People often convert their hobbies into a profession and earn handsomely from it. It might be photography, art and crafts, travel and even reading. Yes! If you are passionate about reading and books, opening and running a bookstore should be your dream project. You will never be short of new titles as there are millions of books being released every year all over the world, catering to specialized niches. And what better way to fuel your interest in books than from within your own bookstore, updated with the latest publications.
Here are a few steps that you can follow to open and run your bookstore.
- Fix your goals – You should know what your goals are for opening a bookstore because all future plans for business growth and development and the niche you want to cater to will depend on this aspect. Will you be opening a low cost bookstore – primarily paperbacks – so that book lovers on a shoestring budget can be your main customers? Or is the primary goal of any business – making a lot of money – your primary focus too? Once you fix your goals, most preparatory work needed to be done in the initial stages will fall into place.
- Choose a location – Choose a location where there is a lot of movement of pedestrians outside and from where your bookstore will get quickly noticed. Books are bought on an impulse and you have to depend on people simply walking in and picking up a title. Opening a store near schools and colleges will increase footfalls in your store but then you should stock books for this segment too. The size of the space will depend on the scale that you want to start off with. It is always advisable to rent a store within your budget so that operational expenses are kept at a minimum.
- Choose a niche – Even large booksellers with years of experience cannot cater to all sections of interest. Hence it is preferable that you focus on a few niches. Some of the options for you are Fiction books, Story books / novels, Romantic books, Children books, College books and Management books. However, within a few years you should be able to gauge the demand of booklovers in your location and add to the categories you started out with.
- Prepare a business plan – A business plan is the blueprint that has to be prepared before the launch of any business. It is a comprehensive document that includes funding required, marketing approach and strategies that will make your bookstore a profit generating entity in the shortest possible time.
It starts with details of onetime costs for rental advance and cost of brochure holder, posters, painting of premises, buying racks and name boards. Then there is the cost of buying books for the first three months or so when sales will be minimal. Finally, you have to keep provision for running expenses like salaries, rents and other maintenance costs. You have to take into account marketing and advertising expenses too. Based on these estimates, you will know the quantum of your initial investments. If you find the procedure too complex, hire a business consultant to draw up a plan for you.
- Legal requirements – There are licences and permissions that have to be obtained before you can open your doors for business. Get in touch with the local council to know about the statutory requirements that have to be met. Laws may vary between States in Australia so be very careful on this score. A business lawyer or consultant will be able to guide you well in this regard.
- Marketing your Bookstore – Marketing is crucial for any business and it is necessary that you give a lot of importance to this aspect. You can start with taking out advertisements in local newspapers and magazines and distribute a few books in schools and colleges. Have brochure and poster holders with the name of your bookstore and place them strategically in local college and general libraries. You can contact Advertising Industries for such top of the line and quality display accessories.
Follow these simple steps if you want to make a success of your book store.