Recession or not, I’m always coming up with new business ideas. But there’s something about needing to come up with new business ideas during a recession, when money feels tight and innovation becomes a form of currency.
With that said, I’m envious of businesses that aren’t impacted by a recession. In good times or bad, they thrive. So I turned to Terkel to ask the community a question.
What are some recession-proof business ideas?
From marketing services to IT and technology services, here are 18 answers to the question, “What are some recession-proof business ideas?”
- Marketing Services
- Membership Site Or Subscription Box Business
- Rental Services
- A Grocery Store
- Résumé Writing & Career Coaching
- Pet Boarding/Sitting
- Healthcare Business
- Sewing Business
- Becoming An Insurance Agent
- Home Improvement
- Online Teaching and Tutoring
- Self Storage
- Apartment Move Out Services
- Online Freelancing
- An Industry that Makes An Old Something New
- Childcare Business
- Grocery Delivery Service
- IT and Technology
Although we often hear companies cutting down on their marketing budgets in preparation for a recession, we can safely assume that it is during a downturn that marketing is what helps brands survive when the going gets tough.
For a marketing business, the most they’d have to do is realign their services so that they match the restricted budgets of businesses. Going back to the basics and relying on high-performance solutions that create surefire impact is usually the way to go. This not only allows marketing companies to scale down their pricing but also enables them to add on more clients looking for services that help them meet a struggling market’s financial road bumps.
All in all, marketing is what companies rely on to see them through a recession, and going by this proven trend, providing marketing services is indeed a recession-proof business.
Membership Site Or Subscription Box Business
Membership-site or subscription-box businesses are one of the most recession-proof business ideas. They allow businesses to create a consistent stream of income that can help cushion the impact of an economic downturn.
During times when people are not spending as much, a membership- or subscription-based business model can be an excellent way for entrepreneurs to generate recurring income and boost customer loyalty. Additionally, such businesses can also give customers access to exclusive content, discounts, or early access to products. Subscription-based businesses are resilient and can be especially appealing during recessionary times, as people may be more likely to look for a stable source of income.
Furthermore, it is relatively easy to start up a membership- or subscription business, and the costs associated with running such a business can be kept low. This makes it an attractive business model in times of economic uncertainty.
A growing number of people are turning to rental services as a highly reliable source of revenue. Businesses may provide customers access to a variety of things that they might not otherwise possess or even have thought about purchasing in the first place through a well-managed rental business.
Rental companies can give those wishing to save money during lean times an opportunity to acquire products without the need for long-term financial obligation, including furniture and household appliances, sporting equipment, and clothing. Additionally, those who rent out things profit from obtaining cash in one lump sum and avoiding financial obligations related to maintenance after rental, depreciation, storage expenses, development budgets, and much more.
People are looking for affordable solutions, according to recent trends, and this presents investors with a priceless chance to profit from these rising needs.
A Grocery Store
One recession-proof business idea is to start a grocery store business. Grocery stores offer the sustenance people need to survive, and food is a necessity. Moreover, during a recession, consumers often forgo dining out in favor of cooking more at home. As a result, more people shop and spend more money than they would in an average economic situation. The activities of grocery stores become more lucrative, and the stock value increases.
Grocery stores are businesses that offer steady stock price increases over time, however, their average receipts may decline slightly when economic conditions settle. Even those that sell specialized products are in industries that provide grocery stores with their supplies. Although consumers tend to choose less expensive goods, they will occasionally bend their budget for a reward. Major producers of food and beverages offer value to the portfolio and provide consistent growth over time. In 2020, the pandemic had little effect on the F&B sector.
Résumé Writing & Career Coaching
I started my resume-writing and career-coaching practice after being laid off from a job as a headhunter/recruiter for a national staffing firm in 2009. Having worked in the staffing industry and as a job developer and vocational counselor for an adult vocational school for a total of seven years by that time, I had some solid skills to assist job seekers in navigating a competitive job market. While my business has had moments when it slows down a bit, I have never been without new clients each week.
Pet care and pet-sitting services will always be recession-proof because of the necessity. When someone has to travel for work and their pet cannot come along, they need someone back home to look after their furry friend. For many, a pet boarding service is the only option, so they will prefer to pay top dollar to ensure their pet receives only the best. Nothing is too good for a man’s best friend, after all.
One industry that will always be recession-proof is the healthcare industry. Creating a business that incorporates healthcare will help protect you from the recession. Healthcare companies like ours that specialize in a unique application are always essential businesses. Find your niche and go for it!
Becoming An Insurance Agent
Becoming an insurance agent is a good recession-proof business idea for these reasons: Insurance is something that people need, regardless of the state of the economy. People will always require protection for their homes, cars, health, and businesses, which creates a steady demand for insurance products and services.
Multiple revenue streams: Insurance agents earn commissions on the policies they sell, which creates multiple revenue streams. If one type of insurance is not selling in a recession, agents may still be able to earn income from other types of policies.
Residual income potential: As insurance policies are often renewed on a regular basis, insurance agents can continue to earn commissions on policies they have sold for many years.
Potential to grow your business: As an insurance agent, you have the chance to build a book of business and grow your client base over time. This can help to create a more resilient income stream that is less affected by economic downturns.
The home improvement space is a great recession-proof business idea because it’s immune to the economic condition of its clientele. What this means is that people cannot afford to delay or postpone urgent repairs or upgrades related to their homes and even commercial properties just because of a slowdown in finances.
Irrespective of market conditions, clients will always call in a home improvement team to work on their properties. Moreover, since travel and even going out usually take a backseat during an economic downturn, the home improvement space even witnesses a surge, thanks to clients looking for improvements in their homes to make their immediate space more comfortable. Yet another angle to this is the possibility of some homeowners selling their properties during a slowdown, in which case owners often repair and refurbish their homes to seek a reasonable selling price.
Online Teaching and Tutoring
Start giving online lessons. The e-learning industry is dynamically growing, and this trend will continue. The recession has no power to change it.
People want to self-develop, learn languages, and gain new skills. Children need help with their homework. High schoolers prepare for exams. And the list goes on. Think about what marketable skills you have. There is a variety of options to choose from. Language classes, playing an instrument, lessons on yoga, cooking, dance, and countless more.
Another great thing about conducting online classes is that you don’t need any money to start. What’s more, you can teach from the comfort of your own home. Last but not least, sharing knowledge can be not only profitable – even in economically challenging times – but also greatly rewarding and enjoyable.
My marketing agency has worked with self-storage companies since 2005, long enough to learn a lot about the industry and observe it during multiple economic downturns. While some may see self-storage as a boring business (it’s a box-shaped building with box-shaped rooms that you put boxes in), it tends to perform well during periods of growth as well as recession. During growth periods, people buy stuff and then don’t have room in their homes or businesses, so they get a storage unit.
During a recession, people downsize their home or office space and suddenly don’t have room for their stuff, so they get a storage unit. Historically, full occupancy in the storage industry was defined as being 85% full. Currently, the industry average in the U.S. hovers around 95%, which means it’s a great time to get into the business, and a recession may only increase demand.
Apartment Move Out Services
Property managers benefit from an apartment move-out service as it helps them to quickly transition tenants out of their properties. This ensures that the property is kept in optimal condition and that vacancy periods are minimized, meaning a steady stream of income.
Apartment move-out cleaning services are a recession-proof business for many reasons.
Despite the economic climate, property managers will always need to clean apartments when people move out and this service can never be replaced by technology. Due to the volume of service, these companies often offer competitive pricing which allows them to remain competitive even during periods of economic hardship.
There’s always a demand for labor even when companies are downsizing and laying off employees. To meet these needs, many of them resort to high-quality freelancers who can work remotely rather than full-time. You can offer freelance services from anywhere on the planet provided you have the right skill sets, a smartphone, a laptop, and an internet connection. As a freelancer, you can remain in the workforce by working on remote gigs, signing up on freelance platforms, expanding your network, and honing new skills.
An Industry that Makes An Old Something New
The Great Recession devastated a lot of industries and brands. But there was one small business space that flourished: cobblers. They were rolling in money during the last big recession because people preferred to replace the old soles of their shoes rather than buy a brand-new pair.
People who were out of work and needed nice shoes for their job interviews couldn’t go to the local shoe store and plunk down $300 for a new pair, so they went to the local shoe repair shop and paid a discounted price to replace the old pair. Stories about this phenomenon were written in The Wall Street Journal, the Tampa Tribune, and other publications at the time. They made readers (like me) realize that the most recession-proof businesses are the ones that can turn something old and make it as good as new-for less cost.
One recession-proof business idea is a home-based childcare service. With more parents needing to work from home due to the pandemic, demand for childcare has increased significantly. Home-based childcare services provide an affordable and convenient childcare option for parents, meaning that there is a consistent demand for this service even during economic downturns.
Grocery Delivery Service
Recession-proof business ideas are those that can withstand economic downturns and continue to generate revenue. One such idea is a grocery delivery service. As people become more cautious about spending money during a recession, they are more likely to stay at home and cook their own meals.
A grocery delivery service allows them to do this without having to leave their home or put themselves at risk by going to a store. Additionally, with more people working from home, the demand for food delivery services has increased.
By providing a convenient and safe way for people to buy groceries, a grocery delivery service can be a reliable source of income during a recession. Furthermore, it can also be a great opportunity for expansion, as people would prefer home deliveries in all scenarios, not just during a recession.
IT and Technology
In fact, social isolation and quarantines have demonstrated that there will be an increase in the need for technology in the years to come. Working remotely and from home is, I believe, only going to become more common, especially now that so many companies understand the benefits of cutting costs associated with overhead, such as rent.
As more people choose to work from home, demand for organizations that provide IT services is set to rise. This is because businesses all over the world need to upgrade their telecommunications. Even medical professionals are relying on technology as they advise patients to call rather than visit the hospital. Technology-based at-home services and businesses are also becoming recession-proof enterprises.
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