Want to start a new shoe or a footwear business? A custom shoe business can be a good source of income for anyone. Asia accounts for 56.1% share of global shoe consumption, as per Statistica.
If you are new to this business or want to gather more information before launching your profitable shoe store, go ahead and read the list of things to keep in mind before starting a shoe business.
Steps to start a shoe business in India
Below are the essential steps on how to start a shoe business. Follow the steps provided, so you can start a profitable shoe store successfully.
1. Research the industry and select your niche
To start a profitable shoe business, one must be strong in market research. You need to be aware of how your competitor brands are performing. Prepare a SWOT analysis of your competitors and try to fill in the gap where they are weak.
Look for other marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, etc. You can also search in Google for your business terms (like trending footwear, popular shoes, etc.) These queries help you find a few more eCommerce stores and competitors.
Also, make sure to read the reviews of your customers in the industry. Understand what they are looking for and are interested in. Plan your unique designs, make a clear plan, and know the areas where you can improve before launching your shoe store.
A niche is a specific target segment of a large audience. The narrow the niche you serve, the better the opportunity. Defining your niche and serving the right customers by answering their needs is the best way to become profitable.
To get a better idea about what is selling in your niche, you can also take the help of the Google Trends tool and search for your industry terms like footwear, Sandals, etc.
If you find that men’s footwear is selling a lot in India, then check what kind of footwear you can serve for men. It can be either branded footwear, customized footwear, formal footwear, etc.
2. Choose your business model.
It is one of the crucial decisions you can make before starting the shoe business. There are multiple business models you can try. Some of them are:
Production Ownership: In this business model, you will have complete control over the production of the shoes. You can check on the quality control and supply chain as well. You, as an owner, will know the required human resources, planning, funding needed, etc.
Wholesaler: In this business model, you will buy the products in bulk from the shoe manufacturer at a discounted price and keep them in your warehouse. You will have to manage the business insurance and take care of the inventory till it gets sold.
Franchise: In this business model, the manufacturer/company gives you a license to carry on the commercial activities of their products. Since the companies have established their identity in the market, franchises will provide an initial boost in terms of sales.
3. Select your business name and brand
The name of your business and brand should align with the shoes you are selling. Whether you are into customized shoes, casual footwear, etc., the theme of the shoe business should reflect in your business/brand name. Having a story associated with the brand always leaves a strong impact on the minds of the audience.
Also, make sure to have the business name short and easy to remember. You can also take the help of business name generator tools and pick one that aligns with your business. Finally, make sure to register a trademark and copyright on your brand name so that no other person or competitor will take advantage of it.
4. Register your business and get a license
Once you have found the right business name for your company, you need to proceed with the registration process and get the required licenses. Based on the type of organization (LLP, Private Limited, Partnership, etc.,) you have to provide the necessary documents (PAN card, Aadhar Card, etc.).
After completing the above process, for tax registration, you need to submit the documents to the corporate affairs ministry. You need to have GST, State related licenses like NOC, and Shop Act before you start your shoe store.
5. Find and select suppliers.
Once done with the licenses, you need to check with the suppliers and distributors, who can give you the best quality shoes at a reasonable price. Based on the scale of your business, you can approach the manufacturer and negotiate the cost of the shoes.
6. Setup business accounts
You must set up essential business accounts like current accounts, business insurance, permits, and licenses.
Current Bank Account
To keep track of your business transactions, you need to create a current bank account for your business. Also, a current bank account protects your assets from being placed at risk. Moreover, it is easy to file taxes as you can keep all business transactions under one account.
It is important to insure your business, as it protects you from going into complete losses in case of any uncertainty. Moreover, one can safely and legally operate the company in India when there is insurance.
Permits and License
Apart from the shoe business, every business in India requires permits and licenses to operate legally. You must obtain the licenses for your business to avoid heavy fines and sometimes the closure of your business.
7. Finalize store layout and location
Having your shoe shop established in the right location can help get more footfalls, resulting in faster brand recognition. Since more customers notice your shop, sales, and conversions per day increase gradually.
In addition to the location, you should also ensure that you provide the right design, lighting, and appearance inside your store so that the customers feel welcomed.
8. Hire efficient employees
Hiring the right employees can act as brand ambassadors for your business. Always try to hire employees who are good at convincing and are soft-spoken with the customers. The employees should be able to answer the queries of the customers.
9. Build an online marketing strategy
Online strategy plays a crucial role in promoting your business at a much lesser cost than offline marketing. You can explore the following platforms to promote your business:
Social: You can create social accounts, like the Facebook page and Twitter page, on your brand name to reach potential clients on the respective platforms. Make sure to post educational and promotional content at regular intervals. It helps in driving leads through online platforms in the long run.
SEO: If you want to rank for the business terms at a lesser cost and also outrank your competitors in the search engines, then SEO is one of the best ways to promote your business. Though optimizing the pages for SEO can yield results a bit late compared to paid advertising, it still gives fruitful results when it comes to the business ROI.
Email Marketing: You can collect the emails of your customers who visit your offline store and online social pages. You can use these emails to send promotional and educational content to customers. Also, you can inform them about the latest product launches and give them occasional discounts. You can use tools like MailChimp to automate your email campaigns and keep track of conversions.
We hope this article has helped you understand the basic requirements for starting a shoe business in India. Make sure to do your niche research properly, as it lays a strong foundation for your business.