15+ Recession-Proof Businesses You Can Start in 2022

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Starting a business is generally considered a difficult feat. But there are certain kinds of businesses that thrive in good times and bad. Even in times of financial crisis, recession-proof businesses continue to operate and make a profit. This article addresses starting a business during a recession and what types of businesses are recession-proof.

Starting a Business During a Recession

Many wait for the perfect moment to execute their business ideas but are surprised when hearing that a recession might be the ideal time to start a new business—their latest venture can serve as a safety net for those without jobs.

In search of a new career, entrepreneurs aim to create new opportunities for themselves and others like them. But before venturing into a business deal, you should research recession-proof industries and focus on starting your business in one of these.

While many are reluctant to dive into something new during an economic crisis, this could work in your favor, as you’ll face less competition. In addition, established businesses that make money during a recession would also be less competitive because the recession will affect their operations. Thus, you’d be starting with a business plan optimized for the current economic state and buying power.

Costs in starting a business during a crisis period could be lower—manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors are usually willing to negotiate prices during such periods. Equipment might also be obtained at a lower cost—companies are selling their goods at low costs to make at least some earnings during a difficult time. You could even get highly qualified workers (with the required skill set) laid off due to the lousy economy. (For more information about business-related particulars, you should turn to these small business statistics.)

You could focus on low risk business ideas and consider clients’ needs caused by the current situation. Then, if you manage to solve the problems people face, you can make a significant profit.

Another benefit of starting a business at such a time includes setting up your business for subsequent success when the economy recovers. If you succeed during a recession, you’ll excel when the economy becomes optimal.

A  recession-proof business is not something unseen or unheard of. Many of the most successful companies operating today had their beginnings during a recession. Those who wish to invest won’t be reluctant—experienced investors know that during recessions, it’s better to move their money from the stock market and invest in promising new businesses.

Most services used daily are provided by companies that were established in difficult economic times. For example, Microsoft was founded in 1975, during the oil recession and the Great Recession of 2009—which resulted in the establishment of many of our favorite companies: Airbnb, Uber, Venmo, and Slack.

NOTE: Limited Liability Companies have become an increasingly popular form of small business in the past two decades. You can learn how to start an LLC or seek out the top-rated LLC services to do it for you. And find the best registered agent for your LLC.

Recession-Proof Businesses

Some businesses are immune to the recession. So you might consider them as potential options for the company you want to start.

Food and Beverage

The food and beverage industry belongs to one of the most recession-proof sectors because even during an economic breakdown, people still keep buying food.

Bakeries

Baked goods will never go out of business; people are constantly buying bread, cakes, and other baked goods. The baked goods industry is one of the industries that do well in recession—perhaps even better than a typical situation. The upside is that you don’t need to have any specific qualifications to open a bakery—although a love for food and some managerial skills might be a plus. The startup expenses of this business aren’t too substantial; you only need several employees, to begin with. If you’re producing high-quality goods, you can attract a lot of customers and make a  profit.

Grocery Stores

Grocery and convenience stores can succeed during a recession since many avoid superstores to limit purchases and reduce unnecessary spending. Opening a grocery store is among the recession-proof businesses ideas because even if people can’t afford to eat out, they spend food money at the nearest grocery store. You can open a grocery store, even if you’re new to the field. You can succeed if you’re hardworking, but it’s better if you have experience working or managing a store. You’ll need more substantial financial means to open and stock a store, but this business includes a significant earning potential.

Candy Stores

Comfort food is always popular, and even more so during trying times. Opening a candy store can be cost-effective; you only need to take care of the upfront expenses, and candy sells itself.

Fast Food

One of the most recession-proof products is fast food. Since the introduction of fast-food chains, people have constantly turned to this comfort food in times of trouble. You don’t need any specific expertise to become a fast-food supplier. And if you provide tasty food at affordable prices, you’ll be able to earn a decent income soon.

Liquor and Tobacco

During difficult times, people often become more susceptible to vices. It’s no surprise then that alcohol and cigarette sales rise during a recession. If you decide to go in this direction, you should only supply the merchandise and secure a selling point—the business then becomes self-sustaining.

Repairs and Maintenance Services

Repairs and maintenance are essential services that have proven to be immune to the recession. Most are unable to conduct necessary repairs of items themselves, so they turn to professionals, even in times of crisis. If you’re a skilled worker, you can start such a business and be sure that you’ll never be out of work. Since there is a constant demand for these services, profits are guaranteed.

Auto Repairs

Auto repair shops are among the recession-proof small businesses since cars are everyday necessities. If your car breaks down, we turn to an auto repair shop. Many cannot afford to go without a vehicle and purchasing a new car during a recession is a considerable expense. Experience is crucial in starting this business, but you’ll have guaranteed job stability and a steady flow of income once you do.

Cleaning Services

A good recession-proof business idea is to start a cleaning service. Regardless of the current economic situation, personal and public spaces must be kept clean. If you find yourself without a job, cleaning services can be your safety net since it doesn’t require any exceptional experience.

Apartments

Owners and renters always wish to have their personal space clean, so you could specialize in providing cleaning services for apartment buildings. As one of the recession-proof businesses for 2021, the compensation you receive for these services is enough to keep your company operational, even during a recession.

Dry Cleaning

Laundry services and dry-cleaning are mostly unaffected during difficult periods, as people like to keep their clothes clean at all times. If you have any experience in the industry, you should give this option a try.

Health and Senior Services

The constant advances in medicine and science call for a more significant number of healthcare service providers. Those with a medical background should look into starting one of the best recession-proof businesses by either providing a particular healthcare service or for elderly care, as an increasing number of the elderly require assistance. For medical professionals, starting a business in a recession is a great idea.

Veterinary Services

People care deeply about their pets. And pets require professional care. So veterinarians shouldn’t worry about starting a new business even during a crisis; they’ll appreciate a profitable outcome regardless of the economy.

Funeral Services

Sadly, many funeral services (burial, cremation) are in constant demand. These services are possibly the safest business to start, and you don’t need any previous experience. You only need to be professional and respectful, and you’ll have a constant workflow and an excellent income.

Baby Products

Children cannot be neglected even in critical moments. One of the recession-proof business ideas includes selling baby products. No experience is required to start something of this kind, only an entrepreneurial spirit. If you decide to go into the baby-product business, you could earn substantial profits.

Accounting Services

Even during an economic downturn, people still need to hire accountants for bookkeeping, tax prep, and other financial services. To establish a business of this kind, you need to be a certified accountant or bookkeeper. If you have the required education and certifications, you shouldn’t think twice about starting a business because recessions have a low impact on this sector, thereby turning a profit.

Freelancing

Numerous businesses employ freelancers for many of the services they provide. As regular employment takes a dive, many turn to freelance work and make decent earnings. Freelancing is one of the many ways to make money during a recession.

Writing

Content writers are constantly engaged with writing news articles and creating content for various websites. Freelance writers can earn solid wages.

Translating

Even with improved automated translation services, the demand for human translators is still high. Translation services are well-paid. And if you know languages, you can utilize this skill and earn money.

Virtual Assistants

These assistants provide administrative services for organizations and businesses and are provided remotely online or via phone. Virtual assistance is one of the good businesses to start in a bad economy.

Tutoring

Many decide to go back to college when a recession hits—so tutoring is going to be in demand. Another upside is that you can conduct this business remotely as well or combine online tutoring with in-person training.

Key Takeaways 

Contrary to popular belief, businesses can be very successful during a recession and make significant profits.
A recession is the best time to start a business if you choose the type of business wisely—you should focus on the businesses that are immune to the recession.
Each financial crisis is different. You need to look into industries in demand during the current recession. But there are some universal recession-proof services (e.g., funeral services) and recession-proof franchises (e.g., Burger King).
Some business ideas require certain levels of education and expertise (e.g., medical professionals, mechanics), while other businesses can be founded by anyone (e.g., bakeries, cleaning services).

Therapy and Life Coaching

Recessions are stressful times, and people often face emotional and psychological problems. Providing help to people makes for a recession-proof small business. If you’re a licensed therapist or a life coach, you should start your own business, which is practical since there are no ongoing expenses—you only need your expertise and time to make a profit. You could offer your services online and aim to be one of the top-rated online therapy.

IT Support

With technology infiltrating every part of our lives, the IT sector is one of the recession-proof industries. And with the emergence of new technologies, the industry will continue to flourish and make revenue. But to start an IT business, you need to know tech systems or employ a team of software designers, system administrators, and other tech specialists.

Digital Marketing

The dire state of the economy calls for increased use of marketing, especially in digital form, which could be the best business during a recession. Digital marketing strategies—such as SEO, email marketing, and social media campaigns—are the fastest and most cost-effective ways to attract new clients. If you have experience in the industry, you might want to consider starting a marketing or advertising business—it pays well, and there’s a constant need for it.

Courier Services

With the rising popularity of online shopping, a need for courier services has become apparent. Companies like FedEx and UPS are thriving, proving that there are businesses that do well in a recession. You don’t need specific experience to start this kind of business. Instead, you should give it a go since it has much growth potential.

Security Services

In a financial crisis, crime rates significantly grow. As a result, people feel an increased need for security. As one of the recession-resistant industries, security service providers have more work than usual during a recession. You can always try starting such a business without any significant expenses for a substantial return.

Physical Security

Public institutions require security on-site to protect them from potential attacks, which, in recessions, is essential for banks and other organizations that deal with money.

Home Security

Rising crime rates entice some to resort to top-notch home security systems to protect their property. If you know how to install security and alarm systems, you’ll have your hands full during a recession.

E-commerce (Electronic Commerce)

E-commerce is possibly the best industry to start a business during a recession. People are constantly shopping online, especially during a pandemic. You can become an online retailer and sell (or re-sell) goods. To operate this type of business, you need to be self-motivated and dedicate enough time. If your online shop is successful, you can earn a substantial amount of money.

Debt Counseling

During a recession, some cannot make payments on time and debt begins to accumulate. If you’re one with experience in debt-handling, you could start a debt counseling business, which could bring a significant profit.

NOTE: When starting a business, you first need to choose a name and register it. You can easily learn how to trademark a company name here. 

Conclusion

Recession-proof businesses prove that you can be successful even during times of financial hardship. Before starting a business, outline what is essential in a recession and provide goods or services that will satisfy the needs of the population, hence ensuring the success of your business and a steady income.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.

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