Business Plan for Starting a Book Store


A good book store business plan covers all of the business basics. It describes the business itself, outlines marketing plans and covers financial aspects as well as business management details.

Store Description

  • The first section of the book store business plan describes the store. Is it an "on-line store" (on the Internet) or is it a "bricks and mortar" store in a mall or other physical location? Will the store sell new books, used books or both? Some book stores also sell movies and music. Will other media be sold as well? When will the store be open? What types of payment will be accepted?

Competition and Demand

  • Defining the competition and assessing the demand for a book store is another vital element of the book store business plan. Demand assessment reveals whether of not there is a potential customer base within the chosen location. If an area is already saturated with book stores, it doesn't make sense to open another unless there is something very unique and special about the planned book store. If there are competitors, the plan should detail competition information. What are they doing wrong? What are they doing right? What can be improved upon? How will this be done?


  • Stocking the book store will be an important part of setup. Where will inventory for the book store come from? Will books be purchased at local auctions or on-line auctions? Will accounts be established with vendors who supply book stores? Will customers be able to bring in books for sale or trade? What type of fees will be involved in acquiring inventory? How much time will be involved in getting the store stocked initially?


  • Marketing is all about getting the word out. Gaining customers and growing the customer base are vital elements of business success. In this section of the business plan, it's time to detail what will be involved in marketing. What type of resources are available? Which of them will be used? Classified ads, television, radio, mail and email are just a few of the usual methods. Special promotions and coupons are additional ways to let the world know the book store is open.


  • The financial section of the business plan includes more than the operating budget. This section details everything related to the financial aspects. If loan applications are being made, the information goes here. A detailed list of available funds is followed by an itemized listing of expected expenses. Rent, equipment, inventory, wages, utilities and every other accounts payable item should be accounted for. Once the business is in operation, current reports including profit and loss statements, go here.


  • No matter where a business is located or what type of business it is, there's paperwork to be completed. Business name forms, licenses, permits, professional fees, contracts with vendors and other transactions must be completed. All required documentation should be a part of the business plan. Local and state requirements, space and equipment rental, advertising contracts and all other requirements should be detailed, along with any applicable deadlines or additional fees.


  • The management section of the book store business plan includes both who and how information. This is where resumes and experience of those doing the managing are entered, as well as who will perform what duties and how those duties will be performed. If the book store is a one-person operation, there's less work involved here. If, however, different individuals will be handling stocking, hiring, sales, marketing and other activities, all pertinent details should be included.

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