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6 Recession-Resistant Franchise Industries to Consider During an Economic Downturn

6 Recession-Resistant Franchise Industries to Consider During an Economic Downturn

Six franchise industries that can weather an economic storm.

Although it’s too soon to determine the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it has strained many businesses and forced massive closures and layoffs. It’s impossible to guarantee the success of a business regardless of the state of the economy. However, some industries are more recession-resistant than others. Those that offer essential products and services that remain in demand or those that flourish due to tough economic conditions are among the best franchise opportunities. If you’re exploring opening a franchise business as a means of controlling your own employment and financial security, consider an industry that can thrive even in the face of market volatility.

Grocery Stores

No matter what state the economy is in, everyone still needs to eat. Grocery stores provide consumers with food as well as other household staples needed on a recurring basis. Toothpaste, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, paper goods, cleaning products and more are always in demand. Although consumers tend to spend less when times are tough, they still purchase alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as well. Whether providing the essentials for meal preparation, convenience food or quick snacks, grocery stores are a solid option for opening a franchise business because of their proven economic endurance.

Postal and Business Services

Services like shipping, mail and package receiving, printing, scanning, faxing and notary are essential for a variety of people and small businesses. That makes a postal and business services franchise a stable investment, even during an economic downturn. The extensive product and service offering also translates into multiple profit centers, which can be beneficial for franchisees. Some franchise brands even offer unique store in store concepts that allow owners of established retail businesses to add these services within their existing footprint. This drives an increase in foot traffic and helps customers get more done, all in one place.

Retail Consignment

Although not an essential business, resale shops do well when cash flow is weak. Consumers looking to save money on furniture, books, clothing, athletic gear, electronic devices and household items turn to gently used goods at consignment and thrift stores.

There is no longer a stigma around secondhand shopping. In fact, thrifting is now mainstream. It even transcends age and income. According to GlobalDataSurvey, all ages thrift but secondhand shopping is highest among Millennials (ages 25-37) and Baby Boomers (ages 56+). Even 26 percent of luxury shoppers buy secondhand. This trend is expected to grow as consumers seek to update their style to stay on trend while also being environmentally friendly.

Repair Industry

From homes to cars - things break, keeping repair services in demand. The home maintenance and repair industry covers a wide range of businesses. This includes plumbing, HVAC, electrical, roofing and window contractors and more.

Automotive repair shops, especially those that offer a wider range of services rather than specializing in one area, will also continue to thrive during a recession. According to an analysis by IHS Markit, the average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. has continued to increase and is now 11.8 years. The growing number of aging vehicles creates more opportunity for repair providers to keep them running smoothly.

Cleaning Services

Cleaning services are in demand now more than ever before. Sanitizing services will remain a priority especially for offices, commercial buildings, schools, healthcare facilities and retail stores. Although more likely to feel an impact from a slower economy, residential cleaning services have a positive outlook as well.

Another type of cleaning franchise is restoration and disaster recovery services. These businesses help customers minimize losses and salvage valuable assets after a catastrophic event like a natural disaster or fire. Increasing awareness about the dangers of mold in homes and commercial properties has also created greater demand for mold mitigation services.

Senior Home Healthcare

The senior care sector is experiencing enormous growth because of the aging Baby Boomer generation, making it among the best franchise opportunities available. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2034, people age 65 and over are expected to outnumber children under the age of 18 for the first time in history. Furthermore, a survey by AARP found that 76 percent of Americans age 50 and older prefer to remain in their current residence. This rapidly aging population will drive demand for healthcare, in-home caregiving and assisted living facilities.

There are many senior home care franchise opportunities available that provide both medical and non-medical services. Non-medical caregivers can make it possible for seniors to stay in their own home longer by helping with chores like housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, running errands and more.

Next Steps

Opening a franchise business doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a ton of inexpensive franchise opportunities available. Low cost doesn’t mean the opportunity isn’t a quality investment. Some of the largest, most reputable brands are more affordable than you might think. Do your research. Scour lists of best franchise opportunities, thoroughly review the FDD and talk to the franchisor and existing franchisees to find the best fit for you.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.