The economic situation has not been well for quite a while in Zimbabwe, for years. Steve Hanke, a renowned Economist, insists that the official inflation rate in Zimbabwe is false. The correct inflation rate is over 3 times more than the official inflation rate. As of July, he placed that at 595 percent – this is year-on-year inflation. People can debate this all they want but it is or it is closer to the truth. Zimbabwe is dominating global food inflation charts, annual inflation charts, and so on. I will not even get started with the ever-plummeting Zimbabwean dollar. All these are indicators of tough economic times in Zimbabwe. What business ideas are best for tough economic times like we are in?

Rental Services

Income levels are low during tough economic times; just look around you now. Disposable incomes are low or at zero too. Access to capital for entrepreneurs and business people is also a tall order. All these dynamics make it harder or impossible for people to purchase stuff outright. It can be stuff for personal use or for use in starting or running enterprises. For example, someone wants to start a farming business or a mining business. It will be better for them to rent equipment rather than purchase it. On a personal level, a common scenario is housing. Many people cannot afford to buy houses making them resort to renting. This all points to how lucrative rental services can be especially during tough economic times. You might even have something right now that you can regularly rent out and make money.

Beauty Services

Here I am just blanketing anything that has to do with hair and skin-oriented focuses. These are areas such as hairdressing, body treatments, and the like. Even when the economy is turbulent, beauty service providers are always overwhelmed by clients. This is a line of business you can start and grow despite a tough economy. You can also extend this to selling associated products as well. Examples are perfumes, skincare products, and hair products, just to mention a few. By the way, I am referring to both males and females lest you think it is just for women only. Of course, the market is bigger on the ladies’ side but catering for men as well is smart.

Vehicle Repair Services

In Zimbabwe, you will appreciate that the majority of vehicles are second-hand. For the past couple of years, this has been the trend. Even now it is still a common sight to see freshly purchased second-hand vehicles daily. In comparison to purchasing brand new cars, it is cheaper to get second-hand ones. It is so weird how it has become the standard for people to aspire to buy second-hand vehicles. Anyways, second-hand vehicles are most likely to break down. Some of them even come with pre-existing issues when you buy them. This creates a huge demand for vehicle repair services, making it a lucrative business for times like now.

NB: It is worth mentioning that repair services, in general, thrive in tough economic times. I only mentioned vehicle repairs as a special mention. Otherwise, since most people cannot afford to replace stuff, they would rather repair it wherever possible. Therefore, things like shoe repair, furniture repair, gadgets repair, and so on, are good business ideas for the now.

Second-Hand Goods

Having already mentioned second-hand vehicles let me mention second-hand goods alone. There is so much money to be made from selling second-hand goods during tough times. That is why right now second-hand clothes have become a trend. Almost everyone you see every day will be wearing at least one second-hand clothing item. The market for second-hand clothes bales is not saturated as some might think. If you are creative and innovative you can start now and thrive. This also spans second-hand furniture, machinery, and so on. Second-hand goods are a good business idea for tough economic times.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

You have been witnessing periodic shortages of certain basic commodities. You also know that people now do thorough price comparisons before making purchases. When you look at those two aspects they are inspirations for starting a business in FMCG. The idea will be to figure out where you can find reliable suppliers with competitive pricing. This will allow you to always be stocked and charge competitive prices. The thrust is to make yourself the most sought-after brand due to reliability and cheap prices.

NB: Only start this business if you can guarantee always being stocked and being flexible to price better than your competitors. You also stand a chance if you can use strategic positioning as a trading advantage. At the end of the day, you must be able to push volumes. Your place must always be packed despite the state of the economy. This will tell us that you are nailing it.

In closing, I want to give you a tip. In tough economic times, the best businesses you can start are services-based. This is mainly because you will need little to zero capital to start. If you have expertise in a certain area you can monetize that by becoming a freelancer. That is why fields like consultancy, tutoring, and virtual assistance, amongst others are excellent choices. You can start thriving businesses and even operate wholly online. It is strategic in whichever business you start in tough times including operating partially or wholly online. I can never underscore enough the importance of using the internet and social media.