18 Small Town Business Ideas You Can Start in 2022

Regional Australia has seen a massive population increase since the start of the pandemic - as more people flock to the beach or countryside, opportunities have opened for businesses to flourish in their local communities.

Here is a list of 18 businesses you could open in a regional Australian town!

1. Salon or barbershop

Over the last two years we have all seen some pretty poor haircuts, whether it was the lockdown mullet or the endless split ends - we all appreciate personal grooming every now and again. The desire to look presentable doesn’t discriminate based on location - with the ‘city folk’ moving into regional Australia by the masses, take the opportunity to capture this demographic and start a flourishing salon or barbershop.

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2. Coffee shop

Professional barristers are leaving the city in the search of a lifestyle change and the coffee culture may not be as prominent in regional Australian towns. Why not bring the funky coffee culture of cities like Melbourne to regional Australia - because everybody appreciates a good cup of coffee, right? Roast your beans locally and become the perfect stopping place for tourists on their way to other major cities or regional locations.

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3. Clothing boutique

Visitors to regional Australia love to shop locally - create a groovy clothing store on the main street with locally inspired designs to capture the attention of tourists and residents alike. Perhaps you stock a shirt that is inspired by the red dirt of Alice Springs, or a pair of bathers akin to the blue waters of Western Australia. Unique designs will always sell!

4. Bakery

Who doesn’t love a country style bakery? Whether it’s the hot Aussie pies or the freshly baked donuts, regional bakeries are a popular destination for everyone. Hire local workers to run the front-end operations and professional bakers to make the delicious treats and you have yourselves a business that will have repeat customers for years to come.

5. Florist

Stock locally grown flowers and become a staple in your community for special occasions! You can offer flash sales for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and other special community occasions, helping your community celebrate through the beauty of flowers.

6. Cleaning service

Start a cleaning company for short term accommodation spots in your local area - drop flyers in letterboxes offering to clean Airbnb’s and other accommodation for the landlords. You could even pick up extra work during the summer holidays when it is the busiest.

7. Handyman/tradie

Drop flyers in letterboxes and put-up notices on community boards letting locals know that you are available to do odd jobs around the house as a handyman service. This business is best for tradies looking to work on their days off.

8. Restaurant

If you’re a chef, then opening a restaurant is a perfect idea! Be careful though, many small towns already have more seats than the town’s population - ensure that your food is extra delicious to draw in the customers.

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9. Food truck

This mobile business model will allow you to drive your business to wherever it is needed. There may be a food festival in Melbourne, or a roadshow in Perth - with a food truck you can drive to where the business is. The smaller size of a food truck restaurant means higher profits as there is less staff and inventory requirements.

Carry a Square Credit Card Reader with you to ensure you can capture as many sales as possible on the go!

10. Grocery store

Everyone loves a local general store in a country town - reach out to farmers and stock local produce to attract organic and fresh food lovers. You could even include an area out the back to sell Australia’s finest wines and cheese boards!

11. Tutoring business

Regional Australian towns have long trailed the cities in levels of higher education. Use your educational skills to tutor local students to ensure they are making the most out of their education.

12. Gardening and landscaping

Cultivate the home gardens of your local town with your landscaping and gardening business. Consider dropping flyers off in people’s letterboxes to advertise your services. Charge by the hour and get testimonials from happy clients to ensure that you build trust and a positive reputation in the community.

Carry a Square Reader with you to ensure you can capture as many sales as possible on the go!

Square Reader

The tap-and-go credit card reader built for every business.

13. Photographer

Capture the beauty of your small town and sell your photos in a gallery or on an online platform. You may even open your own website to showcase your portfolio!

14. Daycare

Take care of your town’s children whilst the parents are at work with your own daycare! Launch a website to advertise your services and rent out a suitable property to put a playground in and supervise kids.

15. Medical practice

Big city doctor looking for a sea change? Doctors are often the highest paid professionals in Australia - capture some of this market in your small town. Only start this business if you have a valid medical degree and practising license.

Contact local artists and open a gallery in the main street - artwork that is inspired by the local scenery such as the sweeping hills of New South Wales or the rocky beaches of South Australia sells well with tourists who want to remember the beauty of where they stayed, and artwork is the perfect means to do so.

17. Outdoor goods retailer

As the end to lockdowns nears, Australians from the cities are heading to the regions to get away and adventure in the outdoors. Capture this market by setting up camping and outdoor goods retailer - before long you’ll have the tourists and the locals stocking up on their adventure goods!

18. Tour operator

Do you know your small town and the surrounding landscape well? If so, think about starting a tour company - perhaps you can drive down the Great Ocean Road and educate tourists on the construction and history of the region. You may even take them on winery tours in the Barossa Valley, exploring the likes of Penfolds Winery.