How to Start a Shoe Shine Business

If you have ever dreamed of starting a business that has the potential to be highly profitable but does not require a lot of start-up funding—then a shoe shine business may be just right for you! Although you will need to obtain some specific supplies, there is not a lot of cost associated with starting a shoe shine business. This article will show you step-by-step instructions for how to start a shoe shine business and make a great profit.

Determine the type of shoe shine business you want. You’ll often find charming shoe shine stands set up near high-end hotels or garment cleaning services. Train stations and airports are also areas where shoe shine stands are found. These types of shoe shine businesses typically cater to business individuals or wealthy individuals who want the convenience of having their shoes polished and shined—as well as the convenience of getting it done close by.

However, you may want to open a drop-off or pick-up shoe shine business. This type would require you to pick up or accept the client’s shoes at a place of business—where you would shine and polish them and then drop them back off with the client in a timely manner. Determine which type of shoe shine business you would like to start.

Obtain the needed supplies. If you will simply be setting up a shoe shine stand, you’ll need to obtain the supplies needed to care for your customers’ shoes. This might include:

  • An area for customers to sit and have their shoes shined.
  • A professional shoe shining kit, including wax, brushes, daubers, leather protector, shining cloths, applicator brushes and a shoe horn.
  • Professional shoe rest.

If you will actually be opening a business, you’ll need to secure an office building as well as the supplies you will need to care for those shoes. Check out office buildings close to higher-end hotels or airports. This way, you will get a tremendous amount of business from business travelers.

Advertise your business. The next step is to advertise your business so you can start getting clients. You may need to print up business cards and flyers. One company that provides a great selection of business cards is With this company, you can choose from 42 designs and will receive 250 cards by only paying shipping and handling charges.

One great idea would be to pass these out at local airports, train stations, hotels and even restaurants which commonly draw in professional and business-types. For exact addresses and contact information, visit

Consider also approaching shoe stores and leaving flyers with them. You might even offer a percentage off to customers of particular business—such as hotels or restaurants. These are all great ways to advertise your business and this is necessary in order to get your shoe shine business launched.