A recession still carries work opportunities — but sometimes it means pivoting your area of focus.
It’s already begun.
Businesses are already closing up shop, some jobs have already been lost, capital is already drying up, and the market is incredibly unstable.
We are sitting at the cusp of a long-awaited recession – we all find ourselves in a period in time where many would-be-entrepreneurs who previously shied away at the concept of launching their passion project find themselves laid off with nothing else to do.
If you find yourself in this position, keep your head up. Where there is darkness, there’s always light. If you are in a stable financial position with the necessary skills, starting a business during a recession can be the best time to do so. Even in the most difficult of times for the economy, some types of businesses continue to thrive, seemingly unaffected.
Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, we’ve seen debt across the world continue to accrue. From government debt to corporate borrowing, due to the historically low interest rates. Despite this, the typical household has reduced debt — perhaps out of leftover concern for the last downturn — though many households still remain financially unfit.
Since the GFC, household debt in Australia is significantly higher, resulting in less people purchasing and more renters. Banks have changed to become safer, but less profitable, and traditional businesses are now threatened by new digital players with less overhead.
Here’s the undeniable truth: recessions create problems.
These problems require solutions — and that’s where entrepreneurs thrive. Although risky, many of the greatest businesses known to us were born out of recessions. Disney was launched right during America’s Great Depression, as people needed to smile more than ever. Microsoft was launched just days after the 1975 recession ended, and Facebook began making profit following the GFC of 2009.
Have you been toying with the idea of starting your own business, whether out of fun or necessity? A lot of people are.
That’s why Invoice2go is here to support you during your next adventure — and we’re investing in the creation of a suite of articles, advice and resources to help you get there.
We’ve gathered ten foolproof business ideas which are almost guaranteed to fulfil people’s needs with low overheads. Here they are:
Regardless of the state of the world, there are only two things we know for sure in life: death and taxes.
No matter what the world’s economy looks like, people will still need to manage their taxes. Many businesses see accountants as a necessary puzzle piece to their business and turn to them for advice during difficult financial periods. Often having an accountant – specifically for small businesses, can play a crucial role in growth and financial success.
The great part is — most accounting consultations can be made via video call and you can send invoices via your Invoice2go app. No person-to-person contact necessary! This also means you can work from wherever – designated office or not.
2. Mechanic and Auto-Repair Services
During a recession, luxuries like new cars are less sought after.
On tighter budgets, people are reminded of the importance of looking after belongings, especially those we rely on for daily use.
Rather than buying a new car, many will opt to get their current vehicle serviced and fixed to ensure its longevity and save money. There’s always a need for mechanics and auto-repair services, recession or not.
When the world slows down and job opportunities disappear, it’s common that people turn to online education to upskill themselves and stay busy.
Alongside this – grade school education is rarely put on hold. Owning or starting up a tutoring business will guarantee a constant flow of income that will rarely be disrupted, whether for primary school, high school or university subjects.
Starting up a tutoring business has very little start-up costs, as you can function from home or visit your student at their local library or convenient study space. All you need is your knowledge or expertise, a great website and a business social media account and you will be off to a great start.
4. Discount Stores
During recessions, discount stores are a great place to stop by to pick up your cheap thrills, bits and bobs and even replacements for other luxuries many may be cutting down on. Discount stores thrive during recessions, and are also quite popular during economically reliable periods too.
The great thing about starting a discount store or business is the fact that you can begin your business as an ecommerce store before you bite the bullet and rent a shop front. Owning a physical store comes with overhead — water, electricity, rent, signage, staff, stock and more. If you want to test the waters and gauge what your chances of success look like, stock a small range in an online store and see how you go.
5. Home Health Services
People become unwell regardless of the world’s state, sickness is simply a factor of life.
Because of this, jobs in health care will almost always be needed, wherever you go. If you are a natural carer with relevant qualifications, why not start a home health care business as opposed to opening a clinic?
Basing your business out of the home, you can visit your patients in the comfort of their own residences and assist them where your qualification fits. During times of pandemic, this will require special training and a bit of training, but it isn’t an unachievable task.
Starting a home health care business is a wonderful way to avoid large the overhead that comes with opening a traditional healthcare practise. All you need is your qualifications, a safe and reliable vehicle, your tools and customers.
6. Virtual Assistant
An ever growing industry, virtual assistants provide entrepreneurs and other small businesses with assistance services remotely.
Virtual Assistants can cover a wide range of tasks, including social media management, taking bookings, general administration or personal errands. Starting your own business and working as a virtual assistant can be ideal to do during a recession — especially if your clients are located in thriving economies overseas.
Starting a virtual assistant business is easy as there is little overhead involved and there’s plenty of options for growth. Regardless of whether you start this during the recession associated with this pandemic, or a completely normal economic and social era, you’ll find that the delivery method for your work will stay much the same. If you get enough work under your belt, you may even be able to start up a virtual assistant agency and offer additional assistance services — we encourage you to get creative with it!
7. Bulk Food Delivery Services
During times of uncertainty or tough economies, many people panic-buy… and that’s when it pays to own a bulk food store — especially one that delivers items to the home.
During recessions, people seek businesses and groceries stores that can provide value for money, whilst providing the option to purchase large quantities of general household basics. Think of the necessities — flour, rice and sugar as starters.
Overhead for this business may be high, so we recommend offering a limited number of basics and focusing on your go-to-market strategy and digital marketing with apps like Shopify and Facebook before expanding.
8. Resume writing services
As companies adapt during recessions, many jobs are unfortunately lost as work slows down.
More people are seeking jobs during recessions, which means it’s harder for an individual resume to cut through the rest and impress a hiring manager.
Professional resume writers ensure that candidates are using and showcasing the necessary keywords, skills and experience on resumes and provide candidates with the best chance of being considered for a job. Having excellent writing skills and studying the best practices for resume and cover letter writing puts you in an excellent position to become a resume writer.
As a business, resume writers can work from home and arrange calls over Skype or Zoom. A simple intake call to discuss career backgrounds and goals in all that’s needed to help your clients reshape their resumes.
9. Online coaching or consulting services
Over the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many businesses turn to online platforms, adapting their structure to coach or consult their clients.
Many gyms have evolved to provide online workout programs, in-person lessons have evolved to online classrooms and even healthcare consultations are available via Zoom calls. This is the perfect time to allow others to enjoy your services from the comfort of their own homes, for a reduced cost.
Whether you’re a trained yoga instructor, a nutritionist, a violin teacher, a french teacher or a financial consultant, offering consulting appointments or classes online now and during any resulting recession. By sharing your services with your networks on your social media networks — including LinkedIn and Instagram — you will likely find a slew of new clients looking for your expertise.
10. Debt Collection Agencies
Though unfortunate, the obvious business to start during a recession is a debt collection agency.
As more and more people are unable to afford paying off their debts or credit cards, debt collection will increase in demand during a global recession. To save on overhead, your agency can be fully operational from your own home.
To become a debt collector you will need to complete a VET course – but once you’ve completed that, you’re ready to go. While debt collection can be a hard job, it is necessary to help businesses and the economy keep running — especially during times of recession.
Starting a business never comes easily, but if you’re passionate about what you do, the work will be a labour of love. A great self-employed business owner will recognise a problem that needs a solution — and if this solution falls within reach, a new small business can be created with a lean team.
If you have the desire to become self-employed and make your small business dreams happen, It’s important to search for the positive opportunities during a recession. If your business idea fulfils a common need of the people around you, then put your heart and hard work behind it, and believe in your ability to succeed.
We believe in you.