Own A Recession-Proof Business, Find Business Success in Bad Times

by Millie Kay G. on June 6, 2009

Despite the layoffs, credit crunches, and market anxieties that have affected some businesses, others have managed to prosper. How about let’s take a look at some of them!

recession-proof business ideas, business success

Recession-Proof Business Ideas: Find Business Success Even In Bad Times

#1 Mechanics and Repair Shops

If you’re planning to buy a car, note the costs first. Rather than buying new cars and appliances, a lot of us are trying to make the ones we already own last longer. When I compared the cost of having to fix my car (it’s aging!) to buying a new one, I clearly saw the financial benefits of making those regular visits to the mechanic. It pays to drive your car to the ground. Repair shops are probably pretty happy that people are making more frugal decisions these days. If you have the skills to repair washing machines, iPods, or ailing PCs, you might be able to tap into a profitable side business.

#2 Businesses that Provide Home Security Solutions

It makes sense to protect the important papers and goods in your life; I don’t see the need for installing home safes and security alarm systems to slow down even during a downturn. As for security jobs, you’ll find over 40,000 positions listed at job search sites.

#3 Mortgage and Foreclosure Rescue Services

For those facing a job loss, it can be pretty tough and downright impossible to keep up with mortgage payments, so it follows that more people these days are looking for certain services that offer help in this area. Mortgage and foreclosure rescue services can help homeowners, but beware of fraud(!) warns the FTC. Check out our article on housing assistance programs for a discussion on resources for struggling homeowners.

#4 Pawn Shops & Thrift Stores

Apparently, Cash America International, a leading pawn shop company, has seen 31% growth during a recent three-month period. While some visitors stop by pawn shops and thrift stores to make some money, the low prices on goods can lure in shoppers. People I know have been happy to pay less than retail for clothing, dishes, video games, and even guns from pawnshops or thrift stores. If you see the potential for growth in your community, you might be able to start your own retail business!

#5 Repossession Businesses

Aw, when I hear about repossession, I remember a tabloid show on television about the Repo Man who comes up to someone’s door to take away their stuff. Well, the reality is this: when auto loans don’t get paid, the vehicles under such financing can be reclaimed by the lender. Media reports say that repo men saw a 12% growth in business in 2008 — business is booming! And same goes for boats and most anything else you buy on credit. I’m not sure how many people would be willing to get into this type of business though; you’d have to hire some burly, tough people for the job.

#6 Debt Related Services

Bad times bring on the debt, and naturally, people are wanting to seek help in this area. Those seeking to cut their bills might think of ways to reduce their debt load through credit counseling, debt or budget management, or consolidation or debt settlement. The FTC has some advice for those considering credit counseling or similar services. But before becoming involved with a debt related service, check with the Better Business Bureau first.

Other Recession-Proof Contenders

I’ve also discovered that cleaning services, resume writing services, and health care related businesses might be among those that are most recession-proof. Companies still need their offices and buildings cleaned; lots of job seekers are willing to pay for polished resumes; and a visit to the local hospital may underscore the need for more trained staff in your area.

Staying at home to relax? You might already know that the sales of alcohol, chocolate, and cigarettes are holding their own. If you can make a consumable like a baked good or specialty candy, try asking local gift shop or boutique owners if they’d like to carry your product. People seem willing to spend on treats, even when they aren’t willing to splurge on gadgets or extravagant vacations.

It’s something I keep in mind: whenever there are challenges, there are also opportunities. I find it strangely inspiring that there are businesses out there that are thriving not in spite of the economic slowdown but because of it! We just need to watch out for the silver lining in times like these.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MeAndCraig June 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

It boggles my mind, but I have another apparently recession-proof business to share …
Tattoo Studio.
Believe it or not, my oldest son (a tattoo artist, w/college degree) is raking in the money these last couple of years.
He also does guest artist spots all over the country -
And pulls in good money, even in repressed economy cities.
Crazy … but true!

2 SVB June 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Maybe people are turning to self-expression during troubled times? Or maybe your son is a *really* good tattoo artist and has built a great name for himself! :)

3 Stephen Krupnik June 10, 2009 at 5:58 am

Number 4 on your list, Pawn Shops, are currently at risk in the US. You are correct that this 5000 year old industry (the oldest form of consumer credit) has proven to be recession-proof throughout history, but it’s certainly not “legislation proof.” The US Congress is considering four separate bills that would eliminate pawnshop credit for US consumers. Pawnbroking has been attacked in this manner throughout history but doing away with pawnbrokers could not come at a worse time for the cash-strapped citizen with few other alternatives. Interesting world …

4 Meaghan June 18, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Medical and education-related jobs are also ones that remain thriving during recessions.

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