Most of us yearn to be independent and that’s why we seek jobs, but some people don’t like to work for others and like further freedom in making their own decisions. For these people, a business venture is a great idea.
So you want to start your own business? Already decided you want to start a bookstore but don’t know where to start? Well, start by reading this article about how to start a bookstore business in India where we’ll give you a head start about how to go about your new bookstore.
Brick & Mortar or Online
Firstly you have to decide where and how you want to sell your books. At the present moment internet presence in India is pretty high among book lovers and these same people also like to visit more traditional brick and mortar bookshops. The choice is yours, but you would do better to start off with a Brick and Mortar store and sell over the counter and double it up as your storehouse while making online sales side by side. This will enable you to reach out to a pan Indian customer base.
There are many great websites where you can register as a bookseller- amazon.in, flipkart.com, eBay.in, being the more famous ones. If you provide good service, you might even become one of the preferred sellers on these sites, with customers receiving added protection from the site if they buy through you. This will ensure that you get more traffic sent your way.
The second step is to decide what type and genre of books you are going to be selling. You have to do a bit of research to find out the fast- selling categories and the categories with a steady demand. For example, you can choose to sell academic books pertaining to medicine, accounts, law, etc. if you want to ensure a steady flow of revenue to your store. However, if you prefer to have books flying off the shelves and heavy sales, then you should opt for more general books like popular fiction, classics and interesting non-fiction. It’s also better to take this path if you don’t have much technical knowledge that’s needed to sell professional books.
Inbound and Outbound Logistics
After you have decided on the type of books you want to sell, you should approach book distributors and publishers with your portfolio and enter into supplying agreements with them. This is an important part of a business as the entire business function depends on providing adequate supply for meeting demand. In India, every major city has a book market, e.g., College Street in Kolkata or Daryaganj in Delhi. These markets are filled with book wholesalers’ and distributors’ offices. You secure contracts from these markets as they are in loop with latest market trends and changes and this can give your store an added advantage.
Some of your customers might want the books delivered to their homes. For such cases you need to put in place a good delivery system. We don’t mean something fancy, but a system through which books can be sent without damage to reach the customer in time. A good outbound logistics system like this will also come in handy when books from your store are ordered online.
Knowing About Books
Technically, this section should have come first in this article since it’s the most important part of owning and running a bookstore, but since we were going step by step, we had to put it last. So the best step is for last and it says that you must know about books very well in order to run a bookstore in India.
By very well, we mean very very well- you must be just as passionate about books as your customers. In India, customers are often on the lookout for new books and for books they want but they can’t remember the name or author of. In such cases, it will greatly impress them if you help them to find their book or tell them the name they had forgotten or not known. Book lovers like to bond over books and this would be a great way to bond with your customers and ensure steady revenue to your stores by knowing what your customers want and when they want it.
I hope this article will help you to start your own bookstore business in India. Remember, everything starts small so don’t fret, just enjoy the company of books and your customers. Make sure you also read articles related to various other business opportunities in India present on this blog.