20 Ideas for a Small Business in a Small Town in 2023

Mantis Funding November 13, 2023

Starting a small business in a quaint town offers an exciting opportunity to make a meaningful impact in a close-knit community. While the allure of big cities might be tempting for many entrepreneurs, the heart of a small town presents unique challenges and opportunities.

Engaging in thorough market research, identifying a niche that aligns with your community’s character, and crafting a solution to a local problem are crucial for success.

Here, we’ll delve into 20 handpicked ideas for a small business in a small town. So, whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an experienced business owner seeking a fresh start, stay tuned with us for some exciting new ideas for your next venture.

Check Out Our 20 Small Business Ideas

  1. Coffee shop and bar
  2. Pet grooming and boarding
  3. Clothing boutique
  4. Indoor game park/arcade
  5. Bakery
  6. Grocery store and specialty food shop
  7. Lawn and gardening service
  8. Thrift Shop
  9. Tutoring Service
  10. Car Wash
  11. Airbnb
  12. IT and computer services
  13. A co-op or community space
  14. Locally curated goods
  15. Bookshop
  16. Organic cosmetics and skincare
  17. Microbrewery
  18. Ice Cream Shop
  19. Floral Shop
  20. Event venue and planner

Idea #1: Coffee shop and bar

In small-town communities, a coffee shop and bar can be a beacon for the early risers seeking their morning brew and the evening crowd searching for a laid-back space to unwind. 

The dual nature of these small restaurant business establishments ensures a steady flow of patrons, from those grabbing their quick caffeine fix to others looking for a leisurely drink after a long day. 

To make your place the town’s favorite, consider infusing local flavors into signature drinks and crafting a warm ambiance that invites conversations. Hosting events that celebrate the community, such as open mics or trivia nights, can be another great way to get people in the door.

Dreaming of opening your coffee shop and bar? Mantis Funding can help those coffee bean dreams come true with flexible financing options tailored to your unique business needs. Apply now and start brewing success in your community!

Idea #2: Pet grooming and boarding

As more pets find their forever homes, the demand for exceptional pet care in small towns continues to grow. A pet grooming and boarding establishment can be both a profitable venture and an invaluable service to the community.

One way to stand out is to consider stocking quality grooming products that cater to different fur types and sensitivities. Prioritize creating a serene and secure environment where pets feel at ease.

Remember, in businesses like these, word-of-mouth travels fast. So, ensuring personalized attention and a genuine love for animals can quickly set you apart and make your establishment the go-to place for pet parents.

Idea #3: Clothing boutique

A clothing boutique can add a dash of flair and fashion to the heart of any small town. A clothing store can transform into a gathering spot where locals stop to shop and share stories and experiences.

Consider sourcing local or sustainable materials that reflect the town’s ethos and charm to add warmth and character to your shop. Curate a collection that’s both diverse and in tune with the latest trends but also resonates with the local spirit.

Most importantly, let your customer service echo the small-town hospitality—personal, friendly, and ever-welcoming.

Idea #4: Indoor game park/arcade

Small towns come alive with the laughter and camaraderie of an indoor game park or arcade. Arcades serve as an entertainment hub and cater to a broad audience – from families seeking quality time together to teenagers and adults looking for fun diversions.

While the games themselves draw the crowds, think of additional revenue streams: a snack bar with popular treats or hosting birthday parties and events. Enhance your reach with strategic digital marketing and consider loyalty programs through Clover or Square to keep the fun-seekers coming back for more.

Idea #5: Bakery

The inviting aroma of fresh-baked goods can become the heartbeat of a small town. A bakery, with its delightful pastries, bread, and cakes, caters to both residents’ daily needs and special occasions. Emphasize authenticity by baking fresh, using local and seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Add to the appeal by offering custom orders for birthdays, weddings, and other events.

A bakery, paired with genuine small-town warmth and hospitality, can quickly become a beloved staple for all.
Ready to rise to the occasion with your very own bakery? Mantis Funding can provide personalized funding to help your bakery business grow. Apply today and start kneading your way to a bright future in your community!

Idea #6: Grocery store and specialty food shop

For any town, big or small, a grocery store is indispensable. However, in a small town, it’s not just a store; it’s a community hub. By merging essential grocery items with a selection of specialty foods, you can cater to daily needs and the culinary curious.

Stock up on local and organic products to support local farmers and appeal to health-conscious shoppers. And remember, in small towns, service is everything. A smile, a friendly chat, and a loyalty program can make grocery shopping a genuinely pleasant experience.

Idea #7: Lawn and gardening service

For many, a well-maintained garden or lawn is a point of pride, and in a close-knit community, a tidy yard can be a conversation starter. Herein lies the opportunity for a lawn and gardening service. Beyond basic mowing, consider offering specialized services such as seasonal planting, tree trimming, or eco-friendly pest control.

Emphasize quality work and, where possible, adopt sustainable gardening practices. Flexibility in scheduling and transparent pricing will ensure residents turn to you to keep their patches of green looking pristine.

Idea #8: Thrift shop

A thrift shop can be both a treasure trove and a testament to sustainability. Offering a medley of items—from vintage clothing and accessories to gently used books and furniture—it’s a haven for budget shoppers and eco-conscious consumers alike.

Procuring stock from community donations, clearance sales, or auctions ensures a revolving inventory and keeps the intrigue alive. Embracing the green aspect of a thrift store by promoting the reuse and recycling of items can also give it an eco-friendly edge that resonates with the community’s consciousness.

Idea #9: Tutoring service

A tutoring service fills the gap between traditional classroom instruction and the tailored guidance some students require. The start-up and operational costs are relatively low, typically only requiring expertise, patience, and a conducive environment.

Additionally, tutors with a stellar reputation and experience can command competitive rates. Beyond profit, the genuine impact shines through in the academic progress and confidence boost of students within the community, making it a more meaningful endeavor than just another business.

Idea #10: Car wash

In the backdrop of any town, a car wash isn’t just a business—it’s a community service. Car washes benefit from low start-up costs, meaning this venture can quickly become a community staple, especially if it promises consistent quality and service.

Regular patrons appreciate the convenience and often form a loyal customer base. Modern car washes also use less water than home washing, making them a greener and more cost-effective choice for many customers.

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Idea #11: Airbnb

Small towns often have an untouched charm that travelers seeking authentic experiences find attractive, making them the perfect spot for an Airbnb.

Locals can generate a significant income by renting out spare rooms or entire homes. Beyond its profitability, this venture allows for cultural exchange and creates opportunities for fun interactions between visitors and locals.

Yet, being an Airbnb host comes with responsibilities like maintaining property standards and ensuring guest comfort. There might also be local regulations and guidelines to follow.

Ready to expand your Airbnb venture or start a new one? Don’t let funding slow you down. Apply for personalized financing through Mantis Funding today and take the next step toward growing your business with ease.

Idea #12: IT and computer services

While small towns offer a respite from the hustle and bustle, the digital age has made its mark everywhere. This creates a niche for IT and computer services. From setting up a home network to repairing a malfunctioning PC and providing software training, technical know-how is always in demand.

These ventures often promise profitability, especially if one can establish trustworthiness and reliability in their service. The main challenges lie in staying updated with rapidly evolving tech and ensuring accessibility for various clientele. However, for those with the passion and skill, this business can be a gateway to bridging the digital divide in small towns.

Idea #13: A co-op or community space

In the heart of a small town, a co-op or community space has the potential to be a nurturing hub rooted deeply in the principles of cooperation and mutual benefit. Co-ops promote collaboration, allowing community members to share resources, thereby reducing individual risks.

The beauty of these spaces lies in their capacity to generate social value. They can become a venue for local artists to showcase their craft or for community events that forge stronger bonds.

However, establishing a co-op or community space requires an in-depth understanding of community needs, continuous engagement, and transparency. While the concept is promising, the challenges—like resource management and consensus building—require thoughtful navigation.

Idea #14: Locally curated goods

Small towns are often brimming with hidden talents and unique products, making the idea of locally curated goods an enticing venture. Such a business doesn’t just sell products—it tells stories. Entrepreneurs can create an authentic and personal brand by sourcing and selling items that resonate with the town’s identity. Not only does this foster loyalty among town residents, but it can also attract tourists seeking genuine local experiences.

Social media and online marketplaces amplify this potential by turning these local treasures into global attractions. However, ensuring consistent quality, managing supply chains, and maintaining the brand’s authenticity are challenges that demand attention and care when approaching this type of business.

Idea #15: Bookshop

Amidst the digital flurry, a bookshop is an enduring testament to the love for literature. In a tight-knit community, it can be more than just a retail store; it’s a sanctuary for knowledge seekers and a hub for community events.

Hosting book readings, club meetings, or discussions can turn any bookstore into a vibrant community center. Furthermore, curating selections that resonate with the local community can further endear the shop to its patrons.

Idea #16: Organic cosmetics and skincare

Organic cosmetics and skincare present an appealing intersection between health and beauty, making it a stand-out business venture in a small town. Modern consumers are becoming increasingly discerning, leaning towards products that prioritize natural ingredients.

Businesses can tap into this growing demand for eco-friendly beauty solutions by harnessing the power of plant-based or mineral ingredients, free from synthetic additives. Crafting unique, innovative products helps entrepreneurs carve a niche and potentially reduces costs by eliminating expensive artificial ingredients.

While the promise is considerable, navigating challenges like ensuring consistent quality, managing supply chains, and meeting stringent organic certifications are vital to running a successful business in this sphere.

Idea #17: Microbrewery

Who doesn’t enjoy a good brew? A microbrewery can stand out in a small town by incorporating unique flavors and local tastes. Crafting and selling small-batch beers allows an intimate connection with customers, sharing stories one brew at a time.

However, while rewarding, starting a microbrewery comes with a few challenges, such as sourcing the right ingredients, adhering to health and safety standards, and acquiring necessary licenses. Yet, with passion and dedication, a microbrewery can become a profitable business and a town’s proud emblem.

Eager to embark on your own microbrewery adventure? Let Mantis Funding help ferment your dreams into reality with flexible financing options. Apply now to tap into the resources you need to get started!

Idea #18: Ice cream shop

The allure of this creamy, cold treat is universal, making an ice cream shop a sweet venture in any small town. With the potential to experiment with local flavors, seasonal ingredients, and innovative combinations, it’s a business that promises both fun and profit.

Beyond the delight of scooping out favorite flavors to eager customers on a sunny day, challenges lie in ensuring quality, managing perishable stocks, and navigating the seasonality of demand.

Idea #19: Floral Shop

A floral shop brings a touch of nature, beauty, and emotion to the heart of any small town. The art of arranging and selling flowers caters to numerous occasions—birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or simple gestures of love and appreciation.

While the joy of brightening someone’s day with a bouquet is undeniable, it also brings in consistent revenue, especially if one can tap into the regular demand. Offering delivery, subscription services, or floral workshops can further diversify income.

On the other hand, a floral shop does come with its set of challenges. Ensuring the freshness of stock, managing seasonal fluctuations, and staying updated with floral design trends are pivotal.

Idea #20: Event venue and planner

The magic of turning life’s milestones into unforgettable moments is precisely what an event venue and planner offers. This venture not only meets the emotional needs of clients but also taps into a blossoming industry. The event industry continues to grow, with celebrations ranging from intimate gatherings to grand occasions.

For a small-town entrepreneur, starting an event venue and planning business can provide a lucrative income and an opportunity to be at the center of community events.

Understanding client needs, maintaining a versatile venue, and being on top of logistical aspects are the keys to success. Challenges include managing multiple vendors, handling last-minute changes, and ensuring client satisfaction. But, with organizational skills and a dash of creativity, orchestrating memorable events can turn into a rewarding career.

Ready to bring life’s celebrations to your community? Mantis Funding offers flexible financing options to help you launch or expand your event venue and planning business. Apply now and start creating unforgettable experiences and memories for your clients!

Grow Your Small Business With Mantis Funding

Starting and managing a business, regardless of its size, requires dedication, passion, and a vision. It’s all about recognizing opportunities, addressing the needs of your community, and, most importantly, believing in your idea. While the business ideas we’ve shared are designed to resonate with the essence of small towns, the potential of your venture lies in its execution.

As you take the bold step into entrepreneurship, remember that financial support is just a click away. If you’re considering kick-starting your dream project or need assistance in scaling your current business, contact Mantis Funding today for all your revenue-based financing needs.

Your town is waiting for the next big thing, and it could very well be your new business!

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About Mantis Funding

Mantis Funding is a business financing solutions firm catering to small and mid-sized business owners in the United States.

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