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How to become recession proof in 2020


I find myself helping and advising more and more individuals and businesses how to become recession-proof in 2020 more than anything else at the moment. I love to see them leave our conversations with a new found confidence and action plan of what to do. 

Let’s not sugar coat it.

These are concerning times. The longer this period of not-knowing, uncertainty, reduced consumer spending, job cuts and more, the more concerned we become.

I will write another article as to why there is no real need to be concerned which will dovetail will this article, however, in the meantime let’s address the core question posed at the start of this article.

Perhaps the most over-used phrase to answer this question is: ‘you must pivot’.

Many of us have and are.

Most businesses and individuals and businesses, however, are pivoting within their own industry. I can use myself as an example. I have pivoted from giving hundreds of professional, live keynote presentations, to pivoting to deliver online or virtual presentations.

I, like many have pivoted within my own industry. Doing so, I’ll admit is certainly adapting to the new normal, but I, like most would love to get back to the old normal.

The concerning part of this new normal is that it really isn’t normal. Job cuts and businesses falling into administration on a daily basis is far from normal. Some feel like they can weather the storm, but for those who have not pivoted or adapted are being swept up by the storm.

Whilst we can hang on and hang on and hang on and even hang on some more, something will have to give. You’ll be forced to give in, not on your terms but on the terms of the market and dependent on whether it starts to recover or not.

And if we do give in, or are swept up by the situation, lose our job, lose our business, lose everything we have worked so hard for. What then?

Do we restart that same business but just do it slightly differently?

Or do we look further afield into uncharted waters and try and exploit the current situation and re-label it as an opportunity?

I guess the latter is correct. So why not pivot BIG now! Under your terms.

PIVOT BIG means looking further afield into recession proof industries. Use you current skill set and business model to diversify, add an additional revue stream, or collaborate with those who are currently thriving in their own recession proof industry.

A recession proof industry is one which keeps hiring new staff and expanding DESPITE an economic downturn. A recession-proof industry increases its turnover whilst other’s call in the creditors.


When answering this question, the bigger question should be asked. What industries supply consumers with what they NEED as opposed to what they WANT?

If you do think of something that they want – then choose your industry based on it being ETHICALLY ADDICTIVE.

Need-based industries are recession proof whilst want-based industries are recession prone.

When looking at what kind of industries that continue to service consumers’ NEEDS you’ll see it will be industries such as:

Food and drink – These are obviously one of our main survival needs. The full spectrum of food and drink procurement is needed, whether it is picking from the fields or serving behind a till, to filling the shelves.

Health products – Hand sanitiser, latex gloves, face masks, toilet rolls – Now more than any other recession is the demand for these at it’s highest.

Health services – Psychological help, nutritional help, medical help, physiotherapy help

Education services – Children still need to go to school and will still need teachers even if they are temporarily furloughed due to Coronavirus

Governmental departments – Core departments need to operate to keep the country operating and functioning to support key services

Security services such as the fire department, police service and other security services such as the military to protect our country.

IT services – Fixing computers, fixing mobile phones, installing phone masts, fixing broadband connections or phone lines.

IT Products – Zoom, apps, computers, webcams, lights – all in high demand at the moment. Take print cartridges – these are now extremely difficult to get hold of.

Pet food – Basic survival requirements for our beloved pets.

Car Services – Mechanics, parking inspectors,

Accounting services  – people still need to file their tax returns and have assistance whilst a recession affects their business.

There are some industries that would often be recession proof yet due to the pandemic have been hit hard:

Travel and tourism – Usually people still want to visit other countries but this has been put on hold with the pandemic.

Entertainment – Much like travel and tourism, this is usually recession-proof but these are unprecedented times

Other needs in a recession slow down too. People are less inclined to move house, unless they are downsizing or buying a new car as these are both wants. People’s ability to financially meet their wants of luxury items declines as does construction as the demand is reduced.

You can also pivot into an industry which services people’s wants, however, these, products or services are usually ETHICALLY ADDICTIVE items.



Tobacco, Vaping



In summary, if you are looking at how to become recession-proof in 2020, I’ll be concise as possible. Unless you are in an industry which is recession-proof, certainly pivot but look at pivoting much further afield than your own industry. Collaborate, knock on doors and either enter into a new recession-proof industry or collaborate with businesses who are already there.

If you would like some more tailored assistance and guidance on navigating these unprecedented times please get in touch and I’ll personally call you back.

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