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+15 businesses that work in economic crisis

They say that the evil of some is the gain of others. And in any situation if you want to get ahead, YOU CAN! Today I bring you more than 15 profitable businesses, which remain so despite being in an economic crisis.


It seems that no matter how bad everything goes, alcohol is always consumed, and it seems that the worse the thing is, the more you drink “to forget”. The thing is that you can find numerous studies that claim that alcohol consumption has remained stable (if not increasing) in recent decades. Observing these graphs, there is no change due to the economic recession of the beginning of the century. It seems to me like a fairly stable market. In fact, alcohol is so stable as a market that even the Dry Law of the United States could not end it.

However, there are nuances to be taken into account. The most expensive concoctions fall in sales in times of crisis due to the loss of purchasing power, but those of medium-low price are always maintained. This opens up very interesting business opportunities for producers and distributors of alcohol, since nowadays anyone can make their own beer with little investment. However, the main barrier to this lucrative market is the licenses and permits that must be obtained in most governments to be able to move in this sector.


To the bad weather good face, and it seems that cosmetics is one of those markets that have difficulty perceiving economic crises. Surprisingly, since it seemed more like a superfluous luxury item than a necessity. However, studies like the one at the University of Córdoba show very interesting data.

The main causes are that a good percentage of the cosmetics market is moving today through modern marketing techniques such as catalog sales, electronic commerce or direct sales. It is a market that is continuously advancing, innovating and pushing to improve. This also makes it a very hostile market in which to enter on your own … but a very interesting option if you are going to market an already solid brand, for example.

Original movie theaters, monologues … etc.

I do not talk about the typical modern cinema in a mall (which, if you notice, always has people) but something easier to do on a smaller scale. Nowadays the “cheap leisure plan” like “dinner with a show” has a lot of market. In addition, you can take advantage of the place for all kinds of activities that bring customers.

This has many ramifications, since in countries like Spain there are three bars in each corner. This means that for one of these bars to attract customers they must invent very original things (often those next door copy the innovation instantly).

Something that is booming is bringing people who are beginning in the world of entertainment to act, either by doing monologues, singing … or making short film screenings. The thing is that by going to see it people enter that bar that would not have gone by other circumstances, and once inside they get three things:

  1. That they end up consuming, be it a drink, a dinner … etc
  2. That they know the site, and they like to go more times
  3. Advertising “mouth to mouth” (the more people know you, the more people talk about you)

Health and well-being care

The Wellness-Health trend could give us an entire article. We are facing an increasingly aging society, and with increasing stress What do people today seek more than anything else? Feel good.

If you can provide that, either through a private health center, natural products, massage centers, gyms, coaching, courses … whatever. You have guaranteed business. this point could have probably become several.

Specialty food stores

It is a mistake to try to compete with the big supermarkets trying to have “everything”, however, precisely in that sea of homogeneity, a specialized offer makes the difference. This is why it is very complicated to move forward a multi-store in an environment of large shopping centers.

Imagine, however, that you specialize in coffee, and sell all kinds of coffee, as they do in a gourmet store for sommeliers of this drink (either physical or online). Do you know how many billions of dollars the coffee moves in the world? I recommend you take a look at the website of the International Coffee Organization, where you will find updated statistics on the state of this market, whose products are consumed in all countries of the world. We talk about millions and millions of tons of coffee per year. It is a market that also innovates a lot, such as the appearance of capsule coffee machines.

But not only coffee is a good market. We can talk about vegetarian food, pet products … any niche strategy that is aimed at a well selected buyer persona. If your specialized products are sold on the Internet, you would have access to customers around the world while you reduce the costs of a physical location … so this would allow you to have great benefits.


When there was a recession in the United States, do you know what was imposed on the market as a benchmark that continues to this day? The cupcakes! You can search on the Internet, the origin of these well-known and expensive sweets in the form of “disguised magdalena” are precisely from that era.

It seems that when the thing gets bitter consumers want to sweeten life with a good sweet. As Maria Antonietta of Austria said, “if they do not have bread, let them eat cakes”. It seems incredible that a historical phrase as terrible as this can be so true.

And if you analyze it with perspective, sweets, biscuits, rosquetes, cookies … and other forms of pastry are in many cases easy to acquire luxuries that also fill the stomach. Another good candidate to start in economic crisis.

Pawn shops / Second Hand

They grow like mushrooms, and it is true that they are much in demand today, both by people who want to sell things to “get a money” and those who want to look for “bargains” or “retro things”. Pawn or second-hand stores are the perfect link between those who need quick money selling their things and those who want to buy those things at low cost. With an interesting commission in between.

What is the problem? You have to have a lot of knowledge about what is demanded today, because if you set up a business like that and buy too many things that have no commercial outlet or purchases over the price that buyers are willing to pay … bankruptcy. And this business is very susceptible to scams, or receiving stolen products that you must return to the police.

An example that makes good use of this business without risking capital is MilAnuncios, and in general any second-hand sales portal, such as eBay.

This allows you to see it in two ways:

  • Or you take advantage of one of these portals to buy and sell things, earning a profit
  • Or directly you set up a portal like that, knowing that you will have demand.

The good thing about these portals is that they do not risk capital in buying the merchandise. Generally your profit is based either on a percentage on sales (as in the case of eBay) or for services that allow the user to highlight your ad, as is the case of MilAnuncios.

Funeral Services

Yes, people also die in economic crises. Maybe it’s not the most cheerful business … but it’s a profitable business. The problem is that, as with alcohol, it can be very regulated by many countries.

However, the funeral services are not only the funeral home. Around these revolve many companies, from those who transport the deceased to his place of eternal rest to manufacturers of coffins and tombstones, passing through religious services, insurance companies of funerals, catering companies (for the wake), services of tanatopraxia. .. You start to look, and even death is a very interesting business.

Counseling and agencies

In difficult situations people try to minimize the risks. This is why good advice plays a very important role. Far from being a luxury or a comfort, professional advice to avoid problems is a highly valued asset, from the lawyer to the accountant.

In addition, the business of agencies, for example fiscal agencies that help you pay less taxes, are also in high demand.

Repair and maintenance companies.

People, in recession, consume less and try to extend the life of the devices they already have. This is where many people and businesses, rather than toss and buy new, are in need of hiring a repair.

This is a very broad concept, ranging from housing renovations to car repair, through things like repairing refrigerators or installing solar panels.

Here are two important entry barriers. One is knowledge: need to know to perform these repairs, or have staff who know (higher cost). In addition, in sectors such as air conditioning you can leave € 3000 in tools before being prepared to meet your first customer.

Network marketing

These are profitable win-win businesses that can also make more people improve their economic situation. However, you have to know how to choose what company, what product and what moment. It also requires certain social skills and constant long-term development. It is perhaps the least recommended sector of the list.

However, if it is true that in times of crisis this type of business models have a tremendous boom, since the scarcity of employment opportunities and that people are so scared of a more traditional entrepreneurship, many people are tempted to develop network business, direct sales and other derivatives … so it had to be included in the list.


Franchises may be a bit more expensive to build, but they already have a defined work system. Actually any franchise does not work, you have to know how to choose, study the situation, and find a compatible business with you, with your pocket and with the area where you want to place it.

The advantage of the franchise, however, is that it is a business that is already invented. Simply “copy and paste” the system and in most cases it works. However, the investment is very high and they do not always work, so the risk you reduce on the one hand is for another. However, the one that “sells” the franchise has a pretty round business between hands.

Real Estate

For the same thing that happened with second-hand stores, real estate agencies are also very profitable businesses. There are many people who need cash in times of crisis and for them they are forced to sell their house. Maybe it’s a legacy property they can not keep. In addition, many people who are forced to sell their home have to look for a flat for rent.

Therefore, being a company that manages the sale and rental of real estate is profitable. However, there are certain challenges. For years, real estate agencies were needed because they had the unique means and tools to sell homes more quickly. Nowadays, with portals such as Idealista or Fotocasa, the owner is able to do the same or more than real estate agency. This creates real challenges for the traditional real estate agencies in front of the “self-service” web portal.

Advertising and marketing

If there is an economic crisis people buy less, if people buy less companies must make greater efforts to attract new customers. If you are a company that provides the tools to make this possible … you have a profitable business.

This goes from advertising agencies to companies that manage street vendors (such as energy, telephony, NGOs …) through social network management services, SEO, SEM … etc.


In times of uncertainty, people are afraid. If you are afraid you want to feel more secure. What would happen if they die suddenly? What would happen if their home collapsed? What would happen if they suffer an accident and can not work? For this and much more, insurance companies have solutions. But you do not have to open an insurer to take advantage of this.

If you also take into account the previous point, you will begin to see the advantages of becoming an insurance brokerage, or the exclusive agent of a major insurer. To this add that in countries like Spain there are laws that force people to hire certain insurance, such as insurance for vehicles or dangerous dogs. Customer required by law to buy your services! Can you ask for more?

Technology to reduce costs

And in this section we can include all those advances that manage to do the same with less cost. We can talk about supermarkets without employees, or applications like Uber and Cabify that have revolutionized private transport, or AirBNB that has done it with the world of tourist rentals. We can also talk about Netflix or HBO, which are revolutionizing the way people consume television … it is perhaps the widest section of all, and in your imagination is the limit.

What did you think of this article? Do you know any other profitable business? Do you want to expand the information on any of these business models? Leave it to me in the comments. And if you think it can help someone, share it on your social networks!

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