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You will need to establish a target market when you start a shoe company. Decide if you want to sell specialty shoes or discount shoes, for example. You will also need to decide if you will target consumers, retailers or other wholesalers.
Retailers, for example, will purchase shoes from you in high volume. However, you will need to target them differently in your advertising. Choose the types of shoes you like or in which you have the most knowledge. Your product knowledge will enhance your selling efforts. Start your business from home as this will keep your overhead expenses down.
1. Select a name for your shoe company.
Register your company name as a doing business as at your local county or city administration office. Obtain a vendor’s license so you can pay sales taxes on in-state retail customers. Search the Business.gov website for other licenses your state may require.
2. Search for what the types of shoes competitors are selling and the prices.
Visit websites of retailers and wholesalers. Notice which ones appeal to consumers, businesses or both. Plan to set your prices comparably with local competitors.
3. Find a wholesale or manufacturer supplier for your shoe company.
Visit the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors at Naw.org. Call the main number and ask your contact to send a list of shoe wholesalers. Access the Tradepub.com website. Order several free trade publications related to retailing, wholesaling or shoes. Search the classified ads of these publications for shoe wholesalers or manufacturers. Go to Thomasnet.com and search for manufacturer suppliers, according to Businessknowhow.com.
4. Call several manufacturer or wholesale suppliers.
Find out which manufacturers or wholesalers offer the types of shoes you need. Consider using a drop-shipping supplier that will mail products for you. Use a drop-shipper, for example, if you are retailing products and want to order single units at times. Choose the manufacturer or wholesale supplier that offers you the lowest unit cost on shoes.
5.Build a website for your shoe store, or have a web designer create one for you.
Obtain pictures of shoes from your supplier for your website. Submit your website to several search engines, including Google.com and Yahoo.com. Hire a search engine optimizer so your listing will appear on the first page of search engines when customers search for shoes. Help your search engine optimizer create three- to five-word phrases or keywords that best describe your shoe products.
6. Contact independent retailers in your area if you are wholesaling your shoes.
Talk to the business owner or manager about ordering shoes from your company. Leave a business card and brochure if the owner or manager does not place an immediate order.
7. Advertise your shoe business in both the local print and online yellow pages.
Place your ad in multiple shoe categories if they apply.
8.Place ads for you shoe business in various trade publications.
Place a classified ad in a tennis magazine, for example, if you sell tennis shoes. Place classified ad in magazines that retailers and wholesalers read if you are selling shoes to other businesses.
9.Order products from your supplier as consumers or businesses place orders.
Pay your supplier just the wholesale cost of the shoes. Mail a shipping label to your supplier with your customers name on it if you are using a drop-shipper. Place the shipping label on a box and ship the shoes yourself if you are not using a drop-shipper.