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How Do I Choose the Best Rural Business Ideas?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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When choosing the best rural business ideas, a web-based or e-commerce business can be a good pick if you will have reliable Internet connections and mail service. If you'd rather open a "brick and mortar" store in town, this can be a great idea as long as you'll offer goods that the rural residents want or need. Service-based rural business ideas can be excellent possibilities if they fill a demand.

For instance, if the rural area is near a historical site or tourist attraction and accommodation is limited, a bed and breakfast may be one of the profitable rural businesses ideas. People may want to stay in an authentic home in the area to experience the natural beauty and country lifestyle. Thorough research of your potential target markets is necessary though, as you may not turn enough of a profit if you are unlikely to get many guests.

Services such as landscaping may also be a good choice in rural areas. Consider your competition though, as small towns often function on built relationships, even in business, and it may be difficult to get new customers. If demand seems higher than the supply of services, this can definitely be a good sign in terms of rural business ideas. Look for developing trends such as more rural homes using computers and the Internet. A computer repair shop or a mobile service may be ideal in such areas.

Family haircare is another mobile idea that may work well in a country setting. People in remote areas may appreciate a service in which an experienced salon professional can come to their home to cut and style the whole family's hair at once. Since word of mouth can mean a lot in rural areas where business choices are so limited, one family satisfied with the mobile service is likely to turn into a few more customers just through referrals.

Choosing the best rural business ideas can often be made easier when using a process of elimination. For instance, if there are already two popular coffee shops in town, adding another one probably isn't the best business idea. Speak to as many residents as possible about needed or desired products, services and stores, as this can be instrumental in helping you come up with the best rural business ideas for that particular community. Not all rural communities are alike simply because they are in the country rather than the suburbs or city, so it's important to have a good understanding of that town's needs and wants as far as business fulfillment is concerned.

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Discussion Comments
By bythewell — On May 04, 2014

@Fa5t3r - The only problem with that is that if there are no bees in a particular area to take care of an orchard, that might be for a reason and you'd be at constant risk of losing your stock.

Not to mention it's pretty bad for bees to constantly take from the same kinds of flowers without any variety. So you would need to provide that variety for them somehow.

Any kind of livestock needs a lot of planning and a lot of care, even bees. Don't just jump into a business because it seems to be on an upswing if you don't know anything about how to run it.

By Fa5t3r — On May 03, 2014

@pastanaga - Honey is another popular choice for these kinds of roadside sales, but not everyone is going to want to set up beehives.

One thing I will say is that if you've got a relatively organic setup at your place, it is definitely worth trying out honeybees as a business idea for several different angles.

The honey itself is probably going to go up in price as the bees disappear from other areas (which seems to be due to both diseases and pesticides, so organic farming could help reduce the risk).

But what seems to be a growing industry is bees for rent, where the hives themselves are moved to orchards and fields to pollinate crops as needed. There simply aren't enough local bees to be able to do this without help and a small farmer could really clean up getting into this kind of business, as you wouldn't actually need all that much room to keep the bees yourself, since they'd be feeding at other farms, but producing honey for you.

By pastanaga — On May 02, 2014

There is always the traditional fruit and vegetable sales from the side of the road. This might not work if you are really far off the beaten path, but if you are on a main highway (or it's not too far to get to one) it can actually be pretty lucrative.

We used to sell fruit from our trees every summer as kids and that was just from the trees that produced too much for our family and in our spare time. If you really put some effort into this, you could make a fair amount in the right conditions.

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