Wondering how to start a women's shoe store? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Understanding Women's Shoe Retailing
Women love shoes. In the U.S., shoe retailing brings in more than $25 billion each year. But if you're starting a women's shoe store based on the assumption that you will be selling Manolo Blahniks to the Carrie Bradshaws of the world, you may be disappointed by the reality of women's shoe retailing.
High-end designer shoe stores do exist. However, most women's shoe stores carry an assortment of affordable shoe styles for both special occasions and everyday wear. Since women tend to purchase shoes more frequently than men, price and fashion are critical selling points. If you're trying to peddle last year's fashions at high markups, your startup is in trouble.
Staffing a Women's Shoe Store
As you begin to implement your startup business plan, it will soon be time to hire your first employee. Staffing a women's shoe store is an especially tricky proposition. Your employees need to serve your customers in a professional manner, even though they will be expected to work in a demanding retail environment.
Although it's tempting to hire all female employees, fashion-aware men may also be suitable recruits for your shoe store. In fact, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws restrict hiring practices based solely on gender.
Where Should I Locate My Women's Shoe Store?
Location is one of the primary factors in the success or failure of a women's shoe store startup. Ideally, you'll want to situate your store in an area that features an assortment of women's clothing and fashion retailers.
If you're unfamiliar with where women shop in your community, conduct your own informal survey of female consumers before you start scouting out potential retail locations.
Creating Business Plans for a Women's Shoe Store
Does your women's shoe store have a business plan? If not, your company is lacking a critical business tool. With the right ingredients, your women's shoe store's business plan will serve as a blueprint for success.
To assist your efforts, you may want to consider enlisting the aid of a professional business plan writer.
Time and time again, the best entrepreneurs we see rely on professionally crafted plans to guide their decision making. However, outsourcing doesn't completely eliminate your responsibilities in the writing process.
As the primary stakeholder in your women's shoe store, you will intentionally need to insert yourself in various stages of the plan's development.
How Many Local Customers Can You Acquire?
How many potential customers will be within a fifteen-minute drive of your business? How many will be within an hour's drive of your business? Get a feel for how many customers might be interested in coming to your local women's shoe store.
Investigate the Competition
Long before you open a women's shoe store in your area, it's a smart move to find out how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of women's shoe stores near you.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
Once you've finished assessing the competion, you really ought to learn from folks who are already in business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a women's shoe store in a different city may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Where does one find a women's shoe store owner that lives outside of your area?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Should You Buy or Start a Women's Shoe Store?
Competition is tight these days and entrepreneurs can't afford to make many mistakes. So it's critical to get it right when deciding whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing women's shoe store.
In general, purchased women's shoe stores fare better than startups, at least during the initial few years. When you buy an established women's shoe store, you gain access to a functional business operation with a customer base and a steady revenue stream.
Entrepreneurs who are committed to a highly unique value proposition may need to pursue a startup approach. However, in today's business-for-sale marketplace, there is an abundance of women's shoe stores worth considering.
Explore Franchising Options
Buying a franchise doesn't mean your success is guaranteed but failure is certainly less likely when you franchise.
Before you consider starting a women's shoe store, you would be wise to assess whether franchise opportunities in your space might make sense for you.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
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