Observations on Starting a Shoe Repair Shop from a Recent New Store Owner

Objective Observations:

  1. Take a small business class if you can
  2. Use resources available on-line and in your community: UW Entrepreneur’s Toolkit; SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives –Small Business Admin); University or Community College small business development centers, etc.
  3. Write a formal business plan
  4. Get all the training you can
  5. Determine what kind of experience you want to provide to your customers
  6. Web site presence, email, and social networking capability are becoming VERY important. Don’t ignore this aspect of your business
  7. Choose a good location – fill an unmet need in the neighborhood/community
  8. Talk to other small business owners about their experience

Subjective Observations:

  1. You will always have a boss: if you’re in business for yourself, your customers are the boss
  2. Develop and maintain good relationships with suppliers and equipment dealers
  3. Always be at work during the hours you promise to be open
  4. Be prepared to work every day
  5. Deliver what you promise, plus 10%, and your customers will keep coming back
  6. You don’t have to like all your customers, but you should treat them like you do
  7. A good credit rating always helps: maintain accurate books, pay your bills on time
  8. Be prepared to eat the cost of some repairs in order to maintain good customer relations
  9. Try to improve your skills everyday, ask questions, read
  10. Your customers are your best advertising: do the best work you can
  11. Do the work you love and let it show and customers will want to come to your shop
  12. It helps to have a nest egg or a partner’s income when you start out. It takes a while to start really earning money.