4 ½ of the Best Businesses to Start in a Recession

4 ½ of the Best Businesses to Start in a Recession

In tough economic times, settling for another lap in the rat race might seem preferable to starting your own venture. However, with thinning competition levels and increased customer demand for cheaper, more innovative solutions, a recession *can* offer great opportunities for new businesses. Below, we run through 5 4 ½ recession-proof ideas you might want to consider.

1. Car repair garages

Given how entrenched cars are in how we live and work, motor businesses tend to be a pretty safe bet regardless of the economic climate. But in a recession, auto repair businesses are amongst the safest bets of the bunch.

Why? Well, though the richest may be able to splash out on a new car, the majority of us have to make do with wheeling out the same ol’ vehicle. And as older vehicles are much more likely to sustain wear and tear, businesses that deal in their repairs can prove very fruitful during a recession.

A Mario Kart race. Wario's vehicle is hit by an opponent's Red Shell.
Regardless of economic climate, the Mario Kart auto repair teams must make a killing.

Whilst car repair garages can bring in some big bucks, be aware that the early-stage costs are significant. Even though it may be possible to rent both the garage itself and the accompanying equipment (e.g. diagnostic machine, lift), these are still essential pieces of the puzzle that represent a sizeable outlay.

More promisingly, investment elsewhere – be it time or monetary – is likely to be much lower. Though there are a miscellany of permits and licences to grapple with, none of them should prove too expensive. Additionally, there’s no requirement to own any fancy educational qualifications: if you’re a practical sort with semi-passable people skills, you’ve got a reasonable shot at success.

2. Debt collection businesses

Let’s address the elephant in the room early, shall we? If TV is anything to go by, debt collecting looks as though it can get slightly unpleasant. However, as a short, puny guy that’d struggle to answer back to a walkie-talkie, that’s probably a theory best left for you to verify instead.

The potential profitability of a debt collection business is less rife for speculation. In a time where the recession is yet to have hit its expected peak, around a third of Brits are already having difficulty paying their debts. Should the economic conditions sadly worsen, this figure is only likely to increase.

Whilst the size of the market is large, the actual profitability of a debt collection business is hugely dependent on your own attitude and skills. Though soliciting for business is frowned upon in many contexts, it’s a must to gain work as a debt collector. Even once you’ve agreed a deal with the creditor, you’ll need to call on a whole host of intangible skills – empathy, toughness, persuasiveness – to successfully collect debts and start turning a worthwhile profit.

Fortunately, the initial monetary investment required is tiny: in terms of the absolute essentials, all you need to create and settle contracts is a mobile phone and a laptop.

3. Educational businesses (especially if intended for babies or children!)

By and large, this is a solidly recession-proof sector. Given how keen most parents are to give their children the best possible start in life, products and services that can facilitate that edge tend to be amongst the last expenses for the chop.

Perhaps the most obvious example of an educational business is online tutoring. Particularly for those with a subject specialism, tutoring can be an excellent “dip your toe in the water” option, as there are almost no setup costs and the schedule is somewhat flexible.

Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides. In spite of their material composition, on paper qualifications can prove a formidable barrier to entry. Whilst there are few jobs that require formal academic qualifications, you may find it more difficult to acquire customers without them.

Additionally, the work schedule is not quite as flexible as it may first appear; tutors are most commonly requested for outside-of-school hours. Sure, there may well be vastly untapped demand from truants for 9-3 tuition, but it’s certainly not something we’d recommend basing a business model on.

4. Fast food restaurants

In a recession, you might expect many of these outlets to have had their chips (sorry). However, the truth is that many of them thrive: though difficult economic conditions may put the mockers on larger consumer purchases, smaller buys are left largely intact. This survivability is further enhanced due to the fact that food tends to a basic human necessity – it’s not something we can survive without, and is thoroughly embedded into our daily routines.

If you’re looking to get started with your own food business, there’s no need to jump straight into any franchising deals; it can be as simple as setting up a market stall or purchasing a food truck. Of course, regardless of initial scope, you’ll need to get hold of some catering permits and a decent hygiene rating before you can start making money. Though a little dirtiness is a welcome part of the fast food experience, the food inspection team won’t see that as a suitable excuse for unwashed cutlery and rotting produce.

Beyond the essential requirements, some cooking skills might come in handy too.

A business owner serving chips and fried shrimp to his customers.
In the interests of avoiding a libel claim, it’s probably worth clarifying this topical stock photo has nothing to do with the iffy hygiene practices mentioned above. 

4 ½. Accountancy firms

Sure, these are pretty recession-proof.

But think of the downsides. Years in academia, a heavy workload, a genuine interest in tax…it just isn’t worth it.

In other words, stay out of our territory.

And leave the accountancy stuff to us instead!

Forget the faux menace above: at Q Accountants, we’re all about friendly service and great business advice! So if you do decide to start your own venture, make sure to book a FREE consulation call with us at the link below. Whether you’re looking for an expert to take care of the financials or need a second opinion on your market strategy, we’re ready to offer any help you need to make your new business a success.

Finally, a virtual meeting to get excited about!

Cheers for reading,

Q Accountants team

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