Start a Shoe Line

A shoe line business is a business that designs and manufactures different types, sizes, and designs of shoes. These shoes are sold in retail locations and/or through online stores. It will also be right to say that a shoe line is any business that designs shoes, selects materials, and outsources the manufacturing process.

A recent report published by Allied Market Research shows that the global footwear market size was valued at $365.5 billion in 2020, and is estimated to reach $530.3 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.

Also, the global luxury footwear market size was valued at USD 31.61 billion in 2019 and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% from 2020 to 2027. The market is driven by an increasing number of millionaires worldwide, especially among the millennial segment.

Steps on How to Start a Shoe Line

  1. Conduct Market Research

The first step in the market research process for your shoe line is to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will give you reliable data of what your potential market will be looking out for from a shoe line, and also help you operate your shoe line with less stress and of course, build the business to profitability within the shortest time frame.

a. Who is the Target Market for Shoe Line?

If you are thinking of opening a shoe line then you should make target demographics all-encompassing. It should include boutiques, shoe stores, males and females, corporate executives, socialites, students, and every adult in the neighborhood where your shoe line will be located and of course on the internet.

b. Is Shoe Line a Profitable Business?

Yes, the shoe line business is very profitable. Shoe sales are estimated to reach $530.3 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to shoe lines. Here are some of them;

  • Sneakers
  • Children shoes
  • Female shoes
  • Male shoes
  • Handmade shoes
  • Sports shoes and Athletics shoes.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Loeffler Randall
  • Rothy’s
  • Adidas
  • Nike
  • Tory Burch
  • Converse
  • Reebok
  • Puma
  • Cult Gaiaan
  • Air Jordan
  • ASICS Corporation
  • Allbirds
  • Red Wings
  • Timberland
  • Cavender’s
  • Minnetonka
  • Johnston & Murphy
  • Golden Goose Deluxe Brand (GGDB)
  • Fila
  • Y-3 sneakers (Yohji Yamamoto)
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Shoe Line Business?

Yes, there are county or state regulations and zoning laws for shoe line businesses, and players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing such businesses in the county or state where their business is domiciled.

f. Is There a Franchise for Shoe Line Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for the shoe line business. Here are some of them;

  • Good Feet Worldwide, LLC
  • Foot Solutions
  • Bata Pakistan Limited
  • Stylo Shoes
  • Bata Franchise
  • Foot Efx, LLC
  • Panada Shoes
  • Shoebox New York.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Shoe Line Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Production Facility and Showroom
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Equipment, Machines, and Raw Materials
  • Employees
  • Startup and Working Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a shoe line business are;

Creative Shoe Line Business Name ideas
  • Happy Feet® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Shoe Nation® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Bag Nation® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Shoe Couture™ Shoe Brands, Inc.
  • Nathan Cobler® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Smith Designs® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Higher Ground® Luxury Shoe Line Company
  • James Mills® Shoe Line, LLC
  • High End® Luxury Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Simon Bars® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Elton Jones® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Mark ™ Shoe Line, LLC
  • Denis Richards™ Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Broadway™ Shoe Line, LLC
  • Raul Fernand® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Chris Williams® Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Jacobs Styles© Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Dan Foster™ Shoe Line, LLC
  • Wagon Designs™ Shoe Line, Inc.
  • Remmy Moses® Shoe Brand, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Shoe Line?

Even though there are several options when it comes to the business structure of a shoe line, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits.

Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Shoe Line?
  • General Business License
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Fire and Safety Permit (Fire certificates)
  • Federal Export Licenses
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • State Occupational Licenses
  • Operational State Facility Inspections (Building Permits)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Shoe Line?

You don’t need any certifications to open a shoe line.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Shoe Line?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting a shoe line, you will need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to challenge people for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties especially as it relates to your designs or logo et al.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Shoe Line?

When it comes to starting a shoe line business, the startup costs vary and could range from $100,000 to over $1 million. This is so because the startup inventory and the equipment and machines needed to start will greatly influence the overall cost of starting the business.

b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Shoe Line
  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the shoe line for $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • Cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square foot in the total amount of $123,300.
  • Cost for facility remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $5,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost of equipping the production factory – $150,000
  • The cost for start-up inventory (materials, sewing supplies and packaging materials et al) – $85,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, shoe case) – $3,720
  • Cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,750
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets: $7,000.
  • The cost of Launching a website: $600
  • The cost for our opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $5,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Shoe Line?
  • The size of the shoe manufacturing factory
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing of the shoe line business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the shoe production facility
  • The cost of insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your supplies and ongoing expenses
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost for the grand opening of the shoe line.
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your shoe line production facility, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility. The truth is that building or reconstructing a production facility for your shoe line will help you come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Shoe Line?
  • Rent and lease
  • Supplies and inventory (materials, shoe sewing supplies, and packaging supplies et al)
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage, and software renewal fees et al)
  • Maintenance of machines
  • Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (President) – $55,000 Per Year
  • Factory Manager – $35,000 Per Year
  • Merchandise Manager – $32,630,000 Per Year
  • Shoe Designers – $32,000 Per Year
  • Accountant (Cashier) – $30,500 Per Year
  • Marketing and Sales Executives – $28,000 Per Year
  • Shoe Makers – $26,100 Per Year
  • Customer Service Executive – $26,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Shoe Line?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

St. Mark™ Shoe Line, LLC is a registered shoe line business that will be located in an industrial area in Dallas, Texas. We have been able to secure a long-term lease agreement in a strategic location with an option of a long-term renewal on terms and conditions that are favorable to us. The facility has government approval for the kind of business we want to run and it is easily accessible.

b. Products and Service
  • Sneakers
  • Children shoes
  • Female shoes
  • Male shoes
  • Handmade shoes
  • Sports shoes and Athletics shoes.
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to build a highly successful shoe line business whose brand will be known all around key cities in the United States of America and around the globe.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to be among the top 10 shoe lines in the whole of the United States of America.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a shoe line are to produce different types and designs of shoes for the general public.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (President)
  • Factory Manager
  • Merchandise Manager
  • Shoe Designers
  • Accountant (Cashier)
  • Marketing and Sales Executives
  • Shoe Makers
  • Customer Services Executives
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • Ideal location for a shoe production business
  • Highly experienced and qualified employees and management
  • Access to finance from business partners
  • Excellent customer testimonials.
  • Unique design and styles
  • Financial Constraints
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established shoe line brands.
  • Inability to retain our highly experienced and qualified employees longer than we want
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets
  • Increase in the number of the human population within our target market area.
  • The arrival of a new shoe line within our market space
  • Unfavorable government policy and regulations.
  • Steady wage expenses and increasing prices of gas
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Liability problems
b. How Do Shoe Lines Make Money?

Shoe lines make money by selling a wide range of shoes.

c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and fashion magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community-based events/programs
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms like; Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
  • Install your Bill Boards in strategic locations all around your city or state
  • Distribute your fliers and handbills to target areas
  • List your shoe line in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise your shoe line on your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
  • Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your shoe line is located.
  • Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and that all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

The price of shoes depends on the type, size, and brand of the product.

b. How Much Profit Do Shoe Line Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but the available report shows that the national average earnings for shoe line owners are approximately $51,000 per year. Shoe line profits can average between $23,751 and $140,935, depending on your location, line specifics, expenses, marketing efforts, and company size.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the shoe line (the number of shoes produces per time)
  • The location the shoe line is covering (online or strictly brick and mortar)
  • The management style of the shoe line
  • The business approach of the shoe line
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the shoe line.
  • The number of years the shoe line is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Shoe Line?

Shoe lines gain a handful of profit on all the products. Margins usually range from 20% to around 50%. So, the revenue you would be making will be based on sales made by you monthly and the expenses that you incur while running the business.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $340,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $550,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $950,000
  1. Set Up your Shop 

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Shoe Line?
  • The demography of the location
  • The demand for shoes in the location
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of shoe lines and other fashion outlets in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Shoe Line Business?
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Montclair, New Jersey
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Manhattan, New York
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Shoe Line?
  • Industrial shoe sewing machines
  • Pattern makers for crafting designs
  • Scissors
  • Hole punchers
  • Straight and curved rulers
  • Measuring tapes
  • Notchers for marking seams
  • Dotted pattern paper
  • Sewing machine needles
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Threads
  • Sketching books
  • Drapings tools
  • Shoemaking Stick pins
  • Hammer for folding
  • Leather shears
  • Soft lead pencil
  • Marking pen
  • Pattern plotter
  • Shoemaking knife
  • Pattern-making software
  • Scratch Awls
  • Computer
  • CAD tools for designs
  • Digital drawing tools
  • Digitizer board for pattern scanning
  • Heat transfer machines
  • Packaging materials
  • Supply of shoe-making materials
  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard shoe line, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (president), factory manager, merchandise manager, accountant (cashier), marketing and sales executives, shoemakers, designers, and security guards.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

No shoe line opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party. With a proper launching of the shoe line, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your shoe line is open for business.

a. What Makes a Shoe line Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and showroom facility to launch the business
  • Make sure your shoes are unique and the finishing is topnotch
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the shoe line
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your shoe line business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your shoe line
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Shoe Line?
  • The production factory is open for the day’s work
  • The facility is cleaned and well-arranged
  • Factory swings into action (production of shoes)
  • Deliveries of orders are made
  • Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Shoe Line?
  • Good shoe and fashion design sense
  • Excellent tailoring and shoe-making skills
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining and bidding skills
  • Work experience in a shoe-making environment
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration.