New Energy in Retail Bookselling
Yesterday was the last day of our five-day workshop retreat dedicated to Owning a Bookstore. This morning, I woke up thinking about all of the smart, creative, inquisitive people who have had the idea of owning a bookstore that “just won’t let go.” From those who intend to buy an existing bookstore to those already thinking about a location, from those who needed to fill in the blanks for writing a business plan to those trying to decide if owning a bookstore was right for them at this time in their lives, everyone contributed a creative spark to the idea of developing a bookstore concept for today’s world.
Book people are quite amazing, but many have never worked in retail store let alone own a retail business. Together, we immerse ourselves in the details of bookstore retail management, weave in the realities of the marketplace, examine human needs and behavior, identify the opportunities for a bookstore, develop strategies around our own communities and leave with insights on how to manage and grow this new business.
What was true for someone new to retail management and new to the book industry turned out to even be true for someone who had spent seven years working in a bookstore. In an email this morning, one tenured bookseller who came to consider opening her own store wrote, “I can’t get over all the information we received and think it’s the only way to go if you are considering opening a bookstore.”
If you’ve had a desire to own a bookstore that “just won’t let go,” know you are in good company. Because of the investment and skills required, be careful. Do your due diligence. Study and learn about best practices instead of acquiring outdated routines and habits. Take your time and plan to succeed in what could be a wonderful new chapter in your own life.