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Visiting a bookstore is an incredible experience for book lovers; it allows them to touch, smell and see the book. You cannot compare the same feeling to reading an eBook. Physical bookstores have been experiencing a constant decline since the late 90s, ever since Amazon started selling books online. Many of our readers may wonder – How to open a bookstore cafe in 2022?
Despite stiff competition from eCommerce heavyweights, brick and mortar bookstores have stood their ground. However, they need to revise their strategy to appeal to customers & keep themselves alive.
How to open a bookstore cafe in 2022 is what most readers would be thinking right now. Books may be enough for book lovers, but a bookstore cafe can help you draw in more customers. Furthermore, you can generate income through an alternative income source while serving your core bookstore audience.
This blog will discuss the steps to open a bookstore cafe from scratch. Without further ado, let us get started.
Starting a bookstore cafe from scratch can be a challenging task. Nonetheless, you need to know how to run a bookstore and a coffee shop. You may want to take one thing at a time. Understand how to open a bookstore and run it efficiently while the café aspect can be added later.
You can also choose to work simultaneously on opening a bookstore & coffee shop. Note that you will require more resources & put in more work for the latter. Opening these businesses is hard enough, but ensuring their success is harder.
Do not make the mistake of prioritizing one business over the other because you never know which stream could generate more income. Some customers may visit for the coffee & snacks, while others may come exclusively for the books.
Considering the unique nature of a coffee shop bookstore, you need to pay attention to both aspects of the business. As time passes, you may have to diversify your product range or focus more on things that bring in more profits. The following are the 12 steps for opening a coffee shop bookstore.
Every business requires extensive research, which is valid for a bookstore coffee shop. Find out what other coffee shop bookstores do and how they conduct business. Talk to a few coffee bookstore owners and get their opinion.
Do not expect them to give out their business secrets, but you can get a fair idea of how they do business. By merely looking at the coffee shop bookstore’s ambiance, you can see what they do and if it is working for them. Bear in mind that copying some coffee bookstore’s styles and products is not advisable.
In 2022, customers are clever, and they will not visit your coffee shop bookstore if you are not creative or provide anything of value. Research your target market, keep track of the emerging trends, and create a robust business plan. Do not try anything flashy or take unnecessary risks. It is good to be creative and remember that your main aim is to run a profitable business.
because blue-collar workers may not be voracious readers. Neither will they spend money on exotic coffee, cupcakes, donuts, and smoothies. Similarly, it is hard to target office workers in busy shopping districts. Even though you may have a lot of foot traffic, it can become hard to drive sales.
If your target market is students, find a suitable location near a school/college/university where customers will visit your coffee shop bookstore for books and titbits. Apart from the target market, it would help to focus on other aspects like neighboring businesses and accessibility.
The presence of other businesses around the area could affect the fate of your business. The location you choose for your coffee shop bookstore must be easy to get to because nobody wants to spend hours stuck in traffic.
When choosing a location for your bookstore coffee shop, you should be aware of the zoning requirements. Depending on your geographical location, the government will have zoning and developmental regulations in place, and these regulations are enforced to ensure public health and safety.
For instance, you may not want to live next to a factory that manufactures industrial chemicals or conduct business next to an animal farm. A particular business sector or establishment may pose health hazards and risks to people in the vicinity. Zoning laws and regulations keep businesses and residences away from these risks. (Example below)
Zoning laws also dictate how you utilize your property, even in a commercial zone. These laws also cover noise restrictions, size, construction & proximity of buildings, parking requirements, signage restrictions, etc. Failing to comply with these zoning requirements can result in fines.
A coffee shop bookstore requires obtaining permits necessary for a bookstore and a cafe. For example, a bookstore cafe in America requires permits like a business license, occupancy certificate, foodservice license, food handler’s permit, music license, seller’s permit, and others. Understand what permits are required in your country/city and sort them out.
Running a bookstore cafe has unique challenges because you run a coffee shop and a bookstore. If the challenges are exceptional, the solutions should be innovative. Search for a bookstore cafe POS system. In 2022, you will find POS systems for several businesses. Do not settle for a generic POS system for small businesses. You need to identify your bookstore’s needs and choose accordingly.
Conduct a Google search to find local companies that provide customized POS solutions. Do not postpone this, thinking that you can do it later. Your cafe bookstore coffee shop needs to move in the right direction from day one. Talk to a business/technology expert if required.
Renting or buying a commercial property may not be feasible for all. A lease is an excellent solution. Not only does it give you a good deal, but it also communicates the landlord’s requirements effectively, thereby maintaining transparency. (Example below)
Do not think you will find a magical, foolproof guide online to teach you how to open a coffee shop bookstore. It all depends on the location, your vision, target market, and many other factors. When you open your bookstore cafe, do not think about whether it is more of a cafe or more of a bookstore. Embrace the best of both worlds while playing to your strengths. In this way, you can cater to your customers in the best possible manner.
A bookstore cafe is a hybrid business that combines a coffee shop and bookstore elements. Hence, it would be best if you had equipment and infrastructure that addresses the needs of both businesses. We discuss bookstore cafe is a hybrid business that combines a coffee shop and bookstore elements. Hence, it would be best if you had equipment and infrastructure that addresses the needs of both businesses. We discussed the need for a customized bookstore coffee shop POS in one of the earlier points. Investing in a specialized bookstore POS eliminates the need for separate inventory management software because this feature is already present in a POS solution.
However, your cafe bookstore also needs a front counter, bookshelves, armchairs, automatic drip coffeemakers, ovens & toasters, refrigerators & freezers, containers, and many other things to function optimally. Look at the setup of the bookstore cafe below; they have nailed it right.
Prepare a checklist of what you may require and buy them from a supplier who can offer you a bulk discount.
Hiring inexperienced staff at your coffee shop bookstore would be a blunder. Experienced staff may demand more remuneration, but they know how to do their job. Train your staff to use the bookstore cafe’s equipment, including the POS system. You will see fantastic results with the right mix of knowledge, experience, and attitude.
You have everything that a successful bookstore cafe needs, but very few people know about it. What can you do to draw more people to your business? Develop a foolproof marketing plan. These are a few noteworthy points you should consider while creating a marketing plan.
What more can you do to make your coffee shop bookstore stand out? You can spruce it up to make it more appealing to customers. Secondly, you can boost your branding efforts to ensure that your bookstore cafe is pet-friendly and provides free Wi-Fi. Finally, highlight your establishment on social media and tie up with food delivery apps to boost sales.
discounts or exclusive offers to capture people’s attention and encourage them to purchase from you. If you plan to invite eminent personalities or esteemed institutions to your bookstore coffee shop, send out invitations three weeks in advance to give them time to plan their schedule.
In 2022, bookstores must reinvent themselves to sustain competition from online giants and chain stores. Even though e-books are popular with the younger generation and others, many people like picking books off the shelves and getting lost in a different world. Customers will get free Wi-Fi, delicious snacks, and a plethora of exciting books. What more could one ask for at a bookstore coffee shop?
Opening a bookstore cafe is not easy because it involves a lot of thought and planning. Use our tips to make this process easier. Research these aspects before you jump into the bookstore cafe industry.
Now you know how to open a bookstore cafe. You know where to go if you need a POS system for your bookstore coffee shop.
Further, if you wish to learn more about the capabilities of a Bookstore POS –