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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