Looking for small business ideas that will always be in demand? You are in the right place.
In this article, I am going to explore some of the most reliable and steady small businesses that are resistant to recessions, cannot be outsourced, are not trendy, and won't be made obsolete through technology. I will also include great low-cost options for getting started in some of these businesses.
So what types of businesses will always be in demand?
They are businesses that cater to our essential needs (and in some cases really important wants). By focusing on businesses that meet critical needs and desires, we can rest assured that they will never become obsolete. Here is a preview of the small business ideas we will cover:
- Local Restaurants and Eateries
- Rental Property
- Home Repair and Maintenance
- Car Wash
- Senior Care Services
- Waste Management
- Hair Care and Beauty
- Internet-Related Businesses
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and complete a transaction, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
Local Restaurants and Eateries
Our need for food is never going away, so a local restaurant or eatery (if in a good location and well run) will always be in demand. Not only will it satisfy our basic need to eat, it can also provide a great social setting. As a bonus, it provides a much needed escape from the drudgery of cooking everyday.
Because restaurants satisfy a local demand, they can't be outsourced. And technology is not going to somehow magically take away the physical and social need to eat and interact with our friends and family at our favorite neighborhood restaurant.
The downside is that running a successful restaurant can be risky and take a lot of work.
If you want a great way to make passive income (or least semi-passive income) in the restaurant business, you may want to check out franchises. A strong fast food franchise can make running a restaurant much easier because you instantly have brand recognition and a robust operations manual that your managers can follow.
To learn more, check out my article on the best franchises for passive income, which covers fast food franchises.
If you want a really low-cost option for a food-related business, you may want to consider vending machines. You can buy one for as little as a few thousand dollars and start making residual income from the sale of those little candy bars, chips and drinks. It's a simple business that can make you a nice return without a lot of work.
If you want to learn more on how to get started, check out my article on vending machines for passive income [a beginner's guide].
Ok- we've covered food. Let's talk about shelter. Everyone needs a place to live and being a landlord can fill that basic need for a lot of people. Your business won't get outsourced and technology can't replace our basic human need to have a roof over our heads.
This is one of my favorite businesses and I can speak first hand to how effectively it can build wealth. I started investing in real estate over ten years ago and I currently own nine rental properties. I self-manage all of them.
I can confidently say that rental properties played a key role in my financial success and my rentals generate thousands in passive income each month.
Why are rentals so great?
Here are some of the key benefits of rental property investing:
- Cash flow each month (that's money in your pocket)
- Appreciation (which is when your property values go up)
- Tenants pay off your mortgage (I love this part of it)
- Tax benefits that can shelter your rental income
- Strong ROIs (well over 10% if done right)
- Inflation Hedge (property values and rents tend to increase as inflation goes up, which creates a natural hedge)
How Do You Get Started In Real Estate Investing?
There’s no secret here.
I saved like hell and tried to buy one quality property near my house each year. Sometimes I was able to buy more, sometimes less. Eventually, I built up a nice portfolio, developed a reliable and cost-effective team to handle repairs and maintenance (this is done through trial and error), and figured out how to automate a lot of stuff so that things mostly run on auto-pilot now.
If investing in rental properties sounds interesting and you want to learn more, here are some articles that I wrote that you may find helpful.
- How to Get Started Investing in Rental Properties: A Step-By-Step Guide
- 15 No Money Down Real Estate Strategies
- Real Estate Investing Options By Price Range (includes many low cost options)
Home Repair and Maintenance
Staying on the topic of shelter, another great small business that will always be in demand is a home repair or maintenance company. This includes HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, roofing, and a whole host of other similar businesses that revolve around home maintenance.
For some of these businesses, you will need specialized skills and licenses, but there are some that you can start without a lot of formal training or licensing. Take gutter cleaning, for example. It's not particularly glamorous, but if you have a truck that can carry a big ladder, you can get started for well under a $1,000.
If you want to learn more, check out my article on starting a low cost gutter cleaning business.
As long as we have cars, there will always be a need to get them washed. Of course, some people are willing to wash their cars themselves, but many people don't want to deal with the hassle. A car washing business can be a great way to generate reliable income and the best part is that it can be automated in many ways.
If you are interested in learning more about how to get started with a passive car wash, check out my article on How to Start an Automatic Car Wash For Passive Income.
If you don't have a ton of money to invest in this type of business, you can just start small. I mean really small (like $250). In this article, I show you how to start a mobile car wash business for less than $250 (including a full equipment list).
Let's move on to clothing. Obviously, we all need clothing and that's unlikely to change anytime soon. Opening up a clothing business can be profitable, but it can be super competitive. You are going to be facing severe competition from low cost manufacturers. You will also have to deal with the fact that clothing trends come and go.
That doesn't mean you can't succeed if you have the right idea and strategy. Take Lululemon – it started off as filling the very niche demand for yoga pants, but has grown into an incredible business within a very short period of time.
Another great business that will always be needed is a laundromat business. I think this is a far safer option than a clothing business because a local laundromat has steady and reliable built-in demand if you open one up in the right neighborhood. People who don't have access to their own washer and dryer will always need this service (which again can't be outsourced).
I also love the fact that this business is recession proof – people will need to wash their clothes even in the face of an economic downturn. If you want to learn more about this business, check out my article on how to start a passive laundromat business in 6 easy steps.
Senior Care Services
Aging is a reality of life and the need to assist our aging population is going to always be around. With the baby boomers now requiring senior care services, this industry has experienced an incredible boom. Demand may fluctuate over time as different demographics (Gen X, Millenials, etc.) enter into their golden years, but the need for these services will always be there.
Obviously senior care can cover a broad range of services, from assisted living facilities to something as simple as an errand service. I like errand services a lot since you can get started for a really low initial investment (all you really need is a car and a cell phone). Check out this article to learn more.
Let's talk trash…
I am talking about trash disposal, of course. This is also a business that will always be around. I imagine it may evolve (and hopefully improve with technology), but there will always be a need for companies that will reliably take care of our trash removal needs.
There are garbage truck businesses, dump truck services, roll-off dumpster rental services, and many other related business that deal with junk removal. The bad news is that buying these types of trucks can be expensive, but the good news is that there are many great financing options available.
If you are able to market your services well, you can make a pretty handsome profit from these types of businesses. Check out my two articles on how to start a dump truck business and a dumpster rental business to learn the ins and outs of getting started in this industry.
Hair Care and Beauty
Hair care and beauty is also an industry that will never go away. As a guy, unless you are ok with a flowbee haircut, you are going to the barber on the regular. The same holds if you are a woman. For this reason, hairstylists make reliable and recurring income because their customers come back like clockwork.
This type of evergreen demand extends to beauty products and services. Some niche areas that have been gaining popularity over the years include eyelash extensions, press on nails, and microblading, which are all small businesses that can be started with a relatively low initial investment. I also love these types of businesses because customers need to get periodic touch-ups or replacements, which generate recurring income for the business owner.
Check out my articles on each of these businesses if you want to learn more.
- How to Start a Press on Nail Business
- How to Start an Eyelash Extension Business
- How to Start a Microblading Business
I think this one is pretty obvious. Your local liquor store will always have steady demand because (let's be honest) people love a good drink from time to time. Starting a liquor store can be expensive and you will need to get a liquor license, but the business can be very lucrative.
It is an unfortunate reality, but people get sick or injured all the time. So healthcare is always going to be in demand. It is a bit of a specialty business because in many cases, you will need a specialized degree or license. I am talking about businesses like doctor's offices, dentist's offices, chiropractor's offices, physical therapy centers, etc.
If you have the requisite education, skills, and experience (or are thinking about entering into the field) you can make a handsome living providing healthcare to people in your area.
The world is becoming more competitive and globalized. So tutoring (whether that is for children or adults) is an industry that will not be going away anytime soon.
The great good news is that tutoring is no longer restricted to your local area. Tutoring services (especially after the pandemic) have blossomed online and it is now a very common way for students to interact with their instructors.
And you can get started for very little cost – it can be as simple as going on Fiverr and offering your services. In fact, you can even make money by simply chatting with people in English. I mean, it doesn't get easier than that! To learn more, check out my article on how to get paid simply for chatting in English.
I think we can safely say that the internet is not going away anytime soon. As you can imagine, there are a million ways to make money online, including e-commerce (which is just selling products and services online), blogging, youtube, social media, online directories, software as a service, online marketing services, etc.
As you can imagine, one of my favorite ways for making money online is blogging.
I run several blogs, including this one, that generate reliable cash flow for me every month. If you have a knack for writing, this could be the perfect online business for you. I have written a step by step guide to starting a passive income blog that will take you through each of the steps required to launch your new online blog.
So there you have it 13 great small businesses that will always be in demand.
If you want to learn about other great business ideas, check out my series of starting a business, which contains tons of “how-to” guides on starting various businesses.
If you want a general beginner's guide to starting a business, check out my ultimate beginner's guide to starting a business. I will walk you step-by-step through the entire process, from ideation to launch.