I have a job that pays me well but I hate it. I think there is a real demand for rentable moving boxes in my town. If I can capture just 1% of the people who move every year in my city I’d be profitable. Should I quit my job to pursue this startup?
I would think hard before entering this space. Cardboard boxes are a cheap commodity. The market for them has exploded with the increase in online retail. There are a lot of packaging companies out there competing to do it extremely cheap. You’re trying to replace a cheap commodity and turn a profit + you are adding logistics to this scenario (eg. trucks, manpower, pickup, delivery, appointments). Not to mention a plastic box takes up 10x the space of a folded down cardboard box.
Some companies are doing this but you are largely going to be educating the market that your service even exists. Do not get wrapped up in overall move data to come to your market potential because 95% of people who move aren’t even going to consider renting moving boxes when it is only an $80 expense on a multi thousand dollar expense in the first place.
I do hate to discourage you. It can work and it might very well be worth a shot.
My advice to you would be to find a niche within the market. Do not compete on price. You can’t get cheaper than cardboard boxes and you don’t want to try to be. Find people who are wealthy and are into sustainability. Your service won’t be the cheapest or the easiest option so you need to find people who want to use it for other reasons.
The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship in certain areas is that you can start out as a freelancer on the side and test the market, learn, shift gears if necessary and not take a lot of risk.
I would hammer out nights, weekends and start to get a feel for the market. Start to sell. Start to get money coming in as a freelancer. The entire time you are doing this analyze the market – make sure it is a growing sector. Make sure you can add value by either making the product or service better, faster or cheaper. Ideally 2 or all 3 of those.
Do not quit your job right now.
Then when you are confident that this new gig could replace your job its time to quit with the goal of replacing your income as fast as possible. This entire time you can be investing in your website, your brand and your momentum will begin to pick up.
I started my company while a full time college student and athlete. My company is also in the moving space. You can do it on the side if you are willing to make the sacrifice and really get after it.