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

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.