Startup Business Ideas That Will Thrive In A Recession

graphic showing an entrepreneur in silhouette considering startup business ideas in front of a wall of business terms represented as yellow signs
Many startup business ideas have the potential to succeed, even in a recession. Read on for some great tips to get you on the path to profitability:

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The pandemic has changed the way entrepreneurs and investors formulate new and innovative business ideas. Despite reports of a possible recession, there continues to be a surge in startup business ideas being brought to life by plucky entrepreneurs.  

Why is this happening? Shouldn’t people be holding onto their cash until safer times, especially with businesses shutting down left and right? 

Starting a business in the middle of a continuing crisis may seem counter-intuitive. After all, your initial instincts would be to avoid starting a business when it’s considered risky. However, there have been a lot of successful companies that started during a recession. Companies like Uber, AirBnb, and Venmo were startups that opened their doors during the recession in 2008. Today, each of these businesses is valued at more than a billion dollars! 

Uncertain situations can trigger a drastic change in a customer’s demands. All you need is an innovative startup business idea to anticipate and take advantage of those demands. In reality, now is the best time to start a business. And here are a few great ideas you can use to get started on your business journey.

Home improvement 

When an economy is in decline, it’s wise to come up with a business idea that saves money for your customers. After all, many of them may be hesitant to spend too much with all the uncertainty going around. 

One business model that has always thrived is home improvement. The pandemic has caused people nowadays to either work from home or spend most of their time indoors. This idea answers the ongoing trend that people would rather do DIY projects instead of hiring professionals. But then again, how can they finish their projects without any equipment and materials? It’s interesting to note that shares of Home Depot have actually seen a significant increase in contrast to the start of the pandemic. 

Identify a niche in home improvement that isn’t being exploited, then source or make products that fulfill demand. You could promote your products with ‘how-to’ videos on social media to increase your credibility and create a sales funnel. 

Cleaning products and services

The demand for cleaning products and services will not decline, even long after the pandemic ends. A clean workplace is a must for businesses nowadays to provide peace of mind to customers and employees alike. Whether it’s a large corporation or a small business, the need for cleaning products and services will always be in demand. And the numbers back it up. 

In an interview with Forbes, Anand Subbaraj, CEO of Zuper, had this to say about cleaning services post-pandemic:

“The average amount of money consumers spend on cleaning supplies each month has gone up 12% over the last two years.” 

He added: “Purchasing frequency for specific cleaning supplies does seem to be going up since the pandemic began. For instance, monthly purchases of disinfectant sprays have gone up by 4.8%.”

What’s more, Subbaraj says that the purchase of cleaning supplies online has increased by 10% from 2020 to 2021. At the end of the day, maintaining hygiene is a potential money-spinner worth including when considering startup business ideas. 


Have you found yourself ordering more online than visiting the actual store? How often do you stare out the window waiting for your courier to deliver your package? The e-commerce industry has changed consumer behavior forever. Statista reports that e-commerce will account for more than 20% of global retail sales by the end of 2022.

photograph showing laptops with hands holding dollar bill and paper bag signifying ecommerce
Image source: Pixabay

To be successful in e-commerce, you need to understand the buyer’s journey. You must consider that some of your customers have never tried purchasing online. You’ll need to make your shop as customer-friendly as possible. What’s more, it’s vital to ensure that you can maintain a positive customer experience from purchase to delivery and after-sales service. 

Beauty business

Hair salons and barbershops are startup business ideas you’ll want to consider post pandemic. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that during a recession hair salons have a lot of potential to be profitable businesses. This is mostly because of what experts deem the lipstick effect – a phenomenon where consumers spend money on small luxuries even when they’re short on cash. 

Fun fact: It’s estimated that an average individual gets at least four haircuts in six months!

Rental service

During the middle of a pandemic, most people will look to rent instead of buying property. Although this kind of business requires a large amount of cash upfront, it’s a good way to make passive income. 

You don’t have to limit yourself to offering property. You can even rent out your car or garage space. People nowadays are still hesitant to use public transportation for sanitary reasons. What’s more, with a limited budget, you can expect consumers to be in no rush to purchase a car either. 

The general idea here is to provide a cheaper alternative to customers in need of long-term properties.

Property management

Landlords and renters will need a middleman to take charge of their property. This is where property management businesses come in. This business can make a steady income every month and requires little capital to get started. 

photograph showing house keys and miniature house signifying property management as a startup business idea
Image source: Pixabay

A property management company is a good alternative for those who lack funding to be a landowner. If you provide high-quality services, you are bound to acquire loyal clients. In turn, these clients can offer you more opportunities to help you expand your business portfolio. 

Security services

When the economy declines, people tend to have the impression that there will be an increase in criminal activities. This is justified – some individuals will resort to desperate measures in times of difficulty. As the concern of businesses and homeowners rises, so does the need for security services.

Whether it’s home security systems or for-hire security services, people need something to ease their worries. Aside from physical security, another good startup business idea is cybersecurity services. The last thing a business owner would want is a data breach that releases confidential information. 

Final thoughts

Recessions are intimidating, and so is starting a business. The sheer uncertainty of the economy is enough to make startup business owners hesitant to form a new company

However, with proper research and dedication, one can always thrive in a struggling economy. Smart entrepreneurs know that every business needs time to grow. 

So, don’t lose hope in starting a business. With a good startup business idea and a well-prepared business plan, you can turn any crisis into an amazing opportunity.

“Entrepreneurship is about being able to face failure, manage failure and succeed after failing.” – Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Featured image source: Pixabay

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