Business For Survival: Make Money During Crisis

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 Fixit 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.

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • handyman : carp / plbg / elec

  • Hi everyone,
    I wanted to comment on several of these “business” suggestions. When the upcoming financial crisis hits, there is going to also be a plague that will hit as well. Money will be worthless, and almost everyone has nothing of value to trade. Ammo, gas, matches, lighters, long-term food, MRE’s, sterno, water filters, etc. etc. etc. are what you are going to want to have. If you want to deal in these things for a profit, you are going to need to figure out what you want for them. Money will be of no value, a new credit system will be put in place, and body electronics (see MC10) wearable electronics will come into play. Silver and Gold may be good, but most won’t have it. You can’t open up a retail type store, for security you will have to take a small quantity to a location that people are aware of and do your trading. You will likely need to be armed and have 1, preferably two armed sentries with you as well. You have to watch being followed back to where your supplies really are, or store them separately from where you eat/sleep. The value gained through this enterprise may not be worth the security risk. Even helping someone can be a problem. If you help them once, be prepared to help them forever, because when you stop, they will go find others, tell them about your supplies and then you will have a bigger problem on your hands. I have read and studied prepared for this for years. This will be a global collapse and on that scale NO ONE knows or can fully predict what is going to happen. For sure, millions around the world will die of starvation, that will cause another world wide plague. Doxycycline, the treatment for the plague and many other infections, in the form of fish antibiotics are cheap and easy to get now, stock up, helped loved ones and yourself. Essentially Revelation chapter 6 is at our door. Read, heed, watch and pray. God Bless.

    • This is spot on. Also Matthew 24, we’re seeing pieces of that already.
      I agree with the statement that this mode of operation (making a profit helping others to survive) will be a serious security risk for an individual or even a family. I discerned that just from skimming through and reading the major bullet points. It’s not hard to see that we are headed toward some type of world wide crises; everywhere you look now, there is escalating conflict or full blown civil war, and repeated attacks on innocents.
      Simply put, the best thing one can do is hit the proverbial “Oregon Trail” – move towards safer locations (discreetly) and try to trade with the locals. Mr. Glennn is also right to point out the use of caution when providing help large scale for profit. It’s like a pastor dismissing the poor of his flock and inviting in only the rich, so that he can reap larger benefits. What will he do if the poor rise up against him?
      You’ll have less of a problem just sticking close with your loved ones; those who absolutely need help, help if you can. Discernment should overcome compassion in this case. Even so, you never know – there may be a guardian angel in your path posing as someone in need that can help you somehow in return for your kindness. That’s if you believe in that sort of thing. Even if you are not a believer, you may be faced with such a situation and it will shake your mental frame. If you are mean-spirited, you’ll miss an opportunity to be helped or saved out of a dire situation by someone you could have helped.
      Overall, this is going to be about sticking with family, and knowing where to go. This is going to be about relying on the power of the Almighty that will lead us through trouble and into safety, and not on our own pride and stubbornness that will lead us into danger.

      Isa 33:1-6 Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee. O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble. At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered. And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them. The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

  • Another idea in a financial collapse is to have money. It doesn’t have to be gold or silver. If they currency is replaced with another, it more than likely won’t affect the coins.
    Get a few $50 rolls of dollar coins to meet your needs initially.

  • Coinage is good but food, cigarettes and booze are better barter items. Be wise. Be careful. Be smart.