Shoes are a major fashion component and no dressing is complete without shoes. Today, there is a global market for shoes, which means that entrepreneurs can take opportunity of the demand for shoes. There is a large opportunity for those who want to go into shoe manufacturing, designing or retailing. However, to become an entrepreneur in the field of shoe business, you need to carry out a market research to identify your potential customers and target market. Among the decisions that you have two make for your brand when you start a shoe business includes whether you will sell shoes for both genders and what type of shoes you will offer.
How can you determine your Target Market?
The type of shoes that you offer and the quality that you provide will highly determine your target market. If you are planning to start a shoe business for the high-end clientele, then there will be more emphasis on the quality of the shoes rather than the quantity. However, if you are starting a shoe business for the lower end part of the market, more emphasis will be given on the quantity rather than the quality. When you are thinking about how to start shoe business online, you need to consider your competitors as well as there are many shoe stores already available online. Check out a few pointers that we have put together that will guide you on how to start shoe business online in the e-commerce world.
- Write a business plan
When you want to start your shoe business, a business plan is imperative to words the future success of your business. Among the things that you need to think about when you write a business plan includes deciding what type of shoes you will offer. To have a better picture of what shoes to sell when you start a shoe business, you can interview other successful online shoe retailers for tips on how to write your shoe retail business plan.
The Small Business Administration website also provides example of business plans to start a shoe business online. Have a clear picture of your budget, expenses and your marketing strategies in your business plan. All your plans should span over three years to enable your business to sustain itself and strategize for expansion plans beyond the three years.
- Register with an online store builder
Unless you are talented in building a website from scratch, we highly recommend signing up with online store builders such as Shopify, BigCommerce and SquareSpace. Depending on your business needs, your choice for an online builder may differ. Whichever that you may select, having a trustable trustworthy and reliable online store builder will allow you to grow your business well and strategize plans for expansion. Platforms to open shoe businesses such as Shopify offers a two-week trial and they have plans available on their website for individual, small business owners and corporate entities.
- Get a business permit
Starting a shoe business without considering the state and local business requirements is a gravely mistake. A retail shoe business, whether it is online for free standing, must have a valid sales tax license and incorporation from the government.
A business permit is also required when you are purchasing from a shoe wholesaler because you need to provide the proof of retail license, a business account and corporation documents to complete your shoe order. It will also benefit your shoe business when you adhere to the local and state regulations as this is your obligation as a business owner.
- Find a wholesaler and distributor
There are many online wholesalers for shoes that will help you start your shoe business. Ideally, you can find them through online website or if you live in metropolitan cities, you can find the vendors within your city. When you start your shoe business, contact the shoe manufacturers directly to see if they can give you a good deal for bulk orders. A good place to start with when you start your shoe business is order 10 different sizes for each shoe style to ensure that your customer selection is varied.
- Identify the shipping method
Now that you have identified the wholesaler and set up a storefront for your shoe business, you need to prepare for customer service and shipping requirements for your shoe business. To deal with customer enquiries, you can design a domain email which is usually given with your domain name to address customer complaints and issues.
Research on the different prices of shipping companies such as Fed Ex or UPS for standard and overnight shipping request. Knowing the price point for these shipping carriers will enable you to strategize your shipping prices and how to incorporate them seamlessly into your marketing strategies.