Personally, I have been running my home based Xavier bookstore since December 2006. It was hard for the first time because I had never worked in a bookstore. I had to improve my skills in running my home based business through a lot of trials and errors. Now, the business has been very good and I got a lot of money from it. It is my main stream of income besides Google Adsense.
Okay, if you are really serious in having your own home based bookstore, here are some of the tips that you need to know before opening a bookstore:
- Make survey on book needs - See the routes of public transportation that pass by your house. They show the types of people/ passengers in the buses that pass by your house every day. Are they office workers, high school students, or university students, or farmers? If you open your bookstore, they will most likely stop their buses and enter your bookstore. So, provide books that are suitable to their needs.
- Make survey of people within the radius of 300 meters around your house - People who live within the radius of 300 meters from residence will visit your home based bookstore. They will go to your bookshop on foot. Identify who they are, what professions they are, and what levels of education they have. Provide books that they need
- If there is a big university, try to find information about the study programs that this university has and the number of students. If possible, you can get the synopsis of each of the study program. This is an important information which you need to get so that you can accurately provide books that the students and the lecturers really need.
- Promotion - Because your house might be located not located at a main street, you will need to inform people in your town about its existence. If you have money, you can put an advertisement on local newspaper, radio, or if possible attach banners at main streets in your town or city. If you need an idea of bookstore promotion, please read my story How I promote my bookstore.
- Your home based bookstore needs a name. Give a good name that really reflects the spirit of your business. Paint the name on a big plank and display it in front of the bookstore.
- Book categories. When you open your bookstore, you need to arrange the books according to a number of categories such as agriculture, engineering, computers and IT, health and medicines, religion, fiction, business, law and politics, and school textbooks. All those books have to be arranged on bookshelves that have been well designed and constructed. A good bookshelf design will not buckle the books. The bookshelves layout should be arranged to allow smooth flow of book lovers moving inside your bookstore.
- Computer and software application - To help you with the selling of your books, you will definitely need a computer that is installed with such applications as Microsoft Access, Excel, Word and if possible special POS (Point of Sales) which has been designed for a retail bookshop.
- Cleanliness - Keep you bookstore as clean (both indoor and outdoor) and as comfortable as possible. You will need to plant flowers in front of the bookstore.
- Be ready to work long hours.
- Online bookshop - Study the possibilities of opening an online bookstore using e-commerce shopping cart software such as VPASP, ZenCart, OS Commerce and etc. If you can open an online bookstore, there is a big possibility for it to become bigger than your home based bookstore. by Charles Roring