August 20, 2019 is a daily online magazine covering small business news. We help entrepreneurs transform ideas and innovations into greatness.

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Starting an Athletic & Dance Shoes Retailer

Launching an athletic and dance shoes retailer is your ticket to owning a good, stable business but it's important to plan out the business in detail before you start. Here are a few secrets that may be key to your ultimate success.

Many of the mechanics for starting up an athletic and dance shoes retailer are included in this article.

How to Open an Athletic Shoe Store

Sell gym shoes for a living? Why not! We cover a few things to consider before starting an athletic shoe store.

Spreading the Word About Your Athletic & Dance Shoe Startup

Dance has become a popular form of exercise for many Americans, especially for kids interested in combining their love of music with a physical challenge. In communities throughout the nation, there are now many studios and classes dedicated to instruction in tap, ballet and other dance styles. Many adults are even getting into the game through ballroom dancing and couples dance opportunities.

The key to spreading the word about an athletic and dance shoe retail startup is to connect with the local dance community. Although you could blanket your local newspaper and broadcast media with ads, the ROI makes mass marketing cost-prohibitive. Instead, you'll need to focus your marketing efforts on media outlets frequented by members of the local dance community and initiate an aggressive word of mouth campaign to attract customers to your store.

Pricing Issues for Athletic & Dance Shoe Retailers

Athletic and dance shoes are specialized products. But unlike other types of specialized merchandise, your ability to charge a premium for your products may be limited. Why? Because kids quickly outgrow shoes. If your shoes are priced too high, customers will look for discount providers online or worse yet, set up informal shoe exchanges that completely bypass the new retail marketplace.

As a startup athletic and dance shoe retailer, you need to establish a pricing strategy that minimizes wholesale prices and secures your ability to reasonably price your inventory. Trade-ins, loyalty discounts and other strategies can also be employed to offer lower pricing for customers who are willing to establish a long-term relationship with your store.

Achieving Positive Cash Flow in an Athletic & Dance Shoe Startup

Positive cash flow can be elusive, even for experienced retailers who are setting out to launch their own dance shoe store. On paper, cash flow sounds simple. Just bring in more revenue than goes over a specific timeframe and you have established positive cash flow. But in the athletic dance shoe game, you will have to contend with a major spoiler: Inventory.

As a small retailer, you'll need to use trial and error to determine how much inventory to carry at any given time. Overstocking ties up valuable resources. Understocking, on the other hand, leads to opportunity costs and the loss of customers who aren't willing to wait for orders to arrive.

To minimize the impact of inventory on cash flow, we recommend implementing a robust inventory management system that features software solutions designed specifically for retail store environments. Sophisticated POS solutions are now available to provide real-time visibility to shoe inventory levels and automate the reordering process.

Creating Business Plans for an Athletic & Dance Shoes Retailer

Never underestimate the value of a good athletic and dance shoes retailer business plan. With the right ingredients, your business plan will keep you new venture on course and help you avoid the pitfalls that plague other startup entrepreneurs.

A professional business plan writer can be a big help in creating a first-rate plan.

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.

Startup entrepreneurs are well advised to materially participate in the writing process, even after they have engaged a proven professional.

Consider the Competition

Well in advance of opening an athletic and dance shoes retailer in your area, it's essential 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 following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of athletic and dance shoes retailers in your area.

It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.

A Good Source of Advice

If you want to open an athletic and dance shoes retailer it's a smart move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. What's in it for them?

Fortunately, somebody who runs an athletic and dance shoes retailer in a different city will be much more likely to talk with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.

What's the best way to find an athletic and dance shoes retailer manager in another city who you can speak with?

No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.

Is It Easier to Buy an Existing Athletic & Dance Shoes Retailer?

Tough decisions are what business ownership is all about. And one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing athletic and dance shoes retailer.

In general, purchased athletic and dance shoes retailers fare better than startups, at least during the initial few years. From a financial perspective, you'll receive more income sooner in a business purchase than you will in a startup.

Depending on your business goals, you may have no choice but to start an athletic and dance shoes retailer from scratch. But whenever possible, we recommend carefully surveying the business-for-sale marketplace before committing to a startup approach.

Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option

If you want to tap into an existing brand name and a proven system, you may want to look into buying a franchise rather than starting a business from scratch.

Before opening an athletic and dance shoes retailer, a smart move is to determine whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might help you on your entrepreneurial journey.

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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What haven't we covered regarding starting an athletic and dance shoes retailer? We'd love to hear your comments.

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Already Own an Athletic & Dance Shoes Retailer?

If you currently own an athletic and dance shoes retailer, try these useful resources:

Marketing an Athletic and Dance Shoes Retailer

Selling an Athletic and Dance Shoes Retailer

Do You Sell to Athletic & Dance Shoes Retailers?

If you sell to athletic and dance shoes retailers, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:

Selling to Athletic and Dance Shoes Retailers

Mailing Lists for Athletic and Dance Shoes Retailers

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