Choose the type of bookstore you want to open before developing a business plan. A community overloaded with chain bookstores offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs who open religious, used and specialty bookstores.
Examine your interests and personality to develop a public face for your bookstore. The name, logo and slogan for your bookstore should reflect the type of books available as well as the buying atmosphere awaiting consumers.
File for a new business license with municipal and state agencies before proceeding any further. An owner will need to supply photos on potential retail spaces, money for filing fees and information about the proposed business to receive this license.
Balance rental costs with location when searching for your store's retail space. Locate independent bookstores in dense residential areas and shopping centers that ensure high amounts of traffic. This space should have restrooms, storage space and large open rooms that are usable for an incoming bookstore.
Connect with reliable sources of book, newspaper and magazine inventory before worrying about a bookstore's interior design. Wholesalers such as Bookazine--as well as direct connections to publishers--are invaluable to store owners who want new books. Every store should think about buyback programs, donations and book swaps as additional sources of used books for customers.
Decorate the interior of your bookstore creatively to appeal to artists, writers and readers. Creative owners should speak with art students and schools about mural and shelving projects that are instructional for young artists. This relationship supplies a new store with inexpensive design pieces and creates a connection with the local community.
Install several reading areas throughout the store to encourage consumers to sample books and magazines. Each area should have reading lamps, tables and chairs to create a comfortable environment for prospective buyers.
Hire a small staff of reliable employees several weeks before opening your bookstore. An owner should look for two or three managers with experience in bookselling along with several part-time cashiers and stockers. These employees can help with stocking shelves, setting out decorations and creating word of mouth advertising before the store's opening day.
Organize an opening day event to encourage first-time visitors to return for additional purchases and special orders. This day-long event should feature discounts on specific books, visits by local authors and coupons for future purchases to stand out from existing bookstores.
Aim creative advertisements for your bookstore at high-impact areas before the opening day event. Brochures, simple posters and opening day coupons should be distributed to colleges and libraries frequented heavily by local readers.