By Martins Itua
During times of economic hardship, it is often easier to concentrate on the negatives and the different reasons why people are losing their jobs and businesses are shutting their doors. We have seen some businesses that were doing well prior to this period but have been forced to choose between keeping their staff and reducing their wage bills. So you may have been very good at your job and probably have done it for many years but still lost your job due these trying times.
Instead of the blame game that has characterised the current economic recession facing Nigerians, you ought to be looking for and sniffing around for opportunities where you can make money. Times of economic hardship provide numerous opportunities for investment. While majority of people concentrate their energies on complaining about the situation and how terrible things have become, a few people focus their time to look for investment opportunities. The fact remains that despite the current situation and the suffering that many people are facing in Nigeria, there are some people who are still making money.
Let us look at the following numbers. Let us assume the population of the entire Federal Capital Territory, Abuja is 5 million people and that everyone spends at least N600 a day for food and water. This means that in a month, FCT residents spend as much as N90 billion to eat and drink water. N90 billion is spent on food in an economy supposedly going through recession! States with higher populations such as Lagos and Kano will certainly spend more to eat.
What are those things that people still engage in, despite the economic situation? As long as there are human beings on the earth, there are certain things that we must do to live. For instance, people will always eat. No matter what, everyone will always drink water. People drink alcohol when they are merry or celebrating and when they are sad. People still get married or celebrate their birthdays. People die the same way people are born every day. People will always live in homes and will need to repair their cars. People will always wear clothes and school children will always need to wear uniforms to school. Here are five businesses that can make you money in a recession.
We eat to live and we eat from conception until we die. A business that provides this basic human need will thrive even during the worst economic situation. It is clear from the analysis done earlier that in the FCT alone, food business is in excess of N90 billion monthly. No matter where you live, the opportunities in the food business are endless. People are always looking for what and where to eat good food. Due to busy lifestyles and work demands, people increasingly need to eat out. If you were selling puff puff to 500 construction site workers and making a daily margin of only N30 per puff puff, you will be netting a monthly sales of nearly N400,000.
You need to bear in mind that you do not necessarily have to start a cooking business as you can decide to plug in at different points in the agricultural value chain. This means that whether you are cooking or simply supplying eggs to schools or providing feed for chicken farm owners, you are a part of the food business.
Despite the recession, people still get married and several others celebrate their birthdays. You may not know how to make cakes, but you can engage the services of someone who does. Many people are now comfortable having cupcakes than the regular cakes. If you make wonderful cakes, you will get customers. There are a few decent places where you can get good quality cakes and these few ones are doing very well. It is not rocket science to start one as there are thousands of materials online you can read up and learn how to profit from this lucrative business.
Be a Funeral director
It sounds morbid. But we all have an appointment with death. There is not one person who is immune to it. People die almost at the same rate that people are born. So providing decent and affordable funeral service is something worth considering. From making caskets and providing funeral homes, you can be sure that you will always have customers. If you look at it, everyone is potentially your customer because everyone will die.
Although a bit capital intensive, the best time to invest in real estate is during economic downturns. Property prices are usually down and much below their real values. People are usually also willing to sell off their lands and property in order to meet pressing urgent financial needs. When investing in real estate during recession, be sure to get good bargains by insisting on the lowest price possible. Usually, property owners in need of money are ready to go as low as possible because only few buyers are available.
People need to wear clothes despite recession. School kids need to wear their school uniforms. However bad it is, it is unlikely that people will be waking naked on the streets. A more likely scenario is that people will cut down on imported and expensive clothes and settle for locally sewn attires. This period is an opportunity for good fashion designers to make good margins if they are not overpriced. Focus on product quality and charge a price that people can afford and you are on your way to financial success.
Related: 7 ways to survive Economic Recession
Although there are sentiments in alcohol business, people have been drinking from time and alcohol will never be out of fashion. People drink when they are happy and when they are sad. No matter how you look at it, people who sell alcohol will still make money. Most middle-class homes have the habit of including a bottle of red wine with their dinner. So depending on your persuasion, if you choose to enter alcohol sale and sell at moderate prices, you will be highly successful. This also applies to people who are interested in selling non-alcoholic and fruit drinks.