When times get tough there are still profits to be made.

Even during the toughest of times, you can find a way to start a profitable business. Some businesses are in demand, no matter what state the economy is in. The only challenge left is your willingness to work hard.

Collection Agencies

Not the easiest business to get into, but collection agencies work even during a recession. Interestingly, collection agencies have a hard time when the economy tanks. While there’s lots of work to be done, people simply do not have the money to pay their bills. You’re going to need to be pretty tough to succeed in this business at any time and have great people skills, but the recession won’t be the road block.


Even during times of economic need, young people will need academic help and their parents will almost always prioritize their children's education. Whether at the elementary, secondary of post-secondary level, tutoring is a recession-proof gig. You can start your own business here easily. All you need do is get the word out that you can teach things most people can’t, such as music, Calculus or SAT prep. Once you’ve got a couple clients successfully learning, you will find more roll in as word spreads about your teaching abilities.

Coffee Shops

Along with cigarettes, liquor and lottery tickets, coffee is one of those things people won’t give up even when things start getting really hard. What’s more, people are increasingly patronizing small, mom and pop establishments over the bigger chain stores. This puts you in the ideal position to reap profits, even if the economy goes south.

Health Care

The health care profession is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States, despite the recession. As the American population ages, there is an increasing need for health care professionals. If you have health care training and experience but are having trouble finding employment, consider starting your own business. If you haven't entered the field, consider applying for a training program to be a medical or dental assistant.

Auto Shops

It doesn’t matter what state the economy is in -- without a car, most people can't function. Whether you have a job or you’re looking for one, you’re going to need wheels to get to work or your next job interview. For mechanics having trouble finding a job, getting a business loan and opening up your own shop makes great financial sense in any economy.

Pawn Broker

You might feel a little uncomfortable doing it, but pawn broking is a great business model for tough times. When the economy hits the skids people often have to part with things they’d rather hold onto. A pawn broker makes a profit by either buying these things and selling them or holding onto them as collateral on a loan.

Cosmetics Sales

Much like coffee and other businesses named above, cosmetics are something consumers buy no matter how bad the economy gets. Whether a woman needs makeup to look her best for a job interview or just to lift her spirits when times are tough, cosmetics sales are a great recession-proof business idea.

Choosing the Right Business Model for Hard Times

Pick a business model that lends itself to your skills and experience. The middle of a recession is often never a good time for a career change. When times get hard, however, there are certain business models that still keep performing. Finding the right one can help you to turn a bad situation into a better one.