You love sneakers and you love to paint and draw. Why not try to sell your masterpieces to all the sneakerheads out there and make a living doing it? Got a different kind of business? These same rules apply.
Before you get all excited at the idea of starting your own business, really think hard about the product you can create and how you plan to deliver it. How is it different from what is already out there? What makes your customized sneakers better than the rest of the custom artists out there who have set up shop already? What are they doing right and wrong? What else can you offer that will stand out from the crowd? Ask yourself these questions on paper and answer them before proceeding to the next step.
PlaceHow do you plan to offer your product and where? If you plan on doing it online, get yourself a web site and make it look as professional as possible. The image you create on your web site is how your customers will perceive you. You want to look dependable, honest, professional, versatile, and very good at what you do. Most of all, your customers will want assurance that you can deliver what you promise on time and as expected. First impressions are given only once and special attention should go into how you plan to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Image is important to attract a customer, but it's how you deliver a product that will keep them coming back for more.
Promotion So why does Coke keep running all those expensive ads on TV if everybody already knows who they are? So that competitors like Pepsi don't stay at the forefront of the minds of their consumers. You want customers to think of YOU every time they think of custom sneakers. Promotion is part of marketing. How are you going to let sneakerheads know you exist? There's no point doing what you do if nobody even knows about it! Get your site online and start promoting yourself and develop relationships. Give repeat customers a discount for coming back or referring someone. Give yourself time to see results. Word of mouth is the most powerful method to promote what you do so be good to your customers... and your competitors.
PriceHow much are your custom sneaker creations worth? Do a competitive scan to see what others are charging before you put a price tag on anything. If you charge too much for what you're offering, you lose potential customers. If you charge too little, people will assume your goods are not that great. For instance, Polo shirts by Ralph Lauren may not be that much greater than a standard tennis shirt at a discount store, but the price put on Polo shirts gives customers the feeling that they are buying something special. Your product is your skill. If you think you are Leonardo da Vinci, charge Leonardo da Vinci prices. But if you paint like Garfield, don't charge more than a cup of lemonade. Price will either make you or break you.