20 Best Recession Proof Businesses to Start

Some will advise you not to start a business during a recession, but they couldn’t be more wrong. As more cunning businessmen know, there are a lot of opportunities when most charts turn red. Certain industries thrive on instability, and others don’t depend on the global financial meltdown at all.

Whether you want to help those who lost their jobs for a fee or provide a service with amazing returns on investment, there are hundreds of great recession proof business ideas.

You don’t even need huge capital to get into certain markets. For minimal investments, for example, a good computer, you can make a killing despite the economic downturn.

Consider these recession proof businesses to make a killing right now

What makes a business recession proof exactly? A good business investment right now is the one that’s low-risk and provides a product or service that is currently in high demand.

There are many good recession proof businesses that you can get into, so I put together a list of 20 businesses that have the most potential, and it’s all backed by data. All you need to do is get creative and, depending on the industry, put in some cash or finish a course or two.

Resume writer writing resumes.
Starting a business in a risk-free industry is a smart idea during a recession.

Resume writing services

When people lose their jobs en-masse one of the most lucrative ways to make money is writing resumes. Many people don’t often change jobs, so their resume writing skills might be rusty, or outdated.

In the US, the market size for resume writing and improvement is estimated at around $268.364 million. Around 2,849 professionals write resumes in the US. [1]

That’s where you come in, and offer to make their resume stand out at an affordable cost. Finding customers shouldn’t be hard, and if you’re good at that kind of work, you can make a killing with almost no investments. All you need is a computer.

Pet walking and care

Not only is there a tremendous demand for dog walking, but the business also has a low entrance barrier.

The worldwide pet sitting market was estimated at USD 2.6 billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% predicted from 2020 to 2027. [2]

Increased consumer expenditure on pets and pet services has resulted in a greater demand for time-saving pet care services, which has fueled the rise of the pet sitting industry.

Furthermore, the growing number of pet owners, notably in the United States and Europe, is boosting demand for pet assistance services, which in turn is driving demand for pet sitting services.

No matter what happens in the world, most people will still keep their pets. Many treat them as their own children, and can’t imagine their lives without them. This is the main reason why this is such a profitable industry even during the recession.

Dogs being walked outside.
Dog sitting businesses earn a lot of money with minimal investment.

Food services and delivery

Recession or not, we gotta eat. Even though food and basic ingredients prices are rising, that doesn’t mean that demand has plummeted. Like always, many small business owners opened their shops in recent months and years, and continue to thrive despite inflation.

Online meal delivery is anticipated to account for 21% of the overall restaurant sector by 2025. [3]

The numbers don’t lie, around 60% of all restaurants can expect more sales when they offer online ordering. At some point in their lives, 80 percent of Americans have ordered meals for home delivery.

Open a food delivery services business to get your share of the pie, and if you can set up a kitchen and have the means to deliver food, you can profit immensely.

Education, courses, tutorials

Since the pandemic started and many stayed at home to battle COVID-19, the epidemic of joblessness and boredom forced many to enroll in online courses, chase a new degree, etc.

E-Learning Market size surpassed USD 315 billion in 2021 and is projected to observe 20% CAGR from 2022 to 2028. [4]

The industry’s development will be fueled by increased internet penetration across the world. The growing telecommunications and broadband industries have boosted the availability of low-cost internet connectivity services, making online courses an attractive option.

When an economic downturn forces millions to switch careers, they flock to platforms that offer relevant, high-quality courses. If you’re very skilled in a certain field, you should consider setting up a platform of your own.

An online teacher working.
If you have a valuable skill, sharing it with others via your education platform is a great business idea during economic hardship.

Youtuber

As long as advertisers are willing to buy ads on Youtube, creating high-quality content will be profitable, making it a real recession proof business. Besides ads, Youtubers earn money from sponsorships, merchandise, and donations.

YouTube generated $28.8 billion revenue in 2021, a 46% increase year-on-year. Over 2.5 billion people access YouTube once a month [5]

If you already have a decent computer and a solid camera, there is virtually nothing stopping you try out posting on youtube. Cover topics that you are an expert in, and people will eventually notice you.

Trades

If you want to learn a recession resistant skill, getting into certain trades can prove very lucrative. Of course, trades tied to certain industries might be better than others during an economic recession, but in general, they are an amazing foundation for small businesses.

Most high-earning trade jobs are expected to grow around 7% in until the year 2029. [6]

Starting a utility services or commercial cleaning services company is relatively simple and requires minimal investment but some amount of training or an associate’s degree. The same goes for many businesses focusing on essential services.

Some of the highest earners in the trades industry are construction managers ($97,180 median annual salary), elevator and escalator installers and repairers ($86,850 median annual salary), and nuclear medicine technologists ( $79,590 median annual salary).

Construction managers working on a construction site.
Many skilled trade workers found their own companies, drastically increasing their income.

Virtual Assistant

Among the recession proof businesses, this is the one that’s often overlooked. But, getting into the virtual assistant market can really make the cash flow.

The global intelligent virtual assistant market size was valued at USD 5.82 billion in 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.5% from 2021 to 2028. [7]

The market is expected to expand due to the demand for increased efficiency among service-based businesses and the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistants across multiple platforms such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones, among others.

Mental-health

During the pandemics and times of crisis, many people lose jobs, suffer from depression or PTSD, or just aren’t able to cope with the situation that the world is currently in. That’s where mental-health professionals come in. As it seems right now, the supply can’t meet the demand.

From 2021 to 2030, the worldwide mental health market is expected to increase at a CAGR of 3.5 percent, from $383.31 billion in 2020 to $537.97 billion in 2030. [8]

Some governments are putting money into cutting-edge digital services and telecommunications solutions, as well as hiring more mental health specialists. Therefore, it’s a perfect opportunity to jump in and help people, while earning a living at the same time.

Mental health professional helping a patient.
Mental-health professionals are having a lot of work lately.

Gaming – streaming

If you ever dreamed of becoming a streamer, now is the great time to try it. As many sit jobless at home, streamers have been getting more and more views. Factors such as expanding smartphone adoption and rising mobile streamers are expected to enhance the market growth.

The eSports and Games Streaming industry is expected to grow from US$ 2.3 billion in 2022 to US$ 7.2 billion in 2032. [9]

It’s very easy too, if you have a good computer, setting up your stream shouldn’t be hard with the help of some tutorials. Play your favorite game, get good at it and the audience will come by itself.

Public relations specialists

For companies, public image is more important than ever, especially online. As people vote with their wallets, impressing them and convincing them that you’re on their side is essential.

In 2019, there were 274,600 PR specialists in the US alone. In 2019, the public relations industry generated $14.07 billion in the US. [10]

About 29,200 openings for public relations specialists are projected each year, on average, in the next ten years, which is a huge growth compared to the average of all other industries.

A PR specialist talking to a crowd.
Start your PR firm and defend the good image of major companies, for a good price.

Affiliate marketing

Since it requires little to no investment, affiliate marketing is incredibly popular among publishers and brands alike. Advertisers only pay for what they get, as it is a form of marketing based on performance.

More than 80% of brands have affiliate programs, and 94% of publishers use multiple affiliate marketing networks. [11]

If you want to focus on making ads, that’s a viable career path. If you know what you’re doing, with some luck you can make millions. As long as companies want money, the affiliate marketing industry will grow.

Skilled labor

Skill labor is always in high demand. Companies fight over workers who are experts in their fields and are willing to work, whether it’s in the IT industry or on a construction site.

Currently, some industries that severely lack qualified, skilled workers are the energy industry, mining, oil, and gas extraction industries, technology, and engineering.

Engineering careers provide the highest average beginning wage year after year. Engineers earn a median annual pay of $100,640, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the engineering industry is expected to rise by 6% between 2020 and 2030. [12]

Getting a degree in a very sought-after field is always a smart decision, but it’s even more important if you factor in all the unemployment and the economic downturn.

An engineer making blueprints for a product.
Engineering is a career with a lot of potentials, especially if you want to start a business.

Healthcare industry

Healthcare is always profitable, and healthcare professionals rarely struggle to find work. Whether you are a doctor or a nurse, starting your own practice can be a true money printer.

U.S. health care spending grew 9.7 percent in 2020, reaching $4.1 trillion or $12,530 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 19.7 percent. [13]

The industry is constantly growing due to many factors. Some are more obvious like the Covid pandemic and the aging population. Either way, if you’re looking for a degree, becoming a medical professional is one of the most recession proof decisions you can make.

Beauty and care products

In recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of beauty and make-up influencers. Now, it’s an amazing time to jump in and scoop some of that traffic with your products. Or, if you prefer, you can become a beauty guru too!

Globally, the beauty and care industry is strong and only getting stronger. Up from $483B in 2020 to $511B in 2021 — and with an annual compounded growth rate of 4.75% worldwide — it’s predicted to exceed $716B by 2025. [14]

Starting a beauty and care e-commerce operation is another good business idea, all you need to do is save money and use those savings to fund the first batch of products. Reselling them for a profit shouldn’t be hard, as everyone puts high markup on the products, starting from retail to online shops.

Beauty products lined up.
Beaty and care industry is huge, and those who grab a share become rich.

Wellness products

Wellness is a niche that’s constantly doing good, and that’s because of a couple of factors. First of all, it’s a huge industry that sees large growth year after year. The next important factor is the fact that everyone wants to look and feel better.

Since 2017, the wellness industry has grown by 6.4 percent, from $3.7 trillion to $4.2 trillion. This expansion has been twice as rapid as the world economy! [15]

It covers a wide specter of services and products. Spiritual self-care for example is one of the numerous spin-offs of this rapidly expanding wellness industry. It makes a great recession proof business, with a bright future.

Alcohol and beverages

Alcohol and other similar beverages industries have been making a ton of money since the Covid pandemic began. Drinks serve a major role in keeping us all sane during these challenging times, and that’s what makes alcohol a recession proof business foundation.

Industry has been growing with revenue outpacing volume on the spirits side. The wine and spirits industry has experienced steady growth over the last ten years. The spirits segment volume has been growing at a CAGR of 1.8% over the last 10 years while revenues outpace this growth with a CAGR of 3.3%. [16]

Whether you want to start brewing or start selling, there is a huge demand for more alcohol. Fill in this gap and the cash in and you have a recession proof business that can withstand any economic downturn.

Alcoholic beverages sitting on a table.
Both brewing and selling alcohol can be a good recession proof business idea.

Daycare

Whether parents have to stay with their kids at home the whole day or work multiple jobs to keep the food on the table, they need someone to take care of their kids.

The U.S. child care market size was valued at USD 54.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% from 2020 to 2027. [17]

Babysitting is a good way to start. It’s one of those recession proof businesses that require no investment. If you want to open a daycare, that may be a large investment and needs certifications, but it’s still possible and viable if you have the means.

Software developing

Software developers are always in high demand, especially if you know a coding language that few others do. Even if you don’t you’ll find plenty of work with some more common languages like Java, C++, Python, and more.

Worldwide, there are 26.9 million software developers. In the last 12 months, about 70% of developers utilized Javascript.[18]

Since the pandemic, working from home is a common practice that’s nowhere as prevalent as in the IT industry. If you’re good with computers and find learning new skills easy, programming is a great option that’s always lucrative. If you want a side gig, freelance services are the way to go.

A software engineer using multiple screens at once.
Starting a software-developing business is insanely lucrative.

Financial services

It’s no secret that finances are a lucrative trade, and it’s no different when inflation is running rampant. Accounting services are always needed, and your customers will range from freelancers to major companies.

Globally, the financial services industry saw a CAGR of 9.9% from 2020 to 2021 as it recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, and that growth is expected to continue at a CAGR of 6% from 2020 to 2025.[19]

One of the most robust recession proof business ideas, working in the financial planning sector will make you successful and rich if you have the skill and the knowledge.

Real estate

Investing in real estate is one of the safest and oldest types of investing. Many people tend to dump their savings into a house or an apartment, especially during times of crisis, in order to save their hard-earned cash from inflation.

As of March 2022, the average number of days houses are on the market is only 38. In March of last year, houses stayed on the market for about 49 days.[20]

You can capitalize on that by becoming a real estate agent, and earn a juicy commission. Home prices are steadily rising, and it’s not a new trend. Since the 1980s, home prices have climbed more than 400%.

A real estate agent on the job.
Starting a real-estate business can be highly profitable as people fear inflation.

Conclusion

If you want to make big money during a recession, you’ll have to be creative, industrious and, most of all, smart about which business you choose.

Now, you have 20 business ideas to think about, and once you consider your budget and qualifications, you can secure a steady income and even make a fortune.

If you’re interested in similar content, visit my blog iAmAttila for more things regarding business, the world of marketing, and more.

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