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Writing a Business Plan

business plan for bookshop

While it may be tempting to put off, creating a business plan is an essential part of starting your own business. Plans and proposals should be put in a clear format making it easy for potential investors to understand. Because every company has a different goal and product or service to offer, there are business plan templates readily available to help you get on the right track. Many of these templates can be adapted for any company. In general, a business plan writing guide will recommend that the following sections be incorporated into your plan.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section that business plans open with, but is often the last section to actually be written as it’s the most difficult to write. The executive summary is a summary of the overall plan that highlights the key points and gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead in the document. It should include areas such as the business opportunity, target market, marketing and sales strategy, competition, the summary of the financial plan, staff members and a summary of how the plan will be implemented. This section needs to be extremely clear, concise and engaging as you don’t want the reader to push your hard work aside.

Company Description

The company description follows the executive summary and should cover all the details about the company itself. For example, if you are writing a business plan for an internet café, you would want to include the name of the company, where the café would be located, who the main team members involved are and why, how large the company is, who the target market for the internet cafe is, what type of business structure the café is, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, what the internet café business mission and vision statements are, and what the business’s short-term objectives are.

Services and Products

This is the exciting part of the plan where you get to explain what new and improved services or products you are offering. On top of describing the product or service itself, include in the plan what is currently in the market in this area, what problems there are in this area and how your product is the solution. For example, in a business plan for a food truck, perhaps there are numerous other food trucks in the area, but they are all fast –food style and unhealthy so, you want to introduce fast food that serves only organic and fresh ingredients every day. This is where you can also list your price points and future products or services you anticipate.

Market Analysis

The market analysis section will take time to write and research as a lot of effort and research need to go into it. Here is where you have the opportunity to describe what trends are showing up, what the growth rate in this sector looks like, what the current size of this industry is and who your target audience is. A cleaning business plan, for example, may include how this sector has been growing by 10% every year due to an increase in large businesses being built in the city.

Organization and Management

Marketing and sales are the part of the business plan where you explain how you will attract and retain clients. How are you reaching your target customers and what incentives do you offer that will keep them coming back? For a dry cleaner business plan, perhaps if they refer customers, they will get 10% off their next visit. In addition, you may want to explain what needs to be done in order for the business to be profitable. This is a great way of showing that you are conscious about what clear steps need to be taken to make a business successful.

Financial Projections & Appendix

The financial business plan section can be a tricky one to write as it is based on projections. Usually what is included is the short-term projection, which is a year broken down by month and should include start-up permits, equipment, and licenses that are required. This is followed by a three-year projection broken down by year and many often write a five-year projection, but this does not need to be included in the business plan.

The appendix is the last section and contains all the supporting documents and/or required material. This often includes resumes of those involved in the company, letters of reference, product pictures and credit histories. Keep in mind that your business plan is always in development and should be adjusted regularly as your business grows and changes.


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Bookstore Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky Bookstore Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their bookstores. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a bookstore business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Bookstore Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

bookstore storefront

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a bookstore or grow your existing bookstore you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your bookstore in order to improve your chances of success. Your bookstore business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Source of Funding for Bookstores

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a bookstore are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a bookstore is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

bookstore customer

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of bookstore business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a bookstore that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of bookstores.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the bookstore industry. Discuss the type of bookstore you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of bookstore you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

In addition to explaining the type of bookstore you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

Industry Analysis

bookstore storage

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the bookstore industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards cookbook consumption, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for a substantial cooking section.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your bookstore business plan:

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your bookstore business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of bookstore you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most bookstores primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Bookstore Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

Click here to finish your bookstore business plan today.

Bookstore Competitive Analysis

bookstore floor plan

Direct competitors are other local bookstores.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes online bookstores, ebooks, libraries, etc. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who reads frequents a bookstore each day.

With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other bookstores with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be bookstores located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to stand outside your competitors’ locations and ask customers as they leave what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

bookstore corner

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of bookstore that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to books, will your bookstore include a cafe, where it will offer items such as coffee, espresso, bakery items, etc.?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your bookstore. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your bookstore located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.

Promotions : the final part of your bookstore marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your bookstore such as serving customers, procuring new books, keeping the store clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 5,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

bookstore shop owner

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the bookstore business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in bookstores and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 20 customers per day or 100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your bookstore, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a bookstore:

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint or location lease.

Bookstore Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your bookstore is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the bookstore business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful bookstore.

Download Our Bookstore Plan PDF

You can download our bookstore plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to see how Growthink business plan consultants can create your business plan for you.

Bookstore Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my bookstore business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Bookstore Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Bookstore Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Bookstore Business Plan PDF?

You can download our bookstore business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide for Small Businesses

business plan for bookshop

Bookstore Business Plan Template

Business Plan Outline

Start Your Bookstore Plan Here

Bookstore Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your own bookstore business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their bookstores.

To write a successful bookstore business plan you will first need to decide what type of bookstore business you want to open. Will you be a specialty bookstore, a children’s bookstore or a religious bookstore?

You will need to gather information about your bookstore business and the bookstore industry. This type of information includes data about customer demographics, a marketing plan, and a financial plan (full financial projections including income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement).

Sample Bookstore Business Plan

The following bookstore business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning bookstore business plan:

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Bookstore Business Plan FAQs

What is a bookstore business plan.

A bookstore business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your bookstore business. Among other things, a bookstore business plan outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your bookstore business plan using our Bookstore Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Bookstores?

There are many types of bookstores to consider when writing your bookstore business plan . Many stores are independently owned and carry a variety of new books from many different publishers. Independent bookstores are able to dictate which authors and genres they want to sell in their store. Other retail bookstores are large national retail stores that have a wide selection of books and accessories. There are also bookstores that focus exclusively on used books to sell. They accept donations of used books and sell them at a discount price.

What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for a Bookstore Business?

The primary source of revenue for bookstores is the products sold at the store.

The key expenses for a bookstore business are the cost of purchasing the product inventory. Other expenses are the overhead costs for employees, rent, utilities, and any marketing for the store.

How to Start a Bookstore Business?

To start a bookstore business, you will need to do the following:

Learn more about how to start a successful bookstore business:

How Do You Get Funding for Your Bookstore Business Plan?

Bookstore businesses, along with other businesses in the bookstore industry, are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your bookstore business plan to them. Another option for a bookstore is to obtain a small business loan. Outside investors, crowdfunding, and/or friends or family are other typical funding options.

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Used Book Store Business Plan

Start your own used book store business plan

Flyleaf Books

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

Introduction Flyleaf Books is a start-up used bookstore in the Cleveland, Ohio area. It is the goal of the company management to acquire local market share in the used bookstore industry through low price, a dominant selection of products, a competitive variety of services including a buyback/trade program and hard to find book search, plus a relaxing, friendly environment that encourages browsing and reading.

Company Flyleaf will be a limited liability corporation registered in the state of Ohio. The company will be jointly owned by Mr. James Vinck, a former head librarian of the Philadelphia City Library, and his wife Aracela.

Mr. Vinck is establishing this firm as a growth-oriented endeavor in order to supplement his retirement, continue meeting people with similar interests, and to leave a viable business to his children. Flyleaf Books will be establishing its store in one of the busiest section of Brecksville, an outlying suburb of Cleveland. This area is well know for its upscale residents and high-quality establishments. Our facility is a former 8,000 square ft. furniture store which allows the company to stock a large amount of inventory.

Products/Services Flyleaf Books will offer a wide range of book, magazine, and music selections. This includes just about every conceivable category including fiction, non-fiction, business, science, children’s, hobbies, collecting, and other types of books. Our music selection will concentrate on CD’s as these are the most popular and take up the least amount of floor space. In addition, we will be offering a competitive buy and trade service to assist in lowering our inventory acquisition costs and making our store more attractive to our customers. In addition, we offer a search and order service for customer seeking to find hard to get items. Flyleaf Books will have a relaxed “reading room” type atmosphere that we will encourage through the placement of chairs, couches, etc.

Market Our market is facing a decline in growth over the past two years. This is attributed to the overall weak economy. Book store industry sales rose only 3.6% for last year whereas overall U.S. retail sales grew by 4.3%. However, management believes that this may be an advantage to the used bookstore industry. As customers cut back on purchasing, used bookstores will look more attractive to customers who still wish to purchase books. Therefore, management believes this may be a good time to get into the industry and gain market share.

The bookstore industry as a whole is going through a large consolidation. Previously, the market was dominated by local, small stores and regional chains. With the advent of the “superstore” as created by Barnes & Noble, the largest players in the market have been able to gather significant market share and drive many independent booksellers out of the market.

Where independent booksellers can still create a viable position for themselves within the market is in the used books segment. This segment generally does not attract big companies since the “superstore” concept is much more difficult to replicate in a market with such low profit margins. This tends to favor the local independent bookseller in the used book market segment as long as they can acquire a sufficiently large enough facility to house an attractive inventory and compete with the national chains.

Financial Considerations Our start-up expenses come to $178,000, which are single time fees associated with opening the store. These costs are financed by both private investors and SBA loans. Please note that we expect to be operating at a loss for the first couple of months before advertising begins to take effect and draw in customers. Flyleaf Books will be receiving periodic influxes of cash to cover operating expenses during the first two years as it strives toward sustainable profitability. Funding has been arranged through lending institutions and private investors already. We do not anticipate any cash flow problems during the next three years.

Used book store business plan, executive summary chart image

1.1 Objectives

These are the goals for the next three years for Flyleaf Books:

1.2 Keys to Success

In order to survive and expand, Flyleaf Books must keep the following issues in mind:

1.3 Mission

Flyleaf Book’s mission is to provide used quality literature of all types at the lowest possible prices in the Cleveland, OH area. The company additionally seeks to provide a comfortable atmosphere for its clients that promotes browsing, relaxation, and an enjoyable environment to spend extend time in. Flyleaf’s attraction to its customers will be our large selection of books, magazines, used CD’s and our purchasing/buyback option, which lower our book acquisition costs and allows our customers to discard unwanted books/CD’s in exchange for cash.

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GENERAL INQUIRIES:   [email protected]

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MEMBER and MEMBERSHIP INQUIRIES: [email protected]

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Opening A Bookstore

You need to make sure you:.

 • Have the necessary knowledge and experience;

• Have the right financial backing; 

• Are prepared to work hard.

Here are some suggestions to help make your dream of owning an independent bookstore a reality:

Become a Provisional ABA Member

Provisional members have access to a wealth of information, tools, and expertise. From the Book Buyer's Handbook (directory of publisher terms, specials, and co-op offers) to educational events, the bookseller-to-bookseller forums, networking opportunities, and the ABACUS financial benchmarking survey results, ABA has what you need to prepare yourself for bookstore ownership.

Request ABA’s "Opening a Bookstore" electronic kit.

Provide your name, email address, mailing address, potential store location and name, if applicable, and where you are in the process (are you on the verge of opening a bookstore? Halfway there? Or just thinking about it for now?). ABA will send you a digital kit including an Opening a Bookstore checklist.

Sign up for Prospective Booksellers School

Facilitated by The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates . This information-packed bookselling experience features workshops on finances, store design, inventory management, marketing, technology, and more. ABA members receive discounts for workshop tuition and guidebooks. ABA members receive a discount on tuition for the Owning a Bookstore workshop, and a discount on the Opening a Bookstore Essential Planning Guide.

Develop a Business Plan

Your exploration of bookselling will benefit from a good reading of the information provided by the Small Business Administration on its website. From business plans to legal concerns, this is a wonderful stop for an overview and resources.

Learn about IndieCommerce/IndieLite

ABA offers two e-commerce platforms for independent bookstores that are fully transactional, e-commerce enabled websites.


The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) website has numerous articles and resources on a range of small business topics. The organization’s hundreds of nonprofit chapters help link thousands of experienced business professionals with entrepreneurs every year.

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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Bookstore Business Plan

Are you thinking of starting a bookstore We have prepared a solid bookstore business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing

business plan for bookshop

If you are a book lover, having your bookstore might be no less than a dream. After all, what’s better than being around thousands of books daily and helping people to find their favorite books.

And you also must have wondered about the book clubs and readings that you can organize. But then again, no matter how much you love books, if you make a business out of it, making a good profit is at least one of its goals even if it’s not the only one.

If you are planning to start a new book store, the first thing you will need is a business plan . Use our sample Maxwell – Bookstore Business Plan  created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new book store business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of  retail store-related business plans.

Industry Overview

The global book market stood at a massive value of 132.1 billion dollars in 2020 and is expected to grow at a rapid rate moving forward as well.

With the increase in reading for self-improvement, growing love towards poetry books, and the advent of audiobooks and ebooks the book market has grown at a rapid rate.

Also, increased spending towards hobbies and interests has contributed to the growth of the book market.

Readers and sellers alike have got to get firsthand experience of the industry’s growth. And with the development of technologies like virtual reality the market is bound to change even more.

Things to Consider Before Writing a Bookstore Business Plan

Choose a good location.

A good location is essential for a bookstore. Be it for making your store more accessible or more visible for people, choosing a good location for a bookstore is foundational. Also, make sure that the surroundings of your bookstore aren’t too noisy.

Plan for additional attractions

Although most of us are used to seeing quite bookstores in which people walk in, roam around and go out. But what if we told you there’s a way to keep them there longer and leave with a good book or experience that makes them return.

From book cafes, open mics, and book clubs you can organize anything that might grab your book lover friends’ attention.

Have handy sources to keep up with the latest popular books

Keeping your book store well stocked up with books belonging to the latest trending topics to current popular culture is the lifeline of your bookstore.

Have a reliable source to keep up with all the trending books and topics and have alternatives to trending books that your customers might like.

Develop a marketing strategy

In today’s digital age it is important to have a proper online and offline marketing strategy to make your business visible. Register yourself with popular e-commerce sites like Amazon and Flipkart which can become a major driver of sales for your bookstore as a huge number of people buy books online nowadays.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

A lot of movies and dramas have led us to believe that all that exists in a bookstore are books and crickets.

Well, that isn’t true if you open a bookstore armed with a well-rounded bookstore business plan.

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample Maxwell – Bookstore Business Plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect bookstore business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Bookstore Business Plan Outline

This is the standard bookstore business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

After  getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample book store business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your bookstore business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

business plan for bookshop

Business Planning Resources

We have plenty of  free business planning resources  available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.


Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.

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DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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Bookstore Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]

Bookstore business plan template.

If you want to start a Bookstore business or expand your current Bookstore, you need a business plan.

The following Bookstore business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning Bookstore business plan. It can be used to create a new bookstore business plan, used bookstore business plan, religious bookstore business plan, vintage bookstore business plan and many other types of bookstores.

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Below are links to each of the key sections of your Bookstore business plan:

I. Executive Summary

II. Company Overview

III. Industry Analysis

IV. Customer Analysis

V. Competitive Analysis

VI. Marketing Plan

VII. Operations Plan

VIII. Management Team

IX. Financial Plan

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Bookstore Business Plan Outline

bookstore business plan template

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Bookstore Business Plan Template

Getting your own bookstore off the ground requires a business plan. here is a bookstore business plan template that includes the important elements you need to include in your business plan., fill the form to download business plan templates.

To ensure your bookstore business success in this highly competitive market, you need a properly structured bookstore business plan. With over 12 years of experience, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs create business plans to start and grow their bookstore businesses. Using the following bookstore business template, you can put together an effective business plan for art gallery.

Things to Know Before Writing a Bookstore Business Plan

A wide variety of books, newspapers, and periodicals is primarily sold by companies in this industry, including trade books, textbooks, magazines, paperbacks, and religious books.

Manufacturers and wholesalers purchase these products, both domestically and internationally. Operators then sell these goods to consumers in retail stores.

Having enjoyed strong gains in the second half of the year, bookstore sales increased 39% over 2020, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The company posted sales of $9.03 billion, compared to $6.50 billion in the pandemic-ravaged year of 2020.

The major products and services offered by this industry are

Key Success Factors for the Book Store Business

key success factors for the bookstore business plan

Despite the challenges of the Book Store industry, we have identified 5 factors that can help you boost profitability, efficiency, and ultimately success.

Free: Business Plan Examples

Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.

What is a Bookstore Business Plan?

A business plan for a bookstore is a written document that sets your company’s financial goals and discusses how you’ll reach them.

A solid, comprehensive strategy will serve as a road map for the next three to five years of the bookstore business. Any bank or investor you approach will require a bookstore business plan, so putting one together will be critical to securing funding.

In short, writing a business plan can help you succeed if you’re thinking of starting a bookstore business or pitching to investors or venture capitalists.

bookstore business plan template

Why You Need a Bookstore Business Plan

If you want to start a bookstore business or expand an existing one, the first thing you need to do is to write a business plan. A business plan is also necessary for attracting investors who want to know if your bookstore is on the right track and worth investing in.

A solid, detailed plan gives you a clear path to follow, forces you to examine the viability of a bookstore business idea, and may help you better understand your company’s finances and competition.

Bookstore owners who have a business plan grow 33% faster than those who don’t, and 72% of fast-growing businesses have one.

A bookstore business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

How Much Does it Cost to Open a Bookstore?

The cost of opening a bookstore varies depending on the location and size. The cost of leasing retail space varies based on the location. A typical initial opening cost for a bookstore is about $22,000 USD, and this does not include rent or utilities for the first month.

Funding Sources for Bookstore Businesses

Asking family and friends to invest in your bookstore is a great way to start. Once you’ve set a budget and identified what you’ll need to start the store, take the services of your friends and family to help you get it off the ground. You might need to present the willing ones a solid business plan to reassure them that their chances of making a profit are good.

Bank loans and angel investors are the two most common sources of funding for a bookstore. When it comes to bank loans, banks will want to look over your bookstore business plan to make sure you’ll be able to pay it back with interest.

The loan officer will not simply want to ensure that your financials are reasonable in order to gain this confidence. They will, however, expect to see a professional plan. They will be more confident in your ability to run a business successfully and professionally if you have a plan like this.

Angel investors are the second most popular source of finance for a bookstore business. Wealthy individuals who will write you a check are known as angel investors.They will either want equity in exchange for their capital or will let you have a loan, similar to a bank.

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How to Write a Bookstore Business Plan

How to write a bookstore business plan

To write a bookstore business plan, you don’t need to be an expert. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to write a bookstore business plan, or you can just download our proven sample business plan pdf  to get a better idea.

Free Bookstore Business Plan Template in PDF and Word

Download our bookstore business plan in PDF and Word here.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the most important part of the document since it outlines the whole business plan. Despite the fact that it appears first in the plan, write the executive summary last so you may condense key concepts from the other nine parts.

It’s a part that catches the investor’s eye and provides key information about your company’s overview and upcoming short- and long-term goals.

Tell them what kind of bookstore you have and what stage you’re in; for example, are you a startup, do you have a bookstore that you want to expand, or do you have a lot of bookstores?

Finally, an executive summary should provide investors with a preview of what they may expect from the rest of your document.

Check out these executive summary examples to help you write a perfect one for your business plan.

Free: Executive Summary Examples

An executive summary is the most important part of your business plan, and it need not be challenging to write. This is why we have put together some awesome free Executive Summary examples for you.

Company Analysis

The company analysis follows the executive summary as the second section of a business plan. Your company overview will be short and clear, similar to the executive summary.

Even if they just have a few minutes, your reader has to understand what your company does and who your customers are.

The following sections will be included in your business plan’s Company Analysis:

Industry Analysis

You need to include an overview of the bookstore in the industry analysis you performed before sitting down to write your bookstore business plan.

While this research may appear to be unnecessary, it helps you to build strategies that maximize business opportunities while lowering or avoiding the identified risk.

You may learn a lot about the bookstore industry by doing research. It helps you in understanding the market wherein you operate.

The third purpose for conducting market research is to demonstrate to readers that you are an industry expert.

Industry analysis can be presented as a 8-step process when written as part of a company’s business plan.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section is an important part of any bookstore business plan since it evaluates the consumer segments that your company serves. It identifies target customers, determines what those customers want, and then explains how the product will meet those requirements.

Here are some examples of customer segments: students, children, techies, teens, reading fans, old aged persons, etc.

Customer analysis may be divided into two parts: Psycho-social profiles (why your books suits a customer’s lifestyle) and Demographic profiles (descriptions of a customer’s demographic qualities).

In terms of demographics, you should include information on the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the consumers you want to serve. Because most bookstores serve consumers who live in the same city or town, such demographic data is easily accessible on government websites.

The psychological profiles of your target clients reveal their wants and needs. The better you understand and identify these demands, the better your chances of attracting and retaining customers will be.

Competitor Analysis

It is necessary to do a competitor analysis. Not least because you may use their data to define your goals, marketing plans, tactics, new product lines, pricing, and more. Use competitor analysis to:

On the market, you will almost certainly discover some extremely powerful competitors, some of whom will be offering things similar to yours at unbelievably low costs. However, not every competitor works with low-cost, low-quality books

The first step is to determine who your direct and indirect rivals are.

The direct competitors consists of other bookstore businesses that offer essentially the same products to the same people as you do. 

Indirect competitors consists of brands that offer somewhat different things but can meet the same customer demands, You will likely have online competitors who sell similar items to you. Libraries and eBooks are also included as indirect competitors.

Once you’ve identified the competitors, concentrate on the direct, head-to-head competitors, since they are the most threatening to your bookstore business — but keep an eye on the indirect competitors as well, just in case.

Provide an overview of each direct competitor’s business and detail their strengths and weaknesses.

You will be able to position yourself competitively in the market if you perform proper competitors research. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages in the following areas:

The final section of your competitive analysis should include a list of your areas of competitive advantage. for example: Are you going to offer premium books? Will you offer unique books that your competitors don’t offer? Will you offer better pricing or will you offer greater customer support?

Consider how you will outperform your competitors and include them in this portion of your bookstore plan.

Free: SWOT Analysis Examples

Take advantage of our free SWOT analysis examples. Make your business future-proof by identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats using this free SWOT Analysis Template.

Marketing Plan

Creating a marketing plan for a bookstore business involves identifying the target demographic and finding products that suit their preferences. Bookstore owners need to constantly seek out books that their competitors do not carry.

As part of your marketing plan for a bookstore, you should include:

Pricing and Product Strategy

Your bookstore business must offer books that are unique, likable in public, and  different from those of your competitors. Research what your competitors carry and how they price their products. A unique bookstore collection identifies your store as the place to go for unique books and differentiates it from others.

Placing and Promotions

Place refers to the location of your bookstore. Is your bookstore business near an school, college, university building or town that has a high population? If you plan to target a specific geographic region, mention how your location will impact your success.

Promoting your bookstore is the final part of your marketing plan. In this step, you document how you will drive customers to purchase your bookstore. A few marketing methods you could consider are:

Operations Plan

While the previous sections of your bookstore business plan described your goals, your operations plan discusses how you will achieve them.

An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it’s also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.

Your operations plan should be divided into two individual parts, as seen below.

All the daily tasks involved in running your bookstore business, such as serving customers, ordering inventory, maintaining a clean store, etc., are short-term processes.

Long-term goals  are milestones that you aim to reach. These may include the dates when finalizing the lease agreement for the storefront bookstore or Reach break-evens. It might also be when you plan to launch a new bookstore or to serve 1000th customer.

Management Team

When writing a bookstore business plan, the management section’ outlines your management team, staff, resources, and how your business ownership is structured.

A strong management team is necessary to demonstrate your bookstore’s ability to succeed as a business. Highlight the backgrounds of your key players, emphasizing the skills and experiences that demonstrate their ability to grow a business.

You and/or your team members should ideally have prior experience working in a bookstore. If so, emphasize your knowledge and experience. However, you should emphasize any experience that you believe will help your bookstore business succeed.

Consider forming an advisory board if your team is lacking. An advisory board would consist of 2 to 8 people who would act as mentors to your company. They would assist in answering questions and providing strategic direction. If necessary, seek out advisory board members with experience running bookstore and/or retail and small businesses. 

Financial Plan

As part of your financial plan, you should present a 5-year financial statement broken down monthly or quarterly for the first year, and then annually. Business financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Income Statement

A profit and loss statement is more commonly called an income statement. It shows your revenue and subtracts your expenses to determine whether you were profitable or not.

As you develop your income statement, you need to develop assumptions. For example, will you serve 20 clients per day or 50? Will sales increase by 3% or 15% per year? As you can imagine, your assumptions have a significant impact on your financial forecast. Do your best to verify your assumptions by conducting research.

Free: Income Statement Template

Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free income statement templates.

Balance Sheet

While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities.

The balance sheet shows your bookstore’s net value at a specific point in time. It categorizes all of your company’s financial data into three categories:

The equation that expresses the relationship between these financial data elements is Assets = Liabilities + Equity.

Create a pro forma balance sheet for your bookstore business plan that highlights the information in the income statement and cash flow projections. A balance sheet is normally prepared once a year by a company.

Balance sheets indicate your assets and liabilities, and while they contain a lot of information, they are simplified to highlight the most important things you need to know.

For example, spending $150,000 to build out your bookstore business will not result in instant revenues. Rather, it is an asset that should help you earn money for many years to come.

Similarly, if a bank sends you a check for $700,000, you do not have to pay it back right now. Rather, that is a liability that you will repay over time.

Free: Balance Sheet Template

Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free balance sheet templates.

List any additional material you cannot include elsewhere, such as resumes from key employees, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts, and personal and business credit histories.

Attach your full financial projections along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling in the appendix. You may, for instance, include some of your apparel designs.

Bonus Tip: Learn how to write a business plan appendix for your bookstore business.

Summary of the Bookstore Business Plan

A bookstore business plan is a worthwhile investment. As long as you follow the template above, you will become an expert in no time. By following the template, you will understandable the bookstore business, your competitors, and your customers. The plan will help you understand the steps necessary to launch and grow your bookstore.

Do you want to Finish Your Bookstore Business Plan in less the one day?

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With wise business plans Business Plan Template , you can finish your plan in just 6 hours or less with a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!

OR, we can develop your bookstore business plan for you

Since 2010, Wise business plans’ MBA professional business plan writers has developed business plans for thousands of companies that have experienced tremendous success.

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This is the sample of business plan published with the intention of helping students and researchers who are interested to get some potential hints from the business plan. The business plan has been written and designed by Victor A Byemelwa.

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Bookstore Business Plan Sample

FEB.16, 2018

business plan for book store

Bookstore business plan for starting your own business

Are you thinking of how to open a bookstore ? Even though the digital era has popularized the use of electronic and audio books, there is a considerable size of the population that still prefers to read printed books. With the right plan and strategy in place, it is possible to open a bookstore that will transform into a profitable venture with good returns. There are different approaches of starting a bookstore considering you can either open an all-inclusive bookshop or concentrate on a specific niche. The book reading culture is still alive and becoming a bookstore entrepreneur is definitely a smart idea .

Executive Summary

2.1 the business.

The bookstore will be registered as ZemBook Store in downtown Santa Monica, California . ZemBook Store will be owned and managed by Christine Jenns who is an accomplished author. The bookstore will offer a variety of exciting books cutting across various genres and categories. Christine has written several fiction and non-fiction books with some having won awards in various competitions.

2.2 Management Team

ZemBook is managed by Christine Jenns who has worked in the book industry for more than thirty years. Given her experience in the industry, Christine has always wanted to open her own bookstore, and her in-depth knowledge of the book business including operations makers her qualified to run the business. Given her experience, Jenns understands how to start a bookstore and keep high standards of professionalism and offer quality books. But even she needs a bookstore business plan sample.

2.3 Customer Focus

ZemBook will primarily serve Santa Monica book lovers who live within the city. Customer demographics will be vast and cut across a wide age gap as both children and adults will find ZemBook a favorite place to grab their favorite books.

2.4 Business Target

Bookstore Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

3.1 company owner.

Christine Jenns is an expert author who has written many books in areas of psychology, marriage and other key society niches. Jenns has previously worked for major magazine and publication companies across the United States. During her thirty year career, Christine has written numerous award winning books, participated and recognized in various global events.

3.2 Aim of Starting the Business

Due to her immense passion for books, Christine was keen on becoming an entrepreneur and continue her passion in a highly dynamic business environment. The bookstore will be a perfect platform to continue developing her writing career as she intends to sell her own books, as well as sell feature books from other authors. Her business plan for book store  is aimed at starting an enterprise that will help boost a reading culture and equip her customers with useful knowledge.

3.3 How the Business will be started

To ensure the bookstore achieves its targets, Christine with the help of experts has formulated a comprehensive business plan for book store that will attend all aspects of financing and forecast sales. The plan captures key aspects such as expenses, investment, assets and loans. Below is a breakdown of key financial aspects which include; capital and liabilities, total planned investment, start-up funding, total assets, capital required, start-up expenses and total liabilities.

Bookstore Business Plan - Startup Cost

Services for Customers

ZemBook bookstore will offer different types of books for its customers. The main products and services offered will include;

When planning how to start a bookstore business, it is important to know products and services that shall be offered by the bookstore.

Immigration Business Plan

Marketing analysis of a bookstore.

To ensure the business starts and remains profitable throughout, ZemBook has carried out a comprehensive market analysis. This detailed bookstore business plan template is aimed at implementing a working strategy that will be rolled into action after the bookstore has been opened. The marketing analysis is meant to elaborate the plans ZemBook has in order to successfully operate in a highly competitive environment. Christine has been assisted by experts to draft a performance-oriented marketing plan that will support her bookstore operations.

Even though technology has largely influenced reading patterns, there are many people who still prefer to read traditional printed books. The management of the bookstore has done extensive analysis of the market especially to know the target audience. With information in this example of a business plan for bookstore , ZemBook knows what it should do to attain high levels of success.

5.1 Market Segmentation

After doing market research, ZemBook Bookstore has identified the following groups of people as target audiences, and therefore potential bookstore clients.

Bookstore Business Plan - Market Segmentation

5.1.1 Parents / Adults

The bookstore has a wide variety of books written for mature audiences and therefore, any adult is a potential target customer. Adults including parents find joy in reading their favorite books especially while relaxing. This category includes any adult who is an avid book reader constantly looking for exciting books to add to their collection.

Book lovers in Santa Monica and the surrounding areas will have a bookstore located in a prime central location to serve their needs. Customers are expected to be drawn from various cultural, religious and social backgrounds who love to read. Given that they earn a steady income, their purchasing powers are high and therefore, are a key market segment for the bookstore. There is need to adequately cater for this group by offering a wide range of quality and interesting book collections.

5.1.2 Children

Children are a special group of customers for ZemBook because kids naturally love books i.e. story books. Despite the new technology trends that have introduced electronic books, children love printed books and get attached to them. There are numerous categories of children books and offering a wide variety is the best way to appeal to this target audience.

Kids love to have a large collection of books and the bookstore plans to have children books starting from kids learning to rid to older children. Since they don’t have an income, children rely on their parents and guardians to buy them books. For this reason, this group has a close association with adults/parents discussed in section above.

5.1.3 Students

ZemBook sells different kinds of stationery which is required by both students. Since the store stocks items such as books, staples and files among others, there is a need to attract customers who are in need of these items. Even though they might not contribute as much revenue as the first two discussed customer groups, they are an important target group to consider.

5.1.4 Office Workers

Office workers will be important customers for Zembook. The book shop business plans to sell stationery required frequently by office workers. Since there isn’t a bookstore in the neighborhood, Zembook bookstore is exactly what office workers need, so there is enough market without any competition.

5.1.5 Seniors / Grandparents

Seniors spend a lot of their time reading as most of them have retired from active career lives and are looking for a way to unwind and pass time. Because of their age, technology doesn’t really fascinate them and so, they still prefer to read traditional printed books as opposed to electronic books. They’re an important target group as those who love reading are likely to spend a good amount of money buying books.

5.2 Business Target

ZemBook targets to be the most popular bookstore in downtown Santa Monica. According to the financial forecast, the bookstore anticipates to recover the entire initial capital within the first three years after launching operations. It is also projected there will be an average of 15 -20% annual sales growth. For the business to meet its sales targets, the bookstore hopes to provide a wide variety of books as well as ensure top professionalism and exemplary customer service. How to open a bookstore business plan emphasizes the need to learn how to employ smart strategies to remain in business. ZemBook will capitalize on building sustainable long relationships with its customers.

5.3 Product Pricing

Product pricing is important for the survival of the bookstore. After doing an extensive market research, ZemBook has purposed to offer attractive but competitive prices for all its products in order to attract and retain customers. In this bookstore business plan sample , the business has shared how it intends to price some of its major products.

After carefully surveying the market, Christine Jenns has turned her focus on implementing a smart and tactical sales strategy that will woo customers to her bookstore. With support from marketing professionals, the following sales strategy has been proven to work well when opening a bookstore .

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The sales strategy intends to cover the following areas:

6.1. Competitive Analysis

ZemBook is expected to face stiff competition as there are other bookstores spread across different locations in the city. The bookstore is capitalizing on its strategic and busy downtown location that is directly accessible both for pedestrians and motorists. The bookstore is located close to other major shopping amenities that are frequently visited by visitors and residents thus guaranteeing better visibility of the premises. ZemBook hopes to tactfully organize its product pricing structures to woo customers but at the same time, ensure projected profits are realized according to the business plan for book store .

6.2 Sales Strategy

In order to know how to start a bookshop and run it successfully, ZenBook has put in place these ambitious and smart sales strategies to ensure the bookstore outshines its competitors.

6.3 Sales Forecast

ZemBook believes its well-laid-out strategies are a perfect demonstration of how to run a bookstore business and attain profits within the shortest time possible. The business plan for book store has forecasted an impressive boost and growth in annual sales. Based on the sales strategies, the bookstore hopes to meet the following sales targets on an annual basis. The following table and charts show information regarding the bookstore’s sales forecasts.

Bookstore Business Plan - Unit Sales

Personnel Plan

ZemBook aims to be the best bookstore by offering superb products as well as exemplary customer service. In order to achieve this, the business has put together a winning team that will be tasked with running the business on a day-to-day business. If you’re unsure of how to start your own bookstore with a lean and effective staff, see how ZemBook has proposed its personnel plan.

7.1 Personnel Plan

ZemBook bookstore is owned, managed and controled the implementation of the business plan for book store by Christine Jenns who is an accomplished author. She will be assisted by Joe, the Assistant Manager who is conversant with book store operations and will be in-charge of administration and staff welfare. In addition, there will be two floor staff to assist customers coming to the bookstore, one store cashier, one sales and marketing executive, an admin and one cleaner. To ensure the bookstore only admits professional staff, the business will conduct intensive interviews, and offer on-job training for successful applicants one month before starting the job.

7.2 Average Staff Salaries

The bookstore intends to pay staff the following average salaries in the first three years of operation.

Financial Plan

ZemBook has formulated a comprehensive financial plan that will be instrumental in helping the business achieve bookstore business plan goals. The bookstore will be financed by the owner, Christine Jenns and two investors.The funding available is enough to cater for initial business set-up so no external bank loan to business plan for bookstore will be borrowed. The following is a detailed breakdown that can also help you learn how to open your own bookstore and effectively forecast and manage its finances.

8.1 Important Assumptions

The bookstore’s has indicated its financial projection on the basis of these assumptions.

8.2 Brake-even Analysis

The graph below explains the bookstore’s Brake-even Analysis.

Bookstore Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

ZemBook has shared the following anticipated Profit and Loss information that will be calculated on a monthly and annual basis.

8.3.1 Monthly Profit

Bookstore Business Plan - PROFIT MONTHLY

8.3.2 Yearly Profit

Bookstore Business Plan - PROFIT YEARLY

8.3.3 Monthly Gross Margin

Bookstore Business Plan - GROSS MARGIN MONTHLY

8.3.4 Yearly Gross Margin

Profit and loss information has been illustrated in the table below.

Bookstore Business Plan - GROSS MARGIN YEARLY

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

The projected cash flow for ZenBook is explained in the following column diagram.

Bookstore Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

The table below has key financial information such as pro forma cash flow, subtotal cash spent, subtotal cash received, subtotal cash from operations and sub-total cash spent on operations.

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

The projected balance sheet captures the total amounts for the bookstore’s capital, assets, liabilities, current assets, long-term assets and current liabilities.

8.6 Business Ratios

This table contains business ratios, total assets, ratio analysis and net worth.

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Plans to Start Up a Bookstore Business

Jewelry Promotion Ideas

How to start an in-home craft business, ideas for bookstore inventory.

While the advent of electronic readers has transformed the way Americans purchase and read books, many people still enjoy doing it the old-fashioned way. While chain bookstores are big business, there is still a place in the market for independent booksellers. If you're thinking of opening your own bookstore, learn what it takes to translate your love of books into a successful business.

Research the Market

The first step in opening a bookstore is to research the market and figure out what your niche is. Your niche is simply where you fit into the market as a whole. Familiarize yourself with the bookstores in your area, paying attention to the design of the stores, the type of books they sell, their pricing, their location and the type of customers they attract. As you expand your knowledge of the market, you can begin to fine-tune your vision for your own business to ensure that it stands out against the competition.

Create a Plan

A business plan is one of the keys to successfully opening your own bookstore. A business plan is an outline of your vision for the business, the goals you hope to achieve and how you will achieve them. If you plan to seek outside investors or loans to finance your business, a cohesive and well-written business plan is essential. The Small Business Administration and the American Booksellers Association offer numerous resources to aid you in drafting your business plan.

Build Your Inventory

Once you've formulated a business plan, the next step is to begin building your inventory. The type of books you sell may be based on market competition, consumer demand or your own personal interests. Some bookstores specialize in antique or rare books while others sell everything from cookbooks to westerns. When purchasing books for your inventory, consider their quality as well as their potential resale value. You can find inventory for your bookstore by visiting estate sales, library sales, yard sales, consignment shops, thrift shops, flea markets or auctions. There are also a number of online venues that offer books for sale, auction or trade.

Create a Marketing Plan

While word-of-mouth is one way to generate new customers, it should not be the only marketing tool your bookstore business relies on. Utilize every avenue to spread the word about your business. Consider placing print ads in your local newspaper and the telephone book. You can also purchase ad space in trade magazines or newsletters. You can also advertise via television, radio or Internet ads. An online storefront can help you expand your customer base and potentially increase sales. Consider implementing incentive or discount plans or creating a mailing list for regular customers. Be creative and use every option available to ensure your bookstore becomes a household name.

Rebecca Lake is a freelance writer and virtual assistant living in the southeast. She has been writing professionally since 2009 for various websites. Lake received her master's degree in criminal justice from Charleston Southern University.

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