While it may seem that footwear is a garment that has been perfected, because of ever-changing styles, you may still be able to make some money off of developing a novel shoe idea. If you have a plan for a new pair of shoes that you feel will prove lucrative, trying to sell the idea could be beneficial. To ensure that your sales efforts are as successful as possible, move deliberately and carefully through this marketing process.
Develop a novel idea. If your idea is nothing new, companies will not be eager to pay you any money for it. To be marketable, your idea must be highly distinctive. Before you start trying to sell your idea, make sure the idea you seek to sell fits this bill.
Create a prototype. Make this model by hand, or order one from a manufacturing factory. Without this sample, you will likely find it difficult to sell your idea, as you will have nothing tangible to present to potential buyers.
Contact individuals within the shoe fashion industry. Create a list of major labels that sell shoes similar to the kind you are trying to market. For example, if the shoe you have created is an athletic shoe, you want to focus your efforts on makers of this type of footwear. To make creating your list a bit easier, actually visit a shoe store and look over the labels. When contacting, you may either send a letter or call. In many cases, sending a letter can prove more effective as many companies, particularly large ones, are not open to cold calls of this type. To make yourself appear professional, write your letter in business letter format.
Set up meetings to present your ideas. If you receive return contacts from the companies you query, setting up a face-to-face meeting may prove most beneficial, as this will give you the chance to truly sell your shoe idea.
Negotiate with companies that express interest. If a company likes your idea, it will likely give you a monetary offer. Instead of allowing the dollar signs to blur your vision, carefully look over the offer and consider countering it if you are not pleased with the terms.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.