With a financial collapse looming on the horizon, we all need to be preparing. While the normal things that preppers do are important to surviving an economic collapse, they aren’t the only things to think of. That’s because an economic collapse looks a bit different than other types of disasters.
In many ways and for many people, an economic collapse looks just like life as normal. It isn’t the same as an EMP attack, where pretty much all the infrastructure we depend upon will be shut down. Rather, during a financial collapse, it is the economy which gets affected; specifically high unemployment and high inflation. So, the bulk of our preparation needs to be financial as well.
With the high unemployment that is common to a financial collapse, there is no such thing as job security. People who have “secure” jobs may find from one day to the next that they are unemployed.
Even people who manage to keep their jobs may find that they don’t have enough money to make ends meet, considering that inflation rapidly outpaces any pay raise they may receive.
Making Money when Everybody Else Don’t
The real key to making it through a financial collapse successfully is to increase your income, especially in areas which will be needed during the collapse. Having multiple sources of income provides much more security than just one source if income, especially if those sources of income meet the needs that people have during the collapse.
That might mean starting up a business that is specifically aimed towards a financial collapse. However, it could also mean starting a business that transcends the collapse, but meets a need that is strong during the collapse. Let’s look at a few:
- Feed the People – No matter what, people have to eat. Considering that eating is one of the most basic needs of life, people will put that before paying for their new car or buying the latest movie. Inexpensive restaurants will survive the collapse, while fancy places probably won’t. Don’t forget the first law of retail though – location, location, location.
- Plant Something – Speaking of food, many are saying that some foodstuffs will be in short supply. Even if they aren’t, the cost of food will likely increase dramatically. If you have some land, start growing something that you can sell. Put in some fruit trees; plant a vegetable garden, raise some chickens; do something, anything. This will help you to feed your family and whatever you don’t eat, you can sell. One little hint; make it as easy to grow as possible, so that you don’t have to invest a lot of time every day.
- Ye Old Fix–it Shop – A generation or two ago you could find these all over the place; nowadays they are scarce. We’ve become such a disposable society that we don’t even think about having things fixed; we just throw them away and buy another one. When the crash happens, people will be looking to fix what they have, rather than replacing it, as fixing will probably be cheaper.
- That Goes for Cars too – People will be holding on to their cars longer, rather than replacing them once they lose that new car smell. That means an increased need for good mechanics, especially the shade-tree variety. If you can fix cars at home or under a shade tree, you can save on your overhead, reducing the price to the customer.
- What About Their Shoes and Clothes – The old time cobbler is almost unheard of in today’s modern society. Nevertheless, just like cars and appliances, people will be reluctant to throw away their shoes, just because they have a hole in them. It’s a whole lot cheaper to have them fixed. For that matter, the same can be said for clothing, especially seeing that few women know how to sew anymore.
- Speaking of Clothing – You can easily make a business out of selling used clothing. This is extremely common in third-world countries and may very well become common here, when people can’t afford to keep buying new clothes all the time.
- Emergency Shelter – With countless people losing their homes in a financial collapse, they will need someplace to stay and may not be very picky about what it is. Do you have a large house? How about a warehouse? How can you convert the space you have, to make it into small apartments or even just rooms to let out?
- Don’t Forget Their Vices – Strangely enough, there is one thing that people will often put before their most basic needs; that’s their vices. People who are starving to death will often buy a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer, rather than a meal. This actually increases during a time of crisis or financial collapse. So, any sort of business that meets people’s vices will thrive.
- Help Them Survive – While it is impossible to foretell exactly what will happen when the financial collapse actually arrives, the one thing we can be sure of is that people will be struggling to survive. Any business which provides necessities for survival, especially at reasonable rates, will do well.
One of the things that makes businesses go belly up in a time of financial crisis is the inability to pay the bills. Rent, electricity and other normal business expenses can drive anyone out of business, especially during a time of hyperinflation. Ideally, you want those expenses as small as possible, so that you can capitalize on your profits, while keeping prices as low as reasonably possible for your clients.
In order to do this, you might just have to run your business out of your home. This is common throughout the world and actually existed here in the United States in times past. Many “main street” businesses had an apartment over the store, where the owner lived. A small booth or stall in front of your home may be enough to run your business out of, lowering your overhead costs.
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.