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Rural America has been a thoroughly discussed and debated topic throughout the last decade. With poverty rates now on the descent, there is evidence to suggest that a shift in demographics will enhance life in small towns. As more baby boomers are drawn to the serene and minimalist lifestyle offered in rural communities, they are bringing with them a disposable income and a demand for business.

There is an opportunity for rural and small-town business ideas to be prosperous. The challenge, however, is determining which businesses will generate the highest ROI on investment. 

By understanding market trends and statistical data, potential business owners can make a more qualified decision. Outlined below are the more lucrative and viable options to generate an income outside Urban America.

Chapter 1

Cuisine

Food has been a focal part of American culture for centuries. American's enjoy the social aspect of sharing a meal, frequenting the local bar for a libation, or going out for ice cream after church on a Sunday afternoon. Owners of culinary establishments in rural America walk a fine line between creating a community environment and catering to the potential tourist market.

For those interested in opening cuisine-based business conduct thorough research to understand your target market to ensure you are offering culinary infusions geared to the local palate.

This article offers some valuable information in understanding industry statistics and how to best capitalize on your culinary endeavor. The restaurant industry is worth over $863 billion dollars in the USA and projected to increase by 3.7% by 2024 suggesting that now is an excellent time to take advantage of this profitable business opportunity. 

Here are a few suggestions that statistically demonstrate a decent level of success in rural and small towns in the USA.

1. COFFEE SHOP & BAR

Coffee shops are a popular place for a community to congregate, socialize, or enjoy a beverage on the go. Research your costs, analyze your specific target market, offer items exclusive to your area, and this can be a cost-effective enterprise. 

You can open an independent coffee shop for as little as $5000 or invest as much as $350,000+. With projected earnings for shop owners estimated at $60,000-$160,000 per annul, there is the potential to achieve significant monetary success. Consider adding specialty coffees to your menu by obtaining a liquor license

Baked goods or locally made edibles, expanding sales and gross receipts will only enhance your overall profit margin. This article highlights some considerations when determining if this is a viable option for your financial situation.

2. DINER

Everyone appreciates a good breakfast diner-nothing quite like a greasy fry-up to start your morning. You can open a diner for between $50,000-$75,000 as per this article. Rural Americans have a particular fondness for diners, as they are often a hub of activity. 

By including an all-day breakfast or light lunch menu, you eliminate the costs of having to prepare more expensive dinner cuisine and have the option for set hours, thus reducing employee and overhead expenses. 

Keep in mind, however, that fewer hours equate to less opportunity to generate sales. Locally provided eggs, protein options, or fruit/vegetable bowls incorporate the community, which would be an attraction for tourists and locals alike.

3. FOOD TRUCK

If I lived in Idaho, I would give serious consideration to opening a french fry food truck. Poutine, chili fries, waffle fries, specialty fries, etc. By utilizing produce grown in your backyard, you cut overhead cost margins significantly. 

This expenditure equates to an average of $40,000-$250,000 to invest and open. Check out the cost analysis found in this publication. With food costs around 25%-35%, your nemesis will be bad weather, poor location choice, or a combination of the two. 

It is possible to generate a profit margin of 6%-9%. This article offers relevant information if considering this rural and small-town business idea

4. RESTAURANT

Americans love to eat. They enjoy it even more when someone takes care of the cooking. With 51% of consumer spending landing in the pockets of restaurateurs, the key to a significant profit margin is staying abreast of current trends. 

This ideology is no different for small-town business owners. Digital menu boards and a unique carte du jour will enhance the overall experience for your clientele. 

Establish a reputation for yourself by offering locally grown, organic produce or specialty dishes representing your geographical locale and you will also cater to tourists interested in experimenting with regional cuisine.  This publication provides suggestions on how to develop your customer base and secure an ROI of 5%-15%.

5. SPORTS BAR

With the potential to become quite lucrative, it all comes down to how well you manage your business and meet the demands of your target market. If you live in a rural area that does not have much competition, yet has a sufficient population with disposable income or a tourist sector, opening a sports bar is worth considering. 

This article provides details on how to open a sports bar. With an average investment of around $400,000 and markups on alcohol between 200%-400%, this business suggestion offers attractive profit margins. Check out the statistics shared in this post supporting this information.

6. ICE CREAM SHOPPE

Ice cream is a sweet way to make a buck if you play your cards right. Depending on the weather and economic status of your area, you will need to consider whether it is better to invest in a storefront venue ($10,000-$50,000+), an ice cream stand ($2000-$10,000), or an ice cream truck ($10,000-$20,000). Read through this post to learn more about alternate options for opening an ice cream establishment.

With the potential to generate a profit margin between 20%-50%+ location is critical. If you opt for a mobile venture, you can cater to community events such as local fairs, carnivals, and school socials. Utilize local products where possible to engage the locals and impress tourists.

You could take it one step further and sell dairy products to your patrons which would eliminate the issue of potential product waste. This article suggests that it is possible to achieve profits exceeding $50,000 in a 3-4 month season, making this a business startup worthy of consideration.

7. DONUTS SHOP

Americans consume over 10 billion donuts every year-staggering statistics! Projected to reach approximately $55 billion by 2024, the donuts industry has a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) forecast at 5.2% by 2024, making owning a donuts shop a highly profitable business suggestion. 

Depending on your small town, there may be a need for a donuts shop-or a second-even third one. You must do your market research and ascertain if there is a demand in your area. 

Average equipment costs are around $15,000, but donuts are very inexpensive to make once you have acquired the essential machinery and secured a location. 

The median wage for owners of a donuts shop is about $40,000/year. A straightforward and economical expenditure, this article offers insight on how to open a donuts shop with a minimal investment (under $15,000).

8. JUICE BAR

Juice bars are becoming increasingly trendy, even in rural America, with an increase of 4%-8% in the last ten years. There are several franchise opportunities that you can review here, costing between $47,000-$400,000+

The initial investment is a bit pricey, however, it is worth noting that owners earn an average revenue of $100,000-$400,000, so it would not take long to recoup your introductory costs.  For more information, take a look at this publication offering an inside scoop on the 'how-to's' of opening a juice bar.

9. FAST FOOD FRANCHISE

Fast food franchises are a sure bet if you can secure the necessary capital required for the initial investment, which equates to around $1.5 million. Before you panic, understand that franchisees need a liquid capital of $400,000 and a net worth of $750,000.

Still a considerable investment, however, certain franchises are more flexible, and a select few will even assist the franchisee by fronting the money. You can read more about franchise opportunities, cost analysis, and profit margins here.

10. PIZZA PARLOR

Mamma Mia! No matter where you live, there is no denying that American enjoy the taste and convenience of pizza. The industry is on the rise, with a projected growth of 2.9% for 2020. Depending on your vision-counter-top, a few tables, and take out section versus a sit-down pizzeria, you should plan to invest between $75,000-$100,000

This article outlines how you can start a pizza parlor in your small town. With a profit margin of 7-20%, pizza shop owners make an above-average yearly income. With economic growth and a projected increase in consumer spending, this is an great time to investigate this suggestion further.

11. BAKERY

No matter where you live in this great nation, there will be bakers and those (like me) who screw up Rice Krispie squares. You can launch a bakery from your home for next to nothing with the equipment you already own. Build a website with contact and order forms and utilize referral methods until you become more established. 

With startup fees projected between $10,000-$70,000, you could 'jump start' a bakery for as little as $2000 as advised in this article. A bakery can generate a monthly income from $2000-$5000, but sales and an ability to keep food/ingredients cost down dictate profit margins. 

The average ROI for a baker is 2-5%. Still, there is room for a more substantial percentage if you have a solid business plan, cater to the specific needs of your market, and price your goods fairly while still generating a surplus. This article is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about starting a bakery.

12. FARMERS MARKET VENDOR

People enjoy strolling through booths and purchasing locally grown produce and foodstuffs. With a profit margin of 2-3%+ this article lends suggestions on how to become a vendor at your local farmers market. Utilizing social media and creating an online presence will accelerate your earnings. 

Choose your wares with care, as this article specifically breaks down the average sales rate for popular and specific items. With sales averaging between $1000-$5000/month, what you sell, how much you sell, and how you price are all vital factors in becoming successful with this business venture.

13. CATERING

Everyone enjoys a good potluck, but sometimes the event requires a bit more je ne sais quoi. Owning a catering company in a small town has the potential to be an advantageous opportunity with profit margins reported to be 15%+

Niche relevance is paramount, no matter where you live. Understand the tastes and style of your target market, and an investment of $10,000-$50,000 can quickly be recouped. This article offers a more in-depth analysis of how to start a catering company in 2020.

14. ORGANIC FOOD SUPPLIER

Americans are purchasing organic food at a rate of 41% higher this year. Offering fresher-fewer pesticides and GMO-free-environmentally friendly products, health-conscious citizens are not the only ones jumping on this trend. Organic food sales broke through the $50 billion mark in 2018, and reports indicate a rise of 5-10% projected for 2020. Consider these options to determine where you can generate sales:

  • Restaurants

  • Roadside Stands

  • Farmer's Market

  • Conventional Grocery Stores

  • Natural Food Stores

This article offers insight on current trends and how to best monetize the sale of organic food. Organic food suppliers typically secure a 30-40% operating profit margin, but this is dependent on low input costs and premium prices for product.

Chapter 2

Self-Care

Projected to reach $275 billion by 2025, this $9.9 billion industry is on the rise with the current restoration of the American economy. Consumers are becoming more inclined to indulge in superior products suggesting that now is an ideal time to consider entering this market. 

Americans are increasing their spending habits around personal care products and services that enhance individuals' overall well-being and promote health and wellness. The ‘when you look good, you feel good analogy’. Here are a few profitable small town business ideas growing in popularity as we see a resurgence in the self-care industry.

15. HAIR SALON

As the per capita disposable income rises, Americans are more likely to frequent hair salons and spend money on premium products such as tints, colors, and hair care merchandise. The current surge in the economy predicts a growth rate of 1-4% for 2020

These numbers represent probable circumstances for salon owners. The projected ROI is between 8-17% for this $110+ billion industry. Check out this article for tips on how to open a successful hair salon.

16. BARBERSHOP

While the American barbershop has evolved, the core premise remains unchanged. Men frequent barbershops for a close shave, an ear and nose trim, stellar haircut, and some male bonding time. Americans living in rural areas considering this option should evaluate the following:

  • Is there a demand for your service?

  • What does competition resemble?

  • How will you set yourself apart?

  • Will you offer a retail section?

With profit margins reported to average 10-30%, this $3.8 billion industry is forecast to have a growth rate of 8% between now and 2025, as stated in this publication.


17. MEDISPA

Medispas can expect to see a CAGR of 13.5% by 2026, making this $12+billion industry a top contender for small-town business ventures. With an influx of consumer appreciation for self-care and the benefits of non-intrusive anti-aging procedures, there will be explosive growth in this market as outlined in this article.

Medispas generate a 38% gross profit margin. By adding a retail area to your establishment, you potentially inflate client retention by 60-90%. This publication lends some valuable insight with regards to how to open a medispa.

18. MASSAGE

Insurance companies are becoming increasingly amenable to covering costs of self-care procedures such as massage therapy. With an average ROI for owners reported to be 10-15+%, your investment will depend on the style of service you are looking to offer. Here are some facts and numbers to contemplate:

  • Home-based massage business requires a capital of around $6000

  • Brick and mortar establishments call for an investment of $100,000-$500,000

  • Franchise options expect an investment between $400,000 and $1.5 million.

This post lists the top ten most lucrative massage therapy franchises in the USA for your deliberation. This article offers insightful information and specific costs associated with massage therapy.

19. NAIL SALON

With the options to open a salon, offer mobile services, or start in your home until you establish yourself, there is no denying ladies love to get their nails done. Initial investment costs average $10,000-$100,000 depending on your set-up. 

Profit margins are dependent on your client base, and the ability to not only retain but promote ongoing sales for your services. Depending on the competition in your area, you will need to ascertain if there is enough demand for your service. Consider offering a unique service or implementing a retail section to escalate sales. This article provides additional information on how to start a nail salon.

20. AROMATHERAPY

More and more Americans are turning to holistic options to relieve pain, relaxation/sleep, and health-related issues. The aromatherapy industry will be worth $4.5 billion by 2023 and has an estimated CAGR of 6.8%. 

By using natural oils and infusions, stimulating physical and emotional well-being for individuals, aromatherapists average an hourly rate of $25-$65+. Qualifications are required, which you can read about here.

With options to work out of your home, own a business, travel to client's homes, teach classes, or sell online via an e-commerce site, the possibilities to generate a significant revenue are limitless. 

Here is the buyers’ guide for aromatherapists, which may be helpful. Also, you can check out this publication for specific details on how to launch an aromatherapy business.

21. ACUPUNCTURE

You require qualifications for this business idea. However, if you are interested in the rapidly growing market (CAGR of 14% by 2023) and valued at over $50 million, you will need to invest some time and capital.

A licensed acupuncturist requires three years of study, and tuition costs an average of $40,000. Armed with this information, which you can learn more about here, weigh in the possibility of generating an annual salary of $75,000+.

With options for private practice in your home or establishment or contracting yourself to other medial/holistic based businesses, if you can network well, self-market, and construct a steady client base, you can increase your earning potential exponentially. This article provides additional information on how to become a profitable acupuncturist.

22. PERSONAL TRAINING

Personal training is a flexible and extensive area within the fitness industry. There are several ways a licensed personal trainer can generate an income of $40-$70+/hour in this $10 million industry worthy of consideration:

  • Provide individual training services at an established gym or franchise 

  • Offer in-home personal training

  • Conduct training sessions/boot camps/etc. from your residence

  • Become an online personal trainer

  • Combine any of the above-mentioned

It is COMPETITIVE, so how you market your brand is paramount to your success. With 330,000 jobs forecast by 2026, there is not only significant growth but plenty of opportunities. Consider your niche and target market to capitalize on this market trend. Dial that niche DOWN-get uber specific. When you focus on your exact client base, you will ultimately become more successful. Here is a publication outlining how to become a personal trainer and develop and lucrative business within your small town.

23. FITNESS STUDIO

Americans are becoming increasingly conscious of their physical and mental health. With a substantial rise in healthy eating trends, the fitness industry is booming and expected to grow by 2.7% in 2020. 

An extremely aggressive market, if you hope to be successful in this multi-billion industry, you are going to have to think outside the box. Consider implementing these suggestions in addition to your regularly scheduled classes or studio setup:

  • Sell workout plans online 

  • Design a fitness APP

  • Market meal plans 

  • Write an eBook

  • Host fitness seminars and educational opportunities in your community

  • Write a blog

  • Utilize an e-commerce website to sell or drop ship fitness merchandise

There is potential to earn a 5-25% ROI in this industry, but you are going to have to hustle. This post analyses how to be successful in this fast-paced and competitive market.

Chapter 3

Healthcare

The recommendations outlined in this section are specific to licensed/certified professionals debating relocating or currently residing in a rural area in the USA. Industry statistics confirm that there is an upsurge of growth and opportunity in small towns for these fields. With the potential to generate a significant income stream these are the top contenders worthy of consideration.

24. CHIROPRACTOR

Aches and pains know no boundaries. No matter where you reside in our great nation, there will be individuals turning to chiropractic care as an alternate solution to prescription medication. The chiropractic industry will be worth an estimated $17.93 billion by 2025 and slated to grow at a rate of 12% between 2016-2026. 

Chiropractors are in demand with a market exploding at a significant pace. As this treatment method becomes more accepted by society, there will continue to be an influx of clientele looking for services. 

Cleveland University Chiropractic and Health Sciences shares these statistics:

  • 25.9 percent in urban areas

  • 54.5 percent in suburban communities

  • 19.7 percent in rural areas

Granted, it will take an investment upward of $100,000 to open your own clinic, but with an annual salary of $52,000-$99,000+ chiropractors land in the top one hundred top-paying jobs in the USA. This article outlines how to open a chiropractic clinic. Check out this publication providing additional information on industry statistics and market research.

25. OPTOMETRIST

With a rise in baby boomers comes an increasing need for optometry. The aging population in the USA has created a projected growth increase of 10% between 2018-2028, making an optometrist one of the more rapidly growing health care based industries. 

Optometrists have the option to own their own clinic, work alongside a doctor's office, or in an optimal goods store. The average salary for an optometrist is $120,000+/year, making this an extremely lucrative profession. Providing the bulk of care for ocular related issues. This article provides further insight into current trends within the industry.

26. DENTISTS

The dental industry is worth $139.8 billion and expected to see a growth rate of 1.5% in 2020. If you include specialty procedures such as implants, that projected growth rate climbs to 7.5%. More dentists are capitalizing on medical insurance before billing clients under their meager dental insurance coverage. 

There is a significant opportunity to not only grow a substantial practice in a small town but become highly successful. When doing your market research, investigate the following:

  • Is the population stable or increasing?

  • Is there a dental school within an hour proximity to your proposed location?

  • How close is the nearest airport?

  • What is the competition?

This article offers some fascinating statistics and suggestions on how to make an insane amount of money as a dentist in rural America. Here is a publication providing a full assessment of how to open a dental clinic worth reading.

27. HEALTH CLINIC

The health care industry is on the rise, with profit margins erupting. Projected to continue for the next five years at a minimum, this trend has just begun gaining momentum. The estimated market value of the healthcare industry will be over $5.5 billion by 2025, with 43% of for-profit establishments corning this business model. 

You will need a minimum investment of $100,000, but with earnings rising at a rate of 23%, you should quickly recoup and earn a substantial ROI on your expenditure. This article offers additional statistics, which are quite compelling if you have the required education and are considering establishing a health clinic in rural America.

With an average net profit of 10%, now would be an excellent time to discuss this suggestion. This publication provides recommendations on how to open a successful health care clinic.

28. HEARING INSTRUMENT SPECIALIST

Ranking number eight on the list of highest-paid professionals without a degree, you can become a hearing instrument specialist in two years-either online or through a college. Check out this post to learn more about becoming certified for this position, which averages an annual paycheck between $45,000-$80,000.

The role of a hearing instrument specialist is to assess clients' hearing loss, measuring the extent of loss through a series of tests. Also responsible for fitting, adjusting, dispensing, and maintaining hearing aids, you have the option to work alongside an audiologist or open your own clinic. 

America has an aging population making this a viable opportunity for significant monetary compensation. With an estimated 15.9% growth projected between 2018-2028, if you are interested in pursuing this avenue, read this publication on how to open a clinic.

29. PATHOLOGY LAB/DIAGNOSTIC CENTER

Pathology labs are closely regulated by government legislation as they are responsible for testing and treating disease and complicated infections. This article outlines the numerous roles of a pathologist and other professionals found in the lab. Many areas in the United States are under serviced, making this a suggestion worth researching further. Pathologists earn between $144,000-$216,000/year based on training and length of practice.

Pathology labs and diagnostic centers reportedly worth $55 billion in total revenue for 2019, as outlined in this article and have the potential to generate a steady profit margin. Projected to have a growth rate of 1-5% in 2020, if this idea appeals to you, connect with The College of American Pathologists to learn how you can become an accredited affiliate.

30. MIDWIFERY

The plane of child birthing is changing in America. More women and new parents are turning to home births and more naturalistic delivery methods, making midwifery one of the fastest growing industries in the USA. With a projected growth rate of 25% between 2018-2028, this is an ideal time to consider this rewarding career path. 

The average salary for a midwife is approximately $113,000/year, but do your research and ascertain the following information before deciding to enter this intensive educational discipline:

  • Is there a market for your service?

  • What is the competition in the area you are considering?

  • Will you partner with a doula, nurse practitioner, or be an independent?

This article lends some helpful suggestions on how to become a midwife and the required education necessary to become accredited in this field.

31. DOULA

Becoming a doula is far less educationally arduous than a midwife and requires only 7-12 hours of in-class study. An additional 16 hours of birth doula training and attendance at 2-5 live births are also prerequisites. Program costs an average $300-$500, which you can learn more about here.

Doulas are becoming increasingly popular, especially postpartum doulas, with a projected growth rate of 15% between 2016-2020. The average salary is based on a per birth grid and equates to $250-$1000/birth. This article provides details regarding how to become a doula and their specific roles.

32. NUTRITIONIST

The obesity epidemic in the USA is nothing new, but how citizens are dealing with this crisis has shifted in parameter. More and more Americans are taking the time to educate themselves on nutritious and healthy foods. With trends and diet fads changing at the speed of light, however, it can often become quite discouraging for many. 

Enter the nutritionist. An acutely knowledgeable individual well versed in both food trends and individualized meal plans, they have the ability to change the trajectory of people's lives. This four-year program, which you can learn more about here, results in a gratifying and lucrative career. 

Nutritionists earn around $60,000+/year, and the projected growth rate for this industry is upwards of 11%. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a nutritionist or are researching suggestions on how to market yourself, check out this article.

Chapter 4

Retail

Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit-Wikipedia. The retail industry was valued at $3.3 trillion in 2018 and expected to surpass a value of $5 trillion by the end of 2020.

With a projected growth rate of 2%, there is no sign of consumer spending slowing down in the retail sector, making now a fantastic time to take advantage of a rising economy and a decrease in national unemployment rates. Here are a few viable retail suggestions for small-town and rural America worthy of further investigation.

33. CLOTHING BOUTIQUE

Sure it's not the Haute fashion of Broadway and Beverly Hills, but part of the charm and attraction of rural America is the absence of the busy streets and constant bustle of activity. Rest assured, fashion-forward people live in small towns too. You must understand the trends of your target market. Who are your ideal customers? 

Determining what you will sell and the price point necessary to make sales while still generating a profit is paramount to your success. The economic shift has resulted in an upswing of consumer spending, as demonstrated in this publication

Should you decide to embark in the fashion industry, you can choose to own a shop, buy into a franchise, or opt for online options. Here is an article on how to start a clothing boutique worth reviewing.

34. COSMETICS

If you or someone you know has a mild Sephora addiction, then you will concur that there is a TON of money to be made in the cosmetics industry. Expected to exceed $93 billion by the end of 2020 this retail market is expected to grow annually by 3.5% from 2020-2023, suggesting that now is an ideal time to consider investing in this profitable retail venture.

Whether you choose to open and sell your own merchandise, franchise, or go the online-affiliate marketing/drop shipping route, you will need some capital for your initial investment. This publication shares some interesting numbers and ideas about how to minimize costs and still be successful in this industry. The reality is you should plan to invest $10,000-$20,000+ depending on the platform you utilize to sell your products.

35. THRIFT STORE

Americans are riding the resale trend, and the market is booming. Thrift stores and resell shops are "growing 21 times faster than the retail market" from 2017-2020 as per this article. As American consumers become more environmentally conscious and consumer fashion shifts to vintage and used clothing, thrift stores are a cost-effective way to remain contemporary without breaking the bank. 

Keep in mind that research is vital for success. By understanding your target market, spending habits, and economic status, there is a higher rate for successful longevity with this venture. Is there a demand for what you are proposing to sell? This article offers some helpful suggestions on how to open a thrift store.

36. SHOE STORE

Shoes generate one of the most substantial profit margins in the retail industry, sitting at around 40%. Everyone needs shoes, so the key to becoming successful with this enterprise is to ascertain your target market trends and needs. By assessing key components, you will be prepared to stock your shelves with sellable items to generate a substantial return on your investment.

You will need upwards of $200,000 to open a shoe store, however, with numerous franchise options listed in this article, you can establish yourself with a trusted brand. This article breaks down how to open a shoe store. With a projected growth rate of 2.4% between 2020-2024, it is an excellent time to be a shoe salesperson.

37. JEWELRY

One of the fastest-growing industries in retail, the jewelry and gems market is forecast to be valued at over $21000 million by 2025 with a CAGR of 1.9%. With the economic recession behind us for now, consumers have been demonstrating a voracious appetite for jewelry and gems. Expected to grow 5-6% between now and 2025, this is an ideal time to consider selling these popular trinkets. 

You need to recognize your market trends and respond appropriately. Determining what you will sell is the cornerstone of success.  Retail jewelers average a profit margin between 48-52%. With storefront, from your home and online options available, this article offers suggestions on how to open a jewelry store.

38. ANTIQUE SHOP

The antique world is not dead, nor is it dying. With a projected growth rate between 5-7% for 2020, online sales are a factor of this market's resurgence. The best plan of attack with antiques is to niche down-get super-specific. Currently trending are tables and chairs. Will they be trending a year from now? Who can know, but the point is to do your homework. 

By catering to the demands of your target market, you will be much more prosperous with sales. There is the potential to earn $45,000-$60,000 with a 30% profit margin. This publication offers some tips on how to start and a cost analysis worth considering.

39. INTERNET CAFE

While there have been definitive improvements to internet signals in rural America until there are further technological advances, there will continue to be 'dead zones' hence the need for an internet/cyber cafe.  Plan on investing $100,000+, but you can expect to earn a gross profit margin of approximately 70%

With franchise options also available, there is no denying that this is a profitable venture. You have the opportunity to cater to not only individuals living with intermittent internet access, but others wishing to have a social setting to complete their online business. Here is a publication that maps out how to open an internet cafe with plenty of useful information.

40. ELECTRONICS REPAIR SHOP

With a market forecast valued at over $165,000 by 2024, the electronics industry is growing at an annual growth rate of 14.8% and touted to have a user penetration rate of 37.5% as per this publication. Small town America needs electronics too, and with the new age of technological advancements and better wifi access for rural areas, now is an excellent time to get in on the action. Worthy of consideration before you begin is:

  • Who is your target market?

  • Who will be your supplier?

  • How will you achieve your projected profit margin? 

  • How will you market your business?

This publication provides helpful ideas on how to start an electronics store, however, if you prefer the online route, take a look at this post.

41. CORNER STORE

People are still enjoying shopping at the local convenience store. It's quick, easy, and well, convenient. Despite the rising trend of online and home delivery grocery services, convenience stores continue to thrive with a projected growth rate of around 5%

Depending on your location and specific requirements, you can plan on investing between $10,000-$1 million. Gross profit margins are about 2% as per this publication

Understand that people's perception of convenience is changing and stock your shelves according to the needs of your locale and target market. Convenience is expensive, so there is potential for reasonable profits with this venture. This article provides information on how to open a convenience store for your review.


42. LIQUOR STORE

There's no denying that American's enjoy their beer, but wine and spirits are close seconds making opening a liquor store a lucrative business opportunity. The alcohol industry was valued at $250 billion in August 2019 and projected to have a growth rate of 3.3% in 2020

The average salary of a liquor store owner is between $21,000-$51,000/year, but these numbers depend on the size of the population, trends of your target market, and sales. This article offers a head to toe analysis of how to open a successful liquor store.

43. RETAIL PHARMACY

There are mixed reviews with regards to the growth of this industry, but a non-negotiable is that you should not consider this business venture if you are not a licensed pharmacist. While it is true you can open a retail pharmacy without credentials, you cannot access the 'pharmacy' section of your business without a pharmacist present, making this an inconvenience worth noting. 

Plan to invest between $888,000-$1.8 million.  This article projects a 2.2% increase in growth for 2020. If your small town or rural area is lacking a retail pharmacy or there is minimal to no competition, then this has the potential to be an extremely lucrative venture. Retail pharmacy owners are reported to earn over $300,000/year. This article outlines how to open a retail pharmacy if you meet the requirements.

44. HEALTH FOOD

Americans are getting healthier one day at a time. In rural America, where many grow their produce, this is a no brainer. If you reside in a small town with limited access to land opportunity conducive to harvesting your crops, however, the next best option is the health food store. 

Do your research and understand the demographics of your proposed location. With a forecast growth rate of 5.7%, this industry will be worth $323+ billion by 2024. Health Food store owners generate a net profit margin between 5-10%. This article provides additional information on how to begin creating a business plan and moving forward with this enterprise.

45. BULK BARN

People like to buy in bulk, and while it remains doubtful that Target is planning to open a store in rural America any time soon, there is an increasing demand for minimized waste/packaging and bulk food ingredients. The bulk food industry is expected to attain a CAGR of 4.6% between 2018-2023 as per this article. If you are considering this small town business opportunity research these points first:

  • What is the population and target market of your location?

  • What is the competition already existing in that area?

  • What will you sell?

  • Who will be your wholesaler?

With disposable income on the incline, Americans are looking to shop smarter and do their part for a greener tomorrow, making now an ideal time to consider this opportunity. Here is a UK article outlining how to open a bulk food store that offers valuable insights on how to copycat this idea in the USA.

46. HARDWARE STORE

The local hardware store is a regularly frequented locale for many small-town American's. Often a hub of activity with everything you need for your home and garden, hardware stores generate a profit between 1.6-6% with a net profit before taxes of 3-7% as per this article, which also outlines how to open a hardware store. 

Again consider your location, target market, and competitors. With a projected growth rate of about 3.9%, this style of commerce continues to see increased and consistent growth in the USA.

47. FARM EQUIPMENT-SALES & MAINTENANCE

If you ate today, thank a farmer! Agriculture is a fundamental component of our great nation, and rural America is the cog in the wheel that makes it all possible. Farmers need equipment to conduct daily business, so there needs to be a local business able to sell or repair to keep the system running smoothly. The Agricultural Machinery Market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.9% between 2019-2024, as per this article.

With a shift in advancement regarding technology, precision farming, and GPS controlled machinery, there are exciting changes currently taking place. This article offers sight on how to open a farm equipment (tractor dealership) business.

48. GARDEN CENTER

The garden industry is valued at $50 billion and expected to increase by 2.8% in 2020. You can sell what you like in a garden center. Anything from packaged seeds, seedlings, plants, or equipment and tools attracts the consumer spending of farmers and homeowners in rural America. 

As the per capita income and consumer certainty accelerate, this industry continues to flourish. With an ROI between 12-15%, this article offers some trends for the upcoming year. If you are interested in opening a garden center, check out this publication for more information.

49. GAS STATION/MECHANIC

Gas stations with a convenient little store tucked in are projected to reach a value of  $422.8 billion by the end of 2020. Add in an auto body/mechanic, and you can potentially double that number. With a projected growth increase of 2-5% within the year, this is a business suggestion to ponder. 

The reality is no matter where you reside in the USA you need transportation. Rural and small-town America do not have the luxury of public transport, so they must rely on a vehicle. The depreciation on any car/truck/SUV deters many people from purchasing new, and so they fix the one they have-over-and over-and-over. 

Client retention is what your business will be based on, as the bulk of your profit will come from the mechanical work. Gas stations earn around 1-2% profit margin, while mechanics earn approximately 50-65% on labor and 20-28% on parts/sales as per this article. If you are mechanically inclined and interested in this undertaking, take a look at this publication.

50. CAR WASH

Given that the majority of the population in a small town own a car, the facts are that they will need somewhere to wash it. A car wash is a viable option with several alternatives. Consider wash bays or full service when researching your target market. If opting for a full service, I would strongly recommend scouting out the area for an existing location to minimize start-up costs. 

To construct a car wash from the ground up is a $700,000+ investment. That said, there is the potential to generate an annual gross profit margin between $85,000-$100,000+. Here is a fantastic post breaking down costs, gross and net profits worth reading. 

With a projected growth rate of 3.6%, this industry remains consistent in growth and earning potential. This article outlines how you can start a car wash that may be beneficial when doing your research.

51. LAUNDROMAT/DRY CLEANERS

The convenience of a laundromat/dry cleaners is paramount for many rural Americans. A vast majority do not meet the criteria for city water. Residents either utilize a well or have to pay for water. Economical, for a small-town business owner, this relatively passive income-based business has the potential to generate an annual gross income between $30,000-$1 million/location

While not the most inexpensive startup, you should plan to invest between $200,000-$500,000. More if you opt for franchise alternatives, which you can learn more about here.  

There may not be as much demand for the dry cleaning component of this business, but it does have the capacity to generate an additional stream of income. This article provides direction on how to open a laundromat if you find this suggestion appealing.

52. TAILOR/ALTERATIONS

If you enjoy sewing or designing clothes, then starting a custom-tailored and alterations business may be a profitable venture to consider. With little to no overhead (under $1000 if you have the necessary equipment), by starting-small-think out of your home-you will minimize costs while building your client base. 

This suggestion may not be the most lucrative, as the average median salary for a tailor is between $25,000-$35,000+/year. However, if there is a demand for your service and you can secure steady clientele, this is a decent secondary income worth considering. This article offers ideas on how to start a tailoring business if interested in pursuing this enterprise.

53. WATER REFILL STATION

The water crisis in the United States is becoming an ever-growing concern and already affects millions of citizens nationwide. With water shortages and issues regarding safe drinking water, there has become an increasing demand for water refill stations. 

Regulated and environmentally conscious, water stations are resourceful and, in some instances a necessity for local residents. With a projected CAGR of 5.4% between now and 2023, this $72,000 million industry will only continue to grow. With an expansion in demand for drinkable water will come numerous competitors, so do your research carefully. This article offers some great tips to help you get started.

Chapter 5

Family

Family. The people who love us unconditionally. Americans enjoy spending time and money on their loved ones. Be it for entertainment, services, or essentials, there is a market for profitable business ventures within this segment. Here are a few top trending suggestions for small-town Americans.

54. DAYCARE

The daycare industry is on the rise. Predicted to be one of the fastest-growing markets in 2020 the net profit margin for a daycare facility is 9.9%. As more parents return to the workforce they rely on daycare centers or home daycare providers to care for their children. While the annual income for daycare owners is not a cash cow, there is the potential to earn between $30,000-$85,000 depending on your role and setup of your facility.

Home daycare centers earn less as they are mandated by legislation to care for fewer children, however, your overhead costs are significantly reduced. You will need to assess the competition and demand for services in your area. This article offers some wonderful suggestions on how to open a daycare.

55. ELDERLY CARE/COMPANION

The rapid advancement of an aging population is careening the elderly care industry into crisis mode. With a reported shortage of in-home care workers in the United States, now is an ideal time to consider this business opportunity. This $103 billion market is projected to grow at a rate of 41% in 2020

Typically the annual wage for an in-home care providers was $30,000-$45,000, however, with limited aides and trained staff, there are now options to freelance which have the potential to generate a salary of $90,000+/year depending on your level of education and experience. Check out this publication to learn more about training and associated costs. If there is an increasing number of elderly individuals in your small town then this is an idea worth investigating further.

56. TUTORING

If you live in a small town with an abundance of school-aged children chances are they have homework they don't understand. With competition growing at an exponential rate for college acceptance, more parents are relying on private tutors to assist their precious bundles bring in the required grade point average. The tutoring market is expected to reach a CAGR of 7.1% in 2020 and a net profit of 2-10% as per this article.

You can start small-out of your home, travel to students’ homes or connect at the local library which will minimize start-up costs to virtually nothing. While there are the options to build a center or align with a franchise you would need to invest upwards of $100,000. This article offers some further insight into how to start an in-home tutoring business if the requirements are met in the area you reside.

57. MUSIC LESSONS

If you are one of the lucky few blessed with a talent for playing an instrument why not consider offering music lessons? You can start off small, build a client base and have the potential to earn $30+/hour. This article outlines tips on how to begin and keep your start-up costs to a minimum. 

With a projected growth rate of 7% people are interested in learning how to play a musical instrument. An increase in disposable income in the USA makes now the perfect time to consider this business venture. This post is proof that there is significant potential to create a very lucrative business for yourself teaching music lessons if you have the skills and wherewithal to put your talent to work.

58. LASER TAG

In rural America, there are limited entertainment opportunities for families. If you reside in an area generously populated with young families with children, then offering them an enjoyable, family-focused business in their small town is worth considering. Laser tag is quickly becoming one of the most popular recreational activities, with a profit margin upwards of 40%.

Not an inexpensive venture, over $1 million in start-up costs, this $375 million industry is on the rise with astronomical profit potential. This article offers valuable information on how to open a laser tag center.

59. TRAMPOLINE PARK

Who doesn't love jumping on a trampoline? This family-fun distraction is attractive to people of all ages. In a small town with limited entertainment options for a household, it has the potential to be an extremely lucrative venture. Start-up costs to open a trampoline park are substantial. With a required investment of $1.2-$1.8 million, the profit potential is also sky high. 

Trampoline parks average a profit margin of 20-39%, which equates to roughly $700,000+/year. If there are the population, demand, and opportunity, then this is a suggestion worthy of consideration. This article provides details on how to open a trampoline park. With franchise options also available, there are numerous opportunities to be hugely successful with this endeavor.

Chapter 6

Pets

No matter where you live in the United States, there is no denying that people love their pets. The unconditional love and those big eyes staring at you with adoration melt the hearts of their owners who are willing to spend money on their care and well-being. There are numerous possibilities to capitalize on this love, but here are a few of the top contenders worth noting.

60. PET STORE

Even rural America requires a pet store. A place where pet owners and animal lovers can go to purchase food, supplies, and incidentals for their four-legged friends. With a projected growth rate of 3.8% in 2020, this $75+ million industry offers unlimited possibilities to generate a profit. 

This publication provides some interesting market trends demonstrating evidence that this industry is indeed on the incline. Depending on your business platform, you can expect to invest between $15,000-$50,000+. Here is an article outlining how to open a pet store with additional information.

61. PET GROOMING

The average American dog owner is reported to spend  $900-$1200/year on their fur baby. With a projected CAGR of 4.5% between 2018 -2025, it is a great time to be a pet groomer. Whether you opt for an establishment, mobile, or out of your home service, you will need to plan on investing between $10,000-$50,000 to cover the costs of equipment and essentials. 

Here is an article outlining how to open a pet grooming business worth reviewing. Pet groomers can expect to earn an annual income between $40,000-$50,000+, but this will depend on the demand for your services, client retention, and expenses. This publication is interesting as it validates the growing potential in this industry.

62. DOG BOARDING

Dog boarding/kennels are an excellent fit for rural Americans residing in relatively close proximity to an urban center. People are willing to travel to ensure that their dog receives the utmost care. With the space to run, operating a dog kennel is a highly profitable business venture. With franchise options available, this suggestion will require around a $10,000-$400,000+ investment.

A well-reputed facility can charge between $25-$100/night per dog, so you do the math, but from where I sit, that is some serious profit potential. Reported to be valued at nearly $6 billion, the dog boarding industry will grow at a projected rate of 3.5% between 2020-2025. This article offers helpful suggestions on how to open a dog kennel in your area.

63. DOG TRAINER

Statistical analysis confirms that the pet services industry is exploding with more people utilizing their disposable income to spend money on their furry friends. Projected to grow 11% between 2020-2024, there is a significant demand for dog trainers. Earning an annual salary of $34,000-$54,000+, this is a steady income that has tremendous growth potential. 

If you have the experience, knowledge, and space to facilitate dog training from your home, then you minimize overhead costs. Typically you can plan on investing $1000+ in addition to expenses to become certified, which you can learn more about here. If this business suggestion is of interest to you, check out this publication on how to open a dog training business.

64. ANIMAL BREEDER

The animal breeder dry spell is officially over with a demand for animal breeders expected to grow 2.2% in the next six years, representing an estimated 14,130 new job opportunities. If you have the knowledge, background, and patience to engage in this business venture, there has never been a better time than right now. 

While no formal degree or training is required to breed animals, at a minimum, you should have a basic understanding of genetics, animal science, and/or animal reproduction. This publication offers information on the recommended credentials for this position. Breeding farm and large animals is where the real profit lies, which is ideal for rural Americans. If this opportunity is of interest to you or you wish to learn more, check out this article.

Chapter 7

Agriculture

One of the drawing cards of rural and small-town America is the fresh air and vast expanse of farmlands. Rolling hills and acres of lush foliage attract tourists and are primary reasons why the locals proudly call this home. 

Depending on your area-what produce-if any-you grow, the number of tourists your area caters to, and proximity to urban centers will dictate if the following suggestions are applicable business ventures to consider.

65. U-PICK FARM

Pick your own farms are trending and gaining in popularity. A way to generate additional income, farmers are utilizing this business venture as a way to increase their profit margin. A few things to consider before launching this endeavor:

  • Who is your target market? Local-tourists-groups-a combination of them all?

  • What crops will you grow?

  • What will you charge?

  • Hours of operation

Here is an excellent article outlining the pros and cons of pick your own farms to review. This can be a sustainable income for farmers, and you do not require a vast expanse of land to yield high returns, as demonstrated in this publication.

66. CHRISTMAS TREE FARM

If you have the property and soil conducive to growing evergreens, then consider opening and operating a Christmas tree farm. The biggest hurdle will be time-as it takes up to eight years for trees to mature sufficiently to be considered optimal for cutting. 

Farmers that engage in this profitable business venture plant or replant one-eighth of their acreage every year according to this publication. With the average price per tree an estimated $75+ and rising, if you do your calculations correctly on a 200 ready to harvest trees per acre, you are generating a gross profit of over $15,000

Start-up fees are minimal-cost of planting and maintaining-and will depend on the size of your lot. By offering add-ons such as a food truck, Christmas boutique, hayrides, etc., you can charge an additional rate per person. This article provides helpful suggestions on how to open and operate a Christmas tree farm if this is an opportunity you are interested in pursuing.

67. CORN MAZE/PUMPKIN PATCH

Fall is a time for giving thanks and what better way to appreciate mother nature than by getting outside and enjoying it. Corn mazes are quite trendy and, if done correctly, can generate gross profit margins upwards of $30,000/season. Of course, for the farmer, it is not all fun and games. 

Careful planning, a warm and inviting atmosphere, insurance costs, and other incidentals must be considered if you plan to be successful with this endeavor. This post offers a front and center description of owning and operating a corn maze, which is worth reading. 

Adding a pumpkin patch with cut your own options, hayrides, games, and additional services will further increase your sales. Of course, you need to own the property and reside in an area conducive to corn growth, but if you meet those requirements, then there is substantial opportunity for a lucrative business. This article provides further information on how to start and operate a corn maze.

68. TOUR GUIDE

There are numerous quaint small towns in America with a story to tell. A part of history, interesting facts, a memorable event, there is no end to the possibilities. You need a client base, so I recommend considering the following:

  • Is your location a tourist attraction?

  • What monumental events or landmarks are present in your area?

  • How will you generate customers?

  • What will you charge?

  • How will you promote your business?

Length of time and means of transportation should also be well thought out before you begin this business venture.  With startup costs averaging $2000+ and the potential to earn over $50,000/year, as per this article, this is an extremely lucrative opportunity. This post offers additional ideas on how to make this business plan a worthwhile investment.

69. BED & BREAKFAST

Projected to grow at a rate of 4.4% between 2020-2024 despite the rise of AirBnBs now is a great time to consider opening your home as a Bed and Breakfast. While it is true that the typical B&B is never at full capacity all year long, owners capitalize on the high seasons and earn enough profit to cover and maintain operating costs throughout the leaner months. 

With a gross profit margin over $30,000, owning a Bed and Breakfast is a profitable and sustainable business venture, as outlined in this publicationCosts range from $20,000-$50,000/room to fully optimize your home as Bed and Breakfast as per this article. If you reside in an area that draws in tourists and there is a market for your services, check out this post on how you can open Bed and Breakfast for maximum profit.

Chapter 8

Professionals

With more people relocating to small towns and rural America, it stands to reason that there will be an increasing need for professional service providers. You need to have the appropriate credentials and certifications for the positions listed in this section. 

Research your area to access the current competition and ascertain if there is a demand for your commerce. Here are a few growing industries in rural America for professionals to consider.

70. PUBLIC NOTARY

With a projected income of $36,000+ and a growth rate of 3-7% between 2020-2022, the need for public notaries continues to rise in the professional service sector. This article offers the inside track on how to become a public notary. 

With limited services available to small-town and rural Americans, this idea is worth investigating further. There is a potential demand for your skills, as outlined in this publication.

71. LAWYER

While it is highly doubtful that rural America is a hot spot for criminal or corporate lawyers, there will always be a need for family council and estate planners. Revenue growth is slated to rise between 5.5-6% in 2020, so the demand for this service industry remains steady. Consider your population-size, demographics, income, etc. 

What if any competition is already prevalent in the area you are considering? Obviously, you need to have completed the required study and exams for this position. Still, if you are interested in opening a private practice in a small town, this article offers some insight with regards to this endeavor.

72. FINANCIAL ADVISER

Generating an average annual income of $124,140, the CAGR for financial planners is forecast to grow 15% from 2016-2026, suggesting that now is an ideal time to complete the required study and get cracking. People residing in small towns have money they are looking to invest just as much as urban dwellers. 

Consider your target market and analyze the competition. Technological advancements have created a no-boundaries environment, which is highly beneficial for those employed in this field. Check out this publication, which highlights current trends and the growing need for individuals in this industry. If you are a financial planner looking to relocate to a small town, this article may be of interest to you.

73. REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

Despite the doom and gloom predictions of the real estate industry, recruitment is projected to see an increase of 11% by the end of 2022. With the unemployment level dropping in the United States, coupled with advantageous mortgage rates, there remains a steady requirement for real estate agents and brokers. 

What is changing is the mechanics of the transaction. Technology is shifting the parameters, and agents who wish to remain unbeaten in this market will need to keep on top of current trends as per this publication

In a small town where people are looking to relocate, there will be an ever-present need for real estate agents. This article offers information that may be helpful in determining if this is a business opportunity suited to your prerequisites.

74. ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER

Accounting/bookkeeping has seen a steady growth rate of 2.5% for the last five years. Projected to grow at a rate of 10% by 2026, there continues to be a demand for this service. People are willing to pay for your knowledge and expertise as per this publication. The reality is that most businesses and individuals depend on the skills of persons in the accounting industry. 

Tied closely to the economy, which is relatively steady at the moment, coupled with baby boomers relocating to rural or small towns in America, this is an excellent time to consider this opportunity. This article offers an interesting analysis of current trends and market predictions for 2020.

75. FUNERAL CELEBRANT

The funeral industry is undergoing drastic changes. Despite a reduction in unemployment, the reality is that the majority of Americans continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Funerals are a pricey affair, and many people are turning to the more cost-effective option of cremation. While funeral homes reluctantly drag their feet to keep up with this transition, independent funeral celebrants are offering their services based on an hourly or by-event rate. 

Costs are reported to be between $600-$1300/event as per this post. This article outlines the future of the funeral home and suggests that this is an ideal time to consider becoming a funeral celebrant. Your income will be based on the number of deaths you oversee, but with the potential to earn $20,000-$70,000+/year, it is probable that you will be able to generate a significant income with this suggestion. This article offers further insight into how to become a funeral celebrant.

76. WEDDING PLANNER

With an estimated 2.5 million weddings in the USA every year, wedding planners are in constant demand. A projected growth rate of 10% between 2016-2026 confirms that Americans continue to utilize this service. Wedding planners residing in rural American can expect to earn between $10,000-$25,000+/year as per this publication. A few things to consider before launching this endeavor:

  • Is there a demand for your service in the area you reside?

  • What is the competition, and how will you set yourself apart?

  • How will you market your services?

  • What will you charge per event?

This article provides additional material on how to become a prosperous wedding planner.

Chapter 9

Home

Life is hectic for Americans, no matter where you live. Many small-town homeowners take pride in being able to address issues around their homes independent of service providers, except when they can't. Some jobs simply require professional intervention. Listed below are some attractive opportunities for business owners residing in or contemplating relocating to a small town or rural America for consideration.

77. CLEANING SERVICE

The cleaning sector is a profitable market encompassing maid services, commercial cleaners, and janitorial staff. With a projected CAGR of 6.2% by 2022, this $74+ million industry is a lucrative business venture. Consider these statistics and demographics:

  • People over the age of 45 collectively represent 22-32% of the cleaning market.

  • 24% of cleaning services are outsourced.

  • 36% of janitors are employed in buildings and dwellings.

  • Is there a demand for this service in your area?

  • Will you service residential, commercial, or industrial property?

  • What is the competition?

  • What would your rates be, and how would you market your services?

With the ascent of disposable income, the potential to generate substantial profits in this industry are astronomical. Check out this publication for additional statistical analysis and income potential. A potential gross profit margin of 15-20+% this article offers insight on how to start a cleaning company

78. ROOFER

There is an ever-increasing need for qualified roofers in the United States, as demonstrated in this publication. While the projected growth rate for the industry is under 1%, whether it be repair and maintenance or a full refurbish of an existing roof, this is a potentially lucrative business opportunity for small-town Americans to pursue. 

To be successful, you must stay on top of your numbers and keep careful track of your costs to generate the highest ROI possible, as outlined in this informative albeit somewhat dated article. 

Roofing companies can earn a gross profit margin between $50,000-$500,000+ if you understand the business and have a concrete strategy that is adhered to. This article offers further advice on how to start a roofing company, which may be helpful.

79. HVAC SERVICE

If you have the required certifications and skills, the demand for HVAC technicians in the United States is climbing by leaps and bounds. The field is predicted to see a growth of 21% by the end of 2022 as per this publication. Valued at $11 billion, this industry is forecast to be worth more than $15 billion by 2025, making now a great time to consider a career in this profession. 

With a CAGR of 6.73% between 2020-2025, the annual income for an HVAC technician in the USA is $41,000-$53,000+. This post advises the steps required to become a licensed HVAC technician and how you can utilize your trade and techniques to generate a lucrative income for yourself no matter where you live.

80. CARPENTER

Projected to grow at a rate of 4-8% by 2028, there is no shortage of employment available for trained carpenters. With the construction industry on the rise and an increasing number of individuals looking to build their 'dream homes,' the market is booming

Carpentry is part of the construction industry, which is valued at $1.2 trillion. Experienced carpenters generate an annual income between $36,000-$48,000+. This article offers further information on how to become a carpenter and the benefits provided by this service sector.

81. HANDY-PERSON

Everyone could use the expertise of a handy-person from time to time. With an aging population less inclined or able to do odd jobs and menial tasks around their homes, there is a steady demand for handyman services in the United States. The industry is expected to increase by 3.4% in 2020, with the average annual income between $35,000-$40,000+. 

Minimal costs ($1000) are associated with this startup if you possess the skills and majority of necessary equipment. There are also numerous franchise options available, which you can learn more about here. If this suggestion is of interest to you, check out this publication on tips and tricks for starting a handy-person business.

82. LAWN CARE

The landscaping industry is a cut-throat market, and life in a small town can exacerbate the competition. Before you skim over and write off this business suggestion, consider this information. The projected growth rate for lawn care is slated to increase by 1.6% in 2020 and surpass annual revenues of $75 billion

There is money to be made in this industry, even in rural America, as per this publication. The key to your success will be to understand your target market, income, demographics, and how you will set yourself apart from the competitors. 

Not everyone has the time or the green thumb necessary to maintain their property and happily outsource their lawn and garden care. Read this article for suggestions on how to come out on top, and you stand to earn an annual income between $5000-$250,000+.

83. PLUMBERS & PIPEFITTERS

New construction and building maintenance are the cornerstones to ascertaining if there are a demand for plumbers and/or pipefitters in the area in which you reside. With a projected growth rate of 14% between 2018-2028 employment opportunities are on the rise if the demographics of your location comply with these requirements:

  • Is there new construction?

  • Are there sufficient buildings requiring ongoing maintenance and regular servicing from plumbers or pipefitters?

  • What-if any-is the competition?

Entry-level posts start at $20,000, and the more experience you have, the more you are eligible to make upwards of $87,000/year as per this publication. An apprentice based position, if interested, you can learn more about becoming qualified here.

84. GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Construction-specifically private home dwellings-is accelerating in the United States. A stable economy backed by the government's plans to revamp our nation's depleted infrastructure supports growth in the industry of around a CAGR of 2.2%. General contractors are slated to see an increase in net revenue of 3%+ for 2020 securing the market for continued advancement. 

There is a demand for general contractors in small towns as the serene atmosphere and safer environment draw people away from urban centers resulting in an influx of construction prospects. This article has an abundance of relevant statistics with regards to general contractors that are definitely worth reading if you are considering this opportunity. 

The biggest challenge will be finding qualified and reliable laborers to complete the jobs, as evidenced in this article. With the potential to be an acutely profitable venture, you can check out  for specifics on how to open a general contracting business in the USA.

85. ELECTRICIAN

America is facing an electrician shortage. This industry is projected to grow at a rate of 10% between 2018-2028. However, the reality is there is an increasing need for skilled electricians, as evidenced within this article

The face of electricity is changing to coincide with rapid technological advancements making this both an exciting and lucrative business opportunity. With the economic rise creating a resurgence in the construction industry, qualified electricians will soon be able to name their place and price with regards to employment.

With an average annual salary between $56,000-$91,000+, this post suggests that electricians owning their own business will very shortly have the potential to earn upwards of $150,000-$200,000+ even within parts of rural America.

86. WINDOW CLEANING

The window cleaning industry is an incredibly ambitious but insanely profitable business venture if you are good with people, offer quality service, and can secure a recurring client base. With a projected growth of around 6% by the end of the year, this opportunity has minimal start-up costs associated with it-under $1000. 

There is the potential to earn in excess of $30,000-$50,00+ as per this post. Consider your target market, economic status, demographics, and current competition. How you set yourself apart will be crucial to your prosperity. This article, despite the sales pitch, offers further industry information and statistics, which should be considered before launching this business venture.

87. GUTTER CLEANING

This seasonal employment comes with its challenges but can be a moneymaker if you know what you're doing and can effectively market your services. The biggest obstacle is the weather. The demand for gutter cleaning services is a spring and fall based enterprise. With the potential to earn $125-$175+/job if you capitalize on this venture during the high-demand season, you have the potential to make a sustainable income for the remainder of the year. 

Here is a publication worth reviewing, which outlines some of the pros and cons found within this industry.  There is growth projected in this field, and this article offers some additional information. With minimal startup costs ($2000+) gutter cleaning can be a decent income-generating career. Check out this post for details on how to establish a gutter cleaning service in your small town.

88. PAINTER

The overall forecast for employment opportunities in the painting industry appears promising. With a projected growth rate of 6% from 2018-2028, there are a few things to consider before determining if this occupation is a good fit for your rural area or small town.

  • What if any is the competition?

  • Do you live close to a border where immigrant workers are prevalent and may drive down the cost of labor?

  • Is there a demand for your services?

  • What will your rates be?

  • Who is your target market?

  • How will you market your brand?

  • Are you in good health and of a viable age to perform the arduous tasks associated with this line of work?

The average paint contractor earns between $36,000-$60,000/year. This article provides valuable information if this business opportunity is of interest to you. To learn how to launch an independent painting company, check out this publication.

89. PEST CONTROL

Rural America attracts more than just residents looking for a more relaxed and low-key atmosphere. Like anywhere in the United States, we share our land with the animals who call it home. All well and good until one of them decides not to stay in their lane, creating the need for pest control services. With profit margins ranging from 7-20%, this $9 billion industry is increasing at a projected rate of 4.4%

While it is true that the market is competitive, careful planning and a solid business plan could equate to profits above $75,000/year, making this an exceptionally profitable business venture. This article offers an inside scoop on how to build and brand a lucrative pest control business.

90. PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER

TLC's 'Hoarders' has resulted in quite the stir among Americans. Shocked or nonplussed, the reality is there is an increasing need for the skills and services of a professional organizer. The industry saw a growth rate of over 200% in 2019, and reports indicate that demand will remain consistent. People have too much stuff and not enough time. 

Willing to pay between $55-$100+/hour outsourcing the tedious task of decluttering and organizing results in an average of $480/job. Ascertain if there is a demand for this service in your small town and determine how you will market yourself and your brand. 

This article outlines how you can obtain your certification online, which will assist in setting yourself apart from your competitors. Here is a publication providing additional information pertaining to this enterprise.

Chapter 10

The Internet & Social Media

In a world fueled by technological advancement, it doesn't matter if you live in rural America or Timbuktu. If you have reliable internet access, the knowledge and wherewithal there is no limit to opportunity. 

With numerous online and virtual employment opportunities, emerging daily now is the perfect time to enter into this exciting and lucrative industry. Here are a few of the hot ticket jobs for 2020, which can be performed remotely and offer the potential to generate a significant income.

90. SOFTWARE & APPLICATIONS ANALYST

With a projected growth rate of 24% by 2026, there is an increasing demand for software analysts. Numerous remote opportunities are available as per this post. The operating profit for software analysts grew 8.16% in 4 Q 2019, skyrocketing revenue 8.31% as per this publication.

With an average annual salary between $90,000-$103,000+, this is a phenomenal opportunity for individuals residing in a small town with the necessary commuter skills and reliable internet.

91. PYTHON DEVELOPER

Python developers are one of the most sought after software developers worldwide. Everyone and their cousin love this programming language and are willing to pay to the tune of $75,000-$127,000/year for individuals possessing the skills necessary to design and implement this technology. 

Used by big industry names like Google, Reddit, and Facebook, the projected growth rate for this market, is 19% as per this publication. You need to know more than just the basics to land a job in this competitive industry, and the process encapsulates some pretty complex ideology. 

If this is your jam, the world is your oyster, with countless jobs posted online. Here is a list of recommendations to find employment as a Python developer if you have the skills, and this career path is of interest to you.

92. VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

For the majority of American business owners having a virtual assistant doesn't just make sense, it makes dollars and cents. More cost-effective than retaining an in-house employee, virtual assistants take care of everything from mundane tasks-responding to emails, blog posts, scheduling, etc., to being the linchpin for running a smooth enterprise. 

Able to work from home around your schedule, virtual assistants have the potential to earn $10-$50+/hour. This article is a business owner based perspective, but it offers informative documentation to support why you should consider this profession even if residing in rural America. There are countless ways to market yourself and your services, but this article provides a straightforward synopsis of how to embark with this business suggestion.

93. FREELANCE

Freelancing is the future of tomorrow. With statistics supporting evidence that 50% of the American population will be freelancing in some capacity by the end of 2020 as per this publication, there has never been a more advantageous time to consider this opportunity. 

With the potential to earn more than 70% of the American population, freelancers typically charge on an hourly or by-assignment basis and can make anywhere from $28-$100+/hour depending on their skill set and the job they are retained to complete. 

Whether you reside in rural America or a bustling metropolis, your circumstances to generate employment are limitless. There are numerous websites offering job postings consistently. Check out this post for a list of the top contenders if you are interested in pursuing this business suggestion.

94. COPYWRITER

With a projected growth rate of 7.6% between 2016-2026 and the potential to generate an income of $25-$25,000/page, copywriting is quickly becoming one of the most significant online employment opportunities worldwide. A multi-million dollar industry, if you possess writing skills and do it well, then this is a highly advantageous time to be a copywriter. 

This article provides an informative analysis of how much you should charge for your services. With an endless supply of job openings on numerous online platforms, you could additionally create a website and market your brand. 

With the privilege of working remotely, this business suggestion is available to Americans regardless of geographical location. Check out this post on how you can initiate a copywriting career with little to no out of pocket expense.

95. WEB DESIGN

Business owners understand that in the age of online enterprises and insane competition, there is no other option but to have a website. Many either do not have the time or skills required, so they rely on web designers to construct and maintain their virtual presence. 

Web design has a projected growth rate of 4% for 2020, confirming that the demand for this service continues to be prevalent in the United States. With an estimated gross profit margin of approximately, 70% this competitive industry requires a skilled and aggressive edge if you hope to outshine your competition. 

Consider the following:

  • Who will be your target market?

  • What will your rates be?

  • How will you market yourself and your brand?

  • What will you offer that your competitors do not?

This article offers solid advice on how to be prosperous in this endeavor. With the potential to earn an average annual salary of $48,000+, this publication provides additional considerations for anyone interested in pursuing this opportunity.

96. GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Graphic design is a burgeoning industry riddled with potential. With average annual earnings above $50,000, this is a lucrative business opportunity that can be performed remotely if you set yourself up for success correctly. A competitive industry you need to determine your target market and be willing to advertise yourself and your skills. 

Projected to grow at a rate of 3% in 2020, this publication provides insight with regards to current trends and opportunities to generate a substantial income from this endeavor. This article offers additional information on sites currently accepting applications from online graphic designers.

97. SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Social media remains a constant in our society. Accelerating in power, it can reach people from every corner of the world. With a projected growth rate of 35% between 2013-2020, this 24+billion industry is responsible for 21.3% of ad spend in the United States.

A lucrative business venture, there are numerous online opportunities to earn $50,000+/year, even if you live in a rural area. It's cutthroat, no question, but if you have the skills and chutzpah to make a name for yourself and edge out the competition, you have generous cash flow on your hands. This article offers further insight into how you can enter the exciting and trendy role of a social media manager.

98. SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION)

A gorgeous website without SEO is similar to a luxury sedan parked in your drive without any gas. This metaphor never gets old. It encapsulates the necessity for SEO in language the average business owner understands. With online options readily available as outlined in this post, this remote job has the potential to generate an annual salary averaging $50,000-$80,000+.

With a market valued at over $80 billion, this is an extremely profitable industry, and the demand for strategists continues to grow. Online presence utilizing SEO see 50-90% of web traffic-big bucks for business owners. Fast-paced and continuously changing, this post offers insight into hot SEO trends for 2020 that any marketer should be well versed in to remain valuable in this industry.

99. REPUTATION MANAGER

Those 'likes' and gold stars can make or break a business. A poor customer review is, at times, an inevitable part of the game, but it creates a need for countermeasures. I'm not suggesting guerrilla warfare, but having a reputation manager on their side provides business owners the peace of mind to continue doing what they do best-running their business. 

Valued at over $5 million, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much or more than personal recommendations as per this publication. There is a continued demand for this position, which offers the potential to earn $31,000-$95,000/year. This article has some fantastic statistics for individuals interested in this market, and remote jobs can be pursued on sites such as this allowing you to perform this job with ease from a small town.

100. AFFILIATE MARKETING

Forecast to be valued at $6.8 billion by the end of 2020, affiliate marketing is growing at a projected rate of 2%. Americans enjoy the convenience of affiliate marketing with 70% of traffic derived from mobile devises it is easy, on the go consumerism style, which has the potential to generate significant earning potential for individuals successful with this business model. 

Check out this article I posted outlining the best affiliate marketing programs for a better understanding of the process. Essentially you are receiving monetary compensation to sell other people products. With numerous platforms available such as Amazon Associates, or Shopify Affiliates, this is an opportunity to make a ton of money. 

Consider these statistics as per this publication:

  • Affiliate programs equate to 23% of sales for brands utilizing this model

  • 15% of revenue generated from the digital media market is a direct result of affiliate marketing

  • 58+% of purchases are performed from mobile devices

With the potential to earn $1000-$7000+/month, this is a highly advantageous opportunity no matter where you reside if you perform your due diligence and adhere to a proven model.

101. DROPSHIPPING

Rest assured that dropshipping continues to be an advantageous opportunity to generate a substantial income from the comfort of your home. With a projected growth rate of 20% in 2020, selling third party products without ever touching an item is the way of the future. You need to invest time and some capital to establish success with this model. It's not just a question of building a website and dumping merchandise. 

You need to market your brand and advertise yourself. Here is an article I published recently outlining the how-to's of becoming prosperous with dropshipping. There are numerous selling platforms such as Shopify, and AliExpress. With the potential to earn $200-$3000+/month, this suggestion has the potential to be extremely beneficial.

102. ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE

Teaching English as a second language is a growing industry with a constant demand for new teachers. With the potential to earn $13-$25+/hour, there are positions for individuals with and without credentials. While it is a bonus to possess a Bachelors's Degree, for many companies, it is not a mandated requirement. There is the option to obtain your TEFL certification online, which you can learn more about here

Keep in mind that the more qualified you are, the more probable that you will increase the rate of income you can generate. Here is a list of several online options currently seeking recruits. With over 2 billion people currently learning English online now is an ideal time to capitalize on the necessity of this market. This article offers some additional facts if this suggestion appeals to you.

103. ONLINE TUTOR

Estimated to be worth more than $120 billion by the end of the year, the online tutoring industry is predicted to see a growth rate of 12.75% by 2021, expanding at a rate of roughly 6.2%/year. With gross profit margins sitting between 60-90%, there are minimal costs associated with this business model. If you have patience and advanced knowledge of a subject, there are numerous avenues to acquire employment, as evidenced by this post. 

Net profits equate to 2-10%, but with the market growing at a steady rate, this is a rewarding career both monetarily and scholastically. Able to perform this role from the comfort of your home, you have the potential to teach children and adult learners from around the globe. This article offers some suggestions on how to get started if you are curious about this suggestion.

Chapter 11

Lead Generation

Lead generation is a business model unrivaled by competitors. Armed with a laptop and ingenuity to connect with business owners from around the world, this opportunity is second to none. Business owners depend on leads to increase their business and their bottom line but are faced with numerous challenges such as marketing strategies, competition, and a general lack of understanding with regards to online opportunities. 

With the lead generation model, you build a website, rank it, and generate leads for business owners who are happy to pay for your time and expertise. I cannot stress the simplicity of this alternative semi-passive income stream with limitless earning potential. There is no question that this business model is my number one recommendation for Americans residing in small towns or rural areasHere is an article where I divulge specific details on how to enter this exhilarating and insanely lucrative market.

Nothing compares to life in a small town. With the advancement of technology comes countless opportunities allowing individuals the ability to have their cake and eat it too. By no means a definitive list I would love to hear your suggestions on ideas and business suggestions conducive to life in rural America.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO Ippei Leads

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2020, is to build your own 6-figure lead gen biz. You can learn more here.
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