Rural life can often be monotonous, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lucrative business ideas waiting to be discovered. In fact, some of them may just be under your nose, waiting for you to bring them to life.
If you live in a rural area and are thinking of starting a business, you might be stumped on what to do since it would seem that your small town already has everything you can think of. That said, here are some business ideas that you can consider:
1. Lawn maintenance company
A lot of people in rural towns take care of their own lawns, but you’d be surprised at how many people are sick of doing everything themselves. With that in mind, consider putting up a lawn maintenance service franchise to provide essential and non-essential lawn services to your community. For this endeavor, your target market could revolve around people who are too busy to take care of their lawns themselves, such as working parents and business owners, as well as those who physically cannot do lawn work, such as the elderly and disabled individuals.
2. Organic vegetables/fruits
There is probably no shortage of produce in your rural town, but how many of the farms in the community specialize in organic fruits and vegetables? If the answer is “not much”, you may have a good business opportunity in your hands.
The market for organic produce is steadily growing, especially with the health food craze in the U.S. More and more people are now willing to pay more for organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and the like because they seem healthier and more natural than regular produce. However, your target market is most likely going to be the people outside your community, so you also need to take transportation and long-term storage into account.
3. Money lending
Regardless of the location, there are always going to be people who need money. In rural areas, for example, some farmers need to obtain small business loans to offset their expenses until harvesting season. You could use their need as an opportunity to start a community-serving business through money lending.
Of course, there are a lot of complex specifics that come with money lending. You would need to establish yourself as a legitimate lender, figure out reasonable interest rates, and draft contracts to make each deal legally binding. Although the process may be complicated, it can be a lucrative and low-effort business to start in a rural town. Not only that, but you also get to help people in the community when they are in a financial pinch.
4. Specialty food
Specialty foods are usually not popular in rural towns. Compared to American diners and chain restaurants, you’d be mostly hard-pressed to find a store that sells specialty food in a small town. That said, starting a specialty food store in a rural town can be risky—but you also get to have all the market to yourself.
For example, if you come from an ethnic origin, you can sell authentic ethnic food that is “new” and exciting to the people in your community. If you want something a little bit “safer”, you can opt to sell things like deli meats, wines, aged cheeses, and other types of food that you wouldn’t normally find in the local grocery store.
It can be difficult to find the latest smartphones, game consoles, and smart TVs in a rural town—but that doesn’t mean people don’t want it. Just like a specialty food store, you can monopolize the market by selling gadgets that are hard to find in your small town, especially the latest models. Furthermore, you can justify increasing your markup by factoring in the delivery or transportation expenses to get those products into your small town.
6. IT and computer services
Similar to gadgets, it can also be hard to come across IT and computer services in a rural town. As a result, people often have to figure out tech issues by themselves or spend a lot of money taking it to a professional in the next town over. If this is the case in your community, consider putting up a business that specializes in IT and computer services. You can also merge this business idea with the previous one and sell gadgets alongside tech services.
Starting a business in a rural town can be trickier than you’d expect; there seem to be too many possibilities and not enough at the same time. Hopefully, these business ideas will help jog your entrepreneurial mind and take you one step closer to your goals.