Top 30 Small-Town Business Ideas for Success

ByJulija A.
April 14,2022

You needn’t focus on big ventures to earn big bucks: The SME sector is currently thriving, and this guide to small-town business ideas will show how you can build your success story.

With 30 fantastic options for small-town startups included, the guide should provide something for everyone. Let’s get started.

Why Focus on Business Ideas for a Small Town?

The growth of eCommerce opportunities has opened the door for SMEs to target a global audience. However, small-town communities can be a breeding ground for profitable businesses that don’t need a worldwide reach to thrive.

Instead, small-town startups allow you to tap into a concentrated local audience, keeping your shipping expenses down, while capitalizing on your knowledge of their pain points to generate greater conversions. Many entrepreneurs who take this path also enjoy a better work-life balance.

Statistics back up the anecdotal advantages:

  • Small businesses account for 99.9% of all firms in the US, with the majority being nonemployer firms - i.e., companies run by one person, without a payroll.
  • 91% of consumers prefer to use a small local business whenever it’s convenient to do so.
  • 84% of small business owners feel optimistic about the future of their companies.
  • Prior to the pandemic, statistics showed that over half of all small local businesses could launch without financial borrowing.
  • The average small-business owner can expect to make, on average, a little over $71,000 per year.

Furthermore, 2022 promises to be a hopeful year for small towns and their businesses, as we seem to be at the start of “a positive cycle of greater economic vibrancy in small towns and rural America, leading to more people wanting to move and start businesses in small towns.” In short, if you are looking for business ideas, small-town startups have become a standout choice. If you want to launch one - now is the time.

Coming Up with Good Business Ideas for a Small Town

There are plenty of unique business ideas to consider for your small-town venture, but your first priority is to align them with your needs. The following questions can be used for analyzing any candidates:

  • Convenience: Picking the easiest businesses to start removes some of the risks, and shortens the wait before seeing a return on your investment.
  • Costs: Calculating the costs of starting a business is tricky. For example, the average micro business takes around $3,000 to launch, or at least somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000. If your idea is more ambitious, you might even have to take out a loan.
  • Enjoyment: The whole purpose of starting a business is to build a better future. Your happiness should be part of your business plan, not least because your passion for the work will be the driving force throughout the potentially rocky startup process.
  • Sustainability: The average SME lifespan is around 8.5 years; in other words, you need a small-town business idea that has a realistic shot at long-term success, at least for a decade.
  • Demand: For any business to work, there must be a demand from the local audience without impenetrable competition. Once you’ve found an opening like that, you’ll have your idea.

If your small-town business venture can tick all of the above boxes and feels right for you, there’s every chance it will deliver positive returns.

Top 30 Small-Town Business Ideas for 2022 & Beyond

Earning in a small town isn’t reserved for mom-and-pop shops with decades of history. In fact, entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and across multiple industries can make use of these top 30 ideas for a thriving business:

1. Restaurant Owner

There are almost 150,000 single-location full-service restaurant businesses in the US, and it is arguably the most obvious business idea of all. Eating out is the perfect way to celebrate special occasions or take a break from the monotony of modern life. Visitors from other places need a place to eat in your small town, too. You can cater to these needs, either with a fine-dining spot, food stand with homemade specialties, or something else entirely.

When opening family restaurants, though, small-town entrepreneurs need to account for the existing eateries in the area. Finding a gap in the market, perhaps serving the type of foods you look for when going out of town, can work wonders. And don’t forget to add a takeout option!

2. Coffee Shop Bar Owner

Coffee shops account for over 37,000 businesses in the U.S., and most of them don’t belong to major franchises. The thousands of small chains and independent coffee shops testify that opening a coffee place might be the best business for people in small towns. After all, the average person drinks nearly two cups of coffee per day, meaning there is a considerable opportunity for regular customers.

A coffee shop can also sell snacks and become a place for digital nomads to work. With the right interior design, your setting can transform into a bar for the evenings. By working the daytime and evening crowds, you should have an excellent chance of success. However, catering to both audiences will be more costly, as you’ll have to get a liquor license, employ more people, etc.

3. Buying a Franchise

Those with more funds at their disposal might consider what franchises in their small towns are for sale. An already established name brand often comes with the advantage of a built-in customer base. Many other aspects of the business will already be settled, too. Over 10% of all companies in America are franchises, and you could become part of this thriving market.

4. Decorating Services

Home decorating is incredibly lucrative. As a small-town contractor, you can focus on painting, interior design, assembling furniture, or offer a full-service package for redecorating. If you can help homeowners or landlords get that dream home, or hike up their property prices, respectively, there should be no shortage of work. After all, Americans spend over $400 billion on home renovations each year. You can also look at roofing and double glazing installations as alternative services in this arena.

The fact that you don't need a commercial office can save you a lot of money, too. Outside of that, your biggest concerns would be getting all the business permits from your small town’s local licensing office and finding a way to spread the word about your new venture.

5. Accountant

People need accountants to handle their personal and business financial matters, particularly their tax returns. It is one of the many service-based businesses that thrive despite the rise of online accounting solutions. Most people prefer a local company and people they can talk to in person to trust with their finances. As long as you provide excellent client support and genuine compassion, this is a phenomenal opportunity to earn big.

In fact, the average accountant can expect to earn $70,000+ per year. Of course, this is only possible when you have the necessary skills and qualifications. Nonetheless, if you’ve relocated to a rural area or no longer wish to commute for your current accountancy role, starting a firm of your own can work wonders. You only need a few clients to thrive.

6. Cleaning Company

A lot of small-town entrepreneurs may look down on the prospect of opening a cleaning company. However, this industry is expected to show an average CAGR of 6.5% in the following decade. Moreover, it’s a career you can start with minimal experience and without significant expenses. You simply need the cleaning equipment and transportation.

Cleaning companies may offer services for home, office, and commercial cleaning, or various other niches. The desire to maintain cleanliness is at an all-time high in the wake of the pandemic, and most clients will require repeat services. Whether it’s a weekly visit to their shop or a monthly visit to a residential property, their value to you will be tremendous.

7. Car Repair Service

Every driver loves their vehicle, but they will inevitably face a few maintenance issues from time to time. Small-town businesses in this arena can include mobile mechanic services and local garages. Either way, you can make good money from completing regular repairs or annual servicing.

There is also a chance to gain a markup from the spare parts you use. A car mechanic can make around $69,000 per year, while the owner of a larger service may see even bigger returns. A small-town car repair shop could create a monopoly in your local area, especially once the community trusts you to get the job done and not rob them blind. This is the foundation for sustained success.

8. Food Truck Business

While restaurants are great, they will tie you to one spot. With the right strategy in place, starting a small-town food truck business may be the better solution. It offers you the chance to participate in local events, move your business to the areas that attract the most foot traffic as the seasons change, and even look for opportunities in surrounding towns. This flexibility can help you overcome many problems.

On the other hand, starting a food truck business will require you to master marketing and know your audience. However, if you have a passion for a specific cuisine, it can be your ticket to quick and sustained success. Once you’ve built your reputation in the local area, happy customers will keep coming back for more.

9. Taxi Service

Ride-hailing services have been a popular small-business idea for generations, and the digital age has transformed this arena for the better. You can now start a small taxi company in your rural area or look to join an existing service like Uber or Lyft. This gives you multiple options to choose from and allows you to take on as much responsibility as you can handle.

The taxi industry market share has grown with a CAGR of 8.8%; this has much to do with the fact that many people want to avoid public transportation in the pandemic world. Your service could include minibus driving for airport transport, company events, or social activities like bachelor and bachelorette nights.

10. Airbnb Operator

If your small town attracts many tourists or business visitors, you can take advantage of this with an Airbnb business. If you own an unused property, it is a potentially lucrative environment to break into. The expansion to using two or more properties is straightforward too.

The number of domestic vacations booked by Americans is far higher than before. The industry has been stabilizing recently, and you’ll only need to fill the property for a part of the month to cover mortgage and business costs.

11. Beauty Salon Owner

Everyone needs some professional hair and beauty time occasionally. Small-town entrepreneurs can open up their own salon or share the space with another local business owner. Alternatively, your business can be mobile - you can visit clients in their homes and render your services there, thus saving plenty in overhead costs for space. This can be particularly beneficial in rural areas.

As a hairstylist or beauty technician, you still have to analyze your small-business competition to ensure there is enough demand to accommodate another service or expert. Assuming that there is, you can start earning money immediately. All you need is a toolset, and potentially rental space, and you’ll be good to go.

12. Pet Caretaking

People in your small town will be eager to have someone look after their pets. Pet grooming accounts for 42% of all pet care services, so this will naturally be the best place to start. However, you can also look at dog walking, cat sitting, and related services to boost your returns.

Even if you live in a small town with just a few thousand residents, there will be hundreds of potential clients for you to reach. If starting a salon is too expensive, you could run the venture from your home or consider a mobile service where you visit clients. If you struggle to create a regular flow of customers in your small town, you can serve people in surrounding towns, too.

13. Grocery Store Owner

They say necessity is the mother of all inventions. Therefore, you should ask: “What business does every small town need?” A reliable convenience store is easily one of the top items on the list, as grocery stores comprise over one-third of all brick-and-mortar stores. Of course, your town will already have some. But if there’s a location where adding a grocery store could attract many customers, embrace it.

You might be most familiar with 7-11, but independent stores dominate 60% of this market. They are also one of the easiest businesses to start, because you know that there is a market for them - even if there’s one nearby, convenience stores can never be too close to home. When you also sell gas, they can be one of the best rural town business ideas.

14. Personal Trainer

A career in personal training can be appealing for many reasons. It is one of several business ideas that help the community, as you would be helping clients live healthy lives. Not to mention that getting paid to stay fit and connect with people is wonderful.

The average annual salary of a personal trainer is over $68,000, and you can add to your earnings by becoming a certified nutritionist. As well as targeting your local audience, a strong online presence can open the door to additional services like online training and making exercise programs for apps.

15. Counselor

People need help in many aspects of life. With the right education and experience, you can be the person to provide it. As well as being one of the most profitable businesses, beginning a counseling firm allows you to help others. Four in ten Americans (42%) have sought counseling for mental health issues at some point in their lives.

However, accessibility is one of the biggest obstacles to getting adequate support for people in small towns and rural areas. On the bright side, this means you can quickly establish yourself as a valuable resource for the people in your area. Your focus can be marriage and relationships, addiction, anxiety and mental health, or even financial coaching. There are as many areas of counseling as there are of life.

16. Photographer/Videographer

Photography and videography are incredible skills to possess, and accessibility for amateurs is greater than ever. The stills and videos you take can capture magical events like weddings and birthday parties or be used to help local businesses promote their companies. Either way, perfecting your craft should be the first step toward creating a success story.

The average professional wedding photographer can earn over $60k. If you have a monopoly in your small town, though, you may be able to increase those earnings. However, camera and photography equipment - as well as editing tools - won’t come cheap. So, you will need to get some initial funding, and follow tips to save as much as possible in the beginning, while you make a name for yourself.

17. Moving Company

People move around less frequently in rural areas than they do in cities. Considering that the population is also much smaller, you may be excused for thinking that moving companies aren’t a great idea. However, every book of entrepreneur tips will teach you that there is always room for success as long as there is an audience. And there is, as people will often want to move away from that town, and into a more populated area.

In the same vein, professional movers in rural areas may find that they have a higher number of interstate moves, so individual clients may be worth more. Besides, you can look to complete commercial building relocations and refit services.

18. Real Estate Agency

Even if fewer people are buying and selling homes in the area, there are also fewer agents. Roughly two-in-three Americans own property, and the ratio is even higher in rural areas. So, your small-town real estate agency business can still find a fair-sized audience. Depending on your commission, you won’t need to facilitate many sales for a profit.

The only real issue you’ll have compared to a city agency is that you may not be in a position to focus on one property type. You may need to deal with houses, apartments, and commercial real estate. Still, people will turn to you when buying a property, and your ability to help them while also aiding the local economy will be a nice bonus.

19. Daycare

Working families need daycares for their children, but they can be few and far between in small towns. Childcare is a $58.6 billion industry, though, and you can enjoy a slice of it. When you’re calculating the costs of starting your business, the primary factor in your balance will be whether you operate from home or a rented space. Most will start with the former before moving to the latter once their small-town startups reach the desired level.

20. Catering Service

Catering is one of the most flexible industries to get into. Aside from the ability to focus on different cuisines and dietary conditions (e.g., gluten-free recipes), you can target your service at multiple events. Birthday parties, engagements, weddings, funerals, graduations, and other special occasions are all commonplace.

Starting a meal-prep business is another form of this idea, and you can integrate it with other small businesses. For example, personal trainers can prepare and deliver healthy meals to help clients with their weight loss or strength-building routines. Catering services can start as micro-businesses, but have excellent growth potential, either by becoming franchises or turning into restaurants.

21. Funeral Director

It’s a harsh fact of life that we will all die, and funeral services are never out of place. If your village or rural area doesn’t have a good service for this, it could be the ideal business opportunity. While this may seem a little morbid, it’s one of the business ideas that help the community by supporting families through their most difficult times. Doing your job with compassion is extremely important, too.

On a more sobering note, the average funeral costs $7,848. In other words, you won’t need to handle too many of them each month for your small town business to become profitable.

22. Tutoring

One of the first things to do in a small town as far as your career is concerned is to think of ways to turn the skills you already have into a business. Tutoring is one of the easiest ways to do this, as it allows you to establish a work-life balance you prefer.

Tutoring can include teaching art, music, a secondary language, confidence, or a host of other skills. Again, you can use your online presence to offer your services outside your immediate location.

23. Clothes Store Owner

The value of the fashion industry in the US is $409 billion. As well as fashion items, you can look to take advantage of the local climate conditions by selling attire and accessories suited to rural life.

As far as good business ideas for a small town are concerned, clothes stores that reach a broad demographic are great. Don’t limit yourself to a specific age range, gender, or size. Keep in mind that a small town will probably benefit more from affordable fashion over luxury lines, so make your clothes reasonably priced, and you’ll be well on your way to profit.

24. Book Store Owner

Amazon is the biggest online retailer on the planet, but it started as a bookstore. That alone is evidence of the potential for book stores to thrive. They are some of the most popular small-town shops, especially when managed by an owner who cares about reading and finding just the thing for their audience to read.

Over 900 million books are sold in America every year. To give your local store a chance of thriving, you can focus on books relevant to your local area and the bestsellers for customers in your target range. Stationery and craft materials can take your sales to another level, and you could also start a reading club to build excitement.

25. Gardener

Like cleaning, gardening is a job that many people simply won’t do. Homeowners may not know where to start or simply feel unmotivated. Meanwhile, business owners probably don’t have the time to take care of landscaping by themselves, too. If you love making outside spaces look beautiful, a gardening service could be one of the best small-town startups for you.

In fact, it is one of the few sectors where small-town business owners may have easier opportunities than city workers. The average homeowner in a smaller community boasts more land with their property. Therefore, each client may require more work or a greater level of service. Your earning potential goes up to $50k, on average.

26. Jewelry Maker

Making accessories is a chance to be creative while keeping the materials and small-business marketing costs fairly low. As well as making online sales, you can show your wares at your local market, too.

There are almost 20,000 jewelry stores in the US, and most consumers actively look for products that come with a high level of customer care. If you can describe the designs, material choices, and other key features with passion, people will appreciate the handmade aspect even more. You can also offer repairs or jewelry cleaning to maximize your earnings.

27. Candlemaking

A candle business may not be the first thing you think of if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, but the market for it is certainly there. After all, seven in 10 households use candles, and they also make inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts.

Making candles does not require huge starting capital, and you’ll probably be able to avoid taking out startup bank loans. This is another solution that can begin as a local venture before growing into something larger. You could attend trade events or markets a few towns over, or launch an Etsy store to gain more sales.

28. Marketing Consultant

Some of the best small-town business ideas focus on helping other companies. Your town is probably blessed with dozens of small businesses without in-house marketing departments. From creating mobile-friendly websites, to helping them design storefronts and printed materials, marketing expertise can be invaluable. Whether you run a one-person operation or team up with other creatives in the area is your choice.

29. Selling Cars

Small-town entrepreneurs who know about cars will discover that selling them is one of the most profitable businesses, especially if you become the primary vehicle vendor in your area. The key is to know the type of vehicles suited to the rural lifestyle and your clients’ preferences.

For example, even though the electric vehicle marketplace is growing rapidly, these cars won’t be as appealing to drivers in rural areas, where charging stations are not readily available. As with all business ideas, understanding your customers' pain points will be pivotal to your success. Of course, you can also upsell shoppers on accessories, insurance, and finance.

30. Electronics Repair

Waiting for parts deliveries or support for faulty devices is always frustrating. However, it creates a window of opportunity for running an electronics repair store. You can fix anything from smartphones to household appliances, so long as you have the skills - or hire someone who does.

The role can be a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys tinkering, not least because each project presents unique challenges. The industry is worth $18.9bn, and your work could save your neighbors a lot of time and money. In turn, this makes you a valuable member of your local community; better yet, it’s probably a service that will never go out of business.

The Final Word on Small-Town Business Ideas

Many good business ideas for a small town are the same as those in a big city. However, the approach to managing your startup may be different. The key is to be authentic and honest in every aspect of care, while also calculating the costs to keep your venture viable.

As long as you focus on something practical, enjoyable, and financially lucrative (at least in theory), nothing can hold you back.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best business to start in a small town?

The answer depends on your skills, experience, and budget. However, service-based jobs that give back to the community and improve the lives of the locals will serve you well. Car repairs, daycares, and food delivery services are all excellent choices.

What shops do small towns need?

Some of the best ideas for shops in small towns include convenience stores, hair salons, pharmacies, book stores, clothes stores, and repair shops.

What small business can I start with $5,000?

Most home-based businesses can be started for well under five grand, and you could also look to service-based options, ranging from tutoring to counseling. If you don’t need commercial spaces, your only costs will usually be licensing and materials.

Which is the best business idea after lockdown?

A business that focuses on something people need, rather than luxuries because disposable income levels may be lower. If you can do this while turning a passion into a hobby, you should be set for success.

About the author

Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.

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The retail definition states that this method of selling revolves around providing goods directly to the consumer or end-user. In most cases, this means selling individual items or products in small quantities. Conversely, wholesale vendors focus on selling products in bulk quantities. While they can also sell products in smaller quantities, it is often done in large volumes. The wholesale trade explanation also states that it involves selling items to outlets and retailers and is rarely focused on selling to the end customer directly. Both the wholesale and retail business models can be used by manufacturers that produce products in-house. Similarly, both models can support brands that focus on acquiring goods from other companies. While not entirely accurate in all cases, wholesale is often used for B2B, while retail focuses more on selling products to customers. Wholesale selling focuses on lower costs because the large volumes mean sellers can afford a lower profit margin per item. Moreover, handling costs and other related expenses are far smaller. Retail companies usually charge more because they are focused on selling smaller quantities per transaction. In many cases, retailers procure their products from wholesalers and subsequently need to add a markup before selling the products on. Wholesale vs. Retail Examples & Statistics Market research is vital in all aspects of business management, especially when looking at the pros and cons of wholesale or retail. Some of the key industry facts you should know include the following: U.S. merchant wholesalers generate $8 trillion of total goods sales per year. U.S. retail sales are over $5 trillion per year and steadily climbing. Around 5.9 million people are employed in the wholesale sector. Small retail business owners in the U.S. can expect to earn around $60-70k per year. 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However, the fundamentals of business will remain largely the same: The retailer procures products through wholesale purchases, in-house manufacturing, or other methods. It promotes the products to a defined client base of end-users who may be interested in them. Once the products are sold, the retailer fulfills the order. This could mean selling the product in-store, completing an online delivery, or using dropshipping. While running a retail business is complex and involves hundreds of tasks, from hiring sales staff to printing shipping labels, the basic buying and selling model is that you purchase large quantities of a product before selling individual items at a higher price. How Wholesale Works Wholesale involves buying much larger quantities (or manufacturing them yourself) before selling them to retailers. So if you think about the supply chain, wholesalers generally come one step before retailers. There are well over 400,000 wholesale distributors in the U.S. This includes many types, such as those who work exclusively online, some that focus exclusively on dropshipping, numerous discount wholesalers, and more. In general, we can split them into three groups: Merchant wholesalers buy goods and their titles before reselling with a markup to businesses, retailers, and other wholesalers. Agents, brokers, and commission merchants are wholesalers who do not take on the title of the goods. Instead, they serve as a middleman service to negotiate the buying and selling on behalf of their clients. Their payments primarily come through commissions. Manufacturers’ sales offices and branches are wholesale operations that a manufacturer may run to sell bulk orders of their products to other companies and retailers at a discounted price. Whichever route is taken, wholesalers usually serve to bridge the gap between the manufacturer and the retailers who will sell those goods to the end-users. The Pros and Cons of Retail or Wholesale Now that we've given a retail trade explanation and a wholesale definition let’s look at the pros and cons of retail and wholesale distribution. Understanding these should help you determine which arrangement is best for your company. The Pros and Cons of Retail Pros: Higher profit margins. Arguably the biggest benefits of retail revolve around pricing. Wholesalers sell large volumes but only make small profit margins per item. The markups when selling directly to the consumer are far higher. Whether you have manufactured the goods yourself or purchased them from a wholesaler, a 100%+ markup is common. You can utilize multiple sales channels, including online and in-store sales. This means you will see a regular sales flow and serve a much larger customer base than the handful of retailers that typical wholesalers use. Simply put - it creates a more stable business model. 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When relying on department stores and other retailers to sell the goods you’ve produced, their actions could potentially cause a negative impact. Of course, they can have a positive influence too. Still, if you want to enjoy complete control over your sales, retail has an advantage over wholesale. Cons: There is pressure to build a much larger audience base because the average spend of individual customers will be far smaller. This means conducting market research and completing campaigns to reach the right people and find a niche that will bring significant gains. Moreover, retailers will have to continually keep outperforming other online and offline retailers to see sustainably good results. Retailers often face challenges that wholesalers don’t: in-store theft, for example, can contribute to massive losses and happens far more often than large-scale thefts on company warehouses. End-users are also more likely to seek returns, while the operational and staffing costs of brick-and-mortar stores are usually more expensive than what many wholesalers face. Reaching new demographics can be challenging. When your brand identity is focused on a niche, it can be difficult to expand beyond it. Likewise, it will limit which products may be suitable for your retail outlet. If you were to hit a downturn in sales, it might prove tough to find upselling opportunities or new client demographics to rejuvenate your brand. The Pros and Cons of Wholesale Pros: Manufacturers looking to sell their products can significantly improve brand awareness through wholesale distribution agreements. This is because the products will be promoted by a wide range of retailers. As consumers and end-users see your brand more frequently, the likelihood of conversions and an increased company presence on the market will improve. Wholesale opens the door for for entrepreneurs to dropshipping. Retailers will handle the front-end sales and interactions while you deal with the order fulfillment elements following a sale. It allows you to enjoy some of the best features of retail selling without directly reaching out to consumers yourself. Wholesalers can continue to sell bulk quantities to some retailers while dropshipping for others. You can sell internationally with greater ease. The costs of transporting single items to end-users can often make this difficult for retailers, especially when the company is new. Shipping large quantities in one go promotes smoother (though riskier) logistics. This can open the door to working in new territories, especially since the chosen retailer will handle the local sales, and you only have to worry about getting the goods to them. Reduced marketing costs. One of the benefits of wholesale is that you work with retailers who simply want the best product at the best price. They do not need to be sold on a product the same way a consumer would.  Less competition in the wholesale sector.  Most wholesalers work with just a small number of products and manufacturers. Selling in large quantities also offers an opportunity to earn more per client, which is one of the key benefits of wholesale over retail. Cons: Wholesalers often require a significant level of capital and a strong cash flow. If they aren’t the manufacturers, they need to buy massive bulk orders before subsequently selling the smaller packages to retailers. The fact that you need to buy large quantities of stock before making sales while also having to buy and maintain a suite of trucks and delivery vehicles means that you’ll have substantial upfront expenses. The retail vs. wholesale price formula shows that wholesalers often see a markup of around 20% on products. Of course, working with massive quantities means that you can still see large profits overall. 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Setting up two sister websites or brands - one aimed at wholesale and one at retail is a relatively simple task and allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.  Whether choosing one of the methods or a combination of the two, the most important thing is that you understand how each distribution method will benefit your company and what potential problems each can bring.  When you do, success will be far more likely to follow.
By Vladana Donevski · April 13,2022
In this article, we take a look at how you can launch a successful career and join one of the three million real estate agents already active across the US. Why Become A Real Estate Agent? As with most industries, there are many reasons people get into real estate. The primary appeal is the fact that there are always new properties and clients to work with. Once you have a real estate license, you can often become your own boss within just a few years and decide when you work, which clients you take on, and how much commission you charge for your services. The money can be good, too. The average real estate agent salary is $77,383 per year; if you move onto brokering, you could earn more than $89,000 per year, with top agents taking home pay packets of more than $200,000. Getting into the field is relatively easy. You will need some qualifications, but not many – certainly not a college degree. And by the end of the process, you will have a salary that would take years to attain in other industries. You don’t have to work full time, either: A part-time real estate agent can still earn decent money. Steps To Becoming A Successful Real Estate Agent The path to becoming a real estate agent depends on the state you live in. However, here’s the general sequence in which you will need to do things. Research Your State’s Licensing Requirements The US does not have a national real estate license. Instead, such licenses, if they exist, are administered at the state level. You’ll want to begin the process by researching your state’s regulatory office website. You can either search for this directly on Google, or look for the relevant state via a directory. States have specific requirements for agents concerning: Age Criminal record Background checks and fingerprinting Exams Pre-licensing requirements Educational requirements In some states, you might need a high-school diploma to begin the process. If you do not have one of these, you may need to pass the GED first. Some states allow you to earn your license in one state and use it in another. However, you will need to check the rules for your particular state to be on the safe side, particularly if you plan to rely on demand from a neighboring state for business. Take a Prelicensing Course Checking state requirements and doing research are generally free. However, once you begin the licensing process, you’ll need to pay some fees, as most states require you to complete an accredited prelicensing course. Real estate agent training prepares you for the job and reduces your likelihood of making a severe mistake that harms your clients. The number of hours you need to rack up to become eligible for an exam depends on the state. In Texas, for example, students must complete more than 180 hours of coursework before becoming eligible for the test. In New York, the figure is only 75 hours, and in Florida, just 63. How you complete these hours is largely up to you. For instance, you can take courses online, at community colleges, or a dedicated real estate school. It’s possible to become a real estate agent with no previous experience at all. Don’t accept the first course you come across. Instead, think carefully about which environment would suit you best. Do you prefer learning by yourself in peace and quiet online? Or is it easier for you to absorb knowledge if you’re surrounded by other people? Remember, the type of interactions you have will impact how much information and knowledge you retain. Real estate agent classes typically begin by teaching you the basic principles of facilitating property transactions. You’ll learn the meaning of terms such as “escrow” and “lien,” which don’t usually feature in everyday language. You’ll also get an education in the essential legal aspects of the business and your responsibilities as an agent. By the end of the course, you should be able to estimate the value of a property, understand all the steps involved in a transaction, and be in a position to offer clients guidance. The cost of prelicensing courses is fairly reasonable. In most states, you’ll pay somewhere between $350 and $800, depending on the number of training hours required by the state. However, you may need to pay more if your state has particularly stringent prelicensing requirements. After taking your prelicensing course, you have a fixed period to complete your exams. For example, in Florida, you’ll have two years. If you aren’t successful within that timeframe, you will need to retake the prelicensing course all over again. Take Your Licensing Exam To complete the exam for becoming a real estate agent, you’ll need to pay a fee, usually between $100 and $300. Your course instructors will explain how to schedule the exam, but in general, you’ll first need to register with the appropriate board, schedule the exam date, and pay the fee for administration and invigilation. You can check your real estate agent eligibility requirements online or with your instructor to ensure you have completed enough course hours. Most exams are completed online, in two parts: A state-specific section covering your state laws  A national-level section covering general real estate principles  Exams are typically multiple-choice. The amount of time you have to complete the test varies by state, but you’ll typically get between 90 minutes and three hours to answer all the questions. Some states’ exams are more rigorous than others, posing anywhere between 60 and 100 questions. States break up each exam into smaller sections, and you’ll most likely have to attain a passing grade on each to qualify. If not, you may have to retake the exam. States have varying rules for how many times you can retake the exams, and there’s usually a mandatory waiting period between retakes. The failure rate in some states is relatively high, too: For instance, in Florida, 50% of candidates fail to make the cut the first time around. Activate Your Real Estate Agent License To start engaging with real estate clients, you’ll need to send all the required documents, along with your application and fees, to the state’s licensing or regulatory board. Even if you pass your exams, you must not start work until the real estate commission officially releases your license. If you’re intent on joining a brokerage, you should tell them whether you’ve already received your license or are still waiting for official confirmation. You’ll also need to sign up for a multiple listings service (MLS) membership. This is extremely important, because that will be your system for listing and disseminating properties among popular websites, such as Realtor.com and Zillow. Activating your license through your state’s real estate commission carries a fee of somewhere between $200 and $400. They use this money to process your application and make your name searchable on their database so that clients can find you and check your credentials. Become a Realtor Real estate agents and realtors are not the same. A real estate agent is a professional with a license allowing them to facilitate the purchase and sale of properties in their area under the guidance of a broker. A realtor has the same qualifications, but they are also a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and follow its code of ethics. Joining the NAR provides real estate agents with a host of benefits. It increases your credibility, so you’re much more likely to get lucrative clients. Plus, you get access to vast real estate market statistics, a knowledge base, and host of business tools. For instance, members get access to Realtors Property Resource (RPR), a database with practically all the information you could ever want about permits, zoning, mortgage and lien data, foreclosures, and local schooling options. The NAR is highly popular among real estate agents. The organization currently has more than 1.3 million members, and is growing all the time. Members operate in multiple roles: Appraisers, counselors, property managers, and salespeople. There are also ample educational opportunities and, occasionally, discount programs designed to help you further your career. Join A Brokerage The last step is to join a brokerage. There, you’ll work under the direction of a broker – a licensed professional with the legal authority to oversee real estate transactions. Working for a brokerage typically costs you a monthly fee – anywhere from $25 to $500. However, in return, you will get legal protection, a monthly paycheck, and commission. In most cases, you won’t earn an hourly wage. Arrangements between real estate agents and brokers differ considerably by brokerage. You may have to pay for: Marketing materials Real estate CRM subscriptions Business cards Desk fees Technical assistance License renewals Continuing education Use of lockboxes for keys MLS access Other costs of doing business While the costs might seem high, the benefits are generally worth it. By being part of a brokerage, you can start earning a significant income from the get-go, instead of having to do further training and building up a client base. What’s more, you’ll receive a healthy commission for each sale you make - it’s not uncommon for agents to make thousands of dollars in a single transaction. Real Estate Agent vs. Broker Real estate agents and brokers are different. While both perform the same task types, a broker is a real estate agent who continues training and eventually obtains a state real estate broker license. Unlike regular agents, brokers can start their own brokerages, work independently, and hire other agents to work alongside them. However, both types of professionals spend most of their time matching buyers with sellers and ensuring everything goes through before the closing date. For instance, they can: Help buyers find properties matching their criteria Assist buyers with legal issues before the closing date Help both buyers and sellers in their negotiations Determine the value of client properties List properties online, including luxury properties, if they are a luxury real estate agent Help buyers make and communicate offers Brokers can also take on different levels of responsibility. For instance, associate brokers typically work under the direction of another broker, while managing brokers oversee the entire transaction process, work for themselves, and ensure that agents perform well. A principal broker is a professional who ensures a brokerage complies with state and federal laws. Becoming a broker can take a while. Most aspiring real estate professionals work in a brokerage for several years to fully understand the industry before taking the plunge and branching out by themselves. Once you become a broker, you may be able to double or triple your pay. You’ll also have an opportunity to scale your business and begin earning incomes significantly above conventional pay brackets. Conclusion Becoming a real estate agent is a lucrative option for many people because it doesn’t require going through years of college and racking up large debts. Most people can learn how to be a real estate agent in a matter of months and spend less than $1,500 on training, examination, and licensing. What’s more, even entry-level agents can earn a respectable salary. The average salary is over $89,000 a year, with top earners making hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Of course, there are downsides. For one, you won’t get paid an hourly or daily rate. Virtually all of your pay will come from the commission you would earn from each transaction. If you don’t make sales, you won’t earn any money. Second, you’ll need to pay a fee to work in a brokerage. The money goes to cover the expenses both you and your employer incur during your work. If you’re not happy with the level of flexibility working under a conventional real estate broker offers, you can apply for a broker license. With these, you can set up your own brokerage, work for yourself, oversee the entire property transaction process independently, and hire agents to work for you. Becoming a broker in a specific field can also make you more desirable in certain sectors, such as commercial property, or property management. In summary, learning how to be a real estate agent is relatively straightforward and an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t want to go through college, but needs to start earning as soon as possible.
By Goran Dautovic · April 21,2022
Business landscapes have changed dramatically since the turn of the century, and the generational shift in mindsets is very hard to ignore. People now appreciate that there are many opportunities outside of the traditional nine-to-five. About two-thirds of teenagers now state that they have intentions to start a company in later life. There’s also an increasing number of budding teen entrepreneurs. It’s the oldest cliche in the book, but if you’re good enough at something, you’re old enough. So, if you’re looking for teen business ideas, read on, as this guide will discuss the most inventive concepts along with the process of launching your venture. Why Starting as a Young Entrepreneur Makes Sense Finding ways to earn money as a teen isn’t anything new, and there are plenty of options ranging from delivering papers to flipping burgers. While they remain great options for many teenagers across the nation, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more.  Building your own company will require a lot of work. Nevertheless, there are many reasons to consider starting a teenage business: Break free from the financial restrictions of working for minimum wage, which is set by the Fair Labor Standards Act to be as low as $4.25 per hour. Many teen entrepreneurs earn more than their friends in traditional employment, while a small percentage can become millionaires before they’ve even graduated high school.  Owning a business offers young entrepreneurs a chance to take control of their life. This means working on something they’re passionate about while also setting a work schedule around schoolwork and other commitments. Better still, there is no threat of being treated poorly by an employer. It’s a chance to develop key business skills and gain experience. Even if the venture only lasts for a few years, the lessons learned are the perfect preparation for university, business school, or starting a business in later life.  Starting a business teaches you to be resilient and look for logical solutions to an array of challenges. This can give you a head start at a time when many members of the younger generation lack face-to-face communication skills.  As a teen, you have fewer financial commitments than adult entrepreneurs, which means you have time to help your business grow organically. This will instantly give any strong business concept a better chance of success because it’s a far less stressful environment to enter. You’ll also be able to invest your profits back into the firm. The thought of running a business and learning how to monetize a hobby carries a lot of appeal for the immediate future while it could be a chance to build a lifelong career in the process.  What Makes a Good Business To Start for Teens? If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of starting a business if you’re a teen and decided it’s the way to go, your next step would be to determine what you want from a venture. A quick look at some of the best teen entrepreneurs highlights the fact that success can take many forms.  Ultimately, all business owners must find their own pathway. Still, some elements are common to top business ideas for kids and teenagers: Small initial investment: Low-cost financial investment opportunities are essential because most teens have very limited capital and would struggle to seek loans outside of mom and dad. Finding a venture with zero or minimal outlay helps combat this problem. Work from home: At-home business ideas for teens are highly popular because working from home takes the financial costs and logistical issues of finding commercial spaces out of the equation. It also buys you more time as there will be no pressure to start turning a profit right away. The fact you won’t need to commute is a plus, too. A project you’re passionate about: A fun and engaging business idea that allows you to work on something you love. Aside from making it more enjoyable, your passion will shine through to impress future clients and customers. A business idea that can make a difference: In general, younger generations care about sustainability and social responsibility. If these things matter to you, too, don’t be afraid to make them the core values of your business. If you care, audiences will too. Flexibility: The venture will likely start as a side hustle that fits around your other commitments. There are times when you may need to focus on school and can only dedicate a small portion of time to the business. At other times, you may have greater availability. A venture that supports this is vital. Ultimately, a good business venture for teenagers is one that’s enjoyable, versatile, and offers a fair shot at success.  The Top 13 Small Business Ideas for Teens Now that you know what to look for in small business ideas for teens, the big challenge is to find one that suits your personality, availability, and circumstances. Whether you’re 13 or 19, you’ll find the perfect business to start as a teenager by checking out the best options below. 1. Selling Art If you like drawing and have been searching for answers on how to monetize your hobby, selling artwork is one of the best online business ideas for teens you should consider. People buy artwork for gifts, home decor, and a range of other purposes. Over 2.5 million sellers use Etsy to earn money, and more than 60% of them are US-based. If they can do it, then so can you, especially if you have an eye for detail and the ability to create great products. Some of the most popular products are: Stickers, notebooks, and stationery Graphic designs, including personalized art Paintings and prints for home decor 2. Tutoring Everybody has a talent. If yours is something other people aspire to possess, there’s a good chance you could start a side business as a tutor. Tutoring for teens can mean anything from helping other students with their math homework to teaching people how to play an instrument.  Speaking of musical instruments, did you know that guitar tutors can charge up to $60 per hour? Even if you command half of that fee, you’ll only need a small number of clients to earn more money than you’d ever hope to earn from working in the local 7-11. You could also look to utilize your skill through the following ideas: Making use of your second language by teaching others online or offline Helping older citizens learn how to use modern tech like Facetime Teaching gamers how to master a particular title The options are virtually endless, meaning you can choose a small side hustle or look for something that could become a legitimate long-term business model. 3. Photography Services Many business ideas for teens encourage you to showcase your creativity, many of which can focus on selling a service rather than a product. Photography is a fantastic solution, although you’ll need to invest in a DSLR camera and accessories. Still, each job is a chance to perfect your craft, refine your style, and determine which part of photography you’d like to enter long-term. It’ll also look great on college applications for either business school or photography school. Some of the most popular events that you may be able to cover are: Sporting events - especially at college, amateur, or semi-pro levels Family celebrations - graduations, communions, and birthday parties Business photography - staff profile shots and photos for company sites As you grow your portfolio, you may also gain the opportunity to work on-spec for local news or media outlets. 4. Blogger, Vlogger, or Podcaster Services When thinking about the most successful teen entrepreneurs, especially well-known ones, the first thing that comes to mind is the world of digital media. For over a decade now, platforms like YouTube have provided content creators an outlet to make money through ads. Teen blogging, vlogging, and podcasting can deliver huge returns. Anybody can upload to YouTube, Spotify, or their own websites. It’s the perfect way to make your voice heard and discuss the issues that matter most to you. Monetizing your hobby is possible via: Sponsored content Offering paid content to your most loyal fans Merchandising The internet has changed how we consume media, and authenticity is now king. If you can provide it, content creation is a low-cost and low-risk venture. 5. Utilizing Social Media  If you’re anything like an average teenager, you’re already putting plenty of content online without realizing it. Likewise, you’re interacting with friends and online acquaintances through social media. If you’ve built a fan base, it could be your ticket to good earning potential.  According to some estimations, 270 million TikTok views per year could earn you $100,000. Influencers can also make money through Instagram and other social media channels. Moreover, you don’t have to grow an audience of millions. If your fanbase is from a distinct niche and shows good engagement levels, you can make money through: Getting paid to collaborate with brands Affiliate marketing where you promote products your audience will love Donations and gifts Older generations may find it hard to believe that you can make money online simply by building an audience, but you can. Don’t be afraid to try. 6. Playing Music Pop music has produced teen superstars for generations. Meanwhile, digital channels helped Justin Bieber get signed back in the day while the likes of Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, and Billie Eilish all hit the big time as teens. It’s not only pop music where teens and young adults can achieve success. And you don’t have to hit the mainstream for playing music to become your perfect teen job. Even as a newbie, a talented wedding singer can get paid a good fee. You can also earn money as a musician by: Playing the local gig scene or getting festival slots Selling your music on CDs Playing at school graduations and other events It’s a great way to turn a hobby into a money-making endeavor while starting a band is the perfect outlet to hang out with your pals - besides, who knows where the journey will end. 7. Car Washing It’s likely that you’ve washed your mom or dad’s car for some extra money at least once in your childhood. As far as small, local business ideas for teens are concerned, it’s one of the easiest to get started.  There are over 287 million vehicles in America, and thousands of them are within a three-mile radius of your home. The majority of drivers want to keep their car sparkling but don’t have the time. You can be the person to take care of this for them. Some of the benefits include: The costs are minimal (sponge, water, shammy, car cleaning materials), while you can even find free marketing through social media and word of mouth.  You can arrange to visit a client at a time that suits you or even look for business in the local area when you have a few hours to kill. There is no need for a commercial setting, employees (although you could team up with a friend), or major business planning. It may subsequently open the door to starting a valet service or opening an office-cleaning business. Cleaning services will always be needed, making it a very stable business option. 8. Pet Care Approximately 68% of households in the US have at least one pet. So, if you start the business correctly, you won’t be short of customers. The pet care business could mean grooming dogs and cutting their nails. Or it could mean pet-sitting for cats when a family is away on vacation. Dog walking is another popular option because you get to spend time with furry friends and stay active. Pet care businesses are a good choice because: There is minimal outlay. In fact, it’s often completely free to get started. Once you have your client base, it’s regular work that you can fit into your schedule. If you don’t have a pet, this is the perfect backup. You can start this business by working for family friends before moving up to local customers when you are confident. 9. Open a Franchise Franchising may not seem like an accomplishable dream for a teen business. However, there are affordable franchises for under $10k. You may need to rely on your parents to help fund this option, but if you can commit yourself to the work, it can be profitable.  Opening a franchise can introduce you to running a business without the need to build a brand and help you gain experience managing a small team. You can set opening times to suit your needs, even if it’s only during the summer vacation, and if things go well, it may be possible to open a second franchise or get a friend involved.  10. Handyperson Servicing OK, so you don’t have a plumbing license or the qualifications to work as an electrician. Still, there are plenty of jobs around the home that people need help with or don’t have time for. They can be some of the best teen business ideas of all. Jobs for 15-year-olds can include fixing flat-pack furniture, handling basic landscaping duties, and cleaning a person’s property. You can even extend the work to completing daily errands for people with reduced mobility or a lack of time. There are many advantages of this type of work, such as: Each job can be different - one day, you’re mowing a lawn, the next, you’re making a cupboard There are early growth opportunities: For example, you can hire a friend to take on the jobs you can’t complete for a small cut The earning potential is a lot higher than the traditional jobs teenagers take on, like store assistants. If you feel that becoming a tradesperson is your future, this will be the perfect start before moving on to professional training in your desired field. 11. Online Retail Starting an online store is one of the best online business ideas for teens because the potential exposure is relatively low. Thanks to the growth of the global dropshipping sector, you no longer have to possess stock. Instead, you can promote and sell products on your web store before the order fulfillment company delivers them. Alternatively, you could look at print-on-demand services to sell a host of products like: Fashion (especially t-shirts) and accessories Phone cases, mugs, and small household items Greetings cards, photo books, and personal goods Dipping your toes into the retail sector in this manner requires minimal spending, and it could unlock a lifetime of success in business. 12. Creating Products When looking for cute business ideas, crafts for teens are an ideal outlet. Creating and selling products is an opportunity to learn how to run a business in a fun and engaging way. This type of venture will also make you learn about invoices and other business tools and documents.  Take advantage of the fact that people want various beauty products or fashion items to revamp their personal appearance. Aside from outlets like Etsy, your products could be sold locally at: A pop-up store that you run for a day or two Market stalls, trade show events, and other outlets By attending schools, businesses, or other relevant venues There are many examples of young adults who created products from their homes to become major brands. You could be the next GymShark in your chosen niche. 13. Web Designing  Small business ideas for teenagers don’t have to be that different from what adults provide. If you can design a great product or service, there will be opportunities to turn your talent into cash, regardless of your age. Web design services certainly fall into this category. According to the latest small business statistics, there are more than 32.5 million businesses in the US alone, and virtually all of them need a website. Whether it’s starting a website from scratch or revamping an outdated one, you can help. Major marketing firms charge thousands, so this is an opportunity for you to win clients by charging less. Your services may include: Designing responsive websites for WordPress and other popular CRMs Creating websites from scratch using Dreamweaver or other software tools Designing social media page layouts and integrations It’s one of the best business ideas for students, especially those studying web design or marketing. Once you have your qualifications and portfolio, your earning potential will soar. Teen Business Tips To Help You Get Started Whichever business model you think might be best for you, it’s vital that you think it through and launch it correctly. Many of the digital-based options can start out as hobbies and won’t need business plans or registrations until you start earning a reasonable amount of money. However, you should still record all transactions. Some of the best business ideas for teens do require you to register the business. You’ll probably launch a sole proprietorship, although you could need an LLC for ideas like a franchise. Other issues to consider are: Whether you need an employer identification number to pay employees Whether you need a small checking account to facilitate business transactions Any insurance coverages you may require, especially public liability If you’re unsure about how to start the company, speak to an advisor. They’ll point you in the right direction. Wrapping Up By now, you should be equipped with a range of businesses to start as a teenager and will have thought about the right solution for you as well as how to launch it. There will still be a lot of work ahead, from defining your target audience to finding the right bank for your business. Still, if you enter the process with a winning mindset, you’ll enjoy the ride and learn a lot. Besides, it has to be more fun than working a job you hate for $4.25.
By Julija A. · April 20,2022

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