The atmosphere of a bookstore invites customers to relax and explore the shelves. Add a cup of hot coffee to the mix and those customers are loyal for life. Starting a coffee shop in a bookstore takes planning and organization. Inventory must be kept fresh and customer preferences must be taken into account. Marketing your business to the local community, as well as developing an online sales presence, will help you grow your bookstore into a successful business.
Steps to start a coffee bookstore business
1. Choose a location and name for the business.
Make sure the location has well-lit areas, shelf space, and an area where the seat can be placed. Although Houston does not have a zoning code, its planning department has rules and regulations regarding the required number of parking spaces for each type of business, construction height and width restrictions, and other limits regarding land use. Check with the planning department to make sure your plans meet city mandates.
2. Establish relationships with book sellers.
Decide if you want to sell new books, used books, or a combination of both. If you are going to offer magazines you will need to develop relationships with the magazine wholesalers. Once you know the type of inventory you want to carry, set up delivery. Most booksellers have lists that they recommend and groups of books within specific genres that they can send to stock their shelves. Choose your specific book preferences and options and have starting inventory delivered before opening. Fill the shelves. Acquire computer software designed to track inventories. As each book is sold, the computer will reduce your inventory by one and set off a reorder flag when a particular book title becomes low in stock.
3. Place comfortable chairs around several tables in the area where coffee and cakes will be sold.
It should be well lit so that customers can view books and magazines while having coffee. Choose various flavors of coffee, as well as cakes, and hire vendors to provide those items to your store with regular deliveries.
4. Hire a graphic artist to design a logo for your store.
Give him the desired concept and then choose from the options you design and have him revise the logo until it is what you are looking for. For example, if your store will be called “Houston’s Book Bonanza,” your logo could be a background outline of the state of Texas with a book or two placed over Houston on the outline and your store name placed on top of the outline. from Texas. Print flyers, posters, and brochures that use your store’s name and logo. Design a website around that logo. If you are going to sell books online and ship them to customers, decide whether to incorporate the shipping cost into the price or have the customer pay for shipping separately.
5. Schedule a grand opening for your bookstore cafeteria.
It should be several weeks after opening the doors, to give you time to resolve any issues. Invite the public to the opening and be sure to have discounts on that day to attract purchases. Sending out invitations three weeks before the opening to dignitaries like the Houston City Council or members of the Houston Chamber of Commerce gives them time to mark their calendars and plan to attend.
- Schedule regular story times for children and their parents.
- Bring storytellers to read books or tell stories to children.
- Offer to be the gathering place for community book and writing groups. Remind each group that you require advance notice to store any books they require.