How To Grow Your Business In A Recession

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-05-3110

Are there businesses that thrive during an economic recession? Definitely. I believe you can run a small business even in time of crisis. With the right amount of luck, planning and hard work, you can find business success and see your venture do well even in the worst economic conditions. It won’t be a walk in the park, but it becomes a bit easier though, if you are in the right business niche, sector or industry. Being well positioned with the type of business that naturally grows in a struggling economy will no doubt help you a lot.

Despite the job layoffs, credit crunches, and market anxieties that have affected entrepreneurs, others have managed to prosper. There are two types of businesses that do well in a crummy economy. There’s the kind that actually gets a positive boost when things go sour, which I’d like to cover in this article. Another type is the “recession-proof” business, the kind that doesn’t get impacted by the downtrend, which I’ll talk about in a follow up post. Let’s take a look at some empirical examples: there are a variety of ventures that can actually experience business growth during a recession.

good business, grow your business in recession

Businesses That Thrive During An Economic Recession

#1 Home Businesses

With more people laid off, lots of folks are trying out their hand at “work at home” projects. More people are trying to start an online business or are looking to make money blogging, for instance. Well with more of us flocking to these projects, some of us will certainly find success in such endeavors. As the saying goes: necessity often leads to opportunity. Just ask Carlos Gil, who lost his job then decided to launch an online business called (ironically, he runs a successful job board).

JobsDirectUSAJobsDirectUSA job board

One more thing: watch out for home business scams — they are proliferating due to our current financial environment. Where there is opportunity, there are also fraudsters and scammers who will exploit the vulnerable, so you’ll need to be hypervigilant about whom you are dealing with if you decide to establish a home business.

#2 Psychic and Spiritual Reading Services

economic psychics

Guess who else is doing well in this economy? Well there’s Madame Roxanne, who is a psychic medium. It seems that people in the “advisory” role — therapists, psychologists and yes, psychics — are flourishing during tough times. According to Roxanne, the relationship advice that she usually gives is what she considers as the bread and butter of her business, but it’s been recently supplanted by financial advice that’s more in demand these days. Now can you believe that some psychics charge $20 per minute?

#3 Online Movie Rental Subscriptions


I read that Netflix is doing really well (they’ve recently signed up 600,000 new subscribers in a few months’ time!). I’m a huge fan of Netflix so I’m glad that things are going gangbusters for them right now. They’ve been adding on new customers who’ve decided to currently eschew public theaters and DVD purchases. Read our Netflix review to find out more about the services they offer.

#4 Job Assistance

Anyone offering employment assistance and job coaching services has a leg up right now. With job layoffs all around, people are flocking to job boards and looking for help with resume writing and with handling job interviews. This is the kind of work that sees an uptick when unemployment numbers are up.

Now even during times like we have now, entrepreneurs can still succeed by employing some tactics and working hard. Here’s a quick list of what can help keep your business afloat during rough economic periods.

How To Grow Your Business In A Recession

  • Watch your budget and save money where you can. Keep your costs low: for instance, you may want to set up an online business as part of your expansion plan. These days, cheap web hosting services and free online resources abound that can help you launch your venture.
  • Stay in touch with your customers. Read about this builder who has outlasted his competition by consistently providing superior customer service.
  • Have a unique product or service. Here are some stories about people with businesses that specialize in products or services that seem recession-resistant.
  • Continue marketing efforts and keep communication lines open with your suppliers. You’ll find many inspiring stories out there about businesses that have seen growth because their owners don’t let anything slip through the cracks.

If you’re thinking of starting your own business or would like information to expand your current one, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of resources. With a steady business plan and some research, yours might be the next business that takes off!

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Gregfox June 1, 2009 at 10:40 am

Similarly: our site is banking (pun!) on folks being more conservative with their money and therefore needing a really thorough/easy-to-use resource to choose bank accounts (we let users sort by overdraft fees, atm reimbursements, etc., not just rates). Same concept.

Also, my friend just graduated from law school. Lots of her friends aren’t finding jobs or are being deferred for a year. She’s not. Her specialty: bankruptcy!

William Luxing June 1, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Movie theaters themselves do very well in times of recession as well. It is a cheaper form of recreation, and it acts as an escape from reality for people. Look for movies to do well this summer movie season!

Rhys June 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

The authors of The Power of Small believe there is a small revolution afoot. From what they say, and really what a lot of people have been saying, it definitely makes sense to me that small businesses and individual entrepreneurs are going to be doing better in this climate than the behemoths. It might actually be a good thing.

Nick June 3, 2009 at 3:05 pm

We were waiting for a crash with our business, but surprisingly the reverse has happened – and we have never been so busy. We run children’s parties and balloon decorate large events and weddings. It seems that people need a pick up in a recession and throwing a party and self-treating businesses work well in a recession. Retailers may try a few new marketing tricks in a recession, this includes using balloons for product launches and printing logos onto balloons. I hear chocolate sales are up for cadbury and make-up sells do well for max-faxtor. Some weddings looking cut costs have used balloons instead of flowers or find a cheaper place to hire (such as a church hall instead of a hotel room) and use balloons to brighten the room.

EscapeSomewhere June 8, 2009 at 4:31 am

Thats funny. I would not have thought about psychics doing well. I have heard businesses related to coupons are doing pretty well.

It would be interesting to have an article on what businesses get the hit the most by a recession.

Defense Contractors June 19, 2009 at 4:38 am

I was reading about the layoff at GM and thought it would be a good idea for one to start building a recession proof career or business to lead a more secure life.

Something interesting I would like to share is that defense contracting has good financial opportunities for all and can give you a steady flow of big income. Its something one can do with the right guidance and tips and make good money even during the recession.

Joe July 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

I have made a fine living for 25 years in small business. I saw the handwriting on the wall during the last economic downturn in the early 80’s. I have never regretted working for myself and have never looked back.

Mike August 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Depends on the type of business you have. I have a friend who is actually doing better in this economy than he was when it was fine.

Carl February 19, 2010 at 4:31 am

Yeah that’s funny isn’t it Mike how some businesses seem to be thriving in this downturn. I guess the strong get stronger and the weaker get weaker. Companies that specialize in debt management and administration are also thriving in this recession.

Claire Sanchez June 8, 2010 at 9:35 am

Yes it’s very true that everyone in the world are affected in economy crisis. Though it’s hard to make a business today you must always try right? Don’t get disappointed with the state of our economy now, because you don’t know what might happen.

Thanks for this post..

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