It’s hard to tell what will happen to a business during a recession.
You’re lucky if you manage to come out with a few scratches, but the not-so-fortunate ones end up declaring bankruptcy and folding up. Even the most successful business can shut down during a recession if they don’t implement protective measures.
On the other hand, some businesses are recession-proof. These are the businesses that provide goods and services that people always need — maybe even more during an economic downturn.
Which industries are recession-proof?
If you’re looking to start a business or a franchise that can weather the economic downturn, consider investing in the following industries:
Food and Beverage
Grocery stores are a stable investment since they won’t be as affected as restaurants. In 2014, the National Purchase Diary reported that from 2008 to 2013, people shifted to eating home-cooked meals instead of dining out as a result of the Great Recession.
If groceries aren’t an attractive investment, consider candy or alcoholic drinks. The New York Times reported a profit hike for these businesses during the economic slump, presumably because Americans needed the sugar and alcohol fix to perk them up.
Technology has made it easier for us to communicate and do daily tasks. Understandably, we have become increasingly dependent on devices and machines. Even if cash flow is weak, people tend to invest in the latest phone models or high-tech security systems.
Naturally, people wouldn’t buy new books, clothes, furniture, or other items when they have less money. But it doesn’t mean they don’t shop. Instead, they turn to thrift and consignment stores that sell or rent secondhand items.
There will always be people who need someone to fix something. Repair and maintenance services for cars and appliances remain popular. There are also tremendous business opportunities for repair and maintenance of components like hydraulic hoses, usually among construction companies.
Protecting your business from a recession
If you prefer not to invest in a recession-proof business, how can you protect your company from dire circumstances? No method is a guarantee, but these suggestions from recession-proof industries can help you:
- Grow your customer base: Don’t spend your sales and marketing budget solely on acquiring new customers. Invest in retaining your current customer base. They’re usually the ones who continue to look for your products and services during a recession.
- Manage your finances wisely. Record projected revenues and losses for the next year and update them regularly. Stay updated on the news, particularly within your industry, and find out how the latest events might affect your business. Create scenarios on how to collect from customers and pay suppliers even when times get tough.
- Innovate on your offers. Diversify your products and services and offer them to different kinds of customers, both prospective and existing.
- Conduct a stress test on your business. You never know when a recession is going to happen, so run through various scenarios and put contingency plans on how you’ll deal with them.
Recessions affect all kinds of businesses, but some industries weather the economic downturn better than others. If you plan to establish your business or invest in a franchise, study companies from recession-proof sectors. Take their cue and find out what you can do to keep your investment secure during tough times.