by Charles Roring in Manokwari of West Papua - Indonesia
Retail has been my core business since in the beginning. I enjoy selling things especially books. I started selling books since I was in elementary school. At that time, I ordered books from Tiga Serangkai Publisher and sold them to my friends. I still continued selling books when I was in junior high. So, running a bookstore is not something new for me. I now know some nuts and bolts of book business.
My experience in running a real bookstore - As I have said before that there are many aspects that a bookstore owner must consider if he or she wants to be successful in running his or her bookstore.
Neatness and cleanliness - Every day book lovers enter my bookstore. They pick up books, read the synopses at the back cover and put them back again if they are not interested. When the bookstore is not very crowed with book lovers, I will have to rearrange the books again according to their categories. Every morning, Dewi sweeps the floor. The cleanliness of a bookstore is not only limited to the floor but the air ventilation, the name plank, the glass windows, and the outside yards and the last but not the least, the books themselves. A clean and neat bookstore attracts more customers.
Relationship - In today's internet era, relationship between bookstore owner and customers is still important. I have to compete not only with bookstores in the same town but with online bookstores that provide books with more titles and "cheaper prices." Relationship is maintained by giving away newest book info, sending SMS to book lovers and providing an order form for those who seek books that we don't have.
Free reading corner - This is another strategy which I apply to my bookstore. I provide a corner with a bookshelf in my bookstore which contains books that book lovers can read for free. Sometime they borrow the books. I don't see that kind of service in many bookstores. Running a bookstore is not purely a business for me, it is part of my service to the public in order to peacefully transform the society nonviolently. There are still many factors that I have to write here about how to profesionally running a home based bookstore but I think I will continue my story in another post.