The footwear market is valued near $250 billion in the U.S. alone. It shows how valuable and attractive the shoe industry is.
But does that mean you should open a shoe store?
That depends on what kind of shoe store you want to open and how well you know your target market. It also depends on how much you know about starting a business, especially a shoe business.
Just because the shoe is the industry is booming doesn’t necessarily mean your shoe store will be booming.
Before opening a shoe store, you should know 10 critical things about opening a shoe business. These 10 critical things can help make your life easier as you consider opening up a shoe store.
1. Know Your Market
Before you consider starting a shoe business, you need to do some market research. You need to know your target market.
That means figuring out the shoes they like. After you’ve figured out the shoes they like, you need to get more specific about how to target them.
You’ll have to figure out the demographic, age, interests, and why they love the shoe they are buying. Find the reason why your ideal customer loves the shoes you are selling because your goal is to sell to them.
Your goal is to imagine what your ideal customer is thinking about that makes them want your shoes. Your shoes might provide extra support, they may be exclusive, or they might offer some other benefit.
Overall, the more you know your market, the more you know how to help them. The more you know how to present your product in a way that shows them how your product is the best solution.
2. Master Your Niche
Your niche is everything about your specialized area of shoes. If you open a shoe store, you should know everything about your niche.
It includes not only knowing about your target market but also about the shoes you sell.
If you master your niche, you should know everything about how your shoe is made. You should know everything from the design to the price point.
Ultimately, you should be an expert in your niche. If you aren’t, it could hurt your business because you don’t know who your ideal customer is or who your shoe appeals to.
3. Online or Offline
When it comes to the business side of opening a shoe store, you will have to make the decision to be a brick and mortar store or an e-commerce store.
You have to decide where your target market shops. You will also have to assess how much you have to spend on creating a store and creating the product.
If you decide to have an online store only, you will have to be specific about shoe sizes and lenient on returns since some shoes may not fit when they arrive at the customer’s home.
You should also consider the benefit of an e-commerce store because you can have anyone shop at your store from anywhere.
4. What’s Your Marketing Strategy
Your market strategy is about knowing who to target and how to target them with organic or paid search.
Since you already learned about your target market, it’s important to consider ways that can help you reach your target market. Take for instance social media. It’s one of the best ways to promote your product in front of your audience.
Facebook ads, Twitter advertisements, LinkedIn ads, and other forms of social media help spread brand awareness. It also helps you create very targeted ads that can make your product more specialized.
5. Start-Up Costs
Another factor to consider before opening a shoe store is start-up costs.
You may need to spend money on research expenses, inventory costs, as well as obtaining licenses.
If you don’t prepare for these costs, it could put you in a financial bind. It’s also important to consider how much you’re paying employees.
6. Business Planning
Business planning is about calculating startup costs but also having short-term and long-term goals set up.
You want to have goals in the first year and the first 5 years. You also want a gameplan that details how you’re going to make money. That means understanding what you’re overhead is as well as your profit margin.
In addition, you should also know your budget and have an exact plan on how to address your market. A business plan is everything that goes into making a business work effectively.
A business plan is also a written document that helps give you a blueprint on everything you need to start a business. It should include what your competitors do and how your strategy will be different.
Your business plan should also include the kind of shoes you will be selling. You should also know the impact of the shoe industry on the environment and if you will be creating more environmentally friendly shoes.
Opening a Shoe Store is a Lot of Work, But You Can Do It
Opening a shoe store is a lot of work. It takes commitment to understanding business strategy, the costs of opening a business, and the work behind developing a fundamental marketing strategy.
However, if you put in the work, you can create a profitable shoe store. You can target the right audience, know everything about your product, and have a solid business plan.
Now it’s your turn to start a shoe business and be successful at it.