How to Start a Shoe Design Business: Start Up Tips to Boost Your Shoe Design Business Success

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Online retail revenue experienced an 11 percent year-over-year growth rate for the first quarter of , with online orders growing with 13 percent increase when compared to the same quarter in Statistics revealed that in the first quarter of , online retail revenue generated via a mobile device was up 35 percent, with mobile owning Two-thirds of Americans buy from e-retailers online.

Starting an Online Shoe Store Business With No Money | ProfitableVenture

It was confirmed that 83 percent of those who shop online are said to be satisfied with the experience. Most of the people that lodge complaints indicated that they are not satisfied with being restricted to the delivery date and time chosen by the online store. The average online shopper prefers flexibility when it comes to choosing delivery date; ability to choose a specified time of day for delivery of purchase; flexibility to reroute packages; and lastly a green shipping option.

In recent time, there is a tremendous increase in the number of online retail stores and more entrepreneurs are still opening their own online boutiques in the United States and in other parts of the world. The industry is still growing despite the numerous online retail shoe stores in operation. The truth is that irrespective of the fact that there may be high numbers of online retail shoe stores located within the same street in the same city, it will not in any away affect the patronage they stand to enjoy because the scope of their market is not limited to the location where the online shoe store is located as long as effective means of shipping purchased items to any part of the world is in place.

Lastly, the online shoe store line of business is pretty much open for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their business in the industry. One good thing about the online shoe stores business is that the business can be opened in any part of the United States and if proper market survey and feasibility studies are conducted, then you can be rest assured of profitability of the business. The demographic and psychographic composition of those who wear shoes cut across all genders and age groups. The truth is that when it comes to selling shoes, there is indeed a wide range of available customers.

Statistics has it that people that fall within the age range of 18 — 45 led the chart when it comes to purchasing clothes and other fashion accessories online. Also, a recent research conducted indicated that consumers between the ages of 25 to 34 led the chart in smartphone usage by comparing prices, reading reviews, buying products, and engaging with brands on social media while in physical stores. So, if you are looking towards starting your own online retail shoe store, you marketing strategy should be geared towards reaching out those who fall between 18 and 45 years; they are your major market.

It is important to state that there is no known niche area when it comes to the online shoe store business. Every player in this line of business usually sells a wide range of shoes from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world. No matter the level of competition in an industry, if you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. But over and above, there are several online shoe stores scattered all around the United States and the globe.

These are some of the leading online shoe stores in the United States of America and in the globe;. If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business. If you are looking towards starting an online shoe store business, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of an online shoe store business to buy.

Besides starting an online shoe store business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses. With an online shoe store business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a good warehouse facility, build a user friendly online store app with a secured payment platform and reliable shipping, and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your shoes.

Please note that most of the big and successful online shoe stores around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success. If you decide to start your own online shoe store business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well — established online shoe stores, online boutiques and other brick and mortar stores where shoes are retailed.

The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market. It is important to note that another major challenge that you can face in any online business is attack from hackers. Hackers can go all the way to compromise or crash your online store. You are also likely going to face the challenge of getting a reliable shipping company to work with.

Of course, there are reliable, effective and efficient shipping companies in the U.

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There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you. You have the option of choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as online shoe store.

Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale online shoe store especially if you are just starting out with moderate capital. But if your intention is to grow the business and ship shoes to customers all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you.

Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities available for your online shoe store business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable.

When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business. If you are considering starting your own online shoe store business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;.

So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your online shoe store business. Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own online shoe store business in the United States of America;.

All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of online shoe buying and selling. On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your online shoe store business satisfactorily, then by all mean try and pursue such certification. The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized.

It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.

Executive Summary

Either way, in order for an apparel business to scale and grow, it must have price points for both retail and wholesale. Your potential customers are shopping for more than just your clothes. And, they know how much those clothes cost. Consciously or not, they are gathering data about what they think a product like yours should cost. You might feel that your products are worth more, or that you want to charge less, than your competitors.

Perceived value is the amount that a customer thinks a product is worth. But, not the whole picture. The appearance of your clothing plays a role. A cheaply made shirt that looks fancy may have a higher perceived value than a beautifully made simple shirt. Most customers have no idea how much time, money or effort actually goes into making a particular garment.

A classy logo and high-end brand positioning will lead to a higher perceived value than discount brand positioning. For more information about pricing and clothing line financial planning, check out this online mini-course by Indie Source. This is especially true for new small businesses and startups trying to compete in an increasingly noisy world. Start by ensuring that your website design truly embodies your brand. Visitors should be able to understand who you are and what your brand is about as soon as they arrive.

Here are some suggestions:. In addition to serving as a brand ambassador, your website is also a great venue for showing off your clothing designs to a wide audience. Consider sharing an online lookbook featuring your fashions, as well as traditional product shots. This will allow your audience to see the styles in action, provide inspiration, and give customers a chance to relate to your designs. You may also want to incorporate an online store into your website.

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Check out Section 7 — Create a Sales Plan below for more information about selling online. Finally, a strong website design will lend credibility and legitimacy to your business. But, your creativity and designs are the fuel for that business. Planning your first collection is an integral step in the process. Is your clothing line a sportswear brand? Or will you be offering retro-inspired lingerie? Will you design for men? So, decide early on who your core audience is and what products will be the heart of your clothing line.

That passion will come through in your designs and your audience will appreciate and embrace the authenticity of your clothing brand. Your first collection should reflect the core essence of your clothing line and properly introduce your unique design aesthetic. So, refer back to your brand concept for inspiration. You can branch out and explore new directions later, but your very first collection needs to preview what your audience can expect to see from you consistently as a designer. But, we can tell you to be true to yourself as a designer.

Uniqueness and authenticity are the elements that will help to set your clothing line apart in the crowded fashion marketplace. So, making the right choice of clothing manufacturer is critical. Your existing manufacturer might not be a good fit for the new line. This often happens, for example, if you started with t-shirts and are now are looking to start producing a more tailored cut-and-sew line. You should plan to interview a number of different factory locations to find the one that is a right fit for your business.

Remember that you must ensure that you maintain healthy profits margins for your business, and manufacturing will be a large percentage of your budget. In the book, Knight writes about how he found the perfect partners for manufacturing Nike shoes — and the struggles with partners who were less than perfect. Anna Livermore, founder of fashion business consulting company V. When you reach out to a manufacturer for the first time they will have questions for you — questions that you should be equipped to answer.

When you do finally start meeting with potential manufacturers put your most professional foot forward. Look at this meeting as a partner meeting and walk in with a smile! Not only are you looking to see if this factory is a good fit for your brand, but they are looking to see if your brand is a good fit for them!

Of course, walking into that meeting prepared will go a long way toward convincing a manufacturer that you are a worthwhile prospect. Having worked on both the design and production side of the clothing industry I can tell you that manufacturers love a designer who really knows their business. On the same token, nothing is more irksome to a supplier or manufacturer than a designer with lots of ideas and no understanding of the manufacturing process by which those ideas are made real.

Before you commit to a full-scale run, order a few samples from several manufacturers to evaluate the quality and speed of their work. Examine the labels to make sure they contain the information you require. Once you have manufacturing well in hand, build your marketing plan and consider how you will sell your new clothing line. Where do you plan to sell your clothing line? In an online shop or online clothing store? In a brick and mortar clothing store of your own? Or maybe you want to sell in local boutiques that feature many different clothing items?

There is no one right answer. This is where market research can help you. Not every selling option will be cost-effective or practical. Selling a clothing line in an online store is cheaper and less labor-intensive than setting up your own physical store. Most template-based web design services offer some form of e-commerce functionality. And some, like Shopify , are built specifically for e-commerce. But, think carefully before you decide to use a template-based service like Shopify. Remember how important your unique branding is?

The templates on those e-commerce sites are available for every other new fashion brand to use, as well. As I mentioned in a previous article,. Just like your logo, your web design should start with your personal brand. There are self-hosted open-source e-commerce services available that allow you to use your own uniquely branded website with their e-commerce functionality. Not only can you use your own original web design, they also scale easily alongside your business as it grows.

When deciding which boutiques you would like to carry your clothing line, double back to our first point — your well-developed brand. Choose boutiques that are in line with your brand identity and your target market. If you design biker leathers for motorcycle enthusiasts, you can probably bypass the boutique down the street that specializes in yoga pants and maxi skirts. If you plan on selling wholesale to boutiques it is important that you have merchandise ready to sell during the correct buying season… You need to figure out when you need to have production ready to ship to stores or customers and then work backwards from there through the development stages leave enough time!

Pro Tip: Always schedule your meetings with boutiques in advance. A great way to get started is to compile a list of local fashion editors and media outlets radio, television and online blogs. When you are ready to launch your clothing brand or your clothing line, you can notify these resources via press release.


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Take it one step further by creating an entire press kit. Check out this article from PR Couture to learn how. Another important and easy to overlook! But, blurry or poorly lit photos can actually work against you. So, if you can afford it, hire a professional photographer to ensure great results. These images will be used on your website, social media marketing, and advertisements. So, keep your brand and target customer in mind and style them accordingly.

But most importantly, make sure your styles are the stars of the photos — simplicity is key keep accessories and background elements to a minimum. Social media gives you the ability to easily keep customers up-to-date on new products, store policies or sales. It also enables you to build a social rapport with current customers, while building low-pressure relationships with future buyers.

Maintaining at a minimum a Twitter and Facebook presence will help you build an audience of devotees. And consider micro-influencers , who can help you in the early days. Make it easy for visitors to see what your clothing brand all about by featuring those fabulous photos of your line in a Facebook album. Social media is also the perfect platform to help future customers get to know you as well as your clothes. So, use your Facebook and Twitter to share that story — for free!

Finally, consider throwing a launch party to create exposure and excitement for your line. In an article for Inc. Magazine , Francis Arden Aston Models partner shares some great advice to ensure that your launch party is the well-attended extravaganza you dream it will be. Build your list. Remember those local fashion editors and media outlets? They should be on your list.

So should local boutique owners, fashion buyers and anyone else who is relevant in your field. Schedule your party on an evening with no other major events — especially not other major events in the fashion industry. Hold your event at an interesting location.


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A special, unique venue can really make an event feel like… well… an event! Offer something for free. People love free swag. If you can afford it, offering a thoughtful and relevant free gift will make a great impression on your guests. A branded t-shirt might be the right gift.

Or you can offer a one-off specially designed garment in a raffle.

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If your budget is tighter, Arden suggests offering an open bar for a limited part of the evening. In a perfect world, we could all fund our own business ventures without any outside help. As with any aspect of your business, start by giving the matter some serious thought. Here are a few questions to get you started:.

Partner and investor relationships can come in a multitude of forms. Are you simply looking for someone to invest capital? Or are you looking for leads, someone to split costs with, or exposure and success-by-association with an established brand? Only you know what is most useful for your business.