41 Small Town Business Ideas You Can Start in 2024

Updated: July 24th, 2023

Are you looking for the best small town business ideas?

Some entrepreneurs may not identify this right away, but launching small town business ideas offers a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Unlike a big city, there is much lower competition and usually a big (and obvious) gap in the market that needs to be filled.

Sure, starting a business in a small town may come with its fair share of challenges, so you must check all the boxes before you go all in:

  • Research the town - Understand the community & your target demographic
  • Identify your comp set - Identify their strengths, weaknesses, price-point, and what differentiates them from the rest
  • Connect with the community - Small towns may be reluctant to change. It's important to connect with the community, have a good reputation and start off on the right foot.

Here's a list of 42 small town business ideas that every small town should have.

1. Start a cleaning service

A housecleaning side business is a beautiful idea for people with free time on weekends or even weekdays. The side hustle idea requires little capital to start. During the launch, you can choose to offer the service to your neighbors and scale as you gain experience. The average salary for a house cleaner is $17.32 per hour.

By starting a house cleaning business, you are tapping into an enormous market with plenty of clientele. There could always be demand for your cleaning service, which keeps you in business as you help homeowners keep their homes spotless.

How much you can make: $3,000 — $600,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 80 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 7 hours/week

How I Started A $100K+/Month Home Cleaning Service For Busy Individuals And Airbnb Hosts

MaidThis®, launched by Neel Parekh in Los Angeles with just one cleaner in 2013, has achieved over $10 million in total revenue by focusing on cleaning Airbnbs and vacation rentals, thanks to its successful remote business model and new-age marketing tactics, and has now launched MaidThis Franchise to expand the business further.

About
Neel started MaidThis Franchise over 10 years ago
Revenue
Neel grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Neel $800 to start the business
Read by 20,142 founders

2. Start a real estate business

Are you a qualified architect with a broad range of knowledge in the real estate field? Starting a real estate business can be a profitable venture.

Real estate involves purchasing, selling, managing, or investing in land and buildings.

To become a successful real estate business owner, you must have finely honed visual awareness and a strong understanding of various building materials and structures.

How much you can make: $5,000 — $1,500,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A $500K/Month Real Estate Investment Business

This case study is about T. C. Lewis & Co, a real estate investment and management firm that successfully diversified their approach to include sales, development, remodeling, and construction, with property management being the key to investor doors and organic growth.

About
T. started T. C. Lewis & Co. Real Estate over 18 years ago
Revenue
T. grew the business to $500K/month
Read by 11,133 founders

3. Start a photo booth business

A photo booth business involves providing a portable and automated photography setup that allows individuals to take fun and creative pictures at events or venues.

This business is becoming more popular for various occasions like weddings, parties, and corporate events, providing a unique and entertaining experience for guests.

To start a photo booth business, you need to invest in quality equipment, create a user-friendly website to showcase your services and market your business to event planners and individuals hosting celebrations.

How much you can make: $350,000 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $6,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

My Journey To Starting A $4.2M/Year Photobooth Company

This case study follows the journey of TapSnap, a photo booth company that grew to over 100 franchised locations in North America, servicing over 10,000 events every year and recognized as one of North America's fastest growing and best new technology franchises.

About
Scott started TapSnap over 11 years ago
Revenue
Scott grew the business to $350K/month
Read by 15,827 founders

4. Start a handmade goods business

A handmade craft business entails selling own-crafted products on online platforms like Alibaba, Etsy, an independent website, or social media.

To succeed in selling handmade goods, you'll need solid creative skills. Your creativity can help you build a strong brand.

And with online marketplaces, handmade shopping has become a popular trend.

In recent years, consumers worldwide have shown their support of independent businesses and entrepreneurs, especially those venturing into the handmade goods business.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $150,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

The $27K/Month Company That Turns Photographs Into Custom Handmade Portraits

PortraitFlip is a successful startup that delivers handmade portraits globally with a clientele base in the USA and yields 3.5crs through their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, and they started with an initial investment of only Rs.23,000.

About
Sunny started PortraitFlip LLC over 6 years ago
Revenue
Sunny grew the business to $45K/month
Costs
It cost Sunny $60 to start the business
Read by 10,246 founders

5. Start a men's clothing line

Men’s fashion is an increasingly popular niche. Market research has revealed that the growth of the menswear market has outpaced that of the women’s market.

The market growth is likely credited to a cultural shift as more men focus on their appearances than before.

If you want to start a men-focused fashion line, 2024 presents the best opportunity. Men’s wear offers a wide variety of products, which increases the growth potential. To start a men’s clothing line, start by thinking about your clothing brand’s identity.

Then, identify the target market and understand what the customers want. The success of your men’s clothing brand depends on your marketing strategy.

You can reach a wider market with a mix of online and traditional marketing strategies.

How much you can make: $150 — $475,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 170 days (?)

How I Started $3.6M New Zealand Fashion Brand I Love Ugly

This case study showcases how Valentin Ozich built an online menswear brand, I Love Ugly, from scratch with a clear vision of creating premium streetwear catered to men that's affordable and sold primarily online, with some products selling upwards of 50,000 units/pieces globally and still remain some of the strongest sellers today.

About
Valentin started I Love Ugly over 15 years ago
Revenue
Valentin grew the business to $300K/month
Read by 19,024 founders

6. Start a hair salon

Hair salons offer a wide range of beauty services including hair-cutting, waxing, nail treatment, massages, and complementary care such as aromatherapy.

With the increased demand for high fashion beauty services, starting a hair salon could be a profitable venture.

To start a hair salon, you need a strong business plan and find a niche that attracts a local client base. To succeed, hire knowledgeable and experienced employees, and encourage them to maintain a good customer service culture,

How much you can make: $550,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Went From Hairstylist To Running My Own $3.3M Salon Business

This case study follows the founder of Urban Betty, who started her salon business with only one contractor, and now has two locations with over 50 employees, growing from 1.5 million to 3.4 million in revenue from 2014-2018, and investing around 2% of its gross income every year in Yelp, Google, and Facebook Ads.

About
Chelle started Urban Betty about 19 years ago
Revenue
Chelle grew the business to $550K/month
Costs
It cost Chelle $69939 to start the business
Read by 20,026 founders

7. Start a bicycle company

A surge in exercise and heightened anxiety over public transportation during the Covid-19 pandemic are reasons more people have embraced biking.

Apart from being a form of exercise, using bicycles is also good for the environment as there are no emissions.

Therefore, starting a bicycle company can be a profitable venture. Research the market and choose a niche. Then, register your brand and focus on the production of high-quality bicycles.

How much you can make: $25,000 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How Two Brothers Started A $1M/Month Bicycle Brand

"Co-founders of State Bicycle Co. reveal how they bootstrapped their company to over $50M in annual sales and produced over 100,000 bikes by creating a trusted brand through word-of-mouth and social media, sponsoring talented riders, limited-edition releases, and focusing on product quality."

About
Mehdi started State Bicycle Co. about 14 years ago
Revenue
Mehdi grew the business to $1M/month
Costs
It cost Mehdi $30000 to start the business
Read by 10,311 founders

8. Start a food delivery business

In today’s busy lifestyles and schedules, cooking is no longer a priority to many. People like to order-in food from their nearest restaurants or food joints and enjoy a meal in the comfort of their homes.

The food delivery business is like a courier service through which restaurants deliver food to their customers.

You can offer retail food delivery services to restaurants within your locality if you have a truck. Customers order through a restaurant or grocer’s website, and the owners contact you to deliver.

How much you can make: $4,000 — $83,333,333/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,750 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Took Food Trucks Corporate And Built A $18M Business

Food Fleet grew over 160% in just one year and managed over 20 million in sales for its clients, securing multiple contracts with the likes of Sodexo, Levy Restaurants and more, due to its understanding of catering client needs and its advanced turnkey and design services.

About
Jeffrey started Food Fleet about 12 years ago
Revenue
Jeffrey grew the business to $1.5M/month
Read by 14,270 founders

9. Start a coffee roasting business

A coffee roasting business roasts green coffee beans to various roast levels. Recent market research has shown that the global coffee roaster market is increasing at a CAGR of 4.24% for the next six years.
Therefore, launching your coffee roasting business in 2024 can be profitable. Coffee roasters use large machinery, including a roaster and grinder, to turn the beans into a finished product. To start a coffee roasting business, research the market and find who else is roasting in your target area.

Then, find out where coffee sellers in your area are getting their supplies. You also need to know how many coffee shops are in your area.

Then, decide if you want to sell the coffee to individuals or to a coffee shop. Alternatively, you can sell the coffee in your coffee shop or deliver it to elite lodging establishments and restaurants.

How much you can make: $7,500 — $150,000/month

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How We Started A $80K/Month Coffee Roasting Company

Latvian coffee roasting company grew from a team of 2 to 13, with a current monthly turnover of €80k, driven by word-of-mouth marketing, sustainable practices and developing accessible products for the specialty coffee market.

About
Raimonds started Kalve Coffee Roasters about 7 years ago
Revenue
Raimonds grew the business to $150K/month
Costs
It cost Raimonds $60000 to start the business
Read by 26,151 founders

10. Start a meal prep business

A meal preparation business is a service that delivers prepared meals to its clients in the comfort of their own homes. The meal preparation business is a fast-emerging niche that offers a real opportunity to earn good money. To succeed, the starter must be efficient in the meal preparation and ensure proper communication skills. Besides, the entrepreneur must keep time when it comes to delivery to avoid customer disappointment.

A global survey shows that demand for food delivery service is on the rise. This is as people get busier with their careers and other more important tasks, leaving limited time to prepare meals and bond with friends.

Therefore, starting a meal preparation business can be a great way to earn extra monies.

How much you can make: $5,000 — $4,170,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 7 days (?)

How We Started A Meal Prep Delivery Business And Did $1.8M In Sales

Healthy Chew is a profitable weekly meal preparation service that grew from 200 to 10,000 weekly bowls in just over 3 years, with an overall sales figure of $1.8 million, achieved through effective branding and personalised customer service.

About
TJ started Healthy Chew almost 8 years ago
Revenue
TJ grew the business to $60K/month
Costs
It cost TJ $500 to start the business
Read by 37,379 founders

11. Start a brewery

If well-planned, a brewery can be a profitable business. However, starting a brewery is not a walk in the park.

Opening a brewery requires a lot of planning, involves many decisions, and is capital intensive.

If you have decided to start a brewery, you must comply with the legal requirements. Then, understand the startup costs involved in starting a brewery.

Your brewery business plan must indicate the brewery concept and outline the brewery funding plans.

How much you can make: $56,000 — $120,000/month

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

How This Entrepreneur Started A $2M Craft Brewery

Progress Brewing, a craft beer company in South El Monte, saw continuous growth of 12-14% every month for 16 months straight and hopes to break $2M revenue in 2019 with a focus on high-value non-hype beer, excellent customer service, and providing an overall enjoyable experience.

About
Diego started Progress Brewing over 10 years ago
Revenue
Diego grew the business to $120K/month
Read by 6,917 founders

12. Start an eBikes business

An electric bike has an electric motor to assist the rider while pedaling. Market data shows that the annual Ebike sales crossed more than 880,000 Ebikes.

Besides providing benefits for body health and fitness, e-bikes have become the best for reducing urban traffic, especially in cities where it isn’t an effective public transportation business.

Ebikes market demand is higher among millennials who prefer riding for health benefits and because riding Ebikes enables them flexibility in choosing routes.

Therefore, starting an Ebikes business in 2024 can be a great business decision.

How much you can make: $110,000 — $1,200,000/month

How long does it take to build: 120 days (?)

How I Partnered With Mark Cuban To Start A $250K/Month Company Selling eBikes

Tower Electric Bikes is a direct-to-consumer eBike brand co-founded by Stephan Aarstol and Mark Cuban, which has done over $36 million in sales since its $150,000 investment in 2012, and produced and sold everything from paddleboards to electric bikes for half the retail price, with the aim of creating the world's first famous eBike brand.

About
Stephan started Tower Electric Bikes over 13 years ago
Revenue
Stephan grew the business to $300K/month
Costs
It cost Stephan $30000 to start the business
Read by 25,206 founders

13. Start an online t-shirt business

Running a t-shirt business is an opportunity many entrepreneurs are looking into as a side hustle or even a full-time business opportunity. While having your own physical store is possible, online businesses are becoming extremely popular in this field.

Launching your own successful online t-shirt business may feel daunting, but with the guidance & insights from people who are already pioneering this industry, it’s simpler than you may think. You can start with selling customized quotes t-shirts, tie-dye prints/screen printing t-shirts, or solid color t-shirts. The opportunities for this industry are endless.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $83,300,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $425 (?)

How long does it take to build: 7 days (?)

How Two Teachers Started A T-Shirt Business Doing $1.2M/Year

Texas-born apparel brand Tumbleweed TexStyles has grown to serve over 150 retailers throughout the southern United States, selling an estimated 90,000+ products yearly and making an annual $1.2m in sales, thanks to the founders' unique designs, focus on giving back to the education community and successful “guerilla marketing” tactics.

About
Brian started Tumbleweed TexStyles over 12 years ago
Revenue
Brian grew the business to $93K/month
Read by 18,799 founders

14. Start a skin care product line

The skincare business is a multi-billion dollar one, and it shows no sign of slowing down. New anti-aging products are entering the market at a nearly exponential rate, and the competition for consumers' money is growing more and more.

The industry was valued at 130 billion USD in 2021 and will expand at an annual growth rate of 4.6% up to 2030. This is surely a type of business that you should not miss. You'll need to build your creativity on your products and make sure that it is all safe and useful in improving the skin of your customers.

How much you can make: $300 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How Two Moms Started A Business Selling Homemade Body Butter

Two moms start a side hustle selling all-natural body products, doubling sales since their launch in 2017 with over 75 craft shows, promoting a non-profit source for their shea butter and self-promotion through podcasts, lining up retail interest from exposure.

About
Meredith started Oh My Balm about 7 years ago
Revenue
Meredith grew the business to $2K/month
Costs
It cost Meredith $10000 to start the business
Read by 32,701 founders

15. Start a maid service software

Consumer demand for maid service is increasing at a significant rate. Experts attribute the increase in demand to the growing number of households and increasing disposable income.

High demand has created multiple opportunities, including starting a maid service software.

If you are interested in technology-based business opportunities, you can build a maid service software that connects customers to available domestic workers.

You do not need to be a programmer to build maid service software. You can hire programmers through online freelancing platforms like Upwork or purchase a ready-made service and tweak it to suit your business model.

How much you can make: $120,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 80 days (?)

How We Validated And Grew A SaaS For Maid Services To $500K/Year

Amar Ghose co-founded ZenMaid, a software company servicing the house cleaning industry, which has now passed the half a million dollar yearly mark and intends to break the one million dollar a year barrier in late-2020, using paid advertising as a lead magnet and extensive email marketing funnel.

About
Amar started ZenMaid almost 11 years ago
Revenue
Amar grew the business to $120K/month
Costs
It cost Amar $1000 to start the business
Read by 13,072 founders

16. Start a junk removal business

Households and businesses need help hauling away broken furniture, clearing out trash, and even emptying properties during a foreclosure. Therefore, the demand for junk removal services is high. Starting a junk removal business can be profitable if you own a box truck and are looking for self-employment opportunities.

To begin, perform market research in your area, and apply for the necessary regulatory permits or licenses. Build a website and market your services.

How much you can make: $4,000 — $37,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 20 days (?)

How I Started A $18K/Month Junk Removal Company Before Graduating From College

23-year-old Sam Evans founded You Call We Haul Junk Removal which brings in around $20,000 in revenue per month with a profit of 65% per job, servicing any individuals who have unneeded junk, and aims to franchise the business in the long-term.

About
Sam started You Call We Haul Junk Removal almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Sam grew the business to $25K/month
Costs
It cost Sam $1700 to start the business
Read by 49,187 founders

17. Start a taxi cab company

Tax services provide an essential service, including 24-hour availability and preparedness to offer transportation. The taxi cab business is earning huge profits, given the growing urban population.

To start a good taxi service, conduct market research and analysis so you understand your competition and define your unique selling proposition. Before starting the tax business, ensure you have a valid driver's license and an insurance policy.

How much you can make: $250,000/month

How I Built A $3.5M/Year Taxi Company Competing With Uber & Lyft

Albert Williams grew a $3.5 million transportation company, The Best Deal, from a niche transportation sector; he attributes the company's success to providing excellent service and committing to continuous learning.

About
Albert started Best Deal Car Service about 10 years ago
Revenue
Albert grew the business to $250K/month
Read by 9,835 founders

18. Start a food tour company

The food tour business involves guiding travelers through a tour of food from various restaurants and cities. Food tours are a unique avenue for foodie travelers who want to explore the cities they are visiting. The good thing about starting a food tour business is you have different niches to choose from. Besides, you can concentrate on a particular location and define your work schedule.

Food tour businesses make money by introducing discerning customers to unique restaurants, vineyards, and breweries for a fee. Alternatively, the food tour company can earn commission from the restaurants they refer customers to, based on a pre-arrangement.

How much you can make: $10,000 — $75,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started A Wildly Successful Food Tour Business

How Jessica Baumgart founded a successful food tour business in Denver, which broke even and started making a profit after just three months, generating $20,000/month in revenue from offering different food tour experiences.

About
Jessica started Delicious Denver Food Tours about 6 years ago
Revenue
Jessica grew the business to $75K/month
Costs
It cost Jessica $2000 to start the business
Read by 19,064 founders

19. Start a lighting store

The lighting fixtures market will reach a CAGR of 5.4% over the next few years. The massive demand for modern lighting fixtures will fuel the market growth as consumers look to optimize power consumption and save more on utility bills.

Thus, starting an interior and exterior lighting fixtures store can be a profitable business venture. If you are passionate about supplying lighting fixtures, consider setting up a brick-and-mortar shop in your neighborhood.

If you already have an online store that is doing well, you can target the areas with a high demand for lighting fixtures and open a physical store there.

How much you can make: $35,000/month

Starting A Lighting Store and Growing To $35,000 Per Month

Any Old Lights, a UK-based vintage nautical and industrial lighting store, has grown to turn over £250,000 annually by being on the forefront of SEO tactics and building their own Revivals brand of lighting, as well as sourcing and selling maritime antiques and curios.

About
Nick started Any Old Lights almost 10 years ago
Revenue
Nick grew the business to $35K/month
Read by 10,570 founders

20. Start an axe throwing business

Throwing axes is a great way to relieve stress, bond with friends and coworkers, and even make some money.

Axe throwing is a new and exciting activity that is growing in popularity, especially for corporate or business events.

How much you can make: $60,000 — $80,000/month

How We Started A $1M Axe-Throwing Party Business

Forged Axe Throwing is a successful axe throwing venue that teaches people the art of axe throwing while hosting tournaments, generating $960k of revenue per year and hosting over 30k people in their venue in a year.

About
James started Forged Axe Throwing about 7 years ago
Revenue
James grew the business to $60K/month
Read by 39,006 founders

21. Start a ski touring gear

Ski touring is a type of skiing that occurs in the backcountry in unmarked or unpatrolled areas. The essential ski touring gear includes touring skis, touring bindings, climbing skins, telescopic touring poles, and touring ski boots.

Are you interested in selling sports gear? Starting a ski touring gear business could be your right decision today. You can buy the ski touring gear in bulky and open a brick-and-mortar shop or online ski touring gear shop.

How much you can make: $90,000/month

How I Started An Online Store Selling Backcountry Skis

Hagan is a ski mountaineering gear company that has 50% annual growth and focuses solely on backcountry ski touring, resulting in the world’s widest selection of mountaineering skis.

About
Michael started Hagan Ski over 13 years ago
Revenue
Michael grew the business to $90K/month
Costs
It cost Michael $10000 to start the business
Read by 5,978 founders

22. Start a food tour company

The food tour business involves guiding travelers through a tour of food from various restaurants and cities. Food tours are a unique avenue for foodie travelers who want to explore the cities they are visiting. The good thing about starting a food tour business is you have different niches to choose from. Besides, you can concentrate on a particular location and define your work schedule.

Food tour businesses make money by introducing discerning customers to unique restaurants, vineyards, and breweries for a fee. Alternatively, the food tour company can earn commission from the restaurants they refer customers to, based on a pre-arrangement.

How much you can make: $10,000 — $75,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started A Wildly Successful Food Tour Business

How Jessica Baumgart founded a successful food tour business in Denver, which broke even and started making a profit after just three months, generating $20,000/month in revenue from offering different food tour experiences.

About
Jessica started Delicious Denver Food Tours about 6 years ago
Revenue
Jessica grew the business to $75K/month
Costs
It cost Jessica $2000 to start the business
Read by 19,064 founders

23. Start a boutique

You may consider opening a boutique if you are passionate about the fashion and textile industry.

A boutique is a shop that sells clothes. Opening a boutique is a dream for entrepreneurs who want to experience the joy and freedom of owning a cash business. Starting a boutique is easy and can be managed by a single individual. In addition, a boutique requires a comparatively smaller capital to start.

To succeed, the boutique owner must coming creativity and passion.

How much you can make: $10,000 — $25,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How I Grew My Clothing Boutique to $10K/Month in 6 Months

Boutique Rye is an online-only women's clothing and accessories boutique that has grown to 3,200 Facebook Group members and a successful website through organic customer sharing, live sales, and open communication with customers.

About
Gia started Boutique Rye over 6 years ago
Revenue
Gia grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 34,307 founders

24. Start a bridal accessories store

Bridal accessories are a great way to help you complete your wedding day look. Bridal accessories are something similar that surrounds weddings in our society. Bridal accessories are all the rage nowadays. These pretty things create the perfect set of accessories for the bridal.

The Bridal Wear market in the USA is estimated at $26B in 2020.

A bridal accessories store can provide you with high income and the ability to hire. Bridal occasions are exceptional and endure several phases. You could start a bridal accessories business with access to millions of customers from the first introduction until they get married.

How much you can make: $50,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How I Built A Six Figure Business Bringing Asian Culture To The American Wedding Industry

East Meets Dress, an e-commerce store that offers Chinese wedding dresses and traditional outfits, grew to a six-figure annual recurring revenue ($25k/month) in just one year by targeting Asian-American brides in the U.S and high school students looking to wear cheongsams to prom to celebrate their heritage.

About
Vivian started East Meets Dress over 5 years ago
Revenue
Vivian grew the business to $50K/month
Costs
It cost Vivian $100 to start the business
Read by 18,697 founders

25. Start a personalized gift business

Personalized gifts are great for celebrating important dates, joyous occasions, and memorable moments. The personalized gifts include photo frames, key chains, to group gifts.

A personalized gifts business is a low-capital idea since you do not need a physical storefront or office space to start the business. Besides, you can put as much time into the business as possible, which means you can run the business as a side hustle.

Check out our guide on how to start a personalized gift business

How much you can make: $1,000 — $416,000/month

How long does it take to build: 135 days (?)

Learnings From Starting A Curated Gift Boxes Ecommerce Side Hustle And Growing It To $12K/Month

Bestowe Gifting quadrupled their sales during the pandemic by shifting to online sales and offering unique, locally sourced gifts, resulting in a successful eCommerce side hustle that allowed the founder to pay themselves and expand their custom business.

About
Catherine started Bestowe Gifting over 6 years ago
Revenue
Catherine grew the business to $12K/month
Costs
It cost Catherine $20000 to start the business
Read by 12,581 founders

26. Start a candle business

The candle industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

Candle making was one of the first industries to be industrialized, and now up to 90% of all candles are made by machinery. Yet most of us still make our own candles from home, creating a demand for handcrafted, high-quality candles from candle manufacturers even in today's automated world.

A candle business is a worthwhile idea for an entrepreneur who wants to make some extra money in their free time from the comfort of their own home. There are many opportunities for this type of business if you consider it seriously.

How much you can make: $500 — $1,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 75 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 5 hours/week

How I Started A $20K/Month Southern Inspired Candle Business

Southern Elegance Candle Company, founded by D'Shawn Russell, started as a side hustle making around $200 per weekend at a local Farmers Market, but now averages approximately $20,000 per month in sales across their retail site, wholesale site, and Faire.

About
DShawn started Southern Elegance Candle Company about 8 years ago
Revenue
DShawn grew the business to $140K/month
Read by 69,704 founders

27. Open an ice cream parlour

Ice cream is something that people of all ages equally enjoy globally, making it a profitable business to venture into.

This frozen dessert industry has registered massive growth in recent years, a trend that shows the industry’s potential.

If you are looking to start your ice cream business, follow these steps:

  • Decide whether to make your ice cream or to source from established ice cream brands
  • Write an effective business plan for the ice cream shop detailing the goals, strategies, and plans
  • Fund your business idea
  • Choose a spacious shop in an area with plenty of foot traffic
  • Offer different ice cream flavors

Opening an ice cream parlor is not easy work. However, if you do it right, it is rewarding and can be a lot of fun.

How much you can make: $16,000/month

On Starting A $16K/Month Handmade Natural Ice Cream Business

The Good Scoop, a California-based artisanal ice cream shop, started with a small Italian countertop ice cream maker and now has a production facility, wholesaling to various venues, offering frequent scooper programs, and using Instagram as their primary advertising platform.

About
Stephen started The Good Scoop almost 8 years ago
Revenue
Stephen grew the business to $16K/month
Read by 14,866 founders

28. Start a tutoring business

Starting a tutoring side hustle is a great way for teachers and students to earn extra monthly income.

If you are considering becoming a tutor, find an ideal tutoring niche, and craft a tutoring website.

Then, find your tutoring clients and market your side hustle online. You can choose to offer online tutoring as a part-time or full-time engagement.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $375,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How long does it take to build: 15 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 5 hours/week

How I Started A $15K/Month SAT Tutoring Business While In College

A 22-year-old entrepreneur started an online SAT/ACT tutoring company from his bedroom which has seen a linear increase in student sign-ups each month, currently bringing in an average revenue of $15,000 a month and plans to triple in 2020.

About
Adam started SoFlo Tutors almost 5 years ago
Revenue
Adam grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Adam $100 to start the business
Read by 18,288 founders

29. Start a delivery service

Delivery service refers to a collection of services that deliver goods and products through the land, air, or waterways across locations. The delivery services serve B2B, B2C, and C2C customers.

The growing e-commerce sect and increased cross-border trade are some factors driving the growth of delivery services. Furthermore, consumer preference for online shopping has greatly contributed to the increased demand for delivery services.

To start a delivery service, make sure you have a cargo van, a fully functional website, and meet all the legalities for operating a business in your state.

How much you can make: $5,000 — $83,333,333/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A $100K/Month Logistics And Delivery Service Company

How a logistics company grew its revenue over 300% in 2 years, starting with just 2 vans and 25k+ square feet of warehouse space, and focused on relationships, efficiency, and building trust with its customers.

About
Ben started Velocity International Group over 8 years ago
Revenue
Ben grew the business to $150K/month
Read by 11,967 founders

30. Start a food delivery business

In today’s busy lifestyles and schedules, cooking is no longer a priority to many. People like to order-in food from their nearest restaurants or food joints and enjoy a meal in the comfort of their homes.

The food delivery business is like a courier service through which restaurants deliver food to their customers.

You can offer retail food delivery services to restaurants within your locality if you have a truck. Customers order through a restaurant or grocer’s website, and the owners contact you to deliver.

How much you can make: $4,000 — $83,333,333/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,750 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Took Food Trucks Corporate And Built A $18M Business

Food Fleet grew over 160% in just one year and managed over 20 million in sales for its clients, securing multiple contracts with the likes of Sodexo, Levy Restaurants and more, due to its understanding of catering client needs and its advanced turnkey and design services.

About
Jeffrey started Food Fleet about 12 years ago
Revenue
Jeffrey grew the business to $1.5M/month
Read by 14,270 founders

31. Start a mobile karaoke experience

Karaoke service has become popular in urban places. Karaoke is fun for people because it allows them to socialize with friends, relieve stress while they perform a song they love, and it is also a way to let go of boredom.

Starting a mobile karaoke service in your home city or town can be fun and a way to earn extra money.

Identify a strategic location for your performances to start a mobile karaoke service. You can take the mobile karaoke to bars or restaurants or market your service to event planners and party organizers.

Compared to other entertainment-related services, mobile karaoke is one of the easiest to start and takes less time to move. All you need is to invest in a professional-level karaoke system which includes a karaoke machine, microphones, and speakers.

How much you can make: $12,000/month

How We Raised $45K To Build A Mobile Karaoke

Kelli Bielema and Vanessa Resler run The AirScream, a mobile karaoke lounge in a vintage Airstream located in Seattle, WA, which began as a successful Kickstarter campaign raising $45k.

About
Kelli started The AirScream over 4 years ago
Revenue
Kelli grew the business to $12K/month
Read by 8,376 founders

32. Start a boutique

You may consider opening a boutique if you are passionate about the fashion and textile industry.

A boutique is a shop that sells clothes. Opening a boutique is a dream for entrepreneurs who want to experience the joy and freedom of owning a cash business. Starting a boutique is easy and can be managed by a single individual. In addition, a boutique requires a comparatively smaller capital to start.

To succeed, the boutique owner must coming creativity and passion.

How much you can make: $10,000 — $25,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How I Grew My Clothing Boutique to $10K/Month in 6 Months

Boutique Rye is an online-only women's clothing and accessories boutique that has grown to 3,200 Facebook Group members and a successful website through organic customer sharing, live sales, and open communication with customers.

About
Gia started Boutique Rye over 6 years ago
Revenue
Gia grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 34,307 founders

33. Start a gardening tools company

Gardening has been touted as a relaxational activity that provides excellent personal rewards and a source of income to commercial gardeners. Whether commercial or just farming for fun, gardeners prefer to use innovative tools to help them tend their gardens.

Therefore, starting a gardening tools business can be a lucrative opportunity. You can either start selling gardening tools or offer them to gardeners on lease terms.

How much you can make: $1,000 — $3,100,000/month

How long does it take to build: 415 days (?)

How We Built $35M Plant Growing Empire GrowersHouse

How Nate Lipton built a $35M plant-growing empire, with an e-commerce store generating $2.9M per month, a cannabis growers forum earning $100k per month, and a YouTube series gaining 100k views per month, all while navigating through regulatory obstacles in the cannabis industry.

About
Nate started Growers House over 12 years ago
Revenue
Nate grew the business to $3.1M/month
Costs
It cost Nate $150000 to start the business
Read by 12,128 founders

34. Start a dirt bike business

The dirt bike is lightweight and rugged, handling rough terrain and other tricks. The dirt bikes have special tires and stiff suspensions to help riders overcome the roughest terrains.

Dirty bikes have become popular in town. Participation in urban dirty bike races has also increased over the years.

Starting a dirty bike business can be fun and rewarding if you love dirty bike racing. You can buy and sell used, dirty bikes or start a dirty bike leasing business.

35. Start a Greeting Cards Business

People use greeting cards to mark births, deaths, graduations, anniversaries, and other parties or events.

If you love helping people celebrate special occasions, starting a greeting card business can be a great business opportunity.

When starting a greeting card business, choose a potential niche and write a business plan.

Then, find an ideal spot to sell the greeting cards.

For instance, you can offer greeting card design and posting services, so customers can choose the best designs and post greeting cards online.

How much you can make: $2,000 — $100,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 65 days (?)

I Created A Prank Card Company & Grew It To $30K/Month

Joker Greeting sells unique prank gifts, including a non-stop musical birthday card, an idea raised by the founders visiting their mom's house, having no website or marketing and yet raising $92,073 on Kickstarter in 30 days due to being picked up by media, enabling them to sell 15,000 units in the first year, owned SEO for their niche, selling almost 40,000 units in 2017 and expected to reach 50,000 to 60,000 in 2018 with a small team, using Shopify and various social media channels with lots of organic traffic.

About
Travis started Joker Greeting almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Travis grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Travis $1000 to start the business
Read by 12,265 founders

36. Start a Backyard Plant Nursery

Do you have a gardening hobby and want to turn your passion into a profitable business with a minimum entry barrier?

Starting a backyard plant nursery is relatively easy, and the financial benefits can be rewarding. The secret to maximizing your profitability is specializing in plants that are in high demand, like vegetables and flowers.

To start, you can visit the nearby retail nurseries for seedlings and see what they stock and retail. To keep the startup cost low, consider using locally available materials.

How much you can make: $5,000/month

How We Expanded Our Local Plant Nursery To An Online Business

Camelliashop.com, a small US-based plant business specializing in Camellias and Tea Plants, increased its business 200% within one month of launching its ecommerce website in 2007.

About
Debbie started CamelliaShop over 16 years ago
Revenue
Debbie grew the business to $5K/month
Read by 13,367 founders

37. Start a natural beauty product business

Natural beauty products include aloe vera, honey, or cocoa butter. They contain no chemical or synthetic elements.

The global natural skin care products market size was valued at $6.7 billion in 2021.

Thinking about launching a beauty product line? What’s holding you back? Check out our case studies below to see how others have done it!

How much you can make: $300 — $325,000/month

How long does it take to build: 227 days (?)

How A Mother Of Two Started A $5K/Month Skincare Business From Home

A mother-of-two started a $5k/month skincare business after experimenting with beeswax and honey to create luxurious all-natural products, growing her business to attain over $7,500 in sales per month via multiple sales streams, including $4,000 per month at markets.

About
Mel started Flowerdale Valley over 6 years ago
Revenue
Mel grew the business to $5K/month
Read by 23,353 founders

38. Start a stationery business

A stationery business sells stationery products such as paper goods, notebooks, greeting cards, and envelopes.

The best part about starting a stationery business is that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get started.

Since there are so many different types of products available in this industry, there are endless opportunities for creativity, customization, and expansion.

You could even start out small by selling your products on Etsy or eBay before opening up an actual storefront.

How much you can make: $200 — $1,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,250 (?)

How long does it take to build: 52 days (?)

How I Started A $12K/Month Business Selling Productivity Planners Online

Chasing Planner Peace is a planner company that has expanded from selling planner inserts on Etsy, to offering a one-stop shop customizable planner experience with over 300 inserts, a planner line, and various other related products, gaining a monthly revenue of around $25,000 at its busiest time of year.

About
Jess started Planner Peace over 8 years ago
Revenue
Jess grew the business to $22.5K/month
Read by 61,681 founders

39. Start a tour company

Starting a tour company is a great way to bring your love of travel to life. You can share your passion with others and help make their dream vacations come true!

There are many types of tour businesses, so choosing something you are passionate about and knowledgeable about is best. Here are a few of the most popular tour companies to start:

  • Food & Drink Tours
  • Adventure & Sporting Tours
  • Sightseeing & Historical Tours
  • Shopping Tours
  • and many more!

It’s also essential to determine what mode of transportation you want for your tour company, as this will determine the initial startup costs needed for your company.

To get started, find out if you need a license to operate in your state. Some states require tour companies to be licensed, while others do not. If you are required to be licensed, talk with the licensing agency to find out what steps must be taken before you can apply for that license.

How much you can make: $3,750 — $43,300,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $2,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started A Wildly Successful Food Tour Business

How Jessica Baumgart founded a successful food tour business in Denver, which broke even and started making a profit after just three months, generating $20,000/month in revenue from offering different food tour experiences.

About
Jessica started Delicious Denver Food Tours about 6 years ago
Revenue
Jessica grew the business to $75K/month
Costs
It cost Jessica $2000 to start the business
Read by 19,064 founders

40. Start a phone case business

With the number of mobile phone users increasing, there are opportunities for accessory makers such as phone case manufacturers to make a profit. Building a business around making and selling phone cases is relatively easier to produce. You can print labels on-demand, starting with a lower risk, or buy them in bulk and sell them online.

The global mobile phone protective cover market is expected to reach 75.62 billion in the next few years.

Phone protective covers often make a statement and reflect a person’s social and cultural preferences. Phone case manufacturers take advantage of such considerations and keep their products relevant and up-to-date to attract a more extensive customer base.

Remember, as with any industry with a low entry barrier, there will be competition. Therefore, you must study customers’ tastes and preferences and offer customized phone cases.

How much you can make: $120,000 — $125,000/month

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started And Grew A $50K/mo Phone Case Business

Felony Case, a Toronto-based company designing unique iPhone cases, started as a small shop on Etsy and has grown to become an internationally recognized fashion iPhone case brand sold in top tier retailers like Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Indigo, Urban Outfitters, Revolve, Free People, and made over half a million dollars in revenue last year.

About
Andrew started Felony Case about 12 years ago
Revenue
Andrew grew the business to $120K/month
Read by 27,382 founders

41. Become a nutritionist

As individuals seek to adopt healthier lifestyles, there is an increasing demand for professional nutritionists who can offer tailored advice.

A nutritionist offers personalized nutrition advice and guidance to individuals or groups, helping them achieve their health and wellness goals through dietary recommendations and education.

This may include creating meal plans, conducting assessments, and providing ongoing support to clients seeking to improve their nutritional habits.

To become a nutritionist, consider obtaining relevant certifications and gaining practical experience through internships or supervised practice.

How much you can make: $600 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $300 (?)

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 3 hours/week

Leaving My 9 to 5 To Start My Own Nutrition Counseling Private Practice

RDRx Nutrition is a successful private practice that offers individual nutrition coaching, boasting profits of $1,800-$2,100 per month after just one year of business, and achieving a client base of over 2200 followers on Instagram alone.

About
Haley started RDRx Nutrition about 10 years ago
Revenue
Haley grew the business to $3.5K/month
Read by 12,761 founders

Conclusion

There you have it - 42 business ideas that you can start in your small town today.

If you'd like to read our step-by-step guide on how to validate your business idea, check it out here

meet the author
David Gitonga

"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up" - Bas Rutten (UFC Heavyweight Champion). Hey there! I am a talented freelancer passionate about writing and researching all topics business and entrepreneurship.