There are a select range of industries which are essential in the running of daily life. Although they may not be the first industry which springs to mind, the shoe industry is as important as any – everyone needs a pair of shoes. With the introduction of online retailers, the high street as we once knew it to be has seen a slow but steady decline. Many shoe stores however have been able to withstand the online Armageddon, with some still flourishing in their brick and mortar stores.
In this blog post, we will explore the top tips for writing a business plan for a shoe store, and what elements are the most important to consider in putting it together.
There is success in how niche your shoe store is
As touched on before, everyone from all walks of life need shoes. This means that the shoe industry, from high fashion to the more practical employment-related end, touches a vast range of sectors and groups of people. If you are looking to start a new shoe store business, this range should work to your advantage, as the primary part of the business plan you should consider who is your target market. Asking questions such as: who is your perfect customer? What demographic are you targeting? What is their socioeconomic background? Why will your shoe offering mean they come to you over a better-known provider?
This is where the range of the shoe industry can become an advantage. The most successful shoe stores will offer their shoes to a niche target audience. Finding a need that your store can fulfil will aid no end in the success of your business. This could, for example, be in the offering of a range of school shoes, from trainers to smarter shoes, in a community with a young demographic and large schooling population. Establishing this niche will help in establishing the purpose of your business in your business plan.
What type of stock will your shoe shop source?
Having established your niche target audience, the next consideration you should think about in regard to your business plan is what type of stock your shop will source. For the shoe industry, there are typically two types you should consider, and these should be laid out in detail in your business plan. The first revolves around the concept that your store will have a physical store and will therefore require you to own actual stock. In this case, you will have to lay out how you will receive your supply of shoes, which is typically done through agreeing a deal with a larger wholesaler. This can be done by approaching larger shoe brands individually to discuss the viability of your store sourcing their shoes.
The alternative option only becomes a possibility if your business concept is focused solely as an online store, rather than a physical shop front. If you are opting for an online option, you may be able to strike a deal with a supplier in which your online business only deals with the selling of shoes. The distribution and returns of these products are handled by a separate company. This is also known as drop-shipping. Whichever type of sourcing you decide upon, it is important for your business plan to reflect this approach and describe the relationships you have, or intend to have, in order to fulfil it.
Will your shoe store be solely online, or will it have a physical presence?
Thinking about how you source your shoes will also bring into question whether or not your store will have a brick and mortar presence or not. This is a big decision and one that should be reflected in detail in your business plan. There are advantages and disadvantages for both types of store and it is down to you to lay out which option is best for you. Laying out your business plan will help determine your decision. A physical store brings a large amount of overhead bills, including rent for the store itself, various taxes and staffing costs. An online only store will not have these types of costs, but will incur such overheads through things like website development and online advertising.
Establishing the approach to your shoe store will be made easier with a detailed and realistic business plan, which will set out how targeting your niche market will lead to its success. If you would like help with putting together your business plan, get in touch today! Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.