Overcome your recession fears with this list of ideas for recession-proof businesses. Learn how to thrive in a recession and survive an economic downturn.
- What is an economic recession?
- Is starting a business during recessions a good idea?
- Which are the best recession-proof business ideas to invest in?
- How do you create a recession-proof business?
- Best recession-proof business ideas to start in an economic downturn
- #1. Start a discount Amazon FBA store
- #2. Start an affiliate marketing business
- #3. Start a YouTube channel on frugal living
- #4. Start an Amazon Kindle publishing business
- #5. Start a freelancing business
- #6. Start a pet business
- #7. Start an investment consulting business
- #8. Start a life coaching or training business
- #9. Create a bartering community and app
- #10. Start a recycling or upcycling business
- #11. Start a green energy business
- Business tips & tools
What is an economic recession?
An economic recession, meaning a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, often lasts more than a few months.
A recession is generally considered to occur when the real gross domestic product (GDP) falls below its previous peak and is followed by at least two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.
However, the purpose of this article is not to make recession predictions and analyze the causes of recession 2023, or the reasons for recessions.
Rather, my focus is to help you prepare for the next recession coming by showcasing these recession-proof business ideas to make money and thrive in a recession.
Is starting a business during recessions a good idea?
A global recession is as good a time as any to start a business because there are many potential business opportunities during recessions that can help an aspiring entrepreneur succeed.
There are always companies that thrived during the recession and business owners who make money in a recession. The ones who make money during a recession believe in abundance and have the boldness and initiative to leverage economic trends and opportunities.
“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” ~ attributed to Albert Einstein
The key to minimizing the effects of recessions on your business is to focus on providing value and solving problems for your customers, even more so than when the markets are soaring.
When consumers are cutting back on spending because of an economic crisis coming, they’re more likely to seek out businesses that offer great deals and provide quality products or services.
You can even learn how to get rich during a recession if you provide what consumers are looking for and put your new startup in a good position to succeed.
“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” ~ Chinese proverb
Which are the best recession-proof business ideas to invest in?
So what business thrives in a recession? There are a few businesses that tend to do well during economic downturns, as people still need their services even during a recession when money is tight.
The businesses that thrive in recession include healthcare, food and beverage, delivery services, utility companies, cleaning services, and waste management. People will always need these basic services, no matter what the state of the economy is.
During recessions, people are looking for ways to save money, so products that help them do that are typically in demand. This can include things like budget-friendly clothing, energy-efficient home appliances, and cars that have good gas mileage.
Some products that tend to be in demand during a recession include items that help people save money, such as coupons and discounts. Other popular items include those that can be used to make money, such as investments and start-up kits.
People also tend to spend more time at home during a recession, so items that make the home more comfortable or entertaining are also popular. This can include hobbies like books, puzzles, games, studying and playing music, cooking, and arts and crafts.
How do you create a recession-proof business?
There are no such things as recession-proof industries or recession-proof jobs, as all businesses are affected by economic downturns. However, some businesses are more resilient and are able to withstand a recession better than others.
For example, businesses that provide essential goods and services (such as food and healthcare) tend to do better during recessions than non-essentials and luxury businesses (such as high-end retailers and travel) which are the industries most affected by recessions.
The best way to create a recession-proof business may vary depending on the specific industry and market conditions. However, some general tips on how to make your business more resistant to economic downturns include:
- Diversifying your customer base, product offerings, and revenue streams
- Maintaining a strong cash reserve
- Carefully monitor your expenses
- Building a powerful personal and business brand
By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your small business will be able to weather any storm when a recession hits. Keep in mind that can take from months to years for any new startup to build momentum, so the best time to start a new business is now.
Best recession-proof business ideas to start in an economic downturn
Starting a small business during a recession may seem counterintuitive, but it can actually be a great time to get your company off the ground.
With less competition and more people looking for ways to save money, there are plenty of opportunities for business owners to provide value without breaking the bank.
With more people working from home, there is a growing need for businesses that can be operated from home. An online business can reach a global audience and is not limited by geographical boundaries.
Here is a list of recession-proof business ideas for 2022:
#1. Start a discount Amazon FBA store
An online discount retail store can provide great savings for consumers looking to stretch their income during a recession, and starting a discount Amazon FBA store can be a great way to get started in the e-commerce world.
By offering discounts on popular items available in grocery stores, you can attract customers and build a loyal following. Plus, with Amazon’s fulfillment services, you can focus on marketing and leave the logistics to them.
You can start publishing a freebie, couponing, or discount products blog or newsletter to promote the products in your Amazon FBA discount retail store.
#2. Start an affiliate marketing business
As an affiliate marketer, you promote someone else’s products or services on your website or blog and earn a commission when someone clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase.
Starting an affiliate marketing business is a great recession-proof business idea to earn extra income online because you can choose to sell hot-selling products that your readers want.
Affiliate marketing is a popular online marketing strategy because it’s relatively easy and costs very little to get started.
If you’re interested in starting an affiliate marketing business during a recession, there are a few things you need to do:
- Find a recession-proof niche – Choose products that are guaranteed to be in demand during recessions and have the potential to be profitable.
- Research affiliate programs – Once you’ve chosen your profitable niche, research different affiliate programs that offer products or services related to your niche.
- Build a website or blog – In order to promote your affiliate links, you’ll need to have a website or blog where you can post content about the products or services you’re promoting.
- Drive traffic to your site – Once you have a website or blog up and running, it’s time to start driving traffic to it and converting visits to sales.
#3. Start a YouTube channel on frugal living
YouTube is a great platform for sharing tips on how to save money, which tends to be very popular during recessions. You can reach a wide audience with your message and help people learn how to better manage their finances and live frugally.
To get started, create a free YouTube channel and start making videos sharing your money-saving and frugal living tips.
For instance, you can share recipes on how to prepare healthy food using cheaper ingredients, how to prevent food waste, and how to make your food budget go further.
You can share home repair tips so your audience can fix their own devices without having to pay an appliance repair person. Be sure to include helpful information and tips that viewers can use in their own lives.
You don’t even need to show your face in your YouTube videos because these faceless YouTube channel ideas for introverts will show you how to start a YouTube blog and make videos without appearing in them.
With a little effort, you can find a lot of topics where you can share frugal-living tips build a following, make a difference in the lives of others, and monetize your YouTube channel with advertising, affiliate marketing, or brand sponsorships.
Matt Par’s Tube Mastery & Monetization course is a complete roadmap to take beginners all the way to make a full-time income and has just as much content for the veterans to scale their business and perfect their techniques.
#4. Start an Amazon Kindle publishing business
If you’re looking for another great recession-proof business idea, starting an Amazon Kindle publishing business could be a great option.
eBooks sell well during recessions as many people are looking for low-cost ways to educate and entertain themselves. With Amazon Kindle, you can self-publish your own eBooks and reach a global audience of potential readers.
The best part is that you don’t need any experience or expertise to start writing a book. All you need is a good idea for a book and the motivation and guidance to get started.
Your book doesn’t even have to be long. Short two-hour reads of around 20,000 words do very well in the Amazon Kindle store, and most people are looking for a source of quick, actionable information to help them learn new things.
For instance, you can write a book on frugal living, herb gardening, healthy recipes, recession-proof investing, and more. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this article on how to start writing a book for beginners.
Once you’ve written your book or, even better, a series of books around a topic or theme, the process of publishing on Amazon is relatively straightforward, and if you market your book well, it could become a bestseller.
There are several ways to write a book without writing it yourself, if you want to become a published author but don’t have the time or skills to start writing a book yourself.
And if you’re a blogger, you can make a book from a blog to build your personal brand and authority and generate long-lasting, passive income.
So if you’re looking for a way to make money from home, starting an Amazon Kindle publishing business could be a great recession-proof business idea for you.
#5. Start a freelancing business
Millions of people are using online freelancing to advance their careers, take control of their schedules, and live better lives. During recessions, many startups try to save costs by choosing to outsource work to freelancers and remote workers.
Starting a freelancing business can be a great way to earn extra income, or even replace your full-time job. While it can be difficult to get started as a freelancer, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of success.
For instance, you can automate your cold email outreach with SmartWriter’s AI-powered personalized cold email outreach tools to create tailored emails that help you build 1-on-1 relationships with prospective clients at scale.
Here are some freelancing courses that will help you start a successful freelance career:
- The Goodbye 9 to 5 course will teach you everything you need to successfully make the transition from your 9-to-5 job into working from home full-time, with practical strategies to apply to your own situation.
- The Pitching Clients 101 course will enable you to land your first client, and you can use these strategies to reach out to and pitch future clients again and again.
- The Keep Your Clients course will teach you best practices for client communications, client retention strategies, and how to make the most of every client relationship.
- The Advanced Cold Email Selling Course will teach you how to do cold email the right way so people thank you for emailing them, and how to turn those new relationships into quick sales.
- This Udemy Fiverr Freelancing Course will show you how to get more clients and sell Fiverr gigs like the top 1% of freelancers on the Fiverr website.
To start a successful freelancing career, research the market and find out what services are in demand. Then, create a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and experience. Finally, market yourself online and offline to potential clients.
Here are some freelance services that can offer a flexible way to earn extra income online during a recession:
- Virtual assistant services
- Digital marketing services
- Freelance writing services
- SEO specialist services
- Pinterest business strategist
- Marketing videography services
- Social media services
- Transcription services
- Teaching English online
#6. Start a pet business
Starting a pet business can be a great way to turn your love for animals into a profitable small business venture. Personal care services such as pet sitting, pet boarding, and pet products are always in demand with pet lovers.
There are a number of different pet-related businesses you can start, from dog walking and pet sitting to starting a dog treat bakery, or a pet grooming service.
Here are some courses to help you start a business that involves pet care and pet products:
- The Free How to Start a Dog Treats Business Workshop will show you how to start a homemade dog treat bakery and sell treats in person or online. This side hustle is for people of all ages and backgrounds and can bring in $500 – $1,000+ per month.
- How To Start a Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business in 7 Days is a step-by-step course to launch, attract clients, and make a profit as a pet sitter or dog walker, so you can turn your pet sitting and dog walking business dreams into reality in just a few days.
- The Professional Pet Sitting Diploma Course is a comprehensive catalog of essential information to be a successful pet sitter and a must for anyone wanting to set up their own business as a Professional Pet Sitter.
If you’re passionate about pets and animal welfare, and have some entrepreneurial flair and good people skills, starting a pet business could be the perfect way to make money while doing something you love.
#7. Start an investment consulting business
If you’re an investment consultant or are hoping to become one, financial consulting is among the top recession-proof businesses to start.
Before and during recessions, most people are looking for advice on how to invest with a recession on the horizon, so they can learn what is the safest investment during a recession, and which recession-proof stocks to buy.
As a financial consultant, you already know what to do with your money in a recession and can advise your clients on what are the safest investments during a recession, and how to start building a recession-resistant portfolio.
In addition to your investment consulting fees, you can join Augusta Precious Metal’s Partner Program – one of the highest-paying affiliate programs in the finance niche – and earn up to 66% trade-to-qualified-lead conversion rate with lifetime commissions for each customer you refer.
Then invite your high net-worth clients to watch this free gold and silver web conference on how to diversify their savings to hedge against today’s volatile economy, and how a gold IRA can help diversify their retirement savings and fight economic volatility.
Also, send them a link to download this free guide on how to avoid Gold IRA dealer lies and buy gold the right way for retirement.
#8. Start a life coaching or training business
When times get bad, people look for ways to learn new skills that will help them cope with life changes and improve their lives and their prospects. As a coach, you can teach people how to have resilience at work and in life situations.
You can also help your coaching clients learn mindful living, reduce stress, and improve their mental health and well-being by teaching them mindfulness skills.
If you have a passion for helping others reach their potential, or want to make a difference in the world, starting a life coaching or training business can be a very rewarding experience.
You can also leverage online learning and online education to start your own online training institute and sell online courses so you can reach a global audience and earn a passive income.
It’s important to get life coach certification and plan carefully before taking the plunge, but if you’re prepared and passionate about what you’re doing, it can be an incredibly fulfilling way to earn a living while helping others improve their lives.
#9. Create a bartering community and app
During a recession or economic crisis, there’s more interest in bartering products and services because it allows people to get things they need without an exchange of money.
You can create a free or paid bartering community with Podia’s community feature that offers a significant benefit over other platforms in that they allow you to retain all of your other work in one place.
You can also build a mobile bartering app that allows your community to list products and services for barter, locally or globally.
With the availability of no-code app creation software like AppPresser, you don’t even need to know to code or spend money on an expensive mobile developer until you have the funds.
AppPresser is an app builder that specializes in WordPress integration and allows you to create WordPress mobile apps for iOS and Android, with no prior experience required.
If you can set up a WordPress site, you can make use of your existing WordPress content and get your AppPresser app into the app stores for a low cost.
#10. Start a recycling or upcycling business
Waste management is a $2000 billion global market and waste management businesses tend to thrive during a recession.
Starting a recycling or upcycling business can be a great way to help the environment and make money by reducing waste and generating revenue from recycled materials.
Recycling businesses collect materials that would otherwise be thrown away and either recycle them or upcycle them into new products. Upcycling businesses take used materials and turn them into new and often better-quality products.
When starting a recycling or upcycling business, you need to make sure you have a steady supply of materials to work with. You can get materials from individuals, businesses, or even other recycling businesses.
You also need to have a plan for what to do with the materials you collect. Will you recycle them, upcycle them, or both? In addition, you need to make sure you have the right equipment and facilities for your business.
In this Waste Management Business course, you’ll learn 15+ business models in waste management ranging from zero to a million dollars in investment to generate income, impact, and influence in the waste management industry.
This course will teach you how to classify business models based on investment level, by offering an in-depth examination of each business model to assist you in becoming a better entrepreneur, change agent, researcher, or policymaker.
With a little planning and effort, starting a recycling or upcycling business can be a great way to help the environment and make some extra money.
#11. Start a green energy business
Did you know that climate change represents a $26 trillion business opportunity? Starting a green energy business and selling environmentally-friendly products or services is a great way to help the environment and make a profit during a recession.
Many families and small business owners are likely to be interested in reducing their energy costs by switching to renewable energy during a recession.
In this comprehensive Ultimate Renewable Energy Bundle Course for Beginners, you’ll learn all about renewable energy and understand the basics of solar energy, wind energy, and wave energy conversion systems.
By building a green energy business that sells solar or wind-power kits, or services such as solar panel installation and wind turbine maintenance, you can help your clients save money and conserve resources.
Whatever type of business you choose, you will need to obtain the proper licenses and permits, as well as business insurance. You will also need to create a business plan and find business funding for your new recession-proof business.
Consider getting one of these recession-proof businesses up and running soon to help you thrive in the upcoming recession and build a financially secure future.
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© 2022 – 2023, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.
Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, an award-winning online publisher, and an online branding consultant. Download her free personal branding eBooks and check out Devi2Diva, her book on emotional self-care for women. In her spare time, Priya writes science-fiction novels and poetry and chills with her two-legged and four-legged kids.