Do what you love? Check. Do what you're good at or have experience with? Check. Make sure it's recession-proof? Maybe not--that's where a lot of entrepreneurs drop the ball.
It doesn't matter how fabulous you are at a certain skill, how much you love it, or how driven you are, if your new startup is bound to tank in a rough economy. We might be heading out of the woods from the Great Recession, but that doesn't mean another one won't pop up during your lifetime.
Finding a niche that's recession-proof as well as one that fits within your passion is key. Fortunately, there are many recession-proof options (and they don't all require technical skills!). If you really want to ensure your startup takes flight, take a look at the figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) circa 2011. This Bureau of Labor Statistics report will give you a clue on where to start.
Prefer the Cliff's Notes version? Here are a few classic recession-proof industries that might just turn you from entrepreneur wannabe to full-fledged business owner in good times and bad:
1. Pet Pamperer
Shockingly, people don't stop pampering their pets just because they lost their job or the economy is tanking. Pet grooming and luxury services actually go up during a down economy--and of course people are quick to pamper when they're flush with cash, too. If your background has anything to do with grooming or pets, you're golden.
Mariah Carey spends £28,000-a year-grooming her pet dogs: Mariah Carey,who is worth around 290 million - regul... http://t.co/v8hQFqLr9X
— ModernGhana.com (@modernghanaweb) April 25, 2014
This "job" can take on many forms, but people still need education when the economy is shaky. In fact, a lot of people head back to school or opt into continuing education when they get laid off because
1) They don't have a job but still want to be working towards a goal.
2) They think more education will help them get a job.
From opening a preschool, to offering GRE tutoring services, this is a great niche. The "supplemental education" sector is now was an estimated $5 billion business in 2011, 10 times as large as it was in 2001, according to Eduventures.
3. Alternative Healthcare
Of course, primary healthcare is another fantastic option--but you have a lot of hoops to jump through to open your own general medicine practice. Like education, healthcare is another industry that doesn't suffer during a recession. You can also look into providing medical supplies to practices, offering healthcare software, or any other B2B service that focuses on health for a safe(r) bet.
4. Online Security
Websites are being hacked left and right. Last week Craigslist got hacked and it proved that even the biggest sites in the world can be hacked by the simplest of hackers. Online web security is growing and not going anywhere. Even in a recession, there are 1,000's of websites that need online security.
5. Undertaker/Funeral Parlor Manager
It's true: Nothing's certain in life but death and taxes. However, focusing on taxes is going to take a lot of extra work, time, degrees and liability.
For many, it's better to focus on the "death of business" which is always a sure thing. It might sound morbid, but if you excel in service and empathy, it's a viable option. Over the past five years, revenue has grown at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent, and was an estimated $15.9 billion market in 2013.
It's okay to let your passion drive your startup, but consider your long-term strategy and remember that dealing with a recession might drive your best startup ever.