Monday, September 6, 2010

Manage a bookstore

Managing a bookstore is similar to managing a retail business. It should be done on the principles of selling books as products to customers that are needed by them. Every book is unique. Even a slight difference in a word of the title of the book can mean a big difference in the whole content of the book. So, if you go to a bookshelf and find two books with such titles as Managing a bookstore and the Management of Bookstore, you will see that the contents of them are totally different in their presentations. So, selling books is not the same as selling food or soap. If you are run out of a bathing soap, you can go to a supermarket and buy soap. If you don't find the brand that you like, you can buy another brand easily. You cannot two the same easily when you want to buy a book. Even if you find two books with the same title but different authors, you know that the contents are different.
So, the task that the manager of a bookstore and his staff must do is to deliver the books that the customer need accurately. I have some experience in meeting the demand of our book lovers. Here are some points of bookstore management principles that are related to daily business operation:
Provide a wish list or order listIt is a simple form. In the form, customers and fill in the titles, authors, publishers, the name and cell phone numbers if the want to order the books that they are looking for. If the books are expensive, we will request advanced payment from them. Every week we use he wish list or the order list as our order list to our book supplier in Java. We order the books exactly as what our customers had written in the table. So, when the books arrive, we just have to send text messages to them. They will come to pick up the books which they order in the afternoon or in the evening. By applying this method, we have managed to raise our monthly selling to between 200 and 300 percent since 2007.
Clean your bookshelves regularlyPeople come to my bookstore to find books. It means that their main focus of attention is books that are put on the bookshelves. The total surface of the bookshelves layout is large. It needs to be cleaned regularly. When the surfaces of the books are clean and free from dust, they will be more attractive to customers. Don't forget to rearrange the books according to such categories as business, computer, health, novels, religion, agriculture and etc. The cleaning of the books should be done by using soft dry cloth. You must not clean them using wet or damp cloth except if they are covered with plastic film.
Cleanliness of the bookshop as a whole
Everyone likes cleanliness. If you go to a bookstore whose floor and windows are full of sand and dust, you will not be interested in exploring the books that are displayed on the shelves. Sweep the floor and than mop it. Sweeping should be carried out at least twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon. The front yard of the bookstore has to be cleaned from garbage especially the plastic cups and bottles. Bookshelf design has to be simple to allow for fast cleaning of the bookshelves and the books.
Hospitality of the staff
At this time every retail businesses should consider themselves as service business. When you sell books you serve people. Be kind, helpful and professional. Your body and clothing have to be cleaned before you stand next to the cashier computer screen or bookshelves. Selling books is not easy, you need to have some knowledge about books.
Lay out of the bookstore
If you only run a small bookstore, you only need to categorize your books similar to the way librarians categorize books in the library. For me, I add a small table near the entrance door where customers can see the newly arrived books. If your bookstore is large, please, separate the school or office supplies from the floor of the books.
POS - Point of Sale
Every retailer knows how important this software is in supporting the operation of their business. A good POS software for a bookshop must have features where bookstore owner can fill in the title, the author and the publisher of the books in separate columns of the inventory entry form.
Well, there are still more aspects of bookstore management that I can explain it here but I think I will continue it next time in my other blog post. Thank you - Charles Roring

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