Monday, June 6, 2011

How to start a home bookstore

When I started running my home based Xavier bookstore for the first time, I didn't have a lot of money. All I had was an empty room. There were no books that I could sell and there were no bookshelves either. I began my bookselling business with an idea which was selling the books that the town dwellers need. Read my previous article How to Start a Bookstore Business Without Large Capital.
Having an idea of opening a bookshop was not enough. To get loan from a bank, the idea had to be presented in a business plan. To make the business plan, I had to make a survey on the categories of books which people around my house within the radius of 5 kilometers would need. The first target market was school children. The second was parents of the school children and the last ones were university students. Why school children? Because there are 5 elementary schools and 1 junior high school around my house within the radius of 300 meters. After running the bookstore for around two years, I had to revise my business plan by changing the target market from school children to university textbooks, Christian books, computer and information technology, and agriculture.
Back to the discussion of the business plan, I wrote a plan of selling books worth of 1500 US dollars a month. To my surprise, I was only able to sell books worth of 500 US dollars at the first month of my bookselling business. Now I sell books with the value of 2,000 - 2500 US dollars. To convince a bank to give us loan, we have to make a business plan that contains detailed descriptions of how the loan would be paid back to the bank.
Bookstore Business Plan
Here are items in a business plan that you have to write about:
  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Bookselling Business Description
  • Product or Service Description that is related to your bookstore
  • Organizational Data - In this page, you have to explain who does what (from sourcing the books, to selling them) and who reports to whom. Today, the use of POS software and cash register machine have simplified the processes in bookselling business. Information captured by scanner in cash register machine is processed by Point of Sale Software that automatically updates the inventory of books on the bookshelves and orders the staff in the store room to supply new books to the shelves again. POS enables bookstore owners to know in details the performance and revenue of his business. With POS and inventory control software, bookstore manager can implement better marketing and operational strategy for the development of the bookstore.
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Operations Plan
  • Financial Information
I plan to return the loan in three years. I did it. So, if you are now considering of running a home based bookstore and do not have enough capital for it, don't worry, make a market survey, write a comprehensive business plan and meet the loan officer of a bank in your town. Commit yourself fully to your bookselling business and you will succeed in making money.
Also read: Starting an Online Bookstore

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