need style! Following years of steady growth, the US clothing boutique industry is worth more than $18 billion. More and more of today’s serious shoppers tend to walk right past the brand outlets and department stores and head straight for the exclusive boutiques offering new, unique and vintage clothing and accessories not found anywhere else. 

To draw them in, you will need to establish a strong based on your own sense of style. You might embrace a pre-WWII theme and embrace flapper dresses, hats and brooches. Or maybe you’re a disco lover and all about bell bottoms, short shorts, tube tops and more. Or you could go with a clean and simple, more futuristic look. The key is finding and highlighting your own sharp fashion sense. If it’s right, the shoppers will come.

4. Food Truck

How to start a food truck business

Who doesn’t love food trucks? They seem to be everywhere these days, at parks and street fairs, music festivals, beaches, private parties and community events. Industry revenue in the US tripled in the years before the pandemic, and now food trucks are coming back strong as the pandemic recedes. Now’s a great time to start your own food truck business and provide your community with delicious meals while grabbing a share of this growing market. 

The first step, of course, will be settling on a menu. The possibilities are endless, from burritos to barbecue, from burgers to sausages, and from smoothies and milkshakes to pad thai and pizza. You could even go seasonal, and offer frozen desserts in summer and gourmet soups in winter, and be able to draw a crowd year-round. The next major hurdle will be acquiring the necessary licenses and permits, which are absolutely crucial for any food-related business. 

Last but not least, you will need the food truck itself. It’s sure to be a significant investment, but you might be able to find a reasonably priced used truck to keep costs low. With a little luck, soon enough you’ll be up and running and making a nice return on that investment.

5. Handyman

How to start a handyman business

If you’re good with your hands and enjoy fixing things, starting a handyman business could be the perfect fit. For one thing, you’ll be doing what you love and taking care of people’s problems. For another, the US handyman industry has been growing steadily for years, and by 2026 the broader home services market is expected to double! So there’s clearly a real opportunity out there. 

A key first step will be determining which services you will offer. In addition to repairs, you could offer maintenance, painting, cleaning, drywall, carpentry, minor renovations and more. Next, buy all the necessary tools and start advertising your services on online platforms like Angie’s List. 

You could also reach out to landlords, developers and residential complexes offering to provide your services at a discount. Once you’ve delivered great work in your first few jobs, you can bump up your rates. With any luck, you’ll soon be kicking back in the office counting your cash while your employees do the heavy lifting.

6. Bakery

How to start a bakery business

Who doesn’t love baked goods, fresh out of the oven? If you often find yourself elbow-deep in flour, now’s a great time to take the next step and become an entrepreneur. Despite the anti-carbohydrates trend, the US baking industry has been growing for years and is now worth more than $12 billion. You could open your own bakery, or start a home-based baking business, and share your delicious culinary creations with the world while also making a good living. 

But starting a baking business can be tricky, and there are several hurdles before you can start. You’ll need to nail down a handful of absolutely fantastic baked goods that will keep people coming back. You’ll need to outfit your kitchen, or your new bakery, with all the right equipment and ingredients. And of course, you’ll also need to pass health checks and government licensing required for food businesses. 

After that, you’ll just need to start marketing your tasty treats and, with a bit of luck, you’ll soon have too many orders to fill!

7. Hair Salon

How to start a hair salon

If you’re meticulous about grooming, starting a hair salon might be the perfect career choice. It’s a sure-fire way of earning a steady income once you figure out how to beat the competition. There are close to a million hair salons in the US and they’re expected to rebound strongly from the pandemic and earn $46 billion in 2022. 

To capture a share of this highly competitive market, you’ll need to invest in the latest tools and equipment, find a good location, and research what other hair salons are offering. It’s important to be innovative and creative in marketing your products and services. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the latest trends, such as the use of augmented reality that lets customers see how they’d look with certain colors and styles. With careful planning and creative marketing, your hair salon business can provide you with a steady source of income.

8. Grocery Store

How to start a grocery store business

Small town folks need to eat too! Grocery stores and supermarkets thrived during pandemic lockdowns, exceeding $750 billion in 2022. If you’re looking to start a grocery store, you’re not alone. Competition is stiff in this industry, although you can still corner a share of the market if you’re innovative and willing to respond to consumer demands. 

Besides registering your business, it’s important to choose a suitable location for your store and decide on your retail format first. Your store can either carry only fresh produce and grocery items, or you can also provide space for a small coffee shop, a pharmacy, or some fuel pumps. 

Whatever retail format you choose, it’s important to provide convenience to consumers. You can do this by providing an option to order online for delivery or pick-up, carrying ready-to-eat meals or freshly cut fruits and vegetables, and providing convenient parking. Once everything is in place, you can expect to make big profits from your grocery store.

9. Floral Business

How to start a florist business

Do you love the smell of fresh-cut flowers? Or the way a brilliant floral arrangement can brighten your day? So do countless people in your town and beyond, which is why starting a flower business could be the perfect fit. Flowers are always in demand, and in fact right now both the floral market as a whole and online flower sales are seeing steady growth. Thus, the industry offers opportunity as well as room for innovation. 

One key step will be deciding if you want to open your own flower shop, or focus on selling flowers online. The latter route is less expensive, as you’ll have less inventory and no rent or utility payments, and could be a good way to build up a reputation while minimizing risk. Once you’ve established a brand and started getting referrals, you could open your flower shop and start beautifying the whole neighborhood, one arrangement at a time.

10. Estate Sale

How to start a estate sale business

When a loved one dies, surviving family members may hold an estate sale for a variety of reasons. On average, an estate sale company in the US holds nearly 30 sales events every year. That’s at least two estate sales a month, and each event generates average gross sales of $18,000. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this industry, so why don’t you start your own estate sale business now?

Before you launch, you will need to research the market and decide whether you’ll start your business from scratch or just get a franchise. With a franchise, you will have a support network, training on how to run your business, and more. If you’re going to build your own brand, it’s important to create a good business plan that will identify ways to differentiate your services from the competition. Having a competitive advantage will win the game and guarantee success for your estate sale business.

11. Gardening

How to start a gardening business

Four in 10 US millennials engage in indoor garden activities, such as growing sprouts in jars and herbs in pots, while around a third of baby boomers grow indoor plants as a way to relieve stress. If you have a green thumb and love growing your own plants, starting a gardening business and helping people garden could be very fulfilling. It’s also a fun way to turn a hobby into a money-making venture. 

Starting a gardening business is relatively simple and doesn’t require a lot of overhead costs. This type of business can also be run from home. You can host in-person and virtual workshops on gardening, design or maintain gardens, and provide other services like lawn mowing or outdoor repair. It’s a good idea to research the market first and find out what your competitors are offering in order to find clients. With your passion for nurturing plants and persistence to keep going, you can easily grow your gardening business.

12. Car Wash

How to start a car wash business

Some people REALLY love their cars, and need to keep them looking beautiful in and out. That’s why the US is home to nearly 17,000 car washes and a growing $28 billion industry. With a decent-sized investment, you could start your own car wash business and make countless car owners beam with pride while making a good living. 

One crucial element will be location, as few people drive out of their way for a good car wash. So it’s important to find a location with ample space, steady vehicular traffic and easy access. Near malls and shopping centers, or alongside highway rest stops, are among the stronger options. Once you’ve nailed that down, you’ll need to invest in top-of-the-line car washing machines and fine-tune your knowledge of car detailing. Soon enough, you’ll be washing your way straight to the bank!

13. Photography

How to start a photography business

Are you an amateur photographer who loves snapping great images? Photography in the US is an $11 billion industry expected to see steady growth in the coming years, so now would be a great time to stretch your entrepreneurial wings and give it a shot. You could start your photography business from home and give the world beautiful photos while also making a good living. 

A crucial step will be finding your photographic niche. There’s a wide array of subjects to choose from. You could focus on personal portraits, fashion and culture photography, news and celebrities, or travel, nature and wildlife. Assuming you already have a professional-level camera, you’ll just need some great editing software and to build a website showing off your portfolio and listing your prices and services. With a bit of talent and determination, you could be snapping your way to success in no time!

14. Brewery

How to start a brewery business

If you’ve been thinking about starting your own brewery business, you’re in luck. The brewery industry in the US is rebounding from pandemic decline as consumer spending increases. The number of US breweries has steadily increased in the past decade. As of 2020, there were close to 10,000 breweries across the country, and many survived the pandemic by shifting to packaged and to-go sales. 

It takes hard work and substantial investment to start a brewery. Breweries produce alcoholic beverages made from malted barley and hops, like beer, malt liquor, and non-alcoholic beer. To keep up with the latest consumer trends, you might want to focus on craft and regional beers as well as alternative alcoholic beverages such as ready-to-drink cocktails. You’ll need to check federal and state laws relating to the industry first and comply with these. It’s to your advantage to carefully plan your business, from the licensing process to choosing the right brewing equipment. If you do this right, your brewery business has nowhere to go but up.

15. Plumbing

How to start a plumbing business

We rarely think of our faucets, drains, and home water piping systems, but the reality is that plumbing is a massive $120 billion US industry that offers considerable opportunity If you have some plumbing experience, or are just good with your hands and a quick study, you might want to consider starting your own plumbing company and getting in on the action. 

If you’re not already a plumber, you could take online plumbing courses or work as an apprentice to an established plumber. Within a few months, you should be ready to pass the test and become a licensed plumber. Once you have obtained all the necessary tools and equipment, all that’s left is to build your website, list yourself with Google Business and start looking for clients in your area and on social media. 

There’s always somebody out there with a clogged train, leaky sink or busted pipe, so you should start booking jobs in no time. From there you’ll just need to do good work, and you’ll be on the road to entrepreneurial success.

16. Thrift Store

How to start a thrift store

Have you ever gone into a store to find one item and come out with several other unnecessary items that were sold at bargain prices? That’s what happens when you go into a thrift store and get dazzled by all those deals. The US thrift store industry is estimated to be worth $10 billion and growing, market analyst IBISWorld says. If you’re looking for a profitable and rewarding venture, then consider starting a thrift store.

Thrift stores are often put up by non-profit groups such as the Salvation Army, although some are run by merchants. The bulk of merchandise sold in these stores is clothing, but it’s also common to find appliances, furniture and other household items, books, and toys. These items are sold at large discounts and the proceeds are donated to charity groups. 

When starting your own thrift store, keep in mind that your business is covered by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission laws and regulations. Just make sure your thrift store is legally compliant and you’re well on your way to success.

17. Radio Station

How to start a radio station business

More than eight in 10 adults in the US listen to the radio weekly, making the radio one of the most powerful mediums of communication. Radio has been able to stay relevant by adapting to new technologies. It’s now accessible through smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices. 

Starting your own radio station would be a great way to launch your broadcasting career. It’s fun and highly profitable too. Radio stations in the US earned over $22 billion in 2021, according to market analyst IBISWorld.

Depending on your budget, you can apply for a license to operate a web radio station or a traditional AM/FM radio station. Broadcasting on the web requires lesser startup investment and allows you to reach more listeners. It’s important to decide on your programming early on, whether you want to just play music, broadcast podcasts, or both. Keep in mind that the number of podcast listeners in the US has more than doubled in the last five years. If you play your cards right, you’ll be making money from your radio station soon.

18. Flooring Installation

How to Start a Flooring Business

Are you looking to start your own business? Consider tapping into the growing home improvement and construction industries by starting a flooring business. Demand for flooring is on the rise because of a surge in home repairs and renovations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the popular flooring materials in the US are hardwood and engineered wood, ceramic tiles, and vinyl tiles. 

The wood flooring market in North America, which includes the US, was estimated to be worth $5 billion in 2019 while revenue from ceramic tiles surpassed $20 billion in 2020. Both are expected to grow steadily through 2027, with ceramic tiles growing at a faster rate of more than 5%, 

Before you get started, it’s important to know that the US strictly enforces a law that prohibits illegal logging and sale of illegally harvested forest products like timber. You’ll also need to adhere to the standards for ceramic tiles in the US. Once your business is legally compliant, it’s to your advantage to come up with an effective marketing strategy to promote your flooring business.

19. Funeral Service

How to start a funeral home

Death is inevitable, which is why starting your own funeral business makes sense. It may not be the most upbeat industry, but it’s a stable and growing one. Unsurprisingly, the US funeral market was among the gainers in the last two years because of the pandemic. It is valued at around $20 billion in 2022 and is still thriving. The industry includes businesses that organize wakes, prepare the dead for burial or interment, and sell caskets and related merchandise.

Starting a funeral business requires a considerable amount of money. You will also need to find a good location for your funeral home, follow regulations and licensing requirements, keep an inventory of caskets, and have a well of compassion for the relatives of the deceased. Keep in mind that this is a very competitive industry, so make sure you put your best foot forward, offer quality death care services that people will want to use, and come up with creative ways to promote these.

20. Computer Repair

How to start a computer repair business

Even in small towns, businesses stand to lose customers and important data whenever their computer systems are down. Properly maintaining computers through regular cleaning, hard drive updates, and virus prevention can prevent breakdowns and extend a computer’s shelf life to up to eight years, computer security firm Norton says. 

That’s why demand is high for computer maintenance and repair services. The US computer and electronics repair industry is valued at $19 billion. If you’re knowledgeable about computers and have troubleshooting skills, consider starting a computer repair business. 

This type of business can be run from home, with minimal startup and overhead costs. But you’ll still need to register your business and comply with applicable regulations. Obtaining certifications on top of a bachelor or associate degree will increase your value and attract more clients so it’s wise to apply for these. Computer repair technicians mostly study computer science, IT, or computer information systems. It’s also important to be abreast of the latest trends. With your impressive skills, you’ll be making big profits in no time.

21. Ice Cream Shop

How to start an ice cream business

Did you know that the average American consumes nearly half a pound of ice cream per week? People really do scream for ice cream, in small towns and big cities, which is why it’s always a good time to start an ice cream business. 

There are a few key steps to getting started the right way. You’ll need to find the highest-quality ingredients, outfit your kitchen with the right equipment and come up with a few inventive, appealing flavors. And you’ll also need to meet the licensing and safety requirements for food products. But once you’ve got that down, you can offer your goods online, do a bit of marketing and start selling to ice cream lovers around the country, and around the world. Soon enough you’ll be opening enough stores to challenge Ben & Jerry.

22. Seminar Organization

Seminar Business

Starting your own seminar business can be a great way to share your knowledge with other people and make some money while you’re at it. Training expenditures in the US are expected to increase now that the pandemic is winding down. The market saw significant growth before the pandemic, but declined as companies slashed their budgets. Now it’s bouncing back, and worth more than $80 billion.

Starting a seminar business is relatively easy if you already know your area of expertise. For example, if you are a fitness expert, you can create an event where people learn how to get in shape by giving them advice on nutrition and exercise. You can also do a webinar if your topic does not require face-to-face training. Most of the seminars outsourced by American companies involve content creation, learning management system hosting, and instruction and facilitation. You’ll be up against some tough competition, so you should have the patience and perseverance to build a successful business.

23. Assisted Living Facility

How to Start an Assisted Living Facility

The US’ growing geriatric population is driving the assisted living market, which is expected to grow 5% annually through 2027. If you’re an entrepreneur with a background in healthcare, you might consider starting an assisted living business. It’s a great way to help take care of the elderly and make an impact in your community while making a profit.   

Before you start your assisted living business, it’s important for you to assess the competitive landscape and determine the services that you will offer. You’ll need to comply with the zoning and licensing requirements. It’s also a good idea to study the possible legal issues, hire the right people, and decide which amenities to provide. Most assisted living facilities have gardens, a library, entertainment and a doctor on call. This business needs hefty investments, but the potential for financial rewards is great. So start drawing up the building plans for the best assisted living facility in your area.

24. Bed and Breakfast

How to start a bed and breakfast business

Many Americans still choose to stay in a bed and breakfast for the unique hospitality, homey experience, freshly cooked food, and fascinating stories that it offers. The US bed and breakfast market was estimated to be worth $1.7 billion in 2021, German research firm Statista says. The market is expected to rebound from the pandemic slump with the lifting of travel restrictions. If you’ve been thinking about opening your own bed and breakfast, now is the time to do it. 

When starting a B & B business, it’s important to be updated on the latest trends in the industry. For example, many guests prefer a facility that offers live entertainment or is located close to tourist attractions. It’s also to your advantage to research the market and see what features and services are being offered by the competition. Be innovative in coming up with ways to differentiate your business. Running a bed and breakfast is not easy, but it can be very rewarding if you play your cards right.

25. Barber Shop

How to start a barbershop business

Every small town needs a great barbershop. If so, then consider starting a barber shop. A barber earns good money, because people regularly need to cut their hair. According to a study by Modern Salon Media, about half of American men are likely to get their hair cut every four weeks. 

Before you get started, you’ll need to get a barber license to be able to cut hair for money. The rules vary from state to state, but generally, a barber must complete a barber program or undergo apprenticeship or both, pass the licensure examination, and be at least 16 years old. Most states also require candidates to either complete high school or pass the GED. 

Once you hurdle these and other requirements, it’s a good idea to set up your shop in an area with high foot traffic. With careful planning and effective marketing, your business can be profitable.

26. Farmers’ Market

How to start a farmers market

A farmer’s market can be the lifeblood of a small town — where locals gather every week, or every few days, to get the latest fresh dairy and produce and exchange all the hot gossip. Maybe it’s time to start your own farmers market? It’s a great way to begin your entrepreneurial journey and promote a healthy and nutritious diet in your community.

You’ll also be helping local farmers earn bigger profits by giving them a venue to sell their produce directly to consumers and eliminating the middlemen. The number of farmers markets has been increasing. As of 2019, there were more than 8,000 farmers markets across the US, based on the National Farmers Market Managers survey. Some markets sell only fresh fruits and vegetables while others also carry meat, eggs, baked goods, dairy products, and flowers.

First, it’s important to link up with the local farmers. It’s easy to find them; just ask the US Department of Agriculture for a list of farmers in your area. It’s also important to find a big area. If you plan this carefully, your farmers market can be very rewarding.

27. Repo Business

How to start a repo business

Nobody likes to think of their vehicles, furniture and valuables getting repossessed, but unfortunately it happens whenever people are unable to make on-time payments. The US repo industry is worth $2 billion and expected to see steady growth in the years ahead. It can be difficult work, going to people’s homes and reclaiming their goods, but if you have the stomach for it there is real money to be made. 

Many folks have faced financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic downturn. Some are defaulting on payments and unable to meet their financial deadlines. As a result, demand for repo services has increased. At the same time, the value of used cars has increased sharply, which means repossessed vehicles have greater value, making banks more likely to seek to reclaim them. 

Add it all up, and repo could be your recipe for success.

28. Liquor Store

How to start a liquor store

If you’re looking for a business idea that’s always in demand, look no further than liquor. There’s always someone who wants to buy alcohol, and as long as you have the space and license, starting a liquor store is a great way to make money. The US beer, wine and liquor stores industry is valued at $72 billion and growing. Competition is tough, though, as there are close to 50,000 stores across the country. 

Before starting your liquor shop, it’s important to do your research. Find out whether there are already liquor stores in your area, what kind of customers they have, and what the prices are. You will need to comply with local and state licensing and zoning requirements, choose a good location for your store, and stock your shelves. You’ll also need to keep track of the latest trends in the market. With creative marketing and lots of work, you can make a lot of money from your liquor business.

29. Hospital

How to Start a Hospital

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained healthcare systems in the US. But while hospitals were often full, industry revenue declined because many patients canceled elective and non-emergency procedures. As the pandemic eases, the US hospital industry is also expected to recover and gradually return to growth over the next four years to 2026. If you’ve been thinking about starting your own hospital or clinic, now is the time to do it.

It’s not as simple as building the facility though. You’ll need to hire enough doctors, nurses, nursing aides, and other staff to ensure smooth operations. Only California has set a nurse-to-patient ratio while several others have enacted staffing regulations. It’s best to check your local authorities for the details. 

You’ll also need to comply with state and federal laws such as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which requires hospitals to stabilize and treat patients brought to the emergency room, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. Once your hospital is legally compliant, you can start accepting patients.

30. Landscaping Service

How to start a landscaping business

If you love working on the yard and spending time outdoors, you might consider starting your own landscaping business. Boosted by the recent real estate boom, landscaping and lawn-care have seen steady growth in recent years. That expansion is expected to continue, so now’s an excellent time to get in on the action and ride this wave to success. 

You could offer a wealth of services, from designing yards and gardens to tree planting, trimming, mowing and more, and you could focus on residential customers or businesses, or go for broke and aim for both! First, you’ll need to brush up on your landscape design and maintenance skills. Fortunately, the US government in 2019 partnered with the leading landscapers’ association to launch a national landscapers’ apprenticeship program to train more skilled workers. 

You’ll also need to invest in quality equipment, as well as a reliable truck. After that, to attract clients you’ll want to build a simple, appealing website and launch some strong marketing to get the word out. From there, you should start seeing the business roll in as you enjoy the scent of freshly cut grass.

31. Donut Shop

How to start a donut shop

Popular donut shops never seem to run out of new flavors. Besides the original glazed, there’s cinnamon and sugar, creme-filled, red velvet, topped with KitKat, bacon maple, and much more. If you can think of brilliant new combinations, it might be time to start your own donut shop. Plenty of opportunities await as the US donut industry, which is valued at $7.5 billion, is expected to continue growing. 

While you’re complying with the legal requirements, you’ll need to identify sources of funds so you can invest in donut making equipment and find a good location for your shop. Your biggest challenge might be overcoming the growing healthy food trend that discourages carbs. It’s daunting, but not impossible. Creating a realistic business plan with an innovative marketing strategy can spell the difference for your business. Once you’ve hurdled these, it’s time to put on your apron and start making dough!

32. Window Washing

How to start a window washing business

Did you ever notice what happens to windows that don’t get cleaned? They stop being windows because you can barely see through them! Even in small towns, window washing is always in demand, which is why it’s a billion-dollar industry in the US, and a serious business opportunity. 

Starting a window washing business is incredibly easy. All you need is the proper gear and reliable safety equipment and you can start offering your services on an online platform like Angie’s List or TaskRabbit. You could also check out the going rates to ensure your prices are competitive and watch a few YouTube videos to make sure you’re up on the latest techniques, but otherwise it really is that easy. Just always be sure to check all your gear and stay safe up there!

33. Gas Station

How to start a gas station

Everybody drives in a small town, which means everybody needs gas!

Gas stations are leading US retail sales gains as sales increase despite the surge in prices. In February 2022, gas station revenue was up 36% from the previous year. Gas stations can be very profitable if properly located and well-managed. If you’re looking at a property with a good location, you should consider starting a gas station business. 

A gas station requires a significant investment if you’re building from scratch, so it’s important to identify funding sources before you get started. One option is to buy an existing gas station, but not before you check for any legal, environmental and other issues affecting the property. You will need to get a license and comply with applicable underground storage regulations. With careful planning, you can make your gas station business successful.

34. Grocery Delivery

How to start a grocery delivery business

Global online grocery delivery sales have increased almost 30% since 2020. This stellar performance is expected to continue through 2024 as a lot of people continue to stay or work from home. With online grocery shopping, consumers no longer have to spend time queuing in supermarkets. They simply browse through a retailer’s website or app, shop and check out, pay for the items online, and have these delivered right to their doorstep. 

If you’re thinking of starting a grocery delivery business, now’s the time to do it. You have at least three options: operate your own delivery service, work with a franchise, or sign up with an established retailer. Consider carefully the pros and cons of each option before deciding on which business model to choose. Assess the competition as well and identify possible clients if you’re going to give it a go on your own. Whatever your decision is, plenty of opportunities await.

35. Shoe Store

How to start a shoe store business

Are you always checking out people’s shoes? Or maybe you have thousands of pairs in your closet. If you’re wild about shoes, why not start a shoe store? US shoe stores are poised for a rebound due to pent-up demand and rising consumer spending. The industry is worth $42 billion and expected to post strong growth in the next five years. 

The first thing to do is to scout for a good location for your shoe store. It has to be accessible and located in an area with high foot traffic. Next, you will need to come up with a business plan to identify your target market, find reliable suppliers, choose the brands that you will carry, and more. Your business plan should include a strategy to promote your business through traditional and digital channels. There will be bumps along the way, but your shoe store business can succeed with your hard work and determination.

36. Junk Removal

How to start a junk removal business

You’ve probably heard that real estate has been booming of late. But you may not realize that this also means the construction industry has been doing well, which consequently means that demand for junk removal services has been on the rise.

Even in smaller towns, the construction of new office buildings and residential properties creates massive amounts of waste and used materials. As a result, the US waste removal industry is now worth $60 billion and seeing steady growth. So if you don’t mind a bit of heavy lifting, now is an excellent time to start your own junk removal business. 

It’s probably easier than you think. You’ll need a truck, as well as the right tools and equipment — both of which you could find with a bit of online digging. Most likely, you’ll also need a commercial driver’s license, as some of the loads you haul are likely to exceed the weight limit allowed under a normal license. Finally, you’ll want to reach out to contractors, construction firms, developers and property managers to offer your services. 

A smart approach is to offer a discount to attract your initial clients. Then, once you’ve delivered fantastic service, the referrals, and the cash, should start rolling in.

37. Consignment Shop

How to Start a Consignment Shop

Are you thinking about starting a retail business? Why not do consignment? The US resale and consignment market in the US is booming and expected to hit $53 billion by 2023. A consignment shop is a store that sells used goods from a consignor, who retains ownership of the goods until these are sold. The store just takes a share of the profit. 

Before you open your consignment shop, you’ll need to abide by regulations issued by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Operators of consignment stores and other resale retailers are required to closely examine the products prior to resale to make sure these are safe and won’t cause injuries or even death. 

It’s to your advantage to open your store in an area with high foot traffic. Keep in mind that you’ll be competing with more than 25,000 other resale and consignment shops across the country. A good location and an effective marketing strategy can make your consignment shop a success.

38. Insulation Business

How to Start an Insulation Business

Here’s an idea for your next venture: why not an insulation business? It’s a growing industry with plenty of opportunities. The global insulation market has been growing 5% annually since 2018 and is expected to reach $80 billion in revenue by 2026. Depending on the type of material used, insulation can lower heating and cooling costs. It can also be used to soundproof rooms and provide protection from fire.

When starting your insulation business, it is important to know the various types of insulation, how it works, and what laws and regulations are applicable. It’s also a good idea to scope out the competition and find out what services are available in the market. To differentiate your business from the thousands of insulation contractors in the US, you will need to provide better services and make sure to use quality materials. With a strong marketing campaign and by properly engaging with your potential customers, you can build awareness about your business.

39. Pharmacy

How to start a pharmacy

Just like the local barbershop, every small town needs a great pharmacy or two.

Unsurprisingly, pharmacies and drug stores in the US continued to expand during the COVID-19 pandemic, growing a steady 3% annually since 2017. The industry is expected to grow further and surpass $350 billion in 2022 as the aging US population boosts demand for prescription drugs and other maintenance medications. If you’re a licensed pharmacist, this could be your opportunity to set up shop and start a pharmacy.

It’s important to find a good location and reliable suppliers of medicines before you get started. It’s also a good idea to scope out the market and see what existing pharmacies are offering so you can devise ways to make your pharmacy stand out. Some pharmacies offer blood pressure tests, vaccinations, and delivery services. Most carry both branded and generic medicines, which are priced lower, is a wise choice. It’s important to keep these and other trends in mind when you create your marketing strategy. With a lot of hard work and a bit of creativity in promoting your business, your pharmacy will soon be up and running.

40. Mechanic Shop

How to start a car repair shop

As the economy improves, car owners in the US are likely to seek repairs that were delayed by pandemic measures. If you’re an entrepreneur with some car skills, now is the time to start a mechanic business. Nearly 70,000 job openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected on average every year through 2030. To get a share of this lucrative market, you will need to keep up with the latest technologies, diagnostic software and tools to assess vehicles.

Before launching your business, you will need to check out the licensing and zoning requirements. Generally, a mechanic needs to finish high school and undergo an in-depth training or certification program. Once you comply with government regulations, it is important to research ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. Remember that there are hundreds of thousands of repair shops across the country. Although the industry seems to be saturated, there are still many ways for you to succeed. An option is to find an underserved location, set up your shop there, and work very hard.

41. Electrical Business

How to start an electrical business

The US economy is set to create 85,000 new electrician jobs each year through 2030, so if you’re an electrician, now is a good time to establish your own business. Electricians earned total revenue exceeding $200 billion in 2022 and this amount is expected to steadily grow over the next five years as Americans pursue home renovation and retrofitting projects, according to market analyst IBISWorld.

Electricians install and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems. Before you get started, you’ll need to meet licensing requirements, register your business, and comply with other applicable regulations. Most states require electricians to get a license, after attending a technical school or undergoing apprenticeship. It’s important to keep yourself updated on the latest technologies that increase energy efficiency. Rising awareness of the benefits of using efficient technologies is driving demand for electrical upgrades. Being up to date on the latest trends will give your electrical business a competitive edge.

42. Restaurant

How to start a restaurant business

If you’re looking to open a restaurant, you’re not alone. Most Americans love to dine out, which explains the steady increase in the number of full-service restaurants. With the lifting of pandemic restrictions, restaurant sales in the US are expected to return to a pre-pandemic growth path and approach $900 billion in 2022, according to the National Restaurant Association.  

Before you can launch your restaurant, you’ll need to comply with the licensing and regulatory requirements, find a suitable location, and secure enough funding. It’s also important to decide on the concept and theme of your restaurant. Do you prefer casual or fine dining? It’s a good idea to identify your target market and come up with a good marketing plan in order to survive in this highly competitive industry. 

Once you open, it’s important to be prepared for potentially long hours. Always making sure to serve the perfect dish and that your customers enjoy their dining experience can spell the difference for your restaurant.

43. Pet Store

How to start a pet store business

With people stuck at home during the pandemic, the number of pet owners skyrocketed. Over the past decade, Americans’ spending on pets has more than doubled to $110 billion, and pet stores, also growing quickly, represent about a fifth of that total. If you love animals, you could start a pet store, give lots of cuddly cuties new homes and help people better take care of their pets, all while making a good living.  

Of course, you’ll need to decide which pets you’ll offer and how broad your variety of products will be, from food to toys and accessories. Another crucial step will be ensuring you meet all regulations and obtain all the required licenses and permits required for pet sales. Starting a pet store is not easy, but it’s far from impossible. With a bit of luck and determination, you can start your own and ride Americans’ love of animals to prosperity.

44. Laundry Business

How to start a laundry business

It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it! That’s why laundry is a billion-dollar industry in the US, because there will always be clothes that need cleaning and people who don’t want to deal with it, even in a small town. You can get in on the action by starting your own laundry business. Best of all, with the latest technologies, you can keep tabs on your machines via mobile app and keep your hands clean as you watch the money roll in.  

Significant investment will be required, to buy at least a dozen machines and rent out a good-sized space in a high-traffic location. The next step will be to determine your services, whether you want to be a self-service-only laundry or offer drop-off services as well. You could also make an even larger investment and offer high-end dry cleaning. Whichever route you choose, your chances are good, as US laundromats have an impressive 95% success rate.

45. Cleaning Service

How to start a cleaning foreclosed homes

Do you find yourself cleaning and organizing on the weekends? If so, you might consider starting a cleaning business. It’s one of the easiest businesses to start, and cleaning is a $76 billion industry that has seen steady growth in recent years, so the opportunity is there for the taking.  

You just need some cleaning equipment and supplies and you could start offering your services on a popular app like TaskRabbit, until you set up your own website. You could offer a maid service, end-of-lease cleaning, carpet and upholstery service, or all of the above. You also have the option of working part-time at first to see how it goes before you jump in completely. 

Keep in mind, cleaning is often a dirty business involving demanding work, so it’s not for everybody. But if you enjoy making things look great, this could be the entrepreneurial niche for you.

46. Blood Testing Lab

How to Start a Medical Lab

If you’re an entrepreneur with a passion for helping people, starting a blood testing lab business might be the perfect opportunity for you. The growing number of older Americans, who are likely to suffer from chronic illnesses and require frequent laboratory tests, is expected to boost demand for blood testing and other diagnostic services in the next five years. Diagnostic and medical laboratories in the US earned around $66 billion in 2021, and many smaller towns lack blood testing labs.

There are many things to consider before getting started, such as complying with licensing and insurance requirements as well as preparing your marketing and advertising strategies. You will need to find funding sources to equip your lab with modern equipment. You’ll also need to establish partnerships with local healthcare providers and hospitals, identify your target market, study the competition, and determine your competitive advantage to differentiate your business from the crowd. 

With careful planning and execution, your lab can provide much-needed blood testing services to patients and local hospitals.

47. Winery

How to Start a Wine Business

Have you dreamt of owning your own wine business? It’s not as hard as you might think! And now’s a great time, with the $300 billion global wine industry expecting steady growth in the years ahead. The first step is to decide which type of wine you want to produce. Wine comes in many varieties, from pinot grigio to cabernet, and from chardonnay to pinot noir and beaujolais, so it’s important that you do your research and find one that fits your interests and talents. 

The next step is to create a business plan and funding strategy. Vineyards don’t come cheap, so generating adequate financing is critical to getting your wine business off the ground. Once that’s sorted, source your grapes from quality suppliers, buy the required processing equipment, and start bottling wine! How you market your wine will also be important, as this is a competitive marketplace. 

Still, with a bit of hard work and dedication, you can ride your oenophilia to stunning success.

48. Home Improvement

How to start a remodeling business

Are you always giving your friends and family tips on how to fix things up around the house? If so, starting your own home improvement business could be the perfect move for you. The US home improvement market is valued at over $400 billion and is expected to grow steadily over the next five years as more consumers shift toward energy-efficient and green homes. Government policies to provide tax credits on green buildings are also seen to drive growth.  

To get started, narrow down your idea for the type of product or service you want to provide. Are you looking to provide construction services or interior design services? Will you go for DIY (do it yourself) or DIFM (do it for me)? Study the market first and find out what the others are offering. One way to stand out from the competition is to provide added value to your products and services.