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Best Small Business Ideas: The EVERGREEN Local Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

There is nothing better than being a business owner. Being your own boss is the coolest thing, and by starting a local business in your area, you can achieve that easily. Local small businesses require very low investment, the compliances involved are less, a minimum level of sales is guaranteed, and the growth potential is huge.

Local businesses are evergreen, and it is rare that they face a downturn or will not provide you with a minimum amount of profit on a daily basis. There are plenty of local business ideas, but the list here includes the best ideas.

best local business ideas

The top 5 small businesses to start here are not online ones. We know enough about printing t-shirts, drop shipping, selling digital books, providing online courses, etc. Let us give it a break and not focus on online businesses that start and close down too fast. That’s mainly because online businesses lose steam soon, mainly because the market is too saturated and requires too big an effort to make it successful.

These local business ideas fall in the small business category and have been the most successful throughout the past. Anybody, men and women, can run these. And if you are innovative and have business acumen, you can do wonders. Here are the local businesses that are easiest to start, grow the fastest and are easy to run.

Restaurants and cafes

Social media influencers have given a new height to the restaurant culture. Some people call it food porn, but the fact remains that the restaurant and café industry is experiencing tremendous growth In the small business ideas category.

Backed by social media posts that keep pushing food ideas to people, which in turn tempts them to eat by going out, ordering food from a local restaurant or going and picking up food from their favorite local takeaways, the food business is the in-thing. People’s love for food can never be satiated, and this thing makes starting a restaurant business a great small business idea.

And then there are food delivery apps. Plenty of them popped up a few years back and during the pandemic, they saw their businesses zooming to new heights. This directly benefited the local restaurants, cafes, delis, pizzerias, diners, and every other category of the food business. Social media brought food ideas right inside people’s most loved thing that’s used for hours daily – smartphones.

The most famous cuisine in the world includes Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Iranian, Turkish, Lebanese, Ethiopian, and Japanese. There are others like Spanish, Moroccan, Greek, Colombian, Brazilian, Korean, Portuguese, and many more.

Most popular dishes around the world like Thai som tam, Spanish seafood paella, Turkish and German doner kebabs, Polish pierogi, Japanese Ramen, Indian tandoori chicken, French Boeuf Bourguignon, German Pork Knuckle with sauerkraut and every other cuisine that people love were all in from of their eyes 24/7.

Terms like ‘best food delivery near me’ or ‘best restaurant near me’ are the most searched terms in Google local business listings and search engines. With this never-before popularity of food, the restaurant business is booming and set to grow like this for many years.

The low entry barrier in terms of money needed to start a local restaurant or a takeaway is low. Footfall in this small business setup depends on location, but if you operate a cloud kitchen and want to stick to the takeaway model, you will also save the cost of the rent. Without a doubt, this is the best time to enter the restaurant business. How well you market your restaurant business through SEO and social media is another important factor in getting you more sales.

Local grocery stores

Local grocery stores and supermarkets business

Are online retailers a threat to local grocery stores? The simple answer to this is ‘No.’ A recent Bain survey reported that 93% of online shoppers in France and 89% of online shoppers in China also shop in-store. Small businesses in local areas have a demand that stays forever. Online retail businesses broke records, and well-known brands like Target, Walmart, Costco Wholesale, The Home Depot and others had to move online to match the technology trend. But even the huge popularity could not reduce the importance of local grocery stores and small to midsize supermarkets.

Online shopping popularity is mainly driven by the fact that consumers are buying more as it provides them with a new experience and opens doors to newer and never-seen-before items. But the charm of grocery stores remains as it is – the sales have gone up, and overall revenue has grown. The sales will grow even more if you learn the grocery store business tricks well.

Displaying the goods perfectly, knowing what to display where, negotiating with brands to display their products and give more sales weightage to their products, adding trending items near the counter, integrating technology like fast payment, multiple payment methods, lovely music to play, good customer service, etc., are some of the things that can make your local grocery store or mini supermarket build loyal customers and grow sales.

This is why people don't think twice when it is about starting a grocery store business. The investment required to start an online grocery business is low, the return on investment is good, the business is as safe as possible, and sales remain consistent throughout the year.

Local pharmacies and drugstores

This is one of the best small business ideas that you can start as a brick-and-mortar store in the local area.

Amazon prescription service started when the company was closing down many business verticals in 2022-2023 and amidst recession forecasts. RxPass by Amazon, the $5 medical prescription delivery service, shows the faith of the world’s largest online retail store in the pharmacy business.

Like local grocery stores, local pharmacies and drugstores will see consistent growth, no matter how many online medical prescription delivery services arrive in the market. The reasons are simple – the local drugstore and pharmacies are essential services in nature. Pharma companies make huge profits, so they provide a handy margin to pharmacies. An aging population and an increase in illnesses mean more room for growth.

To succeed in your local small business venture, you need higher sales. To grow local pharmacy sales, stock the medicines well because maintaining the inventory in an essential service business is important. You can negotiate with the pharma company sales representatives to provide dedicated shelf areas for their brands and display ads in and out of the pharmacy. There are many other ideas, like in the local grocery stores, that you can use to grow sales and increase revenue.

Starting a local pharmacy or a drugstore does not need much money. This small business idea offers guaranteed business, and profits are high. So if you want to start a local business and look for the top small business ideas, pharmacies are one of the best options.

Home improvement and hardware stores

The housing market has always been strong but it gained more traction during the pandemic. People knew they had to spend more time at home than outside due to remote work, online education and home-based businesses. This led to a huge demand for housing in every major city in every state.

Companies were building new houses, people were selling and buying new houses to have more space, and beachside and lakeside homes became more popular – all in all, the housing market was buzzing with never-before-like activity. This directly benefited a local business that had always enjoyed a level of footfall. The housing demand made home improvement and hardware stores more popular than ever. On the list of small business ideas, home improvement and hardware stores is a big success. They saw their sales reaching new levels during the pandemic, which has continued after that as well.

After the pandemic, people are keener to pursue hobbies, give more time to themselves to balance personal and professional life and engage in physical activities to avoid health issues related to sitting in the chair for too long for office work or online education.

Some of these hobbies are woodworking, gardening, etc. People are also more focused on DIY home renovations that include building small office areas outside the main area, erecting new rooms to have more space in the house, interior and exterior painting, landscaping, kitchen and bathroom renovation, building decks and much more.

All this means starting a home improvement business is worth it. Same way, starting a hardware store is one of the best local business ideas in the current scenario. Even if the popularity of DIY home improvement goes down, it will not bring down the sales in a hardware store or the business scope of a home improvement store by too much.

The money required to start a local home improvement business or a local hardware store is not much. If you are passionate about this one of the best small business ideas, start working on it right away.

pet care local business

Pet care services in local areas

Pets are family members. Cats, dogs, parrots, hamsters, rabbits, fish and all other popular bird and animal pets are as important as any family member. It is natural for pet lovers to spend freely on pets for their grooming and general upkeep. Figures suggest that the pet industry is growing at a high rate.

Even during the pandemic and economic downturns, the spending on pet care and pet products does not go down. People love their pets, and getting them in the car for their grooming is something they feel good about. Pet boarding in local areas, especially doggy daycare, remains popular throughout the year because people need a place for their pets where they can be taken the best care of.

Everyone is in some kind of business or a job, and this is why they need a reliable pet boarding service in their local area. Pet boarding near me is the first thing people search for in their local area when they have to travel for some reason or because they are in a job or a business and there is nobody to take care of their pet back home.

Starting a pet care service business in your local area is a wonderful small business idea because it needs very little investment. With pet products on sale inside your pet care service business, you can increase the revenue further and increase profits.

Footfall remains high throughout the year, and if you are a pet lover, there can’t be a better small business than pet grooming and boarding. This brick and mortar small local business will give you money and keep you close to wonderful pet animals and birds around you.

Beauty and personal care services - hair salons, nail salons, spas, barber shops, etc

Now, this is one local business category that offers you plenty of options to choose from. Based on what you like, what you specialize in, what your local area needs and your investment scope, you can choose any of the ones you like. You can even merge a few services and give it a larger shape to become a big business.

Some of the beauty and personal care business ideas include hair salons (hair spa, hair design, wig setting and styling), barber shops (haircuts and styling), nails salons, spas (steam, sauna, jacuzzi, massage), makeup and cosmetics (laser treatments, waxing, hair reduction) and so much more. Grooming and personal hygiene is an ongoing thing for every individual and something nobody likes to compromise on. You can even list it on online services and get paid more for at-home service.

People love to spend on maintaining themselves or making themselves look good because it is both a necessity and a psychological thing. For this, money is the last thing that someone would consider. People look for reasonably priced services, but fees and charges depend more on the local area you operate in and the crowd you cater to. Investment is low for local beauty care businesses as it is more of a semi-skilled profession.

If you are not skilled, you can learn any of these services within a couple of months or less or hire an expert to assist you in carrying out your small business. You can hire staff if you have money to invest and want to operate at a certain level. With it, you can focus on other important aspects of local business like marketing and advertising, customer service, business expansion, etc.

Fitness and wellness centers – Gyms, boxing clubs, Zumba and Pilates, and yoga studios

Here’s one of the best small business ideas for fitness enthusiasts. Women admire Kylie Jenner, and men love Dwayne Johnson, and they want to achieve the shape their celebrities have chiseled out by sweating out in the gym or the fitness club. The fitness craze never fades out.

We talked about how people love caring for mental health and pursuing hobbies. Similarly, people are now more conscious than ever when it comes to staying fit and healthy. Several factors have given rise to the fitness culture. The first is rising awareness backed by social media.

Just like food dominates social media and has made people look for different delicacies around them by searching the best restaurants near me, health and fitness posts in the form of short videos on TikTok and Reels have created a whole new environment for health and fitness consciousness. People come across health-related videos every hour and every day on their smartphones, which has increased the business for local fitness and wellness centers and made it a top small business idea.

The enrollments at local gyms, boxing clubs, yoga and meditation centers, and aerobics and Zumba and Pilate classes have gone up. This means higher revenue and increased profits for all these health-based local businesses. How much money people want to invest in keeping themselves fit and in good shape can be seen with the success of Peloton, an exercise equipment and media company that saw tremendous business growth during the pandemic.

People are aware that too much sitting in a chair, working in remote mode, pursuing online education, freelancing, indulging in binge-movie watching, and gaming wreaks havoc on their health, which is why they need their fitness levels to be at their best. The pandemic grew that awareness, and after it subsided, people started joining local fitness and wellness centers near them.

This is a low-investment small business idea. Starting a fitness and wellness center is easy. You can add more features to this trending small business by offering health supplements, professional health advice, personal training, dietitian, yoga expert, at-home training classes, boxing or judo and karate training, and anything people love because of the trend. Making money in the health and fitness business is easy and while doing so, you keep yourself mentally and physically fit.

Cars – Mechanic workshop, car wash, car service local business

Here is a zooming and vrooming small business idea. People love food, love keeping themselves fit, and they love their pets. And they love cars. Keeping cars in the best condition through regular service and repairs is an important thing that every car owner cares about. Seeing them clean and tidy is part of the regular maintenance of the car.

A car, whether new or old, costs a lot of money, and it costs even more if it is not maintained and serviced regularly. Everybody understands this, so they don’t hesitate to spend money at their nearest car service center or a car wash center.

If you have the skills and a passion for cars, you can easily succeed with this small business idea which is local area-specific. Starting a local car mechanic workshop is easy as the license required and some compliances that you need to follow is an easy process.

The investment required to start a car repair workshop is not much. Both the new and used car markets have grown tremendously in the last few years, and in the coming years, car sales are predicted to go past all previous records. Almost everybody owns a car, so if you can market your car repair business well in your local area and provide the best service, the customers will keep returning to you with every car they own or the ones they will buy in the future.

You can add to this small business idea further by adding a wheel and car tire service, offering car accessories, on-call service for roadside breakdowns and at-home service for cars that need urgent repairs on-site. You can offer a lot more at your local car service business and make money quickly with this one of the best small business ideas.

Other popular small business ideas for local areas

Car and bike rental

If you live in an area that draws many tourists, starting a car rental business, bike rental business or a combination of both is a good small business idea. Tourism is seeing consistently high growth, and when people are in a travel mood, they don’t mind spending on cars and bike rentals to explore the local areas. Travel makes them happy, so money is the last thing on their mind.

Car and bike rental small business ideas can be equally successful in an area with a lot of business activity, like in and around central business districts or downtown. Many people love to travel to their offices on bikes or in rental cars. They also need rental cars for traveling to the airport, in and out of the city for business or personal trips and other reasons. Shuttle service is also popular for both tourist and business areas.

The scale of the business does not matter. You can even start with around 2 or 3 cars or around 10 bikes. Keep them in top shape in terms of service and cleanliness, be available for your customers when they need you and provide them with the vehicle when they demand. Market it well, and you will see success in your car and bike small business venture.

Book store business in local area

Digital books were once very popular, and Kindle was a hot thing to buy. But the love for real books never dies. Book lovers want to buy real books from real bookstores. Books sell online, but that has not meant a lack of love for traditional brick and mortar bookstores.

Amazon started its chain of bookstores and launched 400 stores across the country, but it could not taste much success with it. That is because selling books through physical stores is not the core business of Amazon. Besides, there were technical reasons that led to the downfall of Amazon brick and mortar bookstores. The owner of Barnes and Noble said it right when asked about their success with bookstores. He said, ‘we focus on books.’

The lesson to derive from this is – focus on your small business idea, which is books, and you will see your local area people visiting your bookstore regularly to buy books. Starting a bookstore needs a small investment, and it is more about the collection you can create and how well you stock the in-demand books.

Starting a flower shop business

Starting a small business does not get more beautiful and fragrant than this. Starting a flower is a great idea as this business remains in demand every day of the year. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, housewarming, get well soon – the occasions to give flowers are so many that you can remain busy in your flower selling business every hour of the day. The footfall is high, the margin is great, and demand is non-ending.

You can start a physical flower shop in a very small area, with very less money and with basic knowledge of flowers and making bouquets. Owning a flower shop is profitable, and the money you can make as a florist depends on the variety of flowers you offer to your customers and how well you do the flower arrangement. A flower shop business plan for a local area is not complex, so you can start immediately.