Starting a retail business is not as easy as it sounds; there are many venues for it and there are a lot of things that you need to consider before you invest.
One of the best items to sell and to start a small business with are shoes. Shoes are a fashion component, but they are not just a want, they are a need. No outfit is complete without the right shoes!
Starting your business
There is a global market for accessories, like purses and shoes, which means that if you are planning to sell shoes, there are plenty of opportunities for you! You could go into designing, retailing and even manufacturing!
A few things you need to do before diving into this field;
- Do market research on your potential customers
- Learn your target market and their buying habits
- Decide whether your brand will include shoes for both men and women
- Decide what kind of shoes you want to offer
You need to keep up with industry trends and become a member of the associations that are connected to your industry. There are many organizations that are focused on the apparel and footwear industry, such as the National Shoe Retailers Association. These organizations regulate the industry and minimize trade issues.
Here are the top 5 tips on how to start your shoe business;
1. Research and look for manufacturers
One of the first things that you will need to do is research and contact different shoe manufacturers/distributers. Even if you want to manufacture and distribute the shoes yourself, it’s good to establish these type of connections to see how it’s done.
2. Write a business plan
Your business plan should include;
- Product descriptions of what you want to sell
- Target sales venue
- How you will sell your business
- How you will fulfill the demands and orders of your customers
- Legal forms (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation)
- List cost of the merchandise that you will need
- Projected revenue
- Total marketing cost
- Total operating cost
You can then take your business plans to different banks and investors so that you are able to gather funds to get your business rolling. Or you can start your shop on Shopify and dropship everything.
3. Hire a professional developer
Instead of figuring everything out on your own, it’s best to hire a web designer who knows what they are doing to ensure your shop looks professional. This way you don’t have to worry about people leaving your site or not buying from you because they don’t trust the website.
4. Lease your kiosk, storefront or flea market
Check to make sure that you have met all the requirements, license and insurance to get your business running if want to start a physical store.
It’s best to delay your lease until your shoes have arrived. However, before you start a physical storefront, it’s advisable to test it out online by starting a store on Shopify and building revenue before you take on the liability of a lease.
5. Put your marketing plan into action
Make sure you have a business account on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Social media is where you will get the majority of your clients so make sure you’re posting on as many platforms as possible. Utilize paid advertising on all social media platforms to expand your reach.
*Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.