5 Recession-Proof Small Businesses


During a recession, many small businesses are forced to close their doors due to lack of sales and increasing overhead costs. However, restricted economies can actually help some small businesses succeed, as people cut back on brand-new luxuries and seek out companies focused on repair and renewal. Companies that offer cheap goods and repossession services also top the list.  Here’s a look at some small businesses that continue to hold strong, despite the current state of the economy.

Shoe Repair Shops

Believe it or not, cobblers usually find that they make a much grander living during times of economic recession. Instead of purchasing new shoes, men and women alike flock to shoe repair shops to mend their worn-out footwear. For around $20, most customers can fix their shoes instead of purchasing new ones.

Fast-Food Franchises

Obviously, fast food is cheaper than most restaurant meals. Although a recession will force many people to cook more food at home, there are still millions of Americans who eat out several times a week. Fast food franchises capitalize on this segment of the population during rough economic times by ramping up “dollar menus” and “value meal” deals. 

Auto Repossession and Repair

When people lose their jobs, they often can’t make payments on their cars. Unfortunately, this leads to repossession for a large number of Americans each year. In 2007 alone, Manheim Consulting estimates that 1.5 million cars (both new and used) were repossessed. And these repossessions aren’t happening after long periods of non-payment -- some lenders are so strict that one late payment can cost you your vehicle.

There is evidence to suggest that auto repair shops also benefit from a tightened economic picture, but experts argue the merit of this belief. Some feel that people are more likely to fix the cars they have instead of buying new ones, while others state that recessions cause people to delay repairs until absolutely necessary. Either way, auto repair shops stand to gain some business, since large repairs cost more than small ones. 

Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Mortuaries

Unfortunately, people always die, even during a recession. Businesses that deal with death are all but immune to economic downturns and typically report steady (if not increased) levels of business.

Thrift, Consignment and eBay Stores

These are all small businesses that take advantage of people’s desires to find deals. Thrift and consignment stores report that during bad financial times, they are inundated with donations, and are equally busy with customers looking to buy secondhand things like clothing and furniture. eBay (Stock Quote: EBAY) is an easy-to-set-up option since you don’t have to pay for a physical location.

Start a Local Green Business

Many entrepreneurs are looking into the “green” business sector – jobs that help the environment in some way or are environmentally conscious. Some examples include green interior design and construction, solar power industries and organic food markets.  Socially responsible businesses are attractive to people, even when they have less money to spend.  So, business owners who can get in on this sector early, stand to make a lot of money with good marketing and services.

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