20 Recession-Proof Business Ideas For 2023

Recessions are always challenging periods for employees and business owners alike. It is commonplace to get laid off from your job or fold up your business during such times. While most companies will not survive the scorch of economic downturns, other enterprises are recession-proof and continue to thrive just as well during and after periods of recession.

Businesses that offer staple products or services remain relevant regardless of how the economy performs. Online businesses, education, and repairs are general categories of businesses that thrive even amidst periods of recession.

If you are considering starting a business where you won’t have to worry about the economic swings, then continue reading this article as we’ll be discussing in-depth the different recession-proof business ideas you can look into. Before we delve in, let’s find out what it means for a business to be recession-proof.

What Does It Mean To Be Recession-Proof?

Simply put, recession-proof businesses are businesses that thrive even amid a recession. They are businesses that remain profitable during a recession. Recessions are periods of economic stress, and it is commonplace for most businesses to fold up in such times. However, if your business is recession-proof, then a recession will not threaten your business.

What Are The Best Recession-Proof Businesses?

In general, the businesses that aren’t affected by economic downturns are those centered around essential services like health care, food, and maintenance. Also, online services like video games and streaming tend to thrive amid a recession.

In periods of recession, we slim down our budgets to cater to our most essential needs. With limited resources available, it is normal for us to give preference to the conditions necessary for our survival.

If you intend to start a business that thrives during a recession, you will want to choose a company that meets these needs.

Here is a list of 20 recession-proof business ideas you can consider:

1. Food And Beverages Production

Feeding is the most basic of our human needs, so we all still have to feed in a recession. Regardless of how bad the economy swerves, the food and beverages industry doesn’t experience much of an impact.

People eat for different reasons, and typically in periods of recession, most people turn to comfort eating as a relief. So it is commonplace for candy sales to peak in such times. Again, to cut unnecessary expenses, most people will prefer to cook at home. So groceries will also be much in demand.

Eating at restaurants may feel like an unnecessary expense during recessive periods. So it’s just expected that supermarkets will sell more. You may consider going into candy sales, selling groceries, food delivery, or using a vending machine.

When considering dealing in food or beverages, you want to remember that the most basic human needs will still be in demand during a recession, so build a food business that meets these needs.

2. Healthcare Services

Because the need to be healthy does not diminish during a recession, everyone will remain as concerned about their health as they have always been. For this reason, the healthcare industry is one to keep an eye on when looking for a recession-proof business. In this area, you have several options to consider. For example, you could consider selling contraceptives, pharmaceuticals, or assisting the elderly.

Contraceptive sales are unaffected by a recession, which is understandable given that contraception comes in handy as every family is likely to limit childbearing to the available resources.

Pharmaceuticals sell just as well because they are necessities. People fall sick whether or not there is a recession and will need treatment. At best, sellers may adjust the prices of pharmaceuticals, but their demand will remain unaffected.

Additionally, going into the business of catering for the aged is another option you can consider. Many older adults are well-to-do and financially stable enough to pay for this service. And most importantly, a recession won’t rule out their need to be cared for.

3. Pet Care

Pets are a part of the average person’s daily life, and we typically give them as much care as any other home occupant. The last thing you want to happen even in a recession is the loss of a loved one -your pet, inclusive. For this reason, caring for your pet remains relevant even in a recession.

Chances are, every other pet lover feels the same way about their beloved pets and will gladly pay for your pet care services even amidst a recession. So what pet services are recession-proof?

Essential services like grooming, veterinary services, and sales of pet products are viable areas you can consider.

For pet owners, grooming their darlings is just too important to be thrown to the side, so your services here will always remain in demand.

Additionally, pets always need medical attention every once in a while, so you should consider running a veterinary business a recession-proof idea.

4. Repair And Utility Services

Whether there is a recession or not is irrelevant when things break down. Pieces of Stuff we use daily are prone to breaking down, and when this occurs, we usually require the services of people who can repair them.

Even in a downturn, the repair and utility services sector is critical. There are several options to consider here. Plumbing, home repair, equipment repair and maintenance, and automobile repair are common examples.

Furthermore, utility services such as transportation, water treatment, gas, telecommunications, and so on remain helpful in a recession. If you own a business in these areas, you can still profit from them even during a recession.

5. Baby Care Products

Babies are born every day and need to be taken care of. While we perceive many opportunities to spend in recessive periods as wasteful, this is not one of those. The need for baby products like feeding bottles and diapers will not wane with a recession.

You can consider selling baby essentials like food, shoes, clothes, and diapers. And since babies will constantly need to change their diapers and grow out of their old garments fast, your baby products business will thrive even during a recession.

While there are many baby product options available, our tip for you when going into the baby products business is to build your business around the essentials since these will always be in demand.

6. Accounting Services

Accounting services are critical for individuals and businesses, especially during difficult times such as a recession. Keeping proper accounts is highly beneficial to companies and wealthy individuals during a downturn because it allows them to save more money and avoid unnecessary losses.

Accounting services are a recession-proof business idea to consider. Tax preparation, financial planning, and bookkeeping are services that every business requires, even during a recession.

To begin with, not every business owner has the experience, skill, or time to record balance sheets or other vital financial information correctly. They’ll realize it’s simply best to hire someone skilled for this, and if that’s your business, you’ll be profitable even if a recession looms.

7. Freelancing

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During a recession, most businesses downsize to cut costs and save money. While doing so, outsourcing some job roles to freelancers allows these businesses to operate on a lower budget.

They do this because hiring a freelancer enables a company to pay per task completed when needed, which is far less expensive than maintaining a permanent staff. Roles such as creating content for business websites, writing news, providing virtual assistance, and so on are typically outsourced to skilled freelancers.

Consider using any valuable skills you can offer as a freelance service. Your freelance skills will certainly come in handy, especially during a recession.

8. Corporate Cleaning Services

Some places must always be clean for safety and hygiene reasons. Banks, offices, hotels, classrooms, medical centers, recreational areas, and stores are all public places that fall into this category.

While most of these establishments will hire permanent cleaning staff to fill this role, it is common for them to outsource this role to cleaning companies.

If you own a corporate cleaning company, you won’t have to worry about going out of business during a recession because the rules for keeping public places clean do not change.

9. Beauty Business

Body care remains a priority for the majority of people. So whether a recession looms or not, people will still have to get a manicure and visit a salon to get their hair done.

Businesses like manicures, hair salons, etc., perform just as well in a recession. These businesses thrive because we could classify them as less expensive luxuries. Although they aren’t essentials per se, most people won’t stop caring for themselves in these little ways because of a recession.

10. Retail Therapy

Certain staple items remain relevant and in demand during a recession. Low costing items like toiletries are an example. In general, the retailing business does not get significantly impacted by recessions.

You can consider retailing luxury items to the wealthy. There are no severe impacts on luxury retailing during a recession since the clients who typically shop here are already financially stable and may not need to make any significant lifestyle adjustments. 

Alternatively, running a discount store or pawn shop will let you cater to the needs of people seriously hit by a recession and who typically frequent discount stores and pawn shops for affordability.  

11. Tutoring

Education is one of the few things that remain useful during a downturn. Students will still be required to attend classes. As a result, if you own a training camp, you are unlikely to feel the full brunt of a recession.

Alternatively, more people will be willing to learn new skills when businesses reduce their workforce during recessions. You might want to look into online tutoring. You can teach online if you have any skills, such as language skills or the ability to provide professional development courses. You can make relevant courses and make them available to anyone interested.

When doing this, make sure to do your homework to check if what you’re giving is in high demand. Even in a downturn, courses on in-demand skills will sell.

12. Web Marketing

Because more and more firms are going online these days, web marketing is becoming more popular. Whether recession or not, businesses that provide web marketing services such as SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, and SEM perform well.

You can consider learning web marketing skills and offering these services. Most online businesses thrive during a recession, so there will always be a need to market online regardless of whether or not there is a recession.

13. Burial Services

Every day, people pass away, and funeral services are required. As a result, the funeral services industry is recession-proof. It is common for families to want to send their loved ones off in the most dignified manner possible. Doing this will almost always need using the services of a funeral home.

If you want to start a funeral home, you could provide services such as body care, transportation, cremation, etc. Whether or not a recession is on the horizon, these services will continue to be in high demand.

14. Real Estate

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We humans have a fundamental need for shelter. Even if there is a recession, we need shelter. The real estate industry is recession-proof because it meets this need. If you’re interested in the real estate industry, you may open a real estate agency, become a property stager, or work as a rental agent.

As a property stager, you can assist property owners in achieving quick sales at high prices. On the other hand, if you manage a real estate agency, you’ll be better positioned to use your understanding of property sales to assist clients in making sales, even during a recession.

Finally, as a rental agent, you could meet the demands of those with a moderate income looking to rent a space.

15. Cyber Security Business

Salary reductions and stock market losses are some searing effects that generally accompany a recession. In a downturn, the last thing anyone wants is to lose more money. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly crucial for internet businesses as more and more companies go online.

If you work in cybersecurity, a recession will be a season for more businesses rather than fewer since more individuals would be scrambling to protect their assets.

16. Online Fitness Services

Teaching fitness online is an excellent approach to gaining money in a down economy. More individuals are worried about their health these days, and they do not regard spending money on health to be a luxury.

You can meet this desire to stay in shape by offering online classes, fitness programs, meditations, and other activities. With such a large number of individuals online interested in improving their general health and wellness, your business might expand to become a reliable recession-proof source of income.

When starting an online wellness business, you’ll want to keep your sessions flexible and customized to accommodate people’s busy schedules.

17. Alcohol And Tobacco

Producing or selling alcohol is another recession-proof business idea you can consider. Because many people drink as a habit, the demand for alcohol is unaffected by a recession. In a recession, most people choose to go for less expensive alternatives rather than abandoning drinking altogether.

If you’re thinking about starting an alcohol company, a piece of fantastic advice is to develop a variety of modestly priced items; this way, you’ll be able to keep making sales.

18. Garbage Removal Business

Although the waste company may not appear appealing at first glance, it is a recession-proof business opportunity. We produce waste regularly, and we have to dispose of our rubbish.

You can consider starting a garbage removal service. And, because this relieves people of the stress of dealing with waste, you’ll be in business when the economy is down.


Running an interesting YouTube channel is an excellent recession-proof business concept. During a recession, there is a surge in demand for mood-lifting content. As a result, it is only natural for people to spend more time online enjoying themselves.

You can fill this need by starting your own YouTube channel. Youtubing has grown in popularity, and because Youtube pays $5 per 1,000 views, you could make a lot of money by creating and posting entertaining content to your channel.

20. Web Developing

Developers are in high demand regardless of the economy. Developers create anything from websites to apps, smart contracts, and programs.You can consider learning high-paying skills like web programming or blockchain development. These skills will typically take some time, but they are in great demand and do not diminish during a recession.

The consequences of a recession are usually unpleasant. There are, however, businesses that are unaffected by a downturn. So here is our list of 20 recession-proof business ideas to assist you in making your decision on which business you can be sure will thrive even when a recession looms.