Managing a bookstore is similar to managing any retail businesses. You are planning to run a bookstore, you need to know the basics of bookstore management and book business as a whole.
Categories - Books in a bookstore are categorized according to such topics as engineering, computer, agriculture, politics, law, medicine, religion, business and etc. So books that have titles that can be grouped into one category should be placed in a bookshelves that reflects the right category for them.
Bookshelves layout in a bookstoreSimilar to supermarket, books as the main merchandise will be displayed on bookshelves. Every bookshelves needs to have a need to help visitors identify the category of books that are being displayed on the bookshelves. In addition, the bookshelf design should be made to receive all the surface of the books' cover without buckling them. Often we find people read the books along the aisle between the bookshelves. The distance between bookshelves should be at least 1 meter to allow to people stand between them without causing the books to fall down to the floor.
Point of Sales - Every bookstore will need a good POS software to help with the selling of the books. By having a good POS application, you will be able to know the number of books that have been sold during the day and the amount of money that you can get. In addtion, the POS will reduce the stock of books in the database inventory so that managers of the bookstore can be informed about the quantity of books.
The outside appearance of the bookstore - This is important because it can attract people to enter. Paint the bookstre in a brighter color with name plank that can be read by pedestrians. Sometimes major bookstores put newly arrived or best selling books on the front windows.
Promotion - Promoting books is not the same as promoting food or kitchen equipment. Books are unique. Every book has different author and different content. If you only operate a small bookstore and do not have enough money to put an advertisement in the local radio or newspaper, you can print a brochure to promote your bookstore. If you have enough budget, you can conduct a seminar by inviting a famous writer to discuss a book that you believe will be needed by people in your town. The author of the books will be very happy to come to your bookstore and become the keynote speaker.
Profit margin of the books - Bookshop owner needs profit in order to pay the bills and to develop the business. From my personal experience, the profit margin that I charge to most of the books is between 25 to 30%. It is a net profit. It means that if I have to take into account the cost of shipping from publishers, the interest rate from the bank and cost of the utilities, then the margin that I charge on the merchandise can reach between 50 to 70%. Before applying a profit margin, you have to be very careful in calculating all the operational cost of the books. The final price must not become a heavy burden. Books have to be affordable so that people can buy them regularly.
So, 25 percent net profit should be adequate for your bookstore business.
Other merchandise - If you want to add other merchandise to your bookstore, you should consider the products that are still relevant with the core of your business which is selling books. As a bookstore owner, I would recommend school supplies such as pencils, pens, note books, rulers, bags, eraser and other things that are related to schools. Big bookstores add office supplies in their merchandise and electronic products such as computer, digital camera and music instruments. Art supplies can also be added into the merchandise of your bookstore but all of them have to be sold in separate section. The merchandise can be displayed on the same floor but they should have separate sections so that they will not be mixed with books. by Charles Roring
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