Furloughed Salon Worker Set To Become A Millionaire Through Lockdown Business
| Last updated
Ben Gulliver has already turned over £730,000, and the 20-year-old has plans to quickly become a millionaire.
He started out flogging DIY products and fitness equipment, but switched to selling teeth cleaning devices bought from China out of his Romford home when the dentists closed, raking in the cash hand over fist.
Then, he sold that business to an American investor for a five-figure sum, and continued his previous business selling stuff on Amazon.
In the best month, he's sold £200,000 worth of stuff, and £100,000 in 10 days at one stage.
The self-taught businessman has been making bank since starting out in April using only his phone, a laptop, and the internet.
He explained: "I wasn't really enjoying my job selling hair transplants to people and when we were furloughed I thought 'I've got to go for this'.
"I knew there might not be another chance to set up my own company and it was something I have always wanted to do. It was the perfect time.
"I started researching on YouTube to see what business ventures I could do. I thought, 'what products are good to sell? A product that solves a problem.
"I started thinking what people will need during lockdown and my first idea was buying and selling a teeth plaque cleaning device as all the dentists were closed.
"On my best days I was making £12,000 a day with that product. I sold that business for a five figure fee to an American firm around October.
"I carried on selling exercise equipment as people had been working out more from home with the gyms being closed.
"I was storing the stock in my parents garage. They have been very understanding to say the least. I'm probably doing their heads in now."
"Now I've made some money I will probably look to move out. I've now got an office in Bewdley and have employed a mate to help me out.
"So we're just a two man band. It's all you need sometimes.
"He deals with customer services and things like that. It's great being able to work with a friend and give him a steady income.
"We distribute via Amazon and we sell globally - from the USA, Africa to Asia.
"I've made over $1 million so far, that's revenue rather than profit but I'm amazed how it has taken off.
"It has been a real adventure so far. It shows how much can change in a year."
Ben left school at 16-years-old, and didn't go to university. Instead, he did some work experience for Neil Westwood, who was a success story on BBC's Dragon' Den.
That stood him in good stead for the future.
Ben continued: "I couldn't have had a better mentor in Neil. I don't really believe in university for business - you just have to get out there and do it.
"I worked for him for two years. It taught me so much. I was always keen, asking questions about business.
"I even went on a business trip to Japan. I was only 16. I felt homesick, but I learned a lot about the industry. The biggest lesson I learned was to make contacts.
"I always knew I wanted to work for myself from a young age.
"I was never that academically gifted and I think I was a bit of a nightmare for teachers, but as a kid I would buy lollipops for 15p and sell them for a quid.
"When I was 14 I was buying and selling clothes online and I could make £1,000 a month doing that. I think modern schooling is too old fashioned.
"I learnt nothing about tax and accounting for example and I had a real shock when I first saw how much money I had to give to the government.
"I now want to get a property portfolio together now, I'd like to buy houses, do them up and sell them on. That's the next step for me."
Ben now wants to inspire others to take on their own business challenge, using his success as a guide.
He added: "I don't want this to be seen as bragging, I want to get the message out there that anybody can do this if you put your mind to it.
"I want to help young people start up their businesses and give them advice. All they need is that push to get started.
"As long as you have a laptop or a phone and the internet, you can create a business - I managed to do it from my bedroom at my parent's home.
"My advice to those wanting to follow their dreams is never give up on something you're passionate about.
"If you make mistakes, learn from them, don't give up.
"It can just happen overnight and pretty much change your life."