Did you know there are recession-proof businesses that you can start, even during a recession?
Most people think starting a new business is risky during a recession, and yes, sometimes that can be.
But there are some types of businesses that can be started right now and thrive in any economic condition even with all the social distancing brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic!
These businesses thrive because no matter how the economy is doing, people always need the services these businesses provide.
And the good thing about them- most of them can be started with a minimal amount of money.
So what kinds of businesses are likely to survive a recession? They’re the ones that provide essential goods and services that people always need, like groceries, gas stations, and healthcare!
Here’s a list of 27 recession-proof businesses you can start right now, and sign up for Steady to find clients and job opportunities for all types of careers.
Earn more money on your terms when you need it most. Steady members can make an extra $5,500 in average yearly income!
27 Best Recession-Proof Businesses To Start This Year
Proofreading is a business with a very low startup cost that can be done from home. You can usually find proofreading jobs on Upwork and other freelance sites.
Businesses are willing to pay for someone to look over their writing for grammatical and typo errors. You can still have a few clients that keep you going during tough times because this task is always going to need fulfillment.
Need the training to get your proofreading skills up to speed? We recommend Proofread Anywhere, a FREE workshop to help you get your business off the ground.
Learn How to Become a Proofreader and Start a Freelance Proofreading Business.
15,000+ Students. 7+ Years of Results.
2. Cleaning Services
In tough economic times, people will have less money to spend. However, they still care about cleanliness and will hire cleaners to clean their offices and workplaces.
Business owners may have to cut back on a lot of things during a recession but one thing they don’t cut back on is the cleaning service, especially now with Covid-19 protocols!
Cleaning services is a side hustle that moms can start with a small investment, and you can also work alone if you don’t have the money to hire additional staff.
3. Health Care
During a recession, people will still need health care services of all kinds.
A recession-proof business to start would be a medical billing company that helps clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals accept payments from insurance companies.
Another business you can start in healthcare services is medical transcription, which is putting voice recordings down into actual text for patient files.
Both of these are low startup cost businesses- these are just 2 examples, but there are lots of other options in health care.
Interested in finding out more about transcription? Check out the FREE mini-course from Transcribe Anywhere to find out more about becoming a transcriptionist!
4. Bookkeeping Services
Bookkeeping is a great gig business for people who want to work from home.
Most of the time businesses hire a bookkeeper to take care of entering transactions into their accounting software, pay their bills, and do their payroll.
Bookkeepers usually work closely with a company’s accountant to make sure the accountant has everything they need at tax time.
Not sure how to get your bookkeeping business started? Bookkeeper Launch is a great place to get started.
5. Accounting Services
Accounting skills are always going to be in demand.
Because there are 2 things that are always certain: the government won’t stop collecting taxes and most people don’t want to prepare their own tax return!
Accountants are also needed to help with financial planning, tracking cash flow, asset management, and other financial services that businesses need at any time.
Plus, as an accountant, you can work by yourself and work from home year-round!
6. Blogs & Niche Websites
Blogging is a great business idea that is near and dear to our hearts, as we do it as full-time careers!
A blog can be started in your free time with little money. It’s also one of the most accessible businesses because anyone can start a blog regardless of their experience or technical skills.
You could write about anything you are passionate about! If you’re passionate about decorating, you could start a blog for people who want to learn how to decorate their homes.
Blog writers don’t have to have a lot of training or a degree. There are a lot of writing programs, such as Jasper and SurferSEO, that can help writers create a successful business.
Not sure how to get started making passive income with affiliate marketing? Earn More Writing is a great course that can show you how to write well- better writing, means more affiliate opportunities!
Head here to start your own money-making blog for less than the price of a coffee.
7. Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is a great business to start for people who love to write- instead of doing it for fun, you can make money from your hobby!
It’s a job where you can work from home, and you don’t have to deal with the stress of dealing directly with customers.
You can provide writing services for those in need or you could start your own blog that writes about topics that interest you. You can approach business or find jobs online as a freelance writer.
Savvy Tip: Take this course to learn more about freelance writing!
8. Auto Repair and Maintenance
Auto repair and maintenance is a recession-proof business. Vehicles still break down during a recession!
It’s just one of those things- people will always need their vehicles repaired and their oil changed.
Maybe you are good at fixing cars and changing oil but don’t have the money to open a shop. Start by servicing your family and friends’ cars at your garage and use word-of-mouth to get clients!
Maybe you aren’t good with repairs but can detail vehicles inside and out. People tend to still want their cars to look nice no matter whether there is a recession or not.
9. Grocery Stores
People will always need their basic necessities of food and toilet paper in a recession. And believe it or not food, candy sales, and drink sales tend to rise during a recession.
With all the Covid restrictions still in place in some locations, people don’t always want to go to grocery stores.
Enter grocery pickup and delivery services!
Grocery delivery services can be the solution for people working from home and seniors. Just set up and organize your grocery service and clients will call you when they need to order their groceries.
Savvy Tip: Try partnering with an online platform that offers delivery services, like Postmates, DoorDash, or Instacart! You can shop for people’s groceries or just deliver their groceries.
It’s a great side business idea for stay-at-home moms and college students.
10. Courier Services
People will always need things moved around whether it’s for business or personal reasons. Courier services are an essential part of our economy, and this is a great business idea if you don’t mind working odd hours or traveling around a bit.
You can open up your own courier service or offer to run errands for people. Either way, this is an easy business idea to startup if you have a car and enjoy driving.
Another way to get started in courier services is through sites such as Amazon Flex. Amazon Flex pays people $18 – $25 per hour to deliver packages from Amazon.com warehouses, Prime Now, and Amazon Fresh to customers’ doorsteps.
11. Utility Services
Ever had your power go out? Ever had the fire hydrant in your yard start spraying? Ever have an animal get stuck in your heat ducts?
We need people to handle those problems and quickly!
People will always need their utility services such as water, electricity, gas, heat, and trash removal.
These types of businesses thrive during a recession and are basically recession-resistant.
You could try to start your own utility business, like trash removal or HVAC cleaning service or repairs. Cleaning up messes and fixing problems is always a sure-fire way to make money.
12. Vending Machines
The vending machine business is a little different than other businesses on this list, mostly because it is a business that takes investment money to start. But people will always need their Mars bars and drinks, which makes it a viable recession-proof business idea.
People could only buy little snacks from vending machines, but now you can get sandwiches, soups, and little meals from them!
13. Appliance Repairs
People tend to get their appliances fixed instead of buying a new one during a recession, and we’ll need someone to call!
If you’re good with electrical work and repair, appliance repairs are a great recession-proof business idea for those who want to start their own side hustle.
You can offer to do appliance repairs in your free time, or you could also start an appliance repair business.
14. Convenience Store
Convenience stores/discount stores are also businesses that will always be in demand.
People tend to spend money on things like candy, food, and beverage drinks on quick pit stops.
People who don’t have time to stop by the grocery store can pick up milk, eggs, and other essentials at a convenience store. Whether it’s after work or on their way home from school, these types of businesses are always busy and have good sales.
15. Consignment Stores
Many people tend to cut back on their spending during a recession, but it doesn’t stop them from shopping entirely.
People still shop in retail stores. However, consignment shops usually boom as they offer customers an affordable way to buy used clothing and other goods at low prices.
Consignment shops provide people with the opportunity to earn some extra cash by selling their own goods rather than buying something new.
This is especially helpful for those who can’t afford to shop often during the recession or who prefer not to spend more money than they need to on clothes.
Savvy Tip: You can sell more than just used clothes! The course from Flip Market Flippers can teach you how to take thrifty finds and get a profit from reselling them.
16. Information Technology
Information technology became more important than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are many online jobs that have thrived from the digital shift in businesses.
As people started setting up home offices for social distancing, there was an increase in demand for people who knew how to help them transition to work remotely.
Make the most of your computer skills by starting an information technology business. Whether you’re good with computers themselves or with programs, there are many ways to use your talents in this industry.
You can offer full information technology (IT) services for businesses, or focus on personal services like building and designing websites.
17. Senior Care Services
If you’re looking for a business that’s recession-proof, then starting a health-care related business is one of the best ideas.
No matter what the economy is doing there will always be people who need home health and senior care help.
You can open up a service where you help homebound people and elderly people in their own homes by running errands and helping them around their homes. This is a great business for people who like to help others.
18. Tattoo Parlor
Tattoo parlors are a recession-proof business that lets you use your creative side- if you’re a good artist you could make great money as a tattoo artist.
And while you might think these businesses would be hurt by the bad economy, the opposite is true: tattoo shops actually tend to boom during tough times when other stores shutter their doors for good.
People need reminders of hope and happiness when life takes a downturn, which could explain why tattoo parlors see such an uptick in customers during an economic recession.
If you’re looking for a recession-proof business idea, consider starting your own side hustle!
Tutoring is a business that seems to actually thrive in the face of economic downturns and tough times. You can offer to teach children, high school students, or college students- whatever age group you feel comfortable teaching.
In fact, it can be started with little to no upfront money and you can easily do this job remotely.
Even when money is tight, kids need help learning and adults may have new professional skills to help them keep their job- or aim for a higher paying job!
People of all ages can use some extra help with their school work. Tutors can help students learn what they need to know and get ahead of their peers academically.
Plus, people may not have the money or time for big courses online or college courses when they’re struggling financially during a recession, so a tutor is more feasible!
20. Child Care
Child-care is also a great recession-proof business because children still need to be cared for when their parents are working during economic downturns.
Child-care service providers are able to make an extra income when they take in multiple children, even just a few hours a week can make you an extra $1,000 a month!
If you’re good with kids, this is another great side hustle for stay-at-home moms. You can start your business part-time or full-time, giving parents some peace of mind when they need someone to watch their children after school or while they are at work for the day.
21. Funeral Parlor
Funeral parlors are recession-proof businesses.
Time never stops, and just like we need to eat, sleep, and repeat, we’ll all die someday, and our loved ones will need help taking care of the services.
During a recession, funeral parlors remain open. This type of business is not affected by economic uncertainty, because people still need to grieve and bury their loved ones.
22. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a great recession-proof business because so many businesses are using it to get their name out there and build a following online.
People will still look for ways to market their business or products! That means hiring someone to help them with their digital marketing strategy.
You can start this side hustle with little to no money by learning about all the different social media sites out there, like Facebook and LinkedIn. Then you can make a business by helping people with their profiles on these sites or their digital marketing strategy in general.
Savvy Tips: To learn more about marketing with Facebook Ads, we recommend the course Facebook Side Hustle.
23. Baby Products
Even in an economic downturn, people will have kids and parents will need things for their babies.
Research has shown that people shop for these items by carefully researching online reviews before purchasing anything which means they’re more likely than ever to find your store or website while looking for deals on their favorite brands.
Parents often buy cloth diapers for their babies during a recession because they’re cheaper than disposable diapers. Even in 2011, when the recession was over in the United States, people continued to turn to cloth diapers because it’s more eco-friendly and affordable.
You can start your own side hustle by making and selling baby items, like diapers or other products to sell online with Etsy.
24. Beauty Services
Even in a recession, people will still want to look good, so beauty services are always in demand no matter what the job market is like.
Beauty services can range from standard hair cuts to elaborate hair coloring and other beauty services like mani-pedis, waxing, or eyebrow threading. You can also sell your own homemade beauty products that you make yourself like facial scrubs or body butter.
Another beauty service that you could offer is that of a fashion stylist. People will always need advice on how to look better, even when the economy is bad. This feminine side hustle also works well if you are a stay-at-home mom who wants to make cash while looking after your own children at home.
25. Gig Economy Jobs
The gig economy job market is on the rise, no matter what the economic situation is like. People are using sites like FlexJobs to make extra cash by doing all sorts of odd jobs.
You can offer your skills as an assistant, cleaning services, dog walking services or even selling handmade goods on Etsy. That’s one great thing about the gig economy- you can do it from anywhere, no matter if there is a recession, as long as there’s a connection to the internet.
Even in a recession, people will still be buying and selling things. And you can make money by selling your own products using Shopify.
All you need is enough money to get yourself an online store set up and then start looking for wholesale suppliers of the product you want to sell online.
You can also make money by selling your own products on sites like these. You can write a short ebook and sell it online, or make handmade goods that people will want to buy from you.
If you are interested in getting started selling digital products we recommend taking Million Dollar Shop.
27. Online Entertainment
Even if the economy is not doing well and is in a recession, people still need entertainment- they may need it during bad times more than ever!
They’re turning to the internet to find entertainment online, so this is your chance to make some money.
More and more people are making a passive income by creating their own YouTube channels. You can do the same thing, all it takes is a camera and an internet connection.
Record yourself playing video games and start your own gaming channel. Or, record yourself talking about beauty tips or fashion ideas.
Our Final Thoughts
Many people look for side hustles or weird ways to make money when times are uncertain, but there are many opportunities for jobs and businesses that could thrive during an economic downturn.
We hope our list of recession-proof businesses has given you some unique business ideas for starting your own business to make money!
One thing is for sure- people will always need the basic necessities and their needs met no matter how the economy is doing. That’s why companies that offer those services will always be in business.
Know what people need and aim to provide products and services to help them during economic hardships. That’s how your bread will be buttered!
Just remember: Don’t give up! You can be successful and make money during a recession or any other time of economic hardship if you just stay determined!
If you want help finding some side gigs to make more money, sign up for Steady. You can make a profile, search for jobs, and apply within minutes.
Plus Steady has great features, including Income Boosters so you can make sure you’re making the money you deserve!
Earn more money on your terms when you need it most. Steady members can make an extra $5,500 in average yearly income!