7 Recession Resistant Business Ideas to Survive the Next Downturn

Category: Entrepreneur

7 Recession Resistant Business Ideas to Survive the Next Downturn


While businesses would like to only plan for the best of times, they must also plan for the worst. It seems the next recession is always just around the corner, waiting to put a damper on otherwise healthy businesses and those they employ.

Even the most secure jobs and businesses aren’t guaranteed when the economy takes a turn. While no job or business model is completely recession-proof, some industries historically fare far better than others. Owning a recession-resistant franchise can help you weather the bad times and thrive in the good.


Quick Service Restaurants

Quick service restaurants, otherwise known as fast-food restaurants, are a prime example of a recession-resistant industry. So much so that even during the Great Recession, the number of quick service restaurants in the United States grew.

The reason is pretty simple: even when consumer budgets get tight, everyone needs to eat. Quick service restaurants are an example of a business that promotes a feeling of normalcy during lean times. Budget-conscious consumers can still “go out to eat” without spending an excessive amount of money.


Auto Repair And Service

While not everyone needs to drive, the majority of people in the United States do. According to the Brookings Institute, over 75 percent of commuters drive alone to work each day. And every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, their automobiles will need an oil change, regardless of the current economic outlook.

Owning an auto repair shop or quick lube business is a great way to keep your income recession-resistant. With the majority of Americans needing to drive to work, they need to maintain their cars. And franchise brand names offer wary drivers a sense of security and confidence an unknown brand just doesn’t inspire.


Hair Salons And Barber Shops

While it may seem like beauty spending would scale down during a recession, it turns out that people are very resistant to changing their grooming habits. From 2007 to 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, the number of beauty salons in the United States grew by more than 14 percent. During the same period the number of barbershops grew by more than 18 percent.

Hair keeps growing regardless of the economy, and personal appearance is one place people are not willing to make sacrifices.


Spas And Nail Salons

While spas may seem like a luxury expense that would be slashed from household budgets in need of some tightening, their relatively low price point makes them an affordable splurge.

Not to mention that recessions are a stressful time, and spas are designed to help relieve stress. To consumers who have had to make painful cuts to their routine spending, a monthly massage or manicure can be easily rationalized as self care.

When the Great Recession was at its peak, spa revenues in the United States grew by 18 percent.


Home Repair And Services

We’re still feeling the impact from the last blow to our economy, the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the pandemic’s lasting effects is that people are spending more time than ever at home.

Peeling paint, leaky windows, and musty carpets are far more annoying when you can’t go to work and put them out of your mind for eight hours a day. Maybe that’s why spendiing on home services went up by 20 percent from 2020 to 2021.

How will home services fare when there’s not a pandemic? Well, more than 60 percent of U.S. employers now allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, so you can count on homes doubling as offices for the foreseeable future. And if you have ever been in a house with a broken air conditioner during a heatwave, you know how important it is to stay on top of home repairs.

Even during a recession, homeowners know that the best time to fix a problem is always immediately.


Healthcare And Senior Care

While recessions can cause people to delay certain healthcare procedures, by and large healthcare and senior care services remain strong during recessions. The demand for these services is not tied to a consumer’s discretionary spending, but rather their inherent need for the service itself.

While breaking into the medical industry as a newcomer can be a challenge, there are many smaller healthcare and senior care franchise opportunities that can take the headache out of starting these businesses from scratch.


Pet Care Services

If you like spending time with your furry friends, then this recession-resistant business is perfect for you. Pet grooming services, pet boarding services, and pet stores fare very well during recessions. The reason is fairly simple: we love our pets, and want to keep them happy.

Compared to previous generations, Millenials are willing to spend much more on their pets. As Millennials take over as the dominant spenders in the economy, the amount spent on pets is set to increase. The pandemic also caused many young people to adopt new pets, further driving the demand for all things pet related.

Surviving a recession usually comes down to business management - saving and investing wisely when times are good and not panicking when things take a turn. There’s no magic formula that can protect a business from the fallout of an economic downturn.

Historically, people will continue to spend on physical needs like food and on things with a strong emotional connection, like their pets, for as long as possible. If you’re looking for an industry with a good chance of weathering an economic storm, this is a good place to start.

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