Sunday, July 12, 2009

Profit from Businesses Likely to Grow in Hard Times

Even as demand for exports decreases and consumers spend less in this recession, there are several industries in the U.S. and Canada that are looking to be thriving.

Five sectors that did well in previous recessions, according to economics professor Jack Carr of University of Toronto are food and beverages, health and well-being, telecommunications, business consulting and business-process outsourcing. This time they are expected to do well again.

Cheap Food

Campbell's Soup's sales have done well in other difficult economic times as people look to save on comfort foods. And in 2008 McDonald's saw an increase in their sales figures at a time when other companies saw decreases. Their sales grew 8.2% in October 2008 from October 2007, and by 6.9% the previous year.

Companies that produce food would do well to sell more in the way of basic staple foods to supermarket chains and attempt selling to lower-end family establishments. During the recession, most people are less interested in experimental cooking or luxury-type foods, says marketing professor Alan Middleton at York University.

Health Food and Fitness

“Right now, I’d be looking to invest in anything that helps people have healthier, happier lifestyles,” says Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Calgary-based marketing agency Venture Communications and a resident investor on CBC-TV’s reality show Dragons’ Den. Though people might not be able to currently afford expensive gym memberships, they may have more time to focus on exercise and purchase less expensive equipment and workout clothes to use at home as well as healthy, inexpensive foods.

Must Stay Wired (and Wireless)

Solutions Research Group, based in Toronto, has determined that Canadians will not be willing to give up their cellphones or net access and will be the among the last things to go when cutting down on non-essentials in their personal budgets. The BlackBerry Bold and Apple iPhone look like they will continue to be top sellers, as well as their respective accessories.

IT and Consulting Support

Like we said in a previous post (See “Bank on Opportunities from Big Firms”), as big corporations cut nonessential staff they may look to outsource certain needs like IT support and other types of consulting. Firms that specialize in Web conferencing and other communications alternatives to travel are also poised to succeed in this economy. These and other types of business-service providers would do well to push their services as being available at a decent rate for temporary solutions to corporations that need them.

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