Most people think of recessions as being all bad. Truthfully, for most people they are a time of cutting back on spending and attempting to make more conservative purchasing decisions. Though for a select group of industries, recession may actually lead to an increase in business, perhaps even an opportunity to thrive or grow the businesses extensively. (Find out what to do when the sun sets on a burgeoning market. See Tips For Recession-Proofing Your Portfolio.)
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Even during recession, both people and businesses have to pay taxes and keep their finances in order, and it could easily be argued that it's even more important in tougher economic times to keep these sorts of financial concerns in check. Accountants are very likely to experience an increase in business during recession, since many people and small businesses may require the help of a professional to ensure they're making use of all the tax benefits available to them, and that they have a clear understanding of their income and expenditures as the cash flow tightens. At the very worst, some people may require the services of an accountant if they're forced to file for bankruptcy.
Even during recession, people get sick, that's one thing that definitely doesn't change because of tough economic times. For this reason, the healthcare industry isn't likely to experience the same level of cuts or job losses as in other industries because many people will still require this service regardless of economic conditions.
Those who have assets want to ensure that they're as well taken care of as possible, especially once a recession hits. Financial advisors often see an increase in workflow as people become more concerned about the stability of their investments and seek guidance on how to protect their assets.
Auto Repair and Maintenance
During tougher economic times, people are far less likely to invest in purchasing a brand-new car. Instead, many people will choose to repair their old car. Because of this, auto repair and maintenance shops can rake in the cash during times of recession when people are more likely to fork over a few hundred dollars for repairs than pay larger monthly sums toward a car loan.
Home Maintenance Stores (Not Builders)
Similar to the decision to repair your car rather than replace it, many people will choose to repair things in their homes rather than replace them. Instead of moving, do a do-it-yourself home renovation. Rather than replace the dishwasher, have it repaired. Companies in the business of providing tools and materials for DIY projects are likely to see an increase during recession, as will many appliance or home repair service people.
Home Staging Experts
In a recession, it typically becomes more difficult to sell homes. Some people may be forced to move to a new city where they can find work, and in these situations, a quick home sale can be important. Those who specialize in home staging can thrive as home sales become increasingly competitive. Home staging specialists might be real estate agents or individuals with experience in interior design. A staging expert increases the appeal of a home by playing up the strengths and downplaying the weaknesses. This can provide an edge up on competing homes that have not been staged for sale.
Rental Agents and Property Management Companies
Individuals who may not be able to afford to buy a home during recession, or for those who were forced to sell for economic reasons, still need a place to live. These individuals will likely turn to renting if they don't have other options available to them. Rental agents, landlords or property management companies can thrive during recession when renting is likely to become a more appealing option to those who are unable to take on a mortgage.
Everyone needs to eat, that's just a fact. When people don't want to pay a premium for restaurant food, they're more likely to start preparing meals at home. Rather than having social gatherings and parties in restaurants or bars, people may start to host home parties instead. For this reason, grocery stores will often see an increase in sales as people choose to cook more meals at home.
Bargain or Discount Stores
When people can no longer afford to shop 'til they drop, many turn to bargain stores so that they can still enjoy the feeling of treating themselves. It can be said that the sale of lipstick and cosmetics actually increases during recession. This is because these items are seen as an affordable luxury. Bargain and discount stores still allow consumers to shop without feeling the guilt of paying top dollar for discretionary items.
The Bottom Line
It has been said that the only two things anyone can be sure of are death and taxes. Even during recession, that's definitely true. However, accounting and healthcare aren't the only two businesses that thrive during recession. As many people make more conservative decisions with money and elect to stay put rather than move, choose "staycations" over vacations, put off buying new cars, clothes or avoid eating in restaurants, we see people put their dollars toward simpler, lower-cost decisions that help to make life more livable in the short term.