13 DrugsAn industry due to fare well this year and next is pharmaceuticals. “People will always need medication so the industry should hold up better than others,” says Mitesh Soma, founder of online pharmacy ChemistDirect.co.uk. But people are still looking for a bargain. Soma, whose company turned over £5m last year, explains: “Our customers are now buying white label versions of branded goods, which cost a lot less but contain the same active ingredient. For example, a white label version of a branded hayfever tablet, costing £8, can be purchased for less than £1.”
14 Software as a service“The recession has been great for business,” says Duane Jackson, founder of SaaS accountancy firm KashFlow. “Why would anyone pay hundreds of pounds for a piece of software in a box when they can use a subscription service ” KashFlow’s turnover will double to £500,000 this year off the back of the downturn. But Jackson thinks the company will do well in boom times, too. “When we come out of the recession, SaaS will be more mainstream. SaaS CRM firm Salesforce.com was born in the last recession and turns over £1bn today.”
15 Heritage brands“The economic situation is disrupting established behaviours in many categories,” says Nick Pye, founding director of innovation consultancy Mangrove Consulting. “Sales of Fray Bentos pies are up 40 per cent in the past six months and healthy juice drinks and waters are in decline against squash and carbonates, countering trends of the past five to ten years.” This could be the time to buy up disused but familiar “comfort” brands: check out the list of not-in-force patents at www.ipo.gov.uk.