How to Make Money in a Small Town

Ready to pad your bank account? We found small-town business ideas that you probably haven't heard about. You'll for sure find something on this list to make money in a small town.

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No matter where you are or where you live: there's a good chance that you could use some extra cash. This is true for those who are living in a small town and don't have the same amount of job opportunities that larger cities offer.

Not every opportunity is found in the big city lights. Even in small towns, there are golden chances to earn and thrive. From the quiet streets to familiar faces, your hometown might just be your next business hotspot. Let's dive in and discover how to turn local charm into profit.

26 Ways to Make Money in a Small Town

Making money in a small town or a rural area is within reach. Even if you aren't living in a big city, it doesn't mean that you can't find ways to make extra money in a small town so you can reach your financial goals.

Be sure to bookmark this page as this side business ideas list will continue to grow! Without further delay gentlemen, let’s get started, here are the best small town business ideas to make money that requires little, if any, startup costs.

1. Virtual Assistant

Do you know how to post on social media channels like Facebook? Do you think you could do it for a small business? There are a ton of smaller businesses in your area that may need help in order to gain an online presence. So if you can help them create social media profiles and a simple site, you can rack in some extra income.

You can try and find small businesses that need this by simple word of mouth, or you can walk to local businesses and offer your services. You can do the work from home and get paid for other duties as required, such as billing, shipping, and scheduling tasks. The opportunities for you to earn are endless, and you can do it all online.

2. Pet Care

If you think happiness comes from doggy kisses and wagging tails, then you would be perfect for this awesome opportunity from Rover.

Rover is the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers. They offer a ton of different services to help pet owners give their four-legged buddies the attention and care they deserve when they can’t. Rover takes pride in its amazing customer care and 5-star sitter rating and Rover is full of dog lovers like yourself.

It’s a great company to work with and nothing beats adding some extra income while playing with a bunch of different dogs!

As a Rover Sitter, you can earn up to $100 per week (or more) and don’t need to worry about networking and marketing yourself – Rover does it for you. They also offer protection of up to $1,000,000 on your services, an easy-to-use app to manage your dog sitting business, support team, and more. You can even set your own schedule and prices for ultimate control.

So, add a little more happiness to your days and get paid to enjoy some quality pup time – it’s a win-win.


What can be more fun than walking dogs around your neighborhood and get paid? You can do it on your time and get paid today with Rover! According to Rover, dog walkers and sitters can earn up to $1,000 per month.

Start Earning

3. Photographer

Do you like taking photos and think you can earn money as a photographer? It's pretty easy to start picking up freelance gigs even if you only know the basics of photography.

Once you get a camera, you can create an Instagram page and tell all your friends and family that you're a photographer and offer a free 30-minute shoot. This will get friends and family contacting you for free shots. If they go over the 30 minutes you can charge them for that time used.

Continue branding yourself as a photographer and the work will come in, even if you're in a small town. You can also post your services on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

4. Start Your Own Business

You are enthusiastic about starting your own business. That is a great step to change the quality of your life living in a small town.

Give real form to your dreams with the daring step of initiating your business. However, it is imperative to research before investing money. Equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to avoid the undesired consequences.

If you want to become a business owner, you can take look at 11 steps to starting your own business so you can see the specifics.

5. Find Online Jobs

If you wanted to find legit side small business ideas for men, why not consider online jobs that people are using now to make money on the side?

An estimated three percent of America’s workforce now consists of telecommuting employees or people who work from home, according to a survey conducted by FlexJobs.

How does an extra $1,000 a month sound? You can get there and discover the most lucrative online jobs.

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6. Become an Airbnb Host

Owning a home can be pricey—sharing your place with visitors on Airbnb can help pay your rent and other bills. If you have extra room in your house, you can make money hosting guests on Airbnb and earn up to $2,000 per month.

By becoming an Airbnb Host, you can start having your own weekend side hustle listing your home and open bedrooms to travelers looking to book through Airbnb.

With a little bit of traction, you can easily earn extra money that can go towards your rent or mortgage by hosting guests on Airbnb.

7. Real Estate Investor

Wouldn’t it be great if you could invest in commercial real estate and apartments without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate?

You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. You can now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $10 with apps like Fundrise.

Through their real estate investment products, investors earned an average of 8 – 11 percent on their money last year, and all without painting a wall or dealing with unruly tenants.

There is a reason why they currently have over 200,000+ users, this app really pays you!


Fundrise is a very easy-to-use app that allows individuals to access crowd-funded real estate investing without spending a fortune. This option is best for users who want to make money consistently and let their money make them money. Open an account with a minimum investment of $10 and get quick access to real estate funds tailored to different investment goals.

Open Account Fundrise Review
We earn a commission for this endorsement of Fundrise.

8. Win Money Playing Games

Playing games for money sounds too much like gambling for some folks, but if you like to play games on your phone, this side hustle is for you. 

Once you know what to look for, you’ll find more game apps to win real money than you first thought. These apps include: 

  • Blackout Bingo: A dynamic bingo game that puts a modern twist on the classic game. Players can compete in live, fast-paced matches against others for the chance to win real money or prizes.
  • Bingo Cash: This app offers pairs you in head-to-head bingo games against real people and whoever plays the fastest, wins real cash.
  • Solitaire Cash: Earn cash by testing your solitaire skills in swift, 2-minute matchups against others from your mobile phone.
  • Mistplay: A unique platform where players can earn rewards by playing different mobile games.

Playing these games consistently won’t make you as much money as other side hustles. But it can be fun to pass the time and earn cash. 

9. Search Engine User

Swagbucks will pay you to simply use its search engine. You can use the earnings to supplement your small business. And, they will also give you $5 if you sign up through our Swagbucks $10 bonus link. So yup. This is probably the easiest way to make money on this list.

Earn around $50 to $1,000 per year
$10 welcome bonus

Swagbucks offers a variety of ways to earn money online. You can take surveys, play games, surf the web, watch videos and more to earn points towards gift cards or cash.

Start Earning Swagbucks Review

10. Get Paid to Play Games

Of course, you know it's possible to get paid to play games online, especially in 2021.

I already knew that professional video game testers are getting paid to play video games but I was surprised to learn that they made on average around $49,063/yearly!

If you are interested in getting paid to play games then you can sign up for InboxDollars which pays you, in cash, to play paid games, watch fun videos, and take surveys.

Plus, you can download the InboxDollars app to play games on the go. If you sign up before the end of this month, they also give you a $5 free bonus just to give it a try. By spending just 5-10 minutes per day on this (either on your lunch break or during TV commercial breaks) you can earn and earn an extra $50/month just by playing games. More people should be doing this!

$5 sign up bonus

InboxDollars offers a variety of ways to earn money online. You can take surveys, play games, surf the web, watch videos and more to earn points towards gift cards.

Start Earning InboxDollars Review

11. Music Reviewer

All you need to do is listen to music and you can make money. Given how easy it is to lose yourself in a never-ending cycle of Spotify or Pandora, this one couldn’t be easier. The catch here? You have to review the music. So you literally get paid to review music for record companies before the music is released to the public.

The payouts are great and for example, you will have to review a lot of music clips and make $200 fast this month by using it. Survey Junkie is one of the only survey companies that currently offer this. You can get a signup bonus through this link.

$1.6M+ monthly payout to its members
Survey Junkie
Over $55,000 Paid to Survey Junkie members daily

Survey Junkie is one of the highest-paying survey sites available. Complete three or more surveys a day, and you can earn as much as $100 monthly. With $76 Million paid out to date, Survey Junkie is one of the best survey sites available.

Start Earning Survey Junkie Review

12. Teach English Online

Still wondering, about the best small business ideas for men? Well, have you considered teaching English online (pick your own hours too)? All that is required is that you are fluent in English, have a bachelor’s degree, and have some tutoring experience. This a great way to earn money from home and already 30,000+ use VIPKID to teach English from home.

You’ll make $12-$22 an hour, and Forbes ranked this company #1 on it’s 2017 “Top 100 Places Work From Home Companies” Since this is a legitimate way to make extra money, the application process pretty detailed.

With an opportunity to make $650 a month, just from one hour out of your day, may be worth looking it. You can learn more about teaching English online on VIPKID’s website.

13. Blogging

Starting a blog is easy. The hardest part is getting yourself to just do it. Once you create your blog, you’ll actively work towards growing it and it’ll grow to become a new passion or hobby you have in life and can make you money. After starting it, there are a ton of helpful sites and articles for new bloggers. You can get started initial set up done in under 20 minutes. It’s basically:

  1. Buy Hosting & Register Your Domain ($3.95/mo + free domain if you use this link).
  2. Next, you can do a one-click install of Wordpress, and then start writing away.
  3. Start bringing traffic to your blog by social media and networking.
  4. Once you have some traffic you can put Google ads on your blog and make money.
  5. Continue to build your blog and connect with other bloggers. It’s like it’s own awesome community.
Earn around $1,000 for every 30,000 page visits

You can start a blog for as cheap as $2.95 per month when you choose to host your blog on Bluehost which is the best web hosting provider if you want to start a self-hosted WordPress blog or site. Bluehost is one of the few web hosting companies recommended by to host self-hosted WordPress blogs.

Start a Blog

14. Freelancer

Fiverr is one of the best sites in the world. The basic premise is “what would you do for $5?” You’ll find everything from hilariously weird and useless gags to legitimate and genuinely helpful micro-business tasks.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting as a seller on Fiverr, and have found it a pretty successful avenue for selling website optimization services, article writing, and proofreading services.

Fiverr can work for you as both a seller and a buyer. It is a great way to make money and also you can find millions of services. The best $5 I’ve ever spent was using a Resume Revision service and now I receive way more employer call backs now after the revisions. If you want to know which service I used, leave a comment below. If you want to try Fiverr, sign up through here for 20% off your first order at Fiverr.

15. Podcasting

If you can build an audience for your podcast, then you can make some money through sponsorships, affiliate advertising, and other offerings. Companies regularly pay $250 to $500 for a 30-second advertisement on podcasts. If you need help getting started you can refer to this podcasting guide.

There is money to be made with this side hustle. Alternatively, you can also use this guide to start your own blog (in 30 min or less).

16. Write eBooks

Are you a good writer? You could write an eBook on your topic of choice and sell it on Amazon, Payhip, Lulu, Smashwords, Kobo Writing Life, PubIt! and many other websites that start you out in your side hustle as a published eBook author. This is a greaty way to make money in a small town since you could do it online.

17. Advertise on Your Car

This is some seriously passive income. Companies such as Carvertise will pay to put a wrap on your car, and then pay you to simply drive you regular routes with the advertisements on your car. You can get the right to say “no” to a particular ad you’re uncomfortable with the content of the ad. Most companies pay you between $100-$400 a month to advertise on your car. Not too bad.

18. Invest in Websites

We had an interview with a man who makes his money by investing in websites. Here’s a snippet from the interview when we asked him “How can you make money investing in websites rather than build your own?”

“Why not save the initial capital investment, and just build your own from scratch? One word: Time. Our most valuable resource, which many of us seemingly don’t show it the respect it deserves.

Skip the dull process of waiting months to earn your first dollar building up a website from scratch. Throw yourself in the deep end, lay down an initial investment, show your commitment to the journey, and watch the learning curve reduce exponentially.”

19. Sell Your Parking Space

Many houses, rentals, or other accommodations include a garage, driveway, or some form of a parking space. If you’re not making use of it at the moment, chances are there’s someone who could.

Better still, they’ll pay you for the privilege.

Just Park lets you ‘let’ your parking space to busy people who are tired of paying through the nose for daily parking. The busier your area, the more you’re likely to make.

20. Open Class Action Lawsuits

If you use a product that’s involved in a class-action lawsuit, a little online legwork could get you a cash payout. The rules of each settlement are different, but in most cases, you’ll have to provide proof of purchase or product use, like a serial number or a receipt. Once you fill out your online claim form, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before receiving your payment.

Psst — I regularly post new class-action settlement information, so check in often to make sure you’re not missing a chance to get paid!

21. Investing

It’s been said that the average millionaire has seven streams of income. Dividend stocks are usually always in the mix. Dividend stocks are similar to regular shares of stock, but they pay you a small portion of the companies earnings monthly or quarterly. So it’s wise to build a portfolio or dividend-paying stocks! If you want to get hip to dividend investing, check out Webull.

What I like about Webull is that they make it really easy to invest in stocks, while still having plenty of features as you get more comfortable with investing. Plus, they'll give you a free stock valued up to $1,000 just for joining.

The process is easy, just sign for a new Webull account using this referral link, after registering — you can download the app and in the menu hit “my free stock” to see which stock you got. The stock will be worth between $3 and $1,000 and credited within 5 trading days and you can sell it right away and withdraw the money to your bank account if you wanted to.

Get up to 16 free stocks

Expand your stock portfolio & own fractional shares of your favorite companies at a $5 min. Pay $0 in commission & management fees when you trade fractional shares with Webull.

Open Account

22. Download Money Making Apps

We all heard the old saying “Time is money” right?

Instead of playing games on your phone like everyone else and feeling bad for wasting your time — now you can get paid for it.

Getting paid for playing games sounds like a dream. But if you download a free new app, and then download games from it and play, you earn money.

As you level up you can earn more money for cash rewards or gift cards.

This is a great opportunity for those looking to get paid for something they enjoy, like winning free gift cards and cash for playing games. I use it and it is legit and has over 35,404 positive reviews in the Google Play store.

If you’re interested, I recommend you download the app from the Google Play store for free by clicking here.

100% free, no deposits required
Mistplay (Android Only)

Earning money by playing games on your phone sounds like a dream. But Mistplay really pays you for playing new games with free gift cards. It is 100% free to play and you never have to deposit any money.

Start Playing Mistplay Review

23. eBay Seller

Sell your unwanted items around your household on eBay is a good way to declutter and earn side income.

I’ve been using eBay for about 7 years now and it is very easy to sell things around your home that you no longer use or find items that you can purchase for cheap and then flip them on eBay for a profit.

I personally made $1,1379.79 one month by flipping iPhones. Just make sure that you keep the fees in consideration.

24. Coaching & Consulting

One of the best small business ideas for men is becoming an online coach or consultant for others as it is becoming more valuable in the information age. If you are very savvy at social media or are a fitness expert then selling your time and hopping on a Skype call or Google hangouts is a great hustle. You don’t even have to start your own website at first, you can list your services on Fiverr.

25. Cash Back Apps for Gas

Upside provides you with a variety of helpful information. First, it gives you 25 cents back on every gas station receipt you submit. It also shows you the best gas station deals and the cheapest gas.

This free cash back app for gas is saving users an average of $124 in a year. There is no minimum for cash outs, but a $1 fee will be made on withdrawals under $15.

To score the best gas prices, grocery prices, and restaurant offers with Upside, all you need is your phone and your receipt. There’s no limit on how much you can earn, and you can even use it with other coupons, discounts, and loyalty programs!

  1. Click here to download for free.
  2. Claim your offer for the best gas price, restaurant or grocery offer
  3. Snap a photo of your receipt or receipts
  4. Cash out via PayPal instantly!

Upside (which used to be called GetUpside) lets you save up to 25 cents for every gallon of gas you buy at certain gas stations. You can also get up to 35% back when you shop for groceries or eat out at over 45,000 places that work with Upside. If you use the app a lot, you might earn more than $100 in a year.

Start Saving Best Gas Apps

26. Cash Back Apps for Groceries

The next easy business idea you should know about is Ibotta. This cell phone app is available for iOS or Android phones, helps you make money off your grocery receipts.

You can get cash back everywhere you shop with offers at hundreds of stores with these types of rebate apps.

Ibotta users have earned millions (they've paid out over $526,418,586) in cash back rewards. Join real people earning real cash.

Click here to get started with a $10 instant sign up bonus.


Ibotta pays you cash back for shopping at over 500,000 retailers, which you have to do every month. So why not get paid for it? Get started saving today.

Start Saving Ibotta Cheats

How to Make Money in a Small Town Ideas List

Small communities need a bunch of other businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, flower shops, gyms, and car washing services. But you locals probably already know this.

For all my readers who are small town residents, if you wanted more ways to make money online besides these methods of small business ideas for women and men, here’s my list of the best ways to make money online:

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News,, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!


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