Thinking about opening a boots and shoes repair business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Why Shoe Repair is a Tricky Business Concept
In previous eras, shoe repair was a staple of the small business community. Instead of investing cash in new footwear, consumers took worn out shoes and boots to their local cobbler for a tune-up. But as the cost of new footwear decreased, demand for shoe repair evaporated and entrepreneurs streamed out of the industry.
Complicating the shoe repair startup concept even further is the fact that it takes skill and expertise to perform footwear repairs. Not just anyone can pick up a pair of shoes and make them look like new. So to succeed, shoe repair entrepreneurs need to possess exceptional trade and business skills.
Today, thriving shoe and boot repair businesses know the limitations of their appeal. Repair shop owners are masters in identifying the brands and models of shoes that are good candidates for repair, and tailor their business plans to meet the needs of owners of high price tag footwear.
Lucrative Markets in Shoe & Boot Repair
Successful shoe and boot repair startups understand their target markets and selling propositions, quickly identifying the types and brands of shoes that are the most likely candidates for repair.
In today's shoe and boot repair industry, cowboy boots are excellent candidates for repair given their high replacement value and owners' personal connections to their footwear. Likewise, shoes from brand names like Birkenstock, Rockport, Allen Edmonds and other premium manufacturers are common targets for repair.
Since the footwear industry is constantly evolving, it's important for shoe repair shop owners to stay on top of industry trends and look for opportunities to market their repair services to new groups of shoe and boot owners.
Growth Tips for Shoe Repair Startups
The Internet has given shoe repair shop owners the ability to market their services to a much broader customer base. In the past, shoe repair was largely limited to the repair shops geographic territory. But with an effective business website, shoe repair professionals can now attract a national customer base and leverage shipping to conduct remote business relationships.
Building a business website can be intimidating for new business owners. If you don't know how to get started, we recommend either tapping into one of the turnkey small business website solutions available in the marketplace or hiring a professional site design firm with small business experience.
Creating a Business Plan for a Boots & Shoes Repair Business
A common mistake for an entrepreneur is to not create a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. If you don't have a business plan, your leadership will be handicapped, choosing short-term opportunities at the expense of long-term benefits.
Start by defining your business mission. The process of writing a mission statement doesn't have to be complicated. From there, the other piece of the business plan puzzle will begin to fall in place.
Consider the Competition
Prior to opening a boots and shoes repair business in your area, it's a good idea to find out how strong the competition is. Use the link below to find competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of boots and shoes repair businesses in your area.
Gain a knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the marketplace, and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from the others.
Getting Advice from Experienced Entrepreneurs
As part of your due diligence on opening a boots and shoes repair business, be sure to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby boots and shoes repair businesses will give you advice, think again. What's in it for them?
Fortunately, somebody who runs a boots and shoes repair business in a location that is not competitive to you will be much more likely to talk with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
So, what can you do to find an owner of a boots and shoes repair business in another community?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Advantages of a Boots & Shoes Repair Business Purchase
On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter boots and shoes repair business ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. But the harsh reality is that startup boots and shoes repair businesses experience a high failure rate compared to entrepreneurs who buy existing boots and shoes repair businesses.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. By buying a profitable boots and shoes repair business, you'll shorten the amount of time it takes to achieve a return on your investment because you'll have the advantage of a proven operation and an existing customer base.
Buying a franchise isn't a sure thing but failure is certainly less likely when you franchise.
Prior to starting a boots and shoes repair business, you ought to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might increase your chances of success.
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.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a boots and shoes repair business, try these useful resources:
If you sell to boots and shoes repair businesses, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.