Starting A Business During an Economic Downturn

You only need to look at your expenses to see that the prices have gone up, and suddenly your budget for the month is not enough. This is why you start looking for ways to add an extra avenue of income to continue supporting a family or maintaining a home.

In between applying for a new job or starting a business, the latter is definitely more practical especially if you still plan on keeping your day job. Having your own business means that:

  • you are not following someone else’s core hours;
  • you can stretch your creativity beyond what you are allowed in your 9-to-5 job;
  • and a steady stream of income that is fully and wholly yours.

Of course, when news of price hikes and lost jobs proliferate the news, it is understandable that you feel apprehensive about starting business, much less work to keep it afloat. However, there have been small enterprises that survived an economic downturn and thrived thereafter.

Making something positive out of the recession

Granted, it is going to be challenging especially during your first year, but you can still make a viable business. If you are a budding entrepreneur, here are reasons why the economic downturn can work for you.

Being motivated to start doing what you really like to do

Let us start this list with addressing one of life’s cliches: using a challenging situation into the most powerful motivation to start evaluating your life. The challenge is securing a steady avenue of income apart from your day job. The motivation is to ensure that you and your family will not have to worry about expenses soon.

You can take this chance to try earning from something that you actually love doing, if you are not doing it already. For instance, maybe you have always wanted to design websites, create an app, or do photography. You can also start researching on lucrative markets. Right now, online marketing is a growing industry and one which you can study on your own. Start dabbling into it by setting up your own page, choosing the appropriate website hosting, and creating catchy domain name.

Forcing you to get into the nitty gritty of running your business

Because you are running such a tight ship, you would be forced to think hard on a decision, analyse its pros and cons, before executing it. But if you survive the economic downturn, this will determine how strong your business idea is. Plus, you can use this ‘survival story’ when you are telling the world about the origins of your company. It tells them that you are resilient and can adapt especially when the economy becomes dire.

Getting talented individuals for your team

While it is unfortunate a lot of people are getting laid off, this is your chance to set up your own team by hiring the talents in need of a job. The recession means that you would be able to start their salary at a more affordable amount. This goes without saying though: you may be starting their salary at an amount the economy allows you to provide for them, but this does not mean you should not give them extra compensation especially when it is deserved.

Remember that even if you are able to get talented individuals for your team, you must have a good retention strategy intact. Because once the economy starts performing well, you will lose your talent pool to other companies who can provide more for them.

Business ideas that can perform during the recession

The following are some of the business ventures that can help you earn money regardless of the economy’s performance.

Online marketing

As mentioned before, online marketing has become a lucrative industry mainly because a lot of companies have started shifting their marketing efforts online. It is best to start reading up on what search engine optimisation, social media marketing, and content marketing is first. You can set up your own website so you can practice everything that you have learnt.

Then, offer your services as a freelancer. There are a lot of opportunities available on job posting sites like Upwork or You can also advertise on Facebook by creating your own freelancer page and blogging about what you can do for potential clients.

Food and beverage

Food will always sell. You do not have to spend your money starting a restaurant especially if you need to resort to loans just to make it work. Start small by renting a stall space in malls or food parks. You can even start with delivering the food first if gas is not going to hurt your budget to operate.

As a tip, a lot of people are into food that they can eat on-the-go. Think of how you can put a twist to breakfast meals or lunch favourites which you can repackage so they can eat it while they are commuting to work or going to another office meeting.

Tutoring services

Another lucrative business idea is tutoring, mostly because there will always be students. You can offer your services online by setting up a page or joining websites which hosts freelance tutors. You can also choose to tutor students in person by agreeing where you are both supposed to meet.

Tutoring services is also a business you can start with friends. Each of you must have a field expertise like Maths, Science, English, or History. You must make sure that the student understands their lessons well so that parents can keep sending their kids to you.

Hobby and crafts shop

The rise of the fandom has ensured that sellers of toys and other collectibles will never lose customers. You can get in on the business by bulk buying hobby items from official distributors and selling them in fairs, conventions, or online.

Crafting is another interest hobby you can start dabbling into. This includes selling journals, decorative stationery, watercolours, brushes, pens, and so much more. The same idea applies for crafts; you can buy the items in bulk and sell it online or if you have a stall rented in weekend markets.

The key here is research. You need to know the ins and outs of your venture first because this prepares you once you start operations. By knowing the market, the buying behaviour, and the places where you can start offering your products or services, you will be able to thrive amidst a recession.

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