If you are a landowner of raw land or empty lots, learn about the best, most profitable, small business ideas to create cash flow from your vacant land and generate substantial income – even without development or buildings.
Here are 66 business ideas to earn money from your vacant land and make it an income-producing asset for your investment portfolio including farming, leasing, retail, storage, recreation, solar energy, and advertising business opportunities.
Farm – If your land is large and cultivable, lease to farmers for growing crops.
Farmers Market – Rent your land to a variety of farmers and vendors for a farmers market selling local produce and homemade goods.
RV and Camping Trailer Storage – Homeowners need space to store their seasonal camping vehicles.
Industrial Storage – Businesses and government municipalities need to lease storage yards for construction materials and masses such as road salt and sand.
Boat Storage – Boat owners often don’t have adequate space to store their marine recreational vehicles and marina storage fees are often steep. Expand your storage to include jet skis, surfboards, and paddleboard equipment.
Self-storage yard – Offer space for people to keep their storage pods, or set up storage units and rent to local individuals and businesses.
Firewood – Make twice the money with your raw land by felling the trees and then selling them for firewood. Alternatively, you could also lease your land to another firewood business.
Campground – Rent camping for tents and RV. Or you can set up a child’s summer camp or even special night star gazing for aspiring astronomers. Don’t forget the business opportunities created by the Glamping craze. The ultra-elegant way to camp under the stars.
Parks – Rent your land to your town municipality for a park or bike path for the community to enjoy.
Wind Farm or Solar Energy – Your acreage could be the ideal location for an alternative energy source of wind or solar energy. Rent your land for wind turbines or solar energy collection panels.
Dirt Bike Track – Set up and rent a bike course for BMX and motocross recreation and race events.
Mountain Bike and Hiking Trails – Fitness enthusiasts and nature lovers all want access to raw undeveloped land.
Car Race and Drag strip – Profit from your land by building a race track and drag strip. This is an especially good idea if your land is away from residential areas due to the loud car noises.
Drone racing events – Offer your land, at a price, to drone clubs to stage racing and training events.
Paintball Games – Rent your land to groups and teams for games and championships events.
Hunting – Hunters will pay handsomely for access to your land’s hunting rights. If you are an expert hunter yourself, you could also offer expedition services and trips.
Golf course – Your land of rolling hills can become a very lucrative golf course with some investment.
Religious Revival events – Make money by leasing your land during the summer to tent revival religious groups for their events.
Outdoor theatres & concerts – Summer stock theatre and music concerts want to stage their shows outdoors and your land could be the perfect venue.
Music Festivals – Consider renting your land to an organized music festival. They will require raw land for stage set up, attendance chairs, dining establishments, retail stalls, and camping spots.
Arts, Antiques and Crafts Fairs – Annual or weekend events for artists and buyers to gather can be a money-maker for your raw land.
Athletic Sports Events – Lease your land for track and field, endurance, hikes, mountain climbing, and swimming events.
Agritourism – Use your vacant land for fun seasonal events such as hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and pumpkin chucking. In my rural area, a woman makes substantial income from a sunflower field. She has lots of wedding photographers pay for photoshoots and families pay for admission to stroll through her flower fields.
Cross country skiing – Carve a rough path through your land and during the winter charge people to cross country ski on your acreage.
Scavenger Hunts – People love to have fun finding clues in scavenger hunts. Your land, even urban empty lots, could be great for this business venture. A unique twist would be a rally race on dirt bike or hiking.
Scouting events and jamborees – Local scout groups regularly need land for camping and outdoor recreational events.
Christmas Tree farms – This is a good long term business. Allow people to grow pine trees on your land and set up a “pick your own” Christmas tree company.
Tiny houses and mobile home rentals – The current trend towards minimalism resulting in people creating tiny houses. Now they require land to lease to place their tiny mobile houses. This is your business opportunity.
Sod farm – Lease your land to a farmer for sod grass farming.
Timber – Sell your timber rights, or harvest the tree yourself and sell the lumber.
Cell phone towers – Make big money by allowing a telephone company to install a cell tower on your land. You can negotiate an initial fee for construction permission and then recurring monthly rental fees.
Electrical substations – Utility companies often need to rent land for substations and equipment leasing.
Access roads – If your land is an access point to other locations then charge people and businesses access fees.
Parking lots – Make money by using your land for parking fleets such as government trucks and school buses.
Commuter park and ride – Help people save money and gas by creating a park and ride lot where commuters can meet and carpool to work.
Specialty Farms – Charge more money per acre to small scale farmers for specialty crops that are high-profit such as hemp and beer hops.
Vineyard – Lease your land to vineyard owner to grow wine grapes. Plus you can charge people for vineyard tours on your land.
Telescope – If your land has good sky views offer rights to install telescope equipment for researchers and astronomers.
Research cameras – Universities often require land for the installation of research cameras to study animals and wildlife.
Film locations – Profit in the movie industry! Rent your land to movie crews for location shoots.
Fashion Photoshoots – Make money by leasing your land to fashion photographers for magazine photo sessions.
Painting Outdoors – Consider renting your land to painting groups to create art outdoors.
Animals Grazing – If your land is mainly pasture you can offer grazing rights to cows and goats.
Raise Livestock – Raise cattle, horses, buffalos and llamas.
Horse stable & equestrian center – Offer boarding and lessons for riders horse owners.
Dairy farm – Raise cows, sheep or goats and make products from their milk such as cheese and even soaps.
Dog breeding – Dog breeders often need to rent additional kennel and exercise training yards for their puppy litters. Learn about the most profitable dog breeds on my post
Bird Watching – Organize bird watching events for local enthusiasts and profit.
School Field Trips – Allow local schools to visit your land and teach children about nature.
Collateral asset – Use your raw land as financial security collateral to borrow money for other forms of business investment or trade for another real estate. You earn profits with lower interest rates and access to loan monies.
Community gardens – Earn money for empty lots in urban areas by creating community gardens where people pay for a small plot of land to grow vegetables and flowers.
Restaurant garden – Lease your land to local restaurants to grow their own produce. This is an in-demand culinary trend of farm to table.
School garden – Rent your land to schools for teaching children about gardening and healthy nutrition. Recent studies determined California teachers believed the school gardens are an effective nutritional tool to promote healthy eating habits.
Railroad storage and access – Earn money by allowing access and storage of railroad cars to the railway system. Also, consider leasing to other transportation systems such as buses and trolleys.
Water rights and access – If your land has water access (rivers, bays or lakes) make money by renting to fishermen and water sport enthusiasts. Boat launches can be especially lucrative for canoe, kayak, and surf equipment rental businesses.
Zipline attraction – If your land is sloping with great views, consider creating a fun zipline that people will pay to ride.
Drive-in movie theatre – Nostalgia is trending and with it the demand for old-fashioned drive-in movies. You could create the classic ones where people watch from their cars, or you could create an outdoor movie theatre that people bring their lawn chairs – especially popular for families.
Event rentals – Lease your land for special outdoor events such as weddings, charity fundraiser and corporate retreats.
Beekeeping – This in-demand business is profitable for urban and rural landowners.
Billboard advertising – If your land is near major highways you can earn an excellent income from leasing space for billboard ads. Suburban roadside land can also be rented for advertising purposes – especially profitable during election seasons.
Roadside attraction – You know those crazy cool museums and tourist traps such as the world’s largest – they make big bucks! Charge admission to your sightseers and also set up a gift shop to double your profits and earn money.
Large equipment storage – Many industries have large equipment storage needs such as excavators, landscapers, masons, and construction firms.
Ice skating rink – Make winter cash by charging admission to your frozen lake or build an ice rink. Don’t forget to profit from selling hot chocolate and skate rentals.
Junkyard – Help the environment by recycling and people to save money by setting up (or renting your land) for a junkyard. Scrap metal collection and car parts are among the most profitable vacant land uses.
Training grounds – Your raw land could be perfect for organizations, such as fire departments and construction firms, to train their employees.
Shooting range – Gun owners will pay for a place to target practice safely.