10 Tips for starting a profitable shoe business


Owning a business can be extremely rewarding in terms of financial independence; lifestyle; personal satisfaction among many other benefits. However, the hardest part is having the courage to take the risk and start a business. This is one of the first steps in a long list of activities you could undertake to increase your chances of starting a profitable footwear business.

Why start a shoe business?
Shoes are an important component of fashion, and no outfit is complete without shoes. There is a global market for footwear, which means there are great opportunities for those who wish to engage in the manufacture, design, retail or wholesale of footwear. When wanting to become an entrepreneur in this field, you will need to conduct market research to identify your potential customers and target market, make a decision on whether your brand will include shoes for both sexes and the type of shoes to offer.

The type of shoes and the quality you intend to use will determine your target market. If your target market is a high-end shoe clientele, more emphasis will be placed on the quality of the shoes rather than the quantity. If your customers are low-end shoe customers, the emphasis will be on quantity rather than quality.

Shoes are sold in a number of shops and locations, including the family shoe store, speciality shoe shops, department and discount shops, and retailer-owned outlets, and you will need to decide which type of shoe stores you want your shoes to be in to be close to your target market.

You may also decide to sell your shoes in online shops. The geographical distribution of outlets for the online shoe retail industry is not proportional to the distribution of the population. An online shop is different from a physical shop that must be close to the customers, an online shop may need a warehouse to store the products if you decide to sell the products directly to the customer taking care of the inventory and logistics costs.

You can also handle it through dropshipping where you manage and promote the sales but the wholesaler ships the products directly to your customers.

As an entrepreneur, you will need to keep up with industry trends.

1. Focus on selling 
Before you start anything, I recommend that you focus on selling. Whether you are a very good fashion designer, inventor or financial wizard will do you almost no good in the early stages. They can help you later, when you have a good start-up capital.

For the time being, the only thing that will help you to start a business is knowing how to sell. Without sales there is no business, although some people leave this task for later, and concentrate their efforts on creating their business plan or on a minimum viable product in order to get investors. This is not the easy or assured route. Ultimately, without sales, there is no business.


Understand the business you are going into. If you don't know it, spend time understanding it before you start.
Sell. Try to understand people's needs and how to satisfy them. Which does not lead to the following advice 
2. Attend shoe conventions
Luckily, Mexico hosts one of the most important footwear events in Latin America, SAPICA (Salón de la Piel y el Calzado). Event where it is possible to contact more than 3,000 national suppliers of high fashion footwear, casual, sports, dress, children's, denim, leather goods, as well as international suppliers.  It is held every year between March and October in the city of Leon, Guanajuato.

Attending this type of event will help you:
3. Educational opportunities. Whether you are new or experienced in business, we can all learn. Working in a small business can often be isolating, and without exposure to a variety of viewpoints, we can miss out on new ideas and trends that can affect future results. The educational aspect of a conference can expose you to new ways of conducting your business and help you be more productive.

4. Network with your peers. Industry conferences provide a great opportunity for networking. Often, competitors from other regions of the country can become valuable resources for referrals and best practices. Avoiding peers for fear of others discovering your competitive advantages can limit your own success. Collaboration is the way to approach networks. While there are those whose intentions may be suspect, most people can help each other discover ideas and generate inspiration when they get to know each other on a personal level.

5. Find new vendors and suppliers. Too often, people avoid the trade show exhibit hall at conferences. They dread having to talk to vendors, but these industry suppliers are some of the best people for you to learn more about the current business climate. You need to discover innovative products and services for your business to stay competitive in today's fast-paced world. In addition, these suppliers who sell to your industry fully understand what is going on within your competition. Spend time with the sponsors at the event and make them your friends and allies.


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Recommendations for driving on a long car journey 


Currently, the most common causes of fatal traffic accidents on the road are, among others, excessive or inappropriate speed at the wheel, distractions (use of mobile and navigator, radio, children, ...), infringement of traffic regulations, consumption of drugs and alcohol, and fatigue and stress.

As the DGT announces year after year during these "summer holiday departure dates", and in order to avoid an increase in the number of fatal accidents on the road, it is advisable to take into account some tips before getting behind the wheel and making a long journey of several hours.

Some of the recommendations to bear in mind before the driver gets behind the wheel are as follows:

- Travel during the day, whenever possible.

- Wear comfortable, cool clothing.

- Adjust rear-view mirrors and seats before setting off, as appropriate.

- Plan and schedule your travel route well in advance.

- Leave well in advance.

- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If possible, take turns driving with another person on long journeys.

- Lead a healthy lifestyle (balanced and healthy diet, regular exercise to relieve tension, etc.).

- Practise relaxing activities (yoga, pilates), take a restorative bath, have a massage, etc., especially for drivers who suffer from stress at the wheel.

- Avoid consuming or taking alcohol, tobacco, drugs or medicines.

- Listen to relaxing music at the wheel.

Get the car "tuned up" and take it to a garage for a mechanical check-up sufficiently in advance. The following should be checked:

Tyres: Check tyre wear, expiry and cold tyre pressure, as well as the condition of the sidewalls.
Brakes: Check brake discs and pads.
Oil: Check the date of the last oil change, the filter, and check that the oil level is correct.
Other fluids (brake, windscreen washer, water, steering and coolant): check that they are correct.
Lights: Check that they work, that they are clean and that their height is correct. Carry spare lights.
Battery: Check its condition, and know "how to jump start a car" in case the battery runs out.
Steering and suspension: check shock absorbers.
Air filter: Check that it is clean.
Things you shouldn't be without before setting off on a trip:

- Spare wheel and hydraulic jack.
- Waistcoat.
- Triangles.
- Documentation.
- First aid kit.
- Child safety seat.

On the other hand, some of the recommendations to be taken into account by the driver during the journey are the following:

- Use of seat belts, even in the rear seats.

- If children are carried, it is recommended that they should be in the central rear seat, securely fastened in their child seat, in case of a side impact.

- Frequent stops on long journeys. Stopping every two hours and resting for sufficient time is recommended. If possible, take turns driving with another person.

- Do not impose an arrival time. Remember: "The important thing is to arrive".

- Be concentrated and attentive, with all five senses at the wheel.

- Avoid distractions, especially those in which you take your hands off the wheel (smoking, looking for objects, turning on the radio, using a mobile phone or navigator, etc.).

- Drink water periodically and a caffeinated drink when stopping.


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Anxiety, the enemy of students

Do you often feel sick before an exam, short of breath, tightness in your chest or tachycardia? Nerves and anxiety can play tricks on us because they interfere with our ability to concentrate and pay attention. One remedy is sport, which is good for concentration.

Anxiety is often an element that makes it difficult to take tests, and some people even talk about 'going blank'. Indeed, the emotional state affects, so it is important to use some technique to help control the level of anxiety. "Learning and practising deep breathing, focusing on positive thoughts (the relationship between what we think and our emotional state is reciprocal) or not drinking stimulant drinks are some easy measures to keep anxiety at bay.

If you notice that you feel uneasy and very nervous, try relaxation exercises. Take long, deep breaths. Controlling your breathing helps to calm your nerves, especially when you are in class waiting for your exam paper.

It is also useful to dedicate the hours before the test to some activity that relaxes you, instead of rushing until the last minute trying to memorise or review the content," suggests the expert. The key is to try to relax and distract your mind before the exam. You can read a book, take a walk, exercise or do whatever you like to forget about the exam for a moment and clear your head.

Finally, Pousada concludes that emotionally linking assessments to a self-demonstration of acquired knowledge can help make exam time more rewarding.

It is important that you know how to stay calm. Don't let fear get the better of you. If you have studied and prepared for the exam, there is no reason to worry.

And now, when you have the exam in front of you... Take a deep breath and read the exam slowly. Don't be in a hurry. You have time to do it, so pay attention to the questions so that you don't make mistakes.

Finally, keep a positive attitude and show everything you know, even if you have learned it in the last 24 hours. The die is cast!


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These blood delivery drones are the future of medicine

A team of scientists has pulled off an unprecedented technological feat. They have managed to deliver a dozen blood samples by air, across 257 km of American desert. A feat made possible by the ever more efficient use of drones.

The countryside on 4G?
Life in the countryside is good, life in the city is bad. This binary vision is an essential part of the American collective imagination. It's a preconceived notion that's "supported" by an army of films and TV movies all based on the same scenario: a single father/mother, too absorbed in her/his job to take care of her/his children, finds herself/himself forced to go into exile in a charming country town for X reason; and there, she/he meets her/his soul mate, the one who will open her/his eyes to the true meaning of family. On paper, it all looks very nice, but the reality is more nuanced: fewer shops, fewer professional opportunities, and more... rudimentary medical care. But for the latter, everything will change.

Getting your test results or going to the pharmacist is an obstacle course when you live in a rural area. Travelling dozens of kilometres by road is a tiring and demanding ordeal, and when the roads in question are dirt roads, arid deserts or tropical forests, the journey is impossible. A handful of daring companies have seen a boon, a niche market: transporting medical supplies by drone. The airline company Zipline was the first to see the potential: in October 2016, their drones delivered blood bags to some twenty institutions in Rwanda! A successful world first that led to the Zipline - Tanzania partnership for 2018.


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Playing with your cat to stay fit

Playing with your cat is very beneficial to its health as it encourages it to be active

It's important to play with your cat, whatever its age. Playing is good for its health, but more importantly, play can encourage cats to express their natural hunting instincts.

Why do cats play?
Your cat's playful behaviour may be endearing, but the main reason cats like to play is because they have social and hunting instincts. Cats start playing when they are 4 weeks old, mostly fighting with other kittens, establishing a pecking order. By 7-8 weeks of age, they move from social play with siblings to predatory play with inanimate objects. For the cat, play is life!

The cat plays flexibly. He tramples the ball of wool, traps it between his paws, throws the ball over his shoulder... There is a sort of false air of hunting in the game of the cat, which, since its kittenhood, confuses play with real life.

Play is a good way to exercise your cat
Playing with your cat for 20 minutes a day can have many benefits. Firstly, it will provide physical and mental stimulation, and secondly, it will strengthen the bond between you and your cat. In particular, make sure that your indoor cat uses the energy it would spend patrolling its territory and chasing prey.

Kittens and cats are most active in the early morning or evening. Play with your kitten before you go to bed, so she'll be ready to sleep when you are.

Kittens often play alone, and sometimes seem to enjoy scaring and then running away, as if being chased by an invisible attacker.

Toys are fun, of course, but interactive play, i.e. with your owner, is also very entertaining and is the best way to keep your kitten healthy and responsive to you. Make sure your cat always has toys around her, but reserve some for your play sessions with her. This makes them especially valuable.

Lonely kittens can be snappy when playing with their owners. You are her only playmate and your kitten needs to learn to control her actions.

Plan at least two good play sessions a day. Young indoor cats need to be stimulated to play up to 30 times a day to satisfy their predatory instincts. The frequency can be reduced if you have several cats and they like to chase each other and play together, or if your cat is getting older and less active.

A cat is much more interested in a toy if it wiggles under a sofa or cupboard, if it has just hidden under a carpet, or if it makes hasty movements. Make your toy behave like a mouse!

What kind of games for my cat?
The best games for your cat are those that use toys. Use feathers or pieces of cloth hanging from a stick, mice stuffed with catnip or mechanical toys. You can also set up a cat tree or scratching post in your home.

Once the play session is over, put the toy away out of sight so that its reappearance will generate excitement and your cat will understand that you are in charge of the sessions. Your cat's favourite games are likely to be chase games: pouncing on a mouse, catching a fish and fighting.

Channeling aggressive play
If your kitten likes to attack your ankles, a good way to distract her is to engage her with one of her toys.

Catnip heaven

Catnip can really 'spice up' your play sessions with your cat. It's a natural herb (valerian) and is safe for your cat.

Most cats love catnip, although some are completely indifferent to it. Catnip can be found in some toys, or you can buy it in pet shops to rekindle your cat's interest in a particular toy. Many kittens develop a sensitivity to catnip around the age of four months.

Your cat will also enjoy eating this beneficial herb, especially to help get rid of swallowed hair clumps when grooming.


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Should you trust online casinos?

The world of online casinos has constantly evolved and expanded in recent years, reaching levels far beyond any initial expectations. And while the general trend is still to look forward and modernise, there are still a number of players who prefer some of the early slot machines online, the old-school feel reminding them of the real casinos and their beginnings.

While this hasn't stopped their popularity from skyrocketing, the question of the reliability of online casinos is one that has been a concern for the industry since its inception. After all, why shouldn't it be? In a physical casino, you can at least see the size of the dealer's game or watch the actual roulette ball drop. Keep in mind, however, that it is perfectly possible to rig these games in a physical environment, with marked cards, rigged roulette wheels or players in the mix. So, how can you be sure that a casino is reliable?

Online casino reputation
Online gambling has seen a surge in popularity. But like any new venture, the industry attracts dubious characters along with the genuine operators.

While in the early days illegal and unscrupulous casinos flourished on the web, today the online casino industry is one of the most regulated businesses of all. Most of these illegal casinos have been busted, exposed and blacklisted by the industry's many watchdogs.

As long as you play at a regulated casino site, you will be protected from any wrongdoing. With this in mind, Critiquejeu.com reviews and compares the available offerings.

Online casino regulations
Like a physical casino, an online casino is dependent on its reputation. Almost all of the largest casino sites in operation today are heavily regulated and monitored by independent auditors who verify that the results generated by their random numbers are truly random, at least to the same degree as their physical counterparts.

Most major economically developed countries have their own gambling commissions that regulate online and offline gambling, vigorously prosecuting offenders who attempt to shame the industry. Many casino sites offer great casino games that have many online benefits. If the company is legitimate, this information should be clearly displayed.

If the company is registered in a small offshore territory, things can get a little fuzzy. The Caribbean islands seem to be the preferred ones because of laxer regulations. However, this does not necessarily indicate that the games are rigged: some companies may set up in these regions to take advantage of low taxes or to take advantage of the lower overheads offered by less stringent regulation. Ultimately, however, while legitimate, these savings are not passed on to the consumer and there is no real incentive to gamble with these sites compared to more established companies that are willing to undergo more rigorous scrutiny. Research all the online casino sites you have your eye on and remember to use common sense at all times.

Programming to check the odds
If you want to take a closer look, there are various testing mechanisms you can apply to check the odds on a gambling site you are interested in. Try keeping a log of your results. For example, if you play online roulette and over a long period of time your win/loss ratio deviates significantly from a 51:49 ratio, you may be dealing with a rigged site. Listen to your instincts and if you don't like the feel of a particular website, remember that there are thousands of other websites today where you can try your luck.



Importance of a website for sales

Sales are vital to every business. It is the only way to keep your business operational. And improving sales is the best way to improve the health and success of your business. The importance of a website to sales cannot be overstated.

By having an online presence via your website, you are able to reach more consumers. The more consumers you reach online, the more opportunities you have to sell. Developing a website does not automatically bring potential prospects into your business. However, through search engine optimization of your website, you can improve your chances of attracting more qualified prospects who are more likely to make a purchase.

Not only does a website help you increase your sales opportunities, it also increases your availability to make sales. With a website, you can sell your products and services 24 hours a day. You don't need to actively engage with prospects on a constant basis, as they are able to get the information they need from your site.

In addition, your website provides another sales channel. In addition to selling your products and services online, you can provide consumers with the information they need to make an informed buying decision. In effect, the content on your site serves as an additional salesperson, helping customers get the information they need and convincing them of the benefits of your products or services.


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