16 recession-proof businesses you should consider today

1. Rental Property – Everyone would love to be a landlord of their own, unfortunately, particularly in times of recession, these classes of people become few and far in between. The good news is you really don’t need to be one to make money off rentals. Being a rental consultant works just as well.

Moving around, particularly in the neighbourhoods whose rental profiles and commissions suit your appetite is a very good idea. Starting small, you can begin in your own neighbourhood and scale as you build a clientele of both landlords who will slowly begin to need your services finding good-paying tenants, and tenants who have specific property needs.

It is however important to set a standard for your business. If you wish to be the middleman for pricey rental properties then knowing where to find people who fall into this category is well advised, and vice–versa.

Note that this deals exclusively with rent as the outright purchase is usually hard hit during economic downtimes. This does not however mean you cannot also act as a middleman for homebuilders, however focusing on rentals can help pay your own bills too until a serious homebuyer comes long.

2. Dry Cleaning – Washing clothes never go out of style, particularly in the right neighbourhood. As recession hits hard, more and more people become even busier and as such, have less time to attend to certain domestic chores, particularly if they can be paid for and handled by a trusted source.

Depending on how you wish to start out, it can be capital intensive, however, if you wish to start small then all you need are a few basic utilities and a few trusted customers to begin with until upscaling becomes a possibility, which in more cases than one it almost always is.

3. Food – Now, as much as eateries may no longer be modish, particularly in recessionary times, people still need to eat, and some, no matter how expensive, do not mind a good home-cooked meal delivered to them. Home deliveries and the internet is thus a very convenient and cheap way to build a franchise especially if you are blessed with culinary fingers.

It is rather important to note that in recent times of ‘What I ordered’ vs ‘What I got’ becoming a thing, it is critical that you build strong brand loyalty by offering a service delivery that is true to your promises, be it quick delivery or what you see is what you get.

Get it wrong once, and making money in recessionary times, particularly from culinary magic, could become a chore.

4. Waste Management – This is one sector rarely ever affected by good or bad times. As populations grow, and urban areas expand, so does the waste it churns. However, one area of particular interest might be the open-air dumps that are becoming not only a health challenge but a terrible sight. Proper research is required though as this is a capital-intensive business. Starting with a visit to a municipal office to understand its required deliverables may set you on the right path to big bucks.

5. Beverages – People not only love to drink but statistics show a traditional spike in alcohol consumption, particularly in recessionary times. A fancy Nite Clubs might be setting too high a standard if you do not have the funding to go this route, however, pubs and beer parlours, especially if you offer entertainment segments such as live bands and the likes have looked to be the winning formula for the small start–Up.

6. Clothing – We all need to wear clothes even if some of us are not fashion crazy. Picking a niche seems to be the path to follow in this business though as offerings to either sex come with pros and cons. Payment plans also work well but be careful to whom you offer this service to as some clientele can be serial payment offenders. However, if you offer a unique wardrobe with unbeatable style, you might just be on to something.

7. Internet Related businesses – Ecommerce, software design and development, digital marketing, blogging, vlogging, article writing, etc. These are just some of the avenues, particularly within the decade that has made a myriad of young millionaires. You must stand out though as anything outside a unique offering could die just as quick a death as its birth.

8. Tutoring – With such online platforms as Coursera, Udemy and the likes, tutoring is no longer related only to children as more and more people try to up their skill set to remain relevant in the business environment. Opportunities abound even down to tutoring baby boomers how to navigate certain computer software to even home farming. Should you wish to start a tutoring platform however, the rules remain the same; offer something unique otherwise you may have to contend with all the other has–beens out there.

9. Beauty and Healthcare – Humans are vain creatures, and will continue to be, and for good reason. Good health starts with selflove, the more reason sectors like these will continue to thrive regardless of what direction the economic meter tips. Marketing your own unique formulas and products might work, however, should you not wish the hassle, becoming a distributor works just as well.

Be warned that margins are usually not great, thus pick your clientele carefully and stick to a niche should you wish to go past the traditional hand–to–mouth kind of businesses.

Beauty salons are also great business avenues as both men and women require grooming ever so often. Once again, be warned, margins may not be great until you offer a unique service of some kind and sell to a niche.

10. Healthcare – You may not be a medical professional, but even those now rely on middlemen to bring certain unique health cases to their attention and for a middleman’s fee. However, regardless the times, hospitals and clinics will always be around as everyone, from babies to the ageing will require medical attention at some stage in their lives, and even if you are not medically inclined, going into business with a medical professional will always rip positive returns in both the short and long terms. Having some background medical knowledge will serve you even better still. So read up as best as you can and find the best medical practitioners to work with.

11. Senior Care Services – Ageing is something we all must go through, thus, the need to assist the elderly will always be a necessity, especially in recessionary times when their savings or pension cannot keep up with inflationary trends.

And though this sector might experience some fluctuations as it takes some time for certain demographics to become too old to properly take care of themselves, several offerings abound, from assisted living facilities, to even medical, cooking and errand services.

12. Car Wash – We all love our cars, but no one wants to go through the chore of always having to keep them clean. And the best part about this business, if you do not have the money to go it big, you can always start with the bare minimum and build a loyal customer base within your neighbourhood before you think of branching out. This one business that will always guarantee a steady income, especially over the weekends, and very early in the morning in certain cases. So be sure to invest in a diary and a good alarm clock to ensure you do not miss schedules.

13. Child Care – What makes population grow are children, and recessions make taking proper care of them a small challenge as we also need to source the funding to clothe, feed and house them, and though global statistics show an unfortunate decline in childbirth over the last decade as family planning and having a small family has become popular, for obvious economic reasons, with some couples still choosing to not have children altogether, one thing is certain, the child care industry is still worth a $10billion yearly market and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Thus, from children’s clothing to baby formulas to diapers, you can never really go wrong, particularly if you work with a maternity home, kindergarten and the likes.

14. Consulting – If you have neither a good or service to sell, but have a wealth of knowledge to offer, commercialization might be your best bet, especially if you offer something a lot of people usually have trouble with, such as financial management, home remedies, how to dos, and the likes. Depending on how you wish to start though, pricing is key as consultants charge more for perceived time spent and not the amount of work done since this should be the easy part.

Thus, even if your expertise lies in data management or script writing for example, you should take some time to understand what you are really good at, how to price your time, and then source a clientele that would make offering your wealth of knowledge really worth your while.

15. Precious Metals – Over time, it has been proven that precious metals, particularly gold soar in price the harder recession hits as people seek ways to hedge their wealth. The beauty about precious metals however is you do not need to physically own gold and the likes trade in them as numerous platforms, Crowd Funding, Mutual Funds, etc. offer services that allow you buy, hold and or sell as you wish. Some even offer indicators so you can tell the best times to do any of these three and make good profit. Be warned however, some platforms require high minimal investment that are sometimes out of reach if you are in the very lower economic rung, however, a thorough search might yield others that are within reach.

16. Art & Antiques – A more than $10 billion dollar industry, even with the current global downturn, the trading and hedging against inflation of the Fine Art is a business as old as time itself and there is no reason you cannot involve yourself particularly if you have appreciable knowledge and a good eye for old and contemporary pieces that would fetch a lot of interest from buyers.

Margins are typically on the high side, especially for types called ‘The Masters’, which makes the business of Art trading even more interesting. Be warned though, fakes do exist, and unless you wish to trade in replica pieces which are not uncommon, trades in original articles attract higher income.

There is however no reason you cannot sell your own pieces should you be an artist yourself. Large contracts maybe hard to come by dependent on your niche, however, the internet offers a myriad avenue to offer your articles to the general public and still make a healthy buck if your offerings are unique.

If you have a knack for repairing old and discarded articles, then trading in Antiques could also be right up your alley as few people are immune to nostalgic moments or pieces that invoke smiles or good memories.

Margin are also typically high since even if you buy an antique from another trader, mark–ups of an extra 50% above your purchase price are not unheard of.

Brain Essien is a business consultant, with expertise in digital marketing, crowdfunding, pitch decks and business plan/proposal formulation and design.

Have a business or investment question to ask? Send to mcbrainandcompany@gmail.com