50 recession-proof business ideas

The world is changing, and it’s getting harder to predict where businesses will be in the next five years. We’re not sure what the future holds regarding recession, but we know that technology is here to stay. Knowing about recession-proof business ideas can help entrepreneurs get ahead in the league.

While countless industries will always be around (like retail), there are also some new ones that entrepreneurs can capitalize on right now. Below are 50 businesses that are predicted to boom during this tumultuous time.

Food and beverage industry business ideas

No matter what the state of the economy is, food and beverage businesses will continue to thrive. Here are a few businesses in this industry that won’t take a blow from recession.

food and beverage industry business ideas

1. Food delivery

Food delivery is one of the most profitable businesses in this era. It’s a booming industry, and you can make good money. In the US, the revenue from food delivery services was $22.4 billion in 2021.

This business is growing because of the increasing number of people working and living alone. This group needs food delivered during work hours or when they come home late at night.

Another reason food delivery businesses are growing is that some people may find ordering food through online services easier than going out to get it for themselves. Thus, online food delivery services can sail through the recession smoothly.

2. Liquor app

Liquor is an addictive beverage for some people and a socialization element for others. And the truth is, it is neither easy for people to let go of their addictions nor do they leave their social habits quickly.

As a result, liquor always stays in demand. Liquor delivery app businesses can benefit from this demand and remain immune to economic downturns.

3. Fast food franchise

While upscale restaurants might face a hit during a recession, smaller fast food chains are more resilient to unfavorable economic conditions. As much as we would like to think otherwise, people’s love for fast food cannot be ignored.

According to Budget Branders, the average amount Americans spend on fast food annually is $1,200. This demand clearly shows that fast food businesses are here to stay. Going digital can be an added advantage for these businesses.

4. Bakery

Surrounded by negative news during economic downturns, people wish to turn to comfort foods like cookies, chocolates, and cakes. It provides an opportunity for bakers to scale their businesses.

Moreover, a bakery business does not necessarily require heavy investment in shops and property. It can easily be run from homes by providing delivery through online services.

Health and fitness industry business ideas

Health and fitness is yet another recession-proof industry. Here are some health and fitness business ideas that won’t get affected by unfavorable economic conditions.

health and fitness industry business ideas

5. Telemedicine

A telemedicine business can be started with minimum investment. You can create an online pharmacy website/app, set up your virtual shop, and begin selling medicines online without investing in equipment or hiring employees.

As medicines are something people need even during a recession, an online pharmacy business can be profitable.

6. Telehealth

The healthcare industry is a big market, and it’s growing. As people live longer and the population ages, the demand for healthcare will only increase. Today, the global smart healthcare market size is USD 178.5 billion.

Digitizing the healthcare services is a great business idea as people do not have to travel or physically visit a doctor for healthcare consultations. They can get the necessary treatment on their phones.

7. Fitness app

During a recession, people would be unwilling to spend vast sums of money in gyms and fitness centers. Instead, they would prefer cheaper and more convenient fitness options.

That’s where fitness apps come into the picture. A fitness app provides users multiple exercise options, fitness tracking, calorie burn count, etc. Launching a fitness app is a great business idea, especially during a recession when people wish to cut their spending.

8. Veterinary services

Health cannot be compromised at any cost. So, starting a business providing vet services can provide steady profits. No matter the economic condition, people do not cut costs.

9. Cannabis delivery

Medical cannabis delivery is a growing sector. More and more countries are liberalizing marijuana delivery and trade. A cannabis delivery app connects the users with medical professionals who prescribe medical marijuana for recovery. The users can also look for cannabis stores and place orders. Medical cannabis is necessary for a lot of patients’ treatment. Thus, this business is likely to remain unaffected by the recession.

Consulting business ideas

People require expert advice on many matters, irrespective of the economic conditions. Here are a few consulting businesses that will continue to thrive even during a recession.

consulting businesses

10. Marketing consultancy

Every company wants to understand its customers better. A marketing consultancy business provides this service. It helps them understand their market better and suggest the best marketing strategies. Online marketing consultancy is likely to fare better than offline businesses during a recession.

11. Social media consultancy

Many people are actively using social media for their careers and businesses. These people are always looking for ways to improve their awareness and reach through these mediums and are willing to pay good money. It is a great way to build your client base while enhancing brand name recognition.

Moreover, a recession doesn’t mean that people aren’t still in need of help with their social media strategies. If you can provide them with the tools they need to grow their online presence and make more money online, then you’ll have no problem finding customers who want what you have: experience and expertise.

12. Accounting consultancy

Accounting consultancy is a niche service that can help businesses across all industries. These services are needed in all economic conditions to keep track of all financial information and ensure that companies stay afloat.

The demand for accounting services will only increase as more companies enter this new digital marketing and social media age. They need to measure their performance and analyze their success. It implies that clients will continue to seek out experts in this field who can provide reliable data about their financial health to make better decisions about their future growth.

Retail business ideas

As stated earlier, the retail sector will always stay around. Here are a few recession-proof business ideas from this sector.

retail business ideas

13. Baby products

The baby industry is a great place to start your business because baby products are always in demand. Unlike many other industries, this industry doesn’t experience boom and bust cycles. You can sell baby products online, in person, at trade shows, retail stores, or flea markets. Baby products include:

  • Baby food
  • Diapers
  • Baby clothing (blankets, onesies)
  • Toys for infants and toddlers

14. Hygiene products

Hygiene products are another excellent recession-proof business idea. People need to use them irrespective of the market conditions, and they are easy to purchase, ship, advertise and brand. They’re also easy to make in bulk for resale at a lower price point.

You can buy hygiene products from China or India through Alibaba at wholesale prices and sell them online at a markup. It gives you an edge over big box stores that don’t have these sourcing options available since they don’t manufacture the product themselves.

15. Grocery delivery

Grocery delivery is a recession-proof business idea because it offers a low-cost way to bring your customers what they want when they want it.

We live in a world where many people don’t want to go out of their way to get groceries or other products, so why not provide them with an easy way to do so? Not only will this make you money, but it also requires low capital investment.

This business can be especially advantageous if you run an e-commerce store as well (or have another product or service on site). You could offer discounts on both items or bundle them together under one price point- the opportunities are endless!

16. Online reselling services

Online reselling services are a good choice for recession-proof businesses. Reselling is a growing industry, and it can be done from home or while traveling, meaning you don’t have to worry about finding a brick-and-mortar location that might not be accessible during the next economic downturn.

Online reselling services are perfect for people who enjoy shopping and are interested in making money while sleeping or traveling. You won’t need to build your website- you can just buy one that’s already established on sites like Shopify or BigCommerce.

17. Luxury retail

Luxury retail is a good business for a recession. If you are looking to start a business in this space, here are some tips:

  • Focus on the high-end market: Luxury retailers sell more expensive products and cater to higher-income customers- great if you want to ensure that your business weathers any economic downturn.
  • Offer unique products or services: Luxuries are items people can’t get elsewhere, so being different is vital if you want your store or brand to stand out from the competition during tough times! Give your customers something they can’t get anywhere else, then sell it at a premium price point (a tactic known as “the rule of 100”).

18. Retail Consignment

Consignment is a retail business that sells goods on behalf of the owner. A consignment store will purchase products from you, then sell them for a specific price that you determine.

For example, if you bring in 10 pairs of shoes and choose to sell each pair for $10, the consignment store can then sell those shoes at retail prices (or whatever price they want). If your items don’t sell within a specific time frame- say 90 days- the store will return them to you and give back all of your money minus any fees for storage or promotion costs.

Consignment stores are popular because they help people make money off unwanted items without finding an interested buyer. They also provide another way for sellers who don’t have enough space in their homes or garage to store extensive collections. Consider opening one if this sounds like it could work well with what’s already happening around town!

19. E-commerce app

When it comes to e-commerce, there is no shortage of app ideas. It can be an easy business to start because it requires relatively little capital. It is also recession-proof because it’s not dependent on a specific industry or the economy. However, if you want to make money with your e-commerce app, you need to do the following:

  • Design a great user experience: Your app needs to be easy to use and fun so that people will want to use it again and again.
  • Launch early and often: Update your product offering regularly to not fall behind in the rapidly changing digital landscape.
  • Market your brand in new ways: Leverage social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, where consumers go first before purchasing online through their mobile devices or desktop computers at home.

Service sector business ideas

There are a lot of services that are immune to fluctuations in the market. Below are a few recession-proof service businesses.

service sector businesses

20. Music streaming services

Music streaming services prove to be an excellent business idea in times of recession. One of the most significant advantages of streaming services is that they don’t rely on the same old sources of revenue that traditional media outlets do.

For example, Spotify relies on ad revenue and ticket sales to support its model, while Pandora relies on listener subscriptions and advertising.

Another advantage is that streaming services don’t require physical infrastructure or expensive equipment to operate- they can be accessed anywhere, at any time.

21. Online dating services

With general dissatisfaction rising during a recession, people might look for love to get through tough times. You can set up your dating website and collect the subscription fees or use apps like Tinder for your business. It’s important to note that the cost of creating an effective online dating app may be higher than most other apps. But the profits from a great app can easily cover the costs.

22. Online repair services

Online repair services can be a great business to start during a recession. In times of uncertainty, people wish to keep things longer rather than buy new replacements. It is usually cheaper to repair something than to replace them. Moreover, people may not be in a position to purchase expensive replacements during financial crises. An online repair business can thus thrive during uncertain times.

23. Childcare services

Child care services may be the way to go if you are in the market for a recession-proof business.

These services are in high demand and can be offered at home or at a facility. The age range of children being cared for varies widely, from newborns to school-aged children. Childcare providers can be full-time employees or freelance workers who provide their services independently.

24. Cleaning services

Today, hygiene and sanitation are the top priorities for many people, and cleaning services are a must-have for them. They do not wish to compromise on the cleanliness of their surroundings. Besides, banks, offices, public places, and hospitals require regular cleaning regardless of the economic condition.

Thus, a cleaning service business can continue to earn revenue even in times of crisis. Taking this business online can be a cherry on the top, as it will provide more convenience to the users.

25. Technical services

Technical support is a service that helps customers with their technology problems. It can be provided remotely or in person. It is a service that is in demand and needs to be outsourced by companies who don’t have the resources to provide it themselves.

You can provide technical support directly to your clients via phone calls, email, or video chats. This way, you won’t have to manage an office space or hire employees, which will save money on overhead costs and allow you more freedom on what hours you work each day since there isn’t anyone else around except yourself.

26. Pet care services

The pet care business is an excellent business to start in a recession because there’s always demand for pet services. You can operate this business from home, avoiding the overhead costs of renting an office space. If you love animals, this is a great way to help them and make money simultaneously.

All you need for this business are some basic supplies:

  • Cages/crates.
  • Bedding materials (sheets or blankets)
  • Toys or chewables.
  • Food dishes/bowls that are large enough for water/food and treats.

And don’t forget about leashes!

27. E-learning services

“Learning never stops.” This saying holds even in times of recession.

If you are looking to start a career in the online learning industry, there are many options. It is a growing industry that offers people the chance to earn money teaching new skills and languages to others.

Online learning has become very popular over the last few years, and it can be used in many different ways. Some people use it as a supplement to their traditional education, while others use it as their primary method of getting an education. Additionally, some people use online learning programs simply because they want to learn something new or improve their language skills without leaving behind their current jobs or other commitments.

28. Home moving services

As incomes shrink and markets collapse, many people may be forced to leave their homes and move to new places. Home moving is tedious, and many people cannot do it alone. Providing home moving services to such people can be advantageous and bring you handsome revenue. You can even launch an app for your services.

29. Safety and security services

Criminal activities usually tend to rise during economic downturns. If not, people have the impression that they do. So, they seek protection and look for better security measures. Providing safety and security services can thus prove beneficial for businesses. These services include fire protection, home security systems, home safety, and corporate security services.

30. Online insurance business

In times of uncertainty, people seek protection, both physically and financially. Securing the future is the top priority for most people. And they turn to insurance for the same. As a result, insurance businesses can sail through a recession. Even better is taking the digital route to cut costs and retain profits.

31. Freelancing services

During a recession, freelancers can steal the deal when companies try to cut down on their costs by laying off employees. Companies usually prefer freelancers who provide quality services, as hiring a freelancer costs less than hiring a full-time employee.

A freelance business can benefit you because it is less capital intensive than most other business ideas. You will not have to invest in any equipment or pay for any office space. You can work from home, on your schedule, and take as much time off as you need if you want to travel or take care of other responsibilities.

32. Information Technology services

Information Technology services, or IT services, are a great business idea if you know how to code and want to make money.

IT services are any service that provides technology solutions for businesses. It includes software development, website design and maintenance, app development, computer network installation/management (i.e., wifi setup), data recovery, and security audits.

The benefits of an IT service business include:

  • High demand: People always need computers/phones/other devices for their daily activities. As a result, there is always a demand for IT services.
  • Low startup costs: As long as you have a computer and an internet connection (which almost everyone does), you’re good to go! Just set up a shop at home, in your garage, or whatever other space is available nearby where customers live/work.
  • No sales required: There’s no inventory involved, so the only thing necessary is knowledge on how to offer solutions for those who need assistance with their tech equipment needs from time to time (or often).

33. Auto repair services

Auto repair services are one of the best business ideas for making money in a recession. You must know about cars and their parts to do it on your own. Most people take their vehicle to be repaired at an official garage, where they pay a lot of money. But if you know how to fix cars, why not offer your services? It can be very profitable and make you a lot of money monthly.

You will need basic tools like screwdrivers, spanners, etc., easily found in any hardware shop or online stores like eBay or Amazon at reasonable prices compared with those sold in garages or dealerships.

34. Home maintenance services

If you’re handy with tools and have a passion for home improvement, home maintenance services can be a great business to start. It may include:

  • Painting
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • Carpentry, and much more.

You can set up an online portal or an app and list your various services. It would encourage users to opt for your services rather than a local handyperson.

35. Online video streaming services

It’s the 21st century where content is king. Video content has gained a lot of popularity recently, and it will remain popular for times to come. During economic uncertainties, people wish to divert their minds by entertaining themselves. What’s better than watching entertaining videos?

An online video streaming website is a great way to create value for your customers. By providing content that adds value to their lives, you are building trust and making yourself an indispensable part of their everyday lives. 

36. Funeral services

Death is an inevitable part of life. As more people opt to have eco-friendly burials and cremations, the business of caring for the deceased is steadily growing. In addition to being recession-proof, funeral services are a good business idea because of the lack of competition in this market.

37. Senior citizen care services

Senior citizen care services are a booming business for entrepreneurs. The number of older people has been increasing and is expected to continue growing in the next few decades. That is because an average American lives longer than ever before, which means more people will require assistance with activities of daily living as they age, irrespective of the state of the economy.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to be an expert caregiver or have a medical background to start your own senior care business. Many seniors also want their family members or close friends to provide them with personal care services to spend time together while giving their loved ones additional income.

Miscellaneous business ideas

In addition to the businesses mentioned above, some other business ideas are expected to thrive during economic uncertainties. Those are listed below.

miscellaneous business ideas

38. E-scooter sharing apps

E-scooter sharing is a growing trend in the US. According to data from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, there were more than 25,000 dockless bikes and scooters on streets in major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco as of April 2019.

In a recession, people look for cheaper modes of mobility, and e-scooters provide the same. The popularity of these modes of transportation has now made them a viable business opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in starting an e-scooter service. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the e-scooter businesses and their popularity.

39. Video conferencing and collaborative apps

Video conferencing and collaborative apps are a great way to bring people together in a meaningful way, no matter what they’re working on. They’re beneficial for businesses that need to coordinate their efforts across multiple locations, but they can also be used for social purposes or education.

Working from home becomes a viable option when companies wish to cut infrastructure costs during economic downturns. Launching a video conferencing app to serve such companies can be a profitable venture.

40. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is the process of promoting your business online. It’s a great way to reach your target audience and will help you save money on traditional advertising methods like print and radio ads. While conventional marketing may diminish during recessions, providing online marketing services can be beneficial, as you’ll have added flexibility and scalability to adapt to economic trends.

41. Cab booking apps

Cab booking apps are a great way to profit in tough economic times. Many people are looking for ways to cut their expenses, and having an app that allows you to book cabs quickly and efficiently is one of the best ways to do this.

Cab booking apps have been around for a while now, so it’s not like you can just start one up from scratch. You need to find your differentiating factor and get started with your business.

42. Real estate business

During recessions, the property and mortgage rates go down. Thus, more people find it profitable to invest in real estate during these times. For the real estate business, this means higher revenue and greater profits. Prices fluctuate during the short term, but they eventually go up in the long term.

43. Gaming channels

Video games are a growing industry, and there are many ways to profit from them. People switch to recreational modes during moments of tension, and gaming videos are one of the most popular recreational modes. If you’re good at gaming, you can launch your gaming channel on video streaming platforms like YouTube, TikTok, etc., and earn handsome revenue.

44. Payment portals

You might consider payment portals if you’re a business owner looking for a recession-proof business idea. These portals provide an easy way for your customers to pay for goods and services online.

What’s more is that companies are becoming increasingly secure as we move towards a digital future, so there’s no need to worry about being hacked or having your customer data stolen.

45. Gig apps

During recessions, people might lose their jobs and may be looking to earn money from gigs, freelance work, or other jobs. Launching a gig app can bridge the gap between job seekers and companies.

Gig apps can be of three types:

  • Freelance apps: Apps that allow freelancers to promote their abilities and connect with clients.
  • On-demand apps: Apps where employers put out job openings, and gig workers can apply for the same.
  • Platform-based apps: Apps that act as a middleman between gig workers and clients. The gig workers can set up their profiles with prices and other details.

46. Courier delivery

Courier delivery is a great business to get into at this time. The courier industry is booming and has immense potential. Couriers are still needed in the age of e-commerce, where most people buy their goods online rather than going to the store.

Courier delivery is also recession-proof. When other businesses suffer a downturn during recessions, courier delivery increases demand for deliveries because people are buying more online and need items delivered quickly or urgently.

47. Event management

Event management is a great business to start in a recession. The event industry is one of the fastest-growing industries, and it doesn’t seem to slow down anytime soon. People want to be entertained and educated, so there will always be an opportunity for event planners.

Event management is a business that can be done online or offline. If you want to do it offline, you need to find a venue and catering, which will cost money. If you do it online, you need marketing skills and the ability to manage events effectively.

48. Content marketing

Content marketing is a great way to build a brand and generate leads. It can be defined as promoting a product or service through non-traditional means. It’s one of the most effective ways to get your message out there, and it’s also an excellent tactic for building trust with potential customers.

During recessions, companies want to reach out to more people and try to reduce their losses. Providing content marketing services can thus be beneficial.

49. Wedding planning

Wedding planning is a great business to start, especially if you’re trying to find a recession-proof business idea. The market for wedding services is vast and only growing larger, and even in a bad economy, people will still be getting married. So, you can provide services like wedding invitations, photography, decorations, catering, etc.

50. Virtual assistant

As the name suggests, a virtual assistant or VA is someone who does work for clients remotely. These workers handle administrative tasks and support roles for their employers (usually small businesses). They typically work from home or another remote location and communicate with their clients via email, phone, video, and social media channels.

It is a recession-proof business idea as businesses will need administrative support even during economic downturns. Virtual assistants will be in demand because companies try to cut operational costs during recessions.

Wrapping up

The best way to deal with uncertainty is by making educated decisions and taking calculated risks. A good business is one that can adapt to changing market conditions and work accordingly. The recession-proof business ideas mentioned above can help you keep your venture afloat. 

While other things remain uncertain, one thing can be stated with certainty; technology is here to stay. Digital businesses are more likely to show positive growth during recessions.

Idea Usher provides exceptional digital solutions to its customers. You can connect with our experts and understand how your business can grow by going online. Our developers have experience in app and web 3.0 development, among other things.

Contact us and get started with your online business.

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Frequently asked questions

Here are some exciting FAQs about recession-proof business ideas.

1. What businesses do well in a recession?

Some of the businesses that do well in a recession are:

  • Grocery delivery
  • Medicine delivery
  • Telehealth
  • Baby products
  • Childcare

2. Which is the most recession-proof industry?

The following industries are recession-proof:

  • Retail
  • Food and beverages
  • Healthcare
  • Consultancy
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