9 Recession Proof Businesses You Can Start

With economists continuing to revise their estimate of when the economy will recover, its time to review your future options to ensure you make it through the times of economic distress. I don’t know many people who feel “secure” in their current job, though I know many people looking to launch their own business startup – a recession proof business! We’ll explore some business ideas which are virtually recession proof and can get you moving forward toward your successful business – even in a recession. We’ve categorized these recession proof businesses to make it easier to find your next startup.

Entertainment Recession Proof Businesses

1. Video Games Sales

Americans purchased $21.33 billion worth of video game systems, software, and accessories in 2008 with hardware sales climbing in December to $1.88 billion. Despite a recession, Americans still enjoy their entertainment options – or perhaps we should say, because of the recession, Americans look toward more entertainment options. As a recession worsens, Americans like to “escape” from reality and find time to play. One recession proof business you can start is a video games sales store – either virtual (on the Internet) or physical (brick and mortar storefront). We recommend focusing on the used game sales market as buyers are still looking for a good deal in a recession-focused economic environment.

2. Movie Support Services

Hollywood has often lay claim to being one of the few recession-proof industries and they have often been proven right. In an economic downturn, people still seek entertainment and movies post excellent revenues despite a souring economy. Are you going to produce the next big movie blockbuster? If so, why are you reading this blog? There is an opportunity to support the movie industry and earn a healthy income. There are movie “centers” throughout the US and providing support services for the studios is an excellent way to earn money in a recession. You should focus on Hollywood, New York City, and Orlando as the primary movie production centers, though movies are produced throughout the US. Movies require dozens of external firms performing services such as equipment rental, extras casting, catering, security, post production work, government relations, and PR. Starting a firm in one of these support areas is a great way to start a recession proof business.

3. Dating Site or Service

People are always looking for love – especially in a recession! In 2008, users spent $1.18 billion on online dating services. According to eMarketer, this is expected to grow to $1.65 billion by 2012. Starting a dating site isn’t too complicated these days – you can purchase off-the-shelf software to create your own. A lot of the expected growth will happen in niche topics (affinity topics such as Christian, Jewish, doctors) and we recommend focusing on a niche for your dating site.

Beginning, Middle, and End

4. Consignment Baby Shop

Despite a recession, life begins and moves on. Now is the perfect time to start a consignment baby shop – sell slightly used baby gear, toys, and clothing. People are always looking for a good deal and a baby consignment shop provides an opportunity for people to sell their often slightly used baby gear, and for you to minimize risk by taking it on consignment. You take a portion of the sale and pay when the product moves.

5. Wedding Services

The wedding market is flush with opportunity! You could look at opening a bridal shop, provide catering, and provide wedding services. People spend money on weddings – the average wedding cost over $30,000 in 2008! There are a variety of services you can provide – custom invitations, wedding planning, photography, honeymoon planning, or providing music. There are few things people are willing to spend “whatever it takes” and a wedding is one of them.

6. A Morbid Business

The death business isn’t for everyone. Those that can deal with the morbidity stand to earn a healthy return this year. There are several businesses you can perform in this market: operating a funeral home, preparing bodies for burial, or pre-selling burial lots in cemetaries. Some requiring state licensing, but if its in your area of interest, we highly recommend pursuing one of these morbid businesses.

Local Vacation Spots

7. Bed’n’Breakfast

During market contractions like our current recession, people look to vacationing in the local area or a short drive. You can open a bed’n’breakfast in your area to take advantage of these local market vacationers. You can pursue a small bed’n’breakfast or a larger inn if you have the right property. This opportunity is high in capital costs, but can be very lucrative if you have nearby attractions to draw people in.

Retail Opportunities

8. Cosmetics

One of the industries considered recession proof is cosmetics. Women continue to want to look beautiful despite any financial considerations and will continue to spend money on cosmetics. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Avon’s net income rose 80%! This strength through a recession makes cosmetics an ideal business to pursue.

9. Home Products

Home products continue to be a strong market through good and bad economies. We recommend starting a distribution company for this market – help move home products from manufacturer to retail. This provides an opportunity to enter a market full of large companies without taking on the expense of launching a home product brand. Another niche in this market is to start a “green” home products business – selling cleaners, paper products, and homegoods which are environmentally friendly.

Despite an economic recession, there many great opportunities for you to start a recession proof business!

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