Whatever business you run I am sure that you would prefer it to be debt free. Usually, when we start a new business, we incur start-up costs that we hope to pay off as we progress. This may be for the initial outfit, the stock and/or the marketing of the business. A new business, often requires a campaign to make a splash and let your potential customers know that you now exist. In the book business in retail sales this is no different. You spend money on signage, ads in local papers and niche magazines, you may do a letter drop in your area as well, perhaps offering an introductory special or frequent buyer’s club with discounts on sales.
Designing a Debt Free Bookstore
How do you design a debt free bookstore that can meet these start-up costs and then progress to sustained profitability in the long run? The actual design and fittings of your bookstore are very important to achieving this aim. Unfortunately, one of the major economic pitfalls in a bookshop can be theft, shoplifting of expensive titles by amateur and professional thieves. Books can be very pricey and the loss of considerable stock can adversely affect your bottom line.
Lines of sight, mirrors, security CCTV cameras and where exits are placed in the store can all help minimise the loss of stock through shoplifting. Don’t make it easy for these nefarious individuals to rip you off. The fact is, in a bookshop as a customer service representative, you are often involved in concentrated activities for customers. You might be researching the availability of a particular title via the computer, or gift wrapping a purchase, and, therefore, not scanning the premises for shoplifters at all times; and unless you can afford to pay staff to be on constant look out, you need the design of the shop to help reduce theft.
Another danger in retail are customer and staff accidents. Protecting premises against insurance claims is pretty important in the overall scheme of things. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to think like a lawyer in life. Make sure that fittings are securely built and installed, check them regularly. Flooring is a major potential black hole for unforeseen accidents, make sure that rugs and carpets are secure and not invitations to trip up on. Stock on the shelves must be safely stacked to avoid books falling on customers. Check and recheck everything weekly, if not daily. It pays to be prepared, as the scouts say.