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The 8 Best Recession-Proof Business Models for 2021

We live in uncertain economic times. The global recession has affected business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees. According to the IMF, the global economy shrunk by 4.4% in 2020. Undoubtedly, this situation may appear unpleasant to start a new business.

However, you might be amazed how many business opportunities exist during a recession. Lots of businesses even see massive growth. For example, Amazon’s revenue grew by 38% in 2020, which is a record performance. Companies that thrive during a recession are also known as countercyclical companies. 

Regardless of the projections for the coming years – If you want to start a business, you need to launch a recession-proof business to ensure stable revenue streams and long-term growth. So, if you want to know about the best business models for uncertain economic times, you have come to the right place. Here is a list of the best recession-proof business models for 2021.

Top 8 Recession-Proof Business Models for 2021

Sell Online

Ecommerce has become one of the most important sales channels for businesses. Most people prefer to shop online rather than buying from local retail stores. In 2019, global retail e-commerce sales amounted to 3.53 trillion USD. At the same time, retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach 6.54 trillion USD by the end of 2022. To stay competitive in the future and ensure long-term growth, launching an online store might be the best idea now and in the coming years. Also, you can consider selling on marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, or eBay. Most Amazon sellers saw a massive increase in sales in 2020. However, while it’s much easier to get started selling on marketplaces, it’s harder to scale.

Sell Food Online

In 1994, Pizza Hut launched their online delivery service. Since then, online grocery delivery has grown into a billion-dollar industry. Due to the COVID-Pandemic, lots of regular restaurants closed their doors. This again led to a massive growth of the online grocery industry. In 2021, online grocery stores worldwide are expected to generate a total of $151.526 million in sales. This sales volume indicates an annual growth of 6.4%. Besides, by selling food online, you do not have to spend money on rent. Your profit margin will be much higher, and you can earn more money. Aside from that, you can easily stick to social distancing rules and help others to do likewise.


The chances that freelancers go out of business is ZERO. But why?

There are MANY companies with editorial requirements that cannot meet those requirements themselves. Some firms need competent copywriters to sell their services online. Amazon Sellers need virtual assistants to manage their business. Startups need graphic designers for their projects – there will always be work for freelancers. There are lots of freelancing platforms online. Upwork and Fiverr are the biggest among them. You can easily sign up, connect with a company and start working. However, freelancing has become quite competitive in recent times. The following statistics show how many people took up freelancing in the United States between 2014 and 2019.

  • In 2014, 53 million people were doing freelance work in the United States. 
  • By 2016, there were 55 million freelance workers in the United States.
  • In 2019, the number of freelance workers increased to 57 million people. 

With the right work ethic and a well-honed skill, you are sure to thrive, regardless.

Accounting Service

Most businesses need an accounting service during an economic crisis. Accounting services help small businesses keep track of their finances and pay fewer taxes. Plus, these services advise businesses on how to make smart and profitable investments. But that is not all. Accounting services also help companies to apply for state aid. No matter how severe the economic crisis, accounting services will always be in demand.

Become a Craftsman 

Have you ever thought about the fact that everyone needs craftsmen services? Craftsmen services will always be relevant, even during a recession. The last thing anyone would do during a recession is to make large purchases. Instead, they will prefer to employ craftsmen. If you are an unemployed craftsman or if you are interested in turning your crafts into a business, there is no better time than now. Becoming a craftsman will most likely be one of the best decisions you can make in these times.

Online Teaching

Technology transformed opportunities in teaching and learning. Before the digital era, it used to be talks, lectures, physical objects, and practical. But now classes can go on differently. The e-learning market is a product of this transformation, and it has revealed a new money-making niche.

Just take a look at these statistics:

  • It is projected that the global e-learning market will exceed 243 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2022. 
  • A substantial portion of stakeholders (65%) in the educational sector have demonstrated their readiness to endorse this new teaching model.
  • Approximately 92 percent of students globally are willing to adopt online teaching methods.

From all these figures, you can see that it is no better time to offer an online course than now.

Cleaning Services

Helping companies clean their buildings is a well-known business. It is the same as with craftsmen services. Companies need these services, and they are not much affected by economic downturns. Aside from that, you can also work for real estate agents. You can help real estate agents to clean houses before they sell them. You can also similarly help new house owners clean up their homes before they move in. Either way, this is a great business idea you can start during a recession.

Become a Virtual Assistant

A few years before now, nobody talked about being a virtual assistant. However, during a recession, this business is likely to thrive. Most companies decide not to hire expensive internal employees, but they still want to outsource simple tasks. This is where virtual assistants come into play. A virtual assistant works as a managerial assistant to entrepreneurs, CEOs, executives, or enterprises. The reason is that virtual assistants save costs. Virtual Assistants are inexpensive and just the economical choice these firms need in the present economic situation. Additionally, the fact that a virtual assistant is just as productive as an in-house assistant makes them a great choice.


There is only one way to keep up in a recession. And that is to earn more money. Starting a recession-proof business is one of the best ways to achieve that. You can begin by finding out which of these ideas you can execute competently. Once you have done that, plug into the niche and start working on your business. We hope this article helps you in your bid to keep your head above the waters!

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