50 Small Business Ideas for Rural America – Small Business Trends

If you think you need to live in a big city to start a successful business, you’re mistaken. There are actually some business opportunities that are better suited for rural communities. So if you’re looking to start a rural business, take a look at the list of ideas below.

Small Business Ideas for Rural Areas


Of course, living in a rural area opens up the possibility of you making a living by farming plants or animals. There are plenty of different agriculture business ideas out there for you to consider.

Antique Seller

Rural areas often have unique history and the antiques to go with it. So you could make a business scouring your local area for unique finds and then selling those goods online or at events.

Antique Mall Owner

Or you could even open up your own antique mall to give other people in your area a venue to sell their goods.


Living in a rural area means you’re likely to have access to enough space to set up a woodshed or workspace where you can create your own unique products by carving wood or using similar methods.

Furniture Upcycler

You could even specialize just in working with old furniture pieces and giving them some new life with a few quick changes.

Nature-Inspired Crafter

If you have enough natural items like flowers, leaves and sticks to work with, you could make wreaths and similar products to sell.

Farm Equipment Maintenance Provider

You could also start a business that mainly provides maintenance services to farmers and people with farm equipment in your area.

Roadside Produce Stand Owner

If you have enough space to grow your own produce at home, you could potentially start a roadside produce stand to sell your items to passers-by.

Online Seed Seller

You could even sell seeds and seedlings to help others start their own gardens. This is something you could even do online.

Plant Nursery Owner

Or you could open up a full greenhouse or nursery that customers can visit to purchase a variety of different plant products.

Rural WiFi Cafe Owner

Since wifi is sometimes hard to come by in rural areas, you could start a cafe that offers free wifi to customers to set your business apart.

Rural Coworking Space Operator

You could even start a coworking space aimed at freelancers and professionals who need a place to work but don’t want to set up shop in big cities.

Alternative Energy Installer

Since some rural residents prefer to stay “off the grid,” you could provide alternative energy installation services to help them make their homes or businesses self-sufficient and sustainable.

Landscape Photographer

Rural areas often provide beautiful backdrops that look great in photos. You can start your own photography business by taking photos of those landscape scenes and then selling them as prints.

Photo Products Seller

Or you could even turn those photos into other products like t-shirts, mugs and postcards. Then you can sell them online or in local souvenir shops.

Stock Videographer

Likewise, you could shoot video of the landscape around your area and then offer it for use in people’s online videos.

YouTube Channel Creator

You could also start your own YouTube channel where you can share a bit about rural life.

Rural Blogger

Or you could start a blog where you write about your area and life in a rural community.


You could also focus on writing longer works like books or ebooks by setting up a writing space.

Drone Operator

Rural areas also potentially offer enough space for you to use drones for photography or videography, allowing you to get some impressive landscape shots.

Drone Instructor

You could even use your drone operating skills to teach others how to use drones.

Rural Resort Operator

If you have enough space at your home or on your property, you could potentially set up a hotel or bed and breakfast where you can welcome visitors to book overnight stays.

Barn Renter

For those who have large barn spaces, you could even rent out your barn for weddings and other events.

Camping Site Operator

Or you could set up a campsite with enough space and offer outdoor areas for rent.

RV Park Operator

Similarly, you could offer outdoor space to customers who have campers or recreational vehicles they need to park during off times.

Hauling Business Owner

For those with a CDL, you could provide hauling and transportation services for people who need critical goods shipped or delivered in rural areas.

Landscape Maintenance Service Provider

People who live in rural areas may sometimes require specialized landscaping services beyond simple lawn mowing and gardening. So you can provide specialty services for those outdoor spaces.

Animal Trainer

If you’re skilled with animals, you could provide training services for pet owners or farmers with other types of animals.

Pet Boarder

You could also provide pet boarding services on your property or even provide pet care services at clients’ homes.

Cleaning Company Owner

Big name cleaning companies don’t always reach rural customers. So you could provide a much needed service by offering regular home or office cleaning services.

Grocery Delivery Service Owner

You could also provide a service for those who don’t want to drive to the grocery store regularly or don’t have the ability to carry their own items.

Restaurant Delivery Service Owner

Similarly, you could provide a delivery service from local restaurants for those customers who don’t want to travel to pick up their own food.

Microbrewery Owner

If you’re interested in brewing your own beer, you could start your own microbrewery where you invite customers or just supply beer to local restaurants.

Winery Owner

Likewise, you could make your own wine and sell it on-site or to restaurants or stores.

Local Gift Shop Owner

If your area has enough visitors to support it, you could open up a gift shop where you sell various goods that are handcrafted or unique to your area.

Tour Guide

You could also provide tour guide or informational services to visitors.

Laundry Service Provider

For those who want to provide essential services to local residents who don’t have access to some of the same amenities that are available in big cities, you could open up a laundromat or start a pick-up laundry service.

If you have the space, you could also open up a gym or personal training studio on your property.

Firewood Delivery Service Owner

For those who have access to a large supply of firewood, you could sell it to local customers and even provide delivery services.


Rural homeowners might not always have access to as many home service professionals either. So you could become a professional handyman or provide more specialized services to homeowners in your area.

Restoration Business Owner

If your area has unique old buildings or artifacts, you could specialize in providing restoration services to renew those homes or items to their former glory.

Junkyard Operator

You could also collect scrap metal and other junk as part of a rural junkyard business.
If you have the right expertise, you could even offer appraisal services to people with old or unique items.

Daycare Owner

People in rural communities are just as likely as others to need child care services from time to time. So you could provide in-home or onsite care to fill that need.

Elderly Care Provider

You could also provide in-home elderly care to those who want to remain in their own homes but just need help with some daily tasks.

Transportation Service Provider

Since rural areas aren’t usually full of taxis or public transit, you could fill a need by providing transportation to people in rural communities, especially for things like non-emergency medical appointments where patients are unable to drive.

Auto Repair Garage Owner

If you’re skilled with automotive repairs, you could start your own rural auto repair garage.
Rural communities often present some unique challenges when it comes to technology. So you could provide specialized tech support, including internet setup, smartphone repair and fixing connectivity issues.

Home Security Service Provider

You could also provide home security services that are specific to people in rural communities.

Rural Museum Owner

If your area has a unique history or any interesting attributes that people might be interested in learning about, you could open up a museum that’s specific to the rural community.
Related reading: 51 Business Ideas for 2020
Image: Depositphotos.com

More in: , 9 Comments ▼

Many freelancers work entirely online so they can live anywhere they can get decent internet access. Some rural areas such as those in Oklahoma have DSL. It is more expensive than other places, but everything else is cheaper.
If you want to live on the land, look for a WISP (wireless internet service provider). These are often small businesses started by someone who wanted faster internet. They can beam high speed internet (3-12+ meg downloads) up to 15 miles from a tower. They use a combination of antennas on existing small town water towers and towers they erect themselves.
Consider planting a permaculture food forest full of fruit and nut trees, berries, and produce. Think of it was a cross between homesteading and planting your own Garden of Eden. Work online to raise money to build and pay off the land while you work toward being self-sufficient.
If you’re interested in permaculture, check out Permies.com and the Kickstarter they’re running. They already raised $53k to be able to live stream and record their next live design courses and event.
There is so much people could do to revive small towns. It wasn’t that many generations ago that people didn’t expect to be employees. They started their own businesses or had homesteads and took odd jobs or sold what they produced to make ends meet. We can do that again.
Annie Pilon
So many great suggestions – thanks, Gail!
Azraee mamat
I am starting to think of a few community based rural business to help the poor in my village. This is a good idea and applicable in my country too. Azraee Mamat
Great Business Ideas, can be started with less budget.
Thanks for sharing.
Ved Prakash Sharma
In north India, I have tried to skill rural youth in vision refraction and helped them opening optical stores. this is a successful model for generating self employment and providing vision care access to rural community, over 3500 youths are running their outlets with supply chain support from a leading corporate.
Looking for some innovative ideas which can be scale up in India for generating employment/ micro entrepreneurship opportunities
nice article but I will beat your ranking in 30 days
Nicely written article … full of info !!
Great business ideas… anyone can start with average investment.
very informative article about business ideas for rural areas, thanks for sharing.
It’s a good list, i appreciate your hard-work. i went through many of your listed points. have you complied any online business ideas like website designing, digital marketing, social media marketing… any tips on it…???
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