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Is opening a bookstore a good idea?

I am considering opening a bookstore. I love books and think I would enjoy this type of business. However, I have never run my own business before. I am a single mother with some college background in business. Can a bookstore be profitable? Can it be done, since I am a single mother with three kids or is that a long stretch? Also, the town I live in is very small, but there are no bookstores within 1 1/2 hours. Do you think I should make a go of this or chalk it off to wishful thinking?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Small bookstores may be a dying breed in a world that includes the internet and large chains that can undersell the little guy, but since there is little local competittion, I think success is possible.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You do not say what type of bookstore. We have a # of small bookstores here. And a Barnes and Noble. Costco, Walmart . Lots of places to buy books. The ones that make it, are used books. Usually with a 2nd line of merchandise herbs, scents, teas etc. And an antique section to place stuff on consignment. That store has been here about 20 years. the other is strictly paperback. Take in so many get so many back. Or buy out right. They also have been here 15 years. All the discount book stores are gone. I mean those not with another retailer. It is a very hard business to make a living at. but good luck. Do lots and lots of research.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I love books also. I get most of them from the library and if I find one that I want as a keeper, I usually go online to buy it. I have probably only bought two books in the past year. If you do go with a bookstore, make it a specialty store for either cookbooks or craft books or only certain fiction authors to keep your inventory low and can target other products and services for that niche of customer. You can always special order books not in your inventory if your distributors can offer good pricing and fast delivery. Your business does not always have to compete on price but rather find what the customers want and serve those needs. Make sure you do a complete analysis of potential customers before you open your doors to make sure you are setting up in the right location. Get a decent business plan in action.

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  • 1 decade ago

    There are more bookstores today than ever before, and more books being printed than ever before. You are considering a growing business. If there aren't any bookstores nearby, consider what the demand is -- talk to your local chamber of commerce, among others. Do some internet research (read 'market research') to see if it'll be a go in your community. You might be able to fill a real need for your community, and I hope you find there's a need and that you go ahead and do it. Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I wouldn't want to discourage you because I'm not a retail expert and I don't know your local market for books. If you are going to have the only bookstore within 1.5 hours you could make it work but it's tough to compete with the online stores like Amazon. You might have to sell your books at a higher price than the online competition to make a profit and it might be difficult for you to compete when people realise they can get it cheaper online. Good luck anyway whatever you decide to do.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Joseph J is right, Do your homework about demand, 1.5 hours in the Midwest might be equivalent to 15 minutes in New York City. It depends on where your from, the population, demand, and start up costs. I will say, among the many reasons of failure in new businesses is lack of planning, finances, and passion (hours willing to be spent each day working). Creating a business plan will take a lot of work, but it will allow you to know the feasibility of your endeavor before you invest money into it. Imagine spending money ($100,000) on something, and finding out 6 months down the road that it wasn't feasible. that is what makes a business plan So important. Anyway, good luck with your endeavor, and I wish you the best.

    Source(s): College degree, Management
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  • KC
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    If your town has a library, see if it has much traffic. If not I'd be concerned about opening a bookstore. You might consider a consignment store if there is not one currently. You put the items on eBay or Yahoo acutions and sell and ship for locals.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think you'd be successful given that you have no competition within 1.5 hours drive. The real question is, do the people in your area read much? And will you special order books on request?

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