Should You Start A Home Business in a Recession?

start a home business in a recession

The protective measures we have taken to help protect ourselves and others from the COVID-19 virus is very likely to bring on our next big recession.  With unemployment at an all time high, there are also more people out there seriously considering starting their own business. But should you start a home business in a recession?

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. Why? Because I started my business in our last great recession.  In 2007, as the real estate bubble burst, I was one of those people receiving unemployment benefits and wondering how in the world I was going to get by.  Jobs were impossible to find and I was very aware that I was thisclose to living in my Ford Focus.  If you’ve never owned a Focus, trust me when I say there isn’t much room in one.  Desperate, I knew I had to step outside of my comfort zone.  If there were no jobs hiring, then it was obvious what I was going to have to do.  I was going to have to make my own. In a recession.

Turns out starting my home business in a recession was ideal. Here are my reasons for saying that:

Time was abundant.

I wasn’t working. I had plenty of time to research business ideas, find out what type of requirements starting a business would entail and start working toward becoming a business owner. 

There were special programs available due to the recession

I discovered that in my state there were special programs available to help me start a business. At that time, the program that helped me the most was one that provided guidance from the SBA and allowed me to continue to receive my unemployment benefits even as I started to bring in a little money from my fledgling business.  There are other programs out there as well. Some are geared toward helping women and minorities, others provide special help to new businesses in certain areas like technology.  Often new programs are created in a recession to help the larger number of unemployed to realize a dream of business ownership.

Unemployment benefits paid the rent

Although unemployment benefits often barely cover your basic bills, it paid my rent and utilities while I went through the startup phase of my business.  Due to the above-mentioned program, I was still allowed to collect benefits when my business starting making money. This meant I could invest that little bit into growing my business.

A recession the magnitude of what experts are predicting due to the coronavirus pandemic is scary.  I’d be an idiot to say that starting a business during one doesn’t include risks.  Yet it doesn’t matter when you start a business, it always comes with some risk.  Depending on your particular situation, starting a home business during a recession can actually be the best time to do so.

Below is my quick Facebook Live about starting a home business in a recession.  My goal is to present a Facebook Live every week to answer questions about starting and running a home business and working from home. Be sure to follow my Facebook Page for more.


Tina Marie Hilton provides online technology services to forward thinking businesses. She writes on her Tips from T.Marie business blog to share insight and information with other small businesses and entrepreneurs. It also makes her feel like that certificate in creative writing isn't going to waste completely.