How to Start a Shoe Repair Shop. Starting a shoe repair shop takes some skills in both business organization as well as shoe repair. While many consumers don't even consider having their shoes repaired, some consumers realize the importance and money-saving advantage of having their shoes repaired.
Learn to repair shoes. Finding a course or instruction on how to repair shoes may prove quite challenging, as shoe repair is not a common trade. Your best bet in getting shoe-repair training may be to find someone who knows the trade and who is willing to teach you their skills. To become proficient enough at shoe repair to start your own business, professionals suggest a 5-year apprenticeship.
Join the SSIA. The Shoe Service Institute of America, founded in 1904, is committed to educating consumers about the benefits of shoe repair. SSIA provides members with a chance to communicate with others in the business whether they are fellow shoe-repair specialists, suppliers or consumers. The SSIA website offers educational opportunities for both consumers and shoe-service workers.
Set up shop. You'll need to have a place to work when you start your shoe-repair business. Your options when it comes to this decision mostly depend on your location. You may open up your own shop that exclusively offers shoe-repair services. Alternatively, you could lease out a space in an established shoe store.
Do the paperwork. Anytime one starts a business, there's always paperwork to complete. Contact your local city or county government to find out what they require from you before you open your shoe repair business. Also write up a business plan to make sure you're headed in the right direction.
Get supplies. Shoe repair requires supplies, tools and equipment. Obtain everything you'll need to operate your business. Remember that the equipment you purchase is a business investment; choose wisely.
Open your shop. Advertise your grand opening and offer discounts or incentives. Also plan to educate consumers about why they need to have their shoes repaired, as opposed to just throwing them away when they become damaged.