5 Recession-Proof Side Hustles to Consider in 2024

Over the last few years, we've all collectively experienced a period of economic uncertainty, and 2024 looks to be no different. In some...

5 Recession-Proof Side Hustles to Consider in 2024
Over the last few years, we've all collectively experienced a period of economic uncertainty, and 2024 looks to be no different. In some ways, the economy is doing well. Some might even call it strong. But what impact will global events have on that? How long will things stay that way? What does the upcoming presidential election mean? These are all questions without easy answers, which is why things still give people quite a bit of anxiety.

Because of that, having recession-proof side hustles isn't a recommendation but a requirement. They help ensure that no matter what happens to the economy and your primary source of income, you'll still have something to fall back on. In a worst-case scenario, it can help buy you enough time to get back on your feet. In a best-case scenario, you might find this new opportunity so successful that it rises above being just a simple "side hustle" at that point.

  1. Wholesaling Real Estate

By far, one of the best ways to start a recession-proof side hustle is to dip your toe into the proverbial waters of wholesale real estate.

You're not necessarily "buying" or "selling" a property here. You're acting as what is essentially a middleman between two parties. You locate an investment opportunity, usually in the form of a distressed home, and get the seller to agree to one price. Then, you find a buyer and get them to agree to a higher price. All parties walk away satisfied, and you get to keep the difference between those two numbers as profit.

This strategy is so interesting (and recession-proof) that you will still see a lot of activity regardless of what the market is doing. Whether it is a "buyer's market" or "seller's market" doesn't matter because you're working with both sides. Wholesale real estate also thrives during market fluctuations for the same reason. You're also not financing anything like you would in a traditional real estate transaction, so you're not at the mercy of things like skyrocketing interest rates.

  1. Freelance Content Creation

Another great way to generate a recession-proof income stream for yourself has to do with freelance content creation. Especially in an era when we're all spending more time online than ever, freelance content creation is a resilient choice for several reasons.

Content marketing is king these days - to the point where most marketers still see it as the technique that generates the highest return on investment. Consumers want as much content as they can get, be it blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, and more. The brands understand this need but don't have the time to create the content themselves. They're already spending all of their time running a successful business. That's where you come in.

So not only do you get to take advantage of high demand across various industries, but freelance content creation is also incredible for flexibility. You choose who you work for and when, allowing you to easily fit it in alongside any other career you might have.

  1. E-Commerce

Over the last 20 years, many have also found success in e-commerce through both positive and negative economic times. Just ask Jeff Bezos, who essentially pioneered the model for what we now think of as e-commerce with Amazon in the late 1990s.

By leveraging innovative and far-reaching online platforms for product sales, e-commerce businesses tend to thrive even when the rest of the economy does not. For proof of this, look back a few years to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly overnight, most stores were deemed "non-essential" and were temporarily shut down for in-person shopping. Do you know what never closed, however? E-commerce stores are where everyone immediately turns to get what they need. The sector saw a significant boost in 2020 and 2021, and that's just one recent example of its resilience.

  1. App Development

Given how the world has changed dramatically since Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone in 2007, becoming an app developer is a path more than worthy of your time if you're looking for a recession-proof side hustle. Is whatever app you create going to suddenly make you a millionaire overnight? Probably not - especially given the sheer volume of competition in the space.

However, if your idea is good enough (and you're lucky enough), you can absolutely carve out a decent supplemental income. At this point, the majority of people on the planet own a smartphone of some kind, and every day, we give new meaning to the phrase "there's an app for that." The market for apps is still increasing, and if yours offers something of value and caters to technological advancements, it can legitimately stand out.

  1. Virtual Assistant Services

Finally, we have the concept of virtual assistant services - something that is becoming increasingly popular with small businesses.

For example, a small law firm might not be able to hire a full-time assistant. But they can hire a virtual one to accomplish many of the same tasks flexibly at a fraction of the cost.

Virtual assistant services are attractive to organizations because they're scalable and attractive to workers. After all, they're always in demand. So long as you're able to adapt to diverse business needs, you can find a lot of success as a virtual assistant.

Do Your Research

These are just a few examples of recession-proof side hustles that are out there if you know where to look. Depending on your risk tolerance and overall needs, you may even want to explore more than one of these at a time. Yes, app development takes up a great deal of time, but there's also overlap with the content creation space when it comes to marketing and ultimately selling your creation. The same is true of wholesale real estate and content creation - those properties aren't going to market themselves.

Regardless, these side hustles will have you covered even if things don't firm up regarding the economic landscape in 2024. In fact, they may prove so beneficial that you no longer see them as temporary and instead devote much of your time to keeping up the hustle moving forward.

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