Top rural business ideas for 2020 and beyond.
If you are like me and don’t live in or near a major city, starting a business may seem a little scary. It’s always a little scary to consider investing time and money into any venture, let alone one that may seem destined to fail due to the circumstances of your area. I challenge you to keep an open mind. Instead of fear, I would like you to think of your demographic as a golden opportunity. A golden goose so to speak. Just think about this. You live in a town of a few thousand people, surrounded by a few more towns of a few thousand people. With the right opportunity and insight anyone could capitalize on this cornered market. You have an opportunity to provide much needed services to folks that more than likely don’t want to travel long distances to get what they need.
Whether we are talking about groceries, gas, or even a haircut. Finding the right niche in a small town may just be the ticket to a sizable annual income right in your backyard. In order for us to find you the right business, we will need to analyze your market. How many people live in your area? Is local sports a big draw in the community? Are there any major landmarks or are there any major industries near your area? Are there any major waterways or highways that moves consistent traffic to or through your region? Are you surrounded by mostly farmland and agriculture? If you answered yes to one or several of these questions we need to explore those possibilities. If you answered no, there are still many options so don’t be discouraged.
I will provide a list of rural business ideas that do well in almost any region. In the descriptions of each of these I will cover when and where these opportunities work best. If you don’t find what you are looking for in this article, I encourage you to check out some of my other blog posts. I cover many topics that may help you find what you are looking for.
Start a pressure washing business
This business is one of my favorites. Why? For several reasons actually. It’s an extremely versatile business model with many potential applications, and it can be a mobile business. When setup with a trailer and water storage system you can take your business to just about anywhere to provide your service. Here’s a quick list of ideas for this business.
You can pressure wash almost all outdoor materials for homes and businesses:
Concrete for garage floors, pools, gutters,windows, driveways, sidewalks, decks, roofs, vinyl siding, brick and stucco structures, fencing etc.(Pro tip: when a home or business puts a real estate sign in the front yard, contact them and offer your services!) Contract with local schools to clean school buses (also buildings!) Work with local farmers to clean equipment before major repairs or before the equipment is stored away for a season. Mobile car wash: go from customer to customer throughout your area providing washes! Many of these customers will buy weekly or monthly washes! Contact local car dealerships and offer your services to them!
If you live near a major park or water attraction offer boat and RV washes. If you live near any industrial sites, watch for bids for equipment cleaning jobs. I haven’t even scratched the surface with this one. As you can see, the possibilities are almost endless.
If you are considering this business, there will be a few pieces of equipment that are essential to your business. For a rig that is ready to go right out of the gate this is my recommendation. NorthStar Hot Water Commercial Pressure Washer. The current price for this unit comes in at 12k. That’s actually a really good price for a business delivered right to your door! If $12,000 is a little out of your budget and you are looking to bootstrap your new venture I would consider this model SIMPSON Cleaning 95000 Trailer Cold Water Mobile Washing System. The current price for this unit comes in at $3,465.00 with free shipping. If $3,465.00 is still on the higher end of your budget. This model will get you started and you can upgrade later on if you need to. SIMPSON Cleaning ALH4240 Aluminum Gas Pressure Washer this unit comes in at just over $1200 with free shipping. Your washer obviously is essential, so is water. With the lower end model you will need to either buy a high capacity storage tank and keep it on a pickup truck or buy a separate trailer at a later date. I recommend buying a tank and trailer, but if you are bootstrapping it’s understandable. It’s important to keep in mind, you will lose some potential customers that can’t supply your water. If you can afford a tank and a trailer
Screen Printing Business
If you are more on the artsy side and would rather work indoors, a screen printing business could be the perfect business opportunity for you. It’s not hard to learn, and seeing your work and designs being worn throughout your area can feel really rewarding. Repeat customers will be your best friend locally, and there are many ways to boost sales with online sites like Etsy and Ebay. If you put out quality work for a decent price you will have a very lucrative business on your hands. There will also be many options in regards to equipment and start up costs, it all depends on what you want to do and how you would like to scale this venture. Bootstrapping this one will be pretty easy. Let’s look at your options. For the sake of comparison, we will consider your options for garment printing. You will have options. You have your old school screen print setup, which has a few moving parts to it. It may be a little much for a newbie to handle but if you are resourceful this method is fairly inexpensive to get started with and there are many youtube videos out there that can help you learn the process! With screen printing there are three main pieces of equipment you will need getting started. You will need your screen station this is where the ink is applied to the shirt. You will need screens, you use these to apply the design and ink to your garment. You will need an exposure unit in order to apply a design to your screens, and you will need a flash dryer to cure the ink onto the article of clothing. There are complete kits available on amazon. I would suggest going that route over buying it piece by piece. This is the kit I would recommend. Coming in at just under $1000, it will get you going.
If you would prefer a little simpler method you could go with vinyl transfers. Essentially, you will use a vinyl cutter and some computer software to cut out your design in a piece of vinyl and you will use a heat press to cure that design onto the article of clothing. Pretty simple! Here’s what you will need! You will need a vinyl cutter and a heat press, you will also need a computer for you vinyl cutter and for you graphic design work. You will need some vinyl material, try to find you local schools colors and you can never go wrong with black and white for starters.
If all of that still sounds like to much there are even more options for you to choose from, you could go with sublimation or DTG printing (Direct to Garment). In a real world shop you will want the availability of all of these options. All of these methods have there place in the industry, but for starters I would research each of these methods to see which you would be more comfortable with starting out. DTG printing is the easiest of all methods. It’s basically a printer that you use for clothes. The prices for these units used to be really high, but continue to become less expensive and more cost effective. Sublimation will allow you to use an inkjet printer to print really detailed images and apply them to clothes. A really big business right now is custom socks. Which uses the sublimation process to apply the print. The only drawback to sublimation is that you are limited to printing on lighter colored surfaces. The one big advantage on the other hand is that you can sublimate on almost any material (wood, stone, glass, metal etc.) If this sounds like something you would like to look into this is the setup I recommend.
Open a Coffee Shop
Open up a coffee shop if you tend to be more of a social butterfly. This is almost one of those dream businesses. You go into the shop every morning, brew up all of the classics, see your close friends and meet some new ones as well. It doesn’t stop at just coffee! You could sell doughnuts, muffins, and any other pastry your heart desires! Look on Pinterest to get some ideas for your edibles. You can really create your own identity in this market! I would look at the more successful coffee shops out there and draw some inspiration from that, but also be unique and offer that boutique feel. If you have access to a nice location I would be all over this one! Here is what you will need! For a high volume of customers for coffee only, this unit will be what you are looking for. If you forecast slower sales for espressos, lattes and cappuccinos start with some lower end equipment and move up from there after you see what sells the best! The machine that I linked will do all three and the price is reasonable for starters! Of course the decor and furniture will be all up to you. You should be able to look at some auctions or other commercial restaurant sales venues to find this stuff at discount to keep your startup expenses low! The best part about this is that it’s not too hard, and coffee is an everyday routine for almost everyone this day and age!
Become a real estate sales agent
If you are more of an independent worker, maybe you should get your real estate license. You can essentially work for yourself throughout the year, and if you are looking for a part time hustle to make ends meet then this idea might be perfect for you. No matter what part of the world you live in real estate is always selling. Most states offer online courses that allow you to complete the course at your own pace and take your state exam whenever you like. This flexibility make this a super attractive and potentially super lucrative venture. Real estate sales checks all the boxes for someone that would like to work on their own and at their own pace. Not to mention the cost for the courses and exam can be less than $1000, in some states. This one is a no brainer! If this is something that you would like to consider you should check out www.theceshop.com they cover 30 states, and provide and extremely affordable plan.