I Quit my Job and Became a Dropshipper
A dead end job.
No career prospects.
An overbearing boss who doesn’t listen.
Day after day of monotony.
Does any of this sound familiar? It probably does if you’ve ever been in a 9-5 job you have to keep to pay your bills. Life doesn’t pay for itself and you need money to cover your rent or mortgage, to keep the lights on and put food on the table. The problem is not so much that you have to go to work in the first place – but is the daily grind really meant to be this dull? Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to be jumping out of bed with a spring in your step every morning (let’s be realistic here!), but not counting down the minutes every day would be a real game-changer.
Unfortunately, not many employees are lucky enough to love their jobs. According to a recent report by Gallup, 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace and 13% are actively disengaged – which means they feel miserable at work and are spreading that negativity to other colleagues. That leaves only 36% of employees feeling any level of engagement in their work! Yikes.
So something needs to change. If you’re ready to take life by the horns and shake things up, e-commerce might just be your ticket. Global e-commerce sales in 2023 are predicted to come to $5.5 trillion and grow to a massiv $7.3 trillion by 2025! And even better, you can access this global pool of consumers from the comfort of your own home.
In Comes Dropshipping.
If you’ve been digging into some research, you might’ve come across the term ‘Dropshipping.’ Dropshipping is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of starting an eCommerce business. As a dropshipper you choose your products and provide an online store front for your customers, but you never actually handle any stock yourself. When an order comes in, the supplier directly ships it to the customer. You pay the supplier their per-item-cost and pocket the difference, i.e. your profit margin. This way, you don’t have to invest a bunch of money purchasing stock wholesale.
Lauren Mitchell was a lawyer bored to tears with her day job and was looking for another option. “I started in 2017, and it was really just a way for me to take a nontraditional route, and do something that I really enjoyed (AKA not the corporate world), getting to create my own hours, really getting to be my own boss.”, she says.
Lauren didn’t have much start-up capital, so when she found out about dropshipping she knew this would be perfect for her. She describes her journey and remembers, “I was able to start that way, and it worked great. Within two months, I was able to quit my full-time job. I was making more money with my online store than I was with my career path that I had gone to college for.” Since quitting, Lauren has grown her business into an impressive 7-figure company.
Can I Do it With No Money?
If you’re like Lauren and want to make a change but you’re strapped for cash, you might wonder if your dream of starting your own business is really possible.
The truth is, you don’t need a lot of money to start a profitable dropshipping business. Lauren understands what it’s like to work on a tight budget: “I was working with less than $500 when I was starting out! Every single dollar was precious to me. What I would recommend is, I would absolutely, 100% dropship. Find reputable suppliers that are not going to screw you over. Find partners like SaleHoo or other platforms that are really going to have your back when it comes to fulfillment. And then focus all the rest of that money entirely on your marketing.”
All of Salehoo’s 8000+ suppliers are pre-vetted, which takes a lot of the guesswork (and time) out of trying to find a reliable supplier that will get you positive reviews with your customers. That’s huge when you’re just starting out and you really need repeat customers and positive word-of-mouth.
So as long as you have a small amount of start-up capital to set up your store and invest a little in marketing, you’re good to go. Depending on how your store is going, you may be able to quit early on like Lauren, or keep running your business as a side hustle and reinvest profits as it builds up.
Your New Boss is You.
Chris Wane, who’s the founder of another 7-figure dropship business and now teaches students from all over the world to do the same, took the more cautious approach: “Quitting a job, for most people, is a big step. I wanted to be sure I could actually do it. And it wasn't just a fluke. Once I realized that I could do it, that's when I felt comfortable enough to take that leap. And I'm glad I did, because within the first 30 days of quitting my job, I doubled my monthly profits.”
Of course you’ll be keen to leave your dead end job as soon as possible, but don’t jump the gun before you and your business are ready. Chris recommends saving up a solid security blanket of cash before taking that final plunge: “If your side hustle is making you 75% of your monthly wage, and you've got six to twelve months of savings, that's an okay time to quit your job”
The good thing is that once you know you’re on your way, you’ll be feeling like a new person already. That boost of confidence and excitement you get from starting your own business really is second to none. Whether you keep your normal job and get your side hustle building up alongside it like Chris, or you go all-in straight away like Lauren, you’ll find what works best for you.
To get started, you’ll want to pick a product or niche for your dropshipping business and find a supplier. Do you have any interests or unique skills that could take you in a particular direction? It’s always handy to already have a bit of insider knowledge on whatever you’re selling, as this will help you pick your exact product range. Plus, as Lauren puts it, ‘you’re your own best customer’, so you can use your own experiences to choose a product that’ll be useful to others too.
If you’re stumped for ideas, here are some suggestions to get you started:
These sunglasses roll around your arm (or any other object) when you ‘slap’ them, much like the slap bracelets everyone was nuts for when they were kids. What’s handy is that you don’t have to carry these glasses on top of your head or hanging from your t-shirt collar and risk losing them. This is a unique product perfect for targeting a summer market and people interested in ‘adventure’, ‘camping’, ‘sports’ and ‘outdoors’ which are all terms you can use for your Facebook ad campaigns.
These wallets are unique in that they block RFID signals using electromagnetic enclosure technology called a Faraday cage. That means you can’t accidentally pay with contactless technology or get targeted by criminals trying to take advantage of this technology. What’s great about these wallets is their high margin. At a relatively low product cost of $10, you can sell them for $29.99 which means a generous margin of $20 for yourself. Ka-ching!
Multi-functional cup holder
This product turns a car’s single cup holder into multiple slots for various items. This is a prime example of a product that targets an everyday common problem, i.e. not enough room to hold your various items safely in the car. The product cost is low at $5 with a realistic sales price of $25. Again, a great margin!
Demo SaleHoo for Free
If you have any other specific product ideas and are unsure of suppliers, or you’re interested in browsing more product ideas and available suppliers, why not take a look at our SaleHoo Directory demo?
SaleHoo Directory is a database of over 8000 vetted dropship and wholesale suppliers and offers 1.6 million high-quality, branded products at low prices – and with our new demo you can now check out what’s on offer before you have to commit. Pretty sweet, right? You’ll also be able to view a great range of product recommendations if you need more inspiration to get started.
Onwards and Upwards
Lauren’s and Chris’ success stories are really quite inspiring. They highlight the huge potential in starting a dropshipping business and how it might just be the ticket out of your 9-5 drudgery. Everyone deserves to be happy in their job and feel like they’re living their full potential – which is actually part of the reason SaleHoo’s founders started their business in the first place. Because it would help others achieve their dreams too.
Finally, our advice to you is to start working on that side hustle, build up your experience and business know-how and then pick your perfect moment for saying ‘So Long!’ to that tired old desk at the office.