Like how we have enough customers for different products in the market, there are so man people out in the market who read and refer books on a regular basis. Reading is one basic activity in anybody’s life which cannot be stopped at any point of time.

I should say, the habit of reading has been increasing in the past few years and can be witnessed in the young crowd. Why to own a business in this domain? It is simply none other than the demand and profit elements in it.

Bookstores prove to generate appreciable amounts of money and it is highly consistent. Consistency may be due to the external forces like school rules, consequent versions of a book being released etc.

IN case of school rules, you are to understand that academic books are also one important type to be stocked in any bookstore. In fact, they make up about 30% of the monthly sales.

Coming to what you need to start this business, let us understand the nature of this business. A bookstore business may look simple at a look but in depth has a lot of backend work that has to be done.

I would say, out of all the activities in this business procuring books for sales is the hardest. It takes a lot of patience and efforts that has to be put in at the right time.

Stocking up books which are of no use will make neither make sense nor make your time and space productive. Amidst all these complex issues, entrepreneurs still attempt to make an entry in this business considering the profits associated to it.

As mentioned earlier, there exists a promising career that will never put you in loss if executed in the right way. One good advantage of the business is that, it shows amazing results irrespective of the age of the business.

For this, you should have adequate supply of books under all niches. Investment can be approximately $75000 to setup a medium-sized, highly designed bookstore.

Business registration and licenses

To all the entrepreneurs, business registration is a mantra that is being heard often. Of course, it is a mantra which is inevitable in any type of business.

Business registrations should never be skipped as you will regret it later when you have to legally deal an issue. The first thing to consider before they admit your suit or your opponent’s suit is the registration of the business without which furtherance in the case is impossible.

Next comes you licensing step. Licenses may be a big deal in other businesses, but in a book store the case is not so. You will be required to obtain a retail license and with that your work is done.

This simple process can be done by visiting the government’s business website of your country. With that processes of legal registration of your business terminates.


Locations can be chosen according to your choice, however there is one uncontrollable force that makes change in the desired location. It is the availability of land or space for rent. It is not an easy task to do all these at the neck of the moment.

If you have any particular site in your mind, then work for it. For example, you might think of owning a business in the heart of the city and you haven’t even attempted to enquire about available spaces. This scenario purely depicts the inability of yours to book a location.

That external force of availability can be avoided if you make plans in advance. Where exactly should you own your bookstore? Find the potential customers for your business. In this business, your target customers should be students and corporate workers.

Now it is simple to choose an appropriate location. Start it either near a school or in the buildings of corporate offices. Corporate companies will definitely have a minimum of 3 shops for cafeteria, snacks etc. You make a booking there, and start a book store.

It is one of the most lucrative ideas which drives sales and brings in more customers in a very short span of time. In this case, you don’t really have to worry about the customers outside the corporate office as you will have enough of people buying books and magazines. I guess now you will have an idea of how right locations can induce sales.

Estimates of expenses

We say planning is an important part of management but we always fail to do it. Skipping the planning phase can often put you in trouble by increasing the time of operation and wastage of money.

A planned work definitely makes a difference in the costs that are to incur while doing the work. For example, consider a company which is run without proper planning of investment. There is a hike in sales and the business demands an expansion.

Even after this positive sign, the owner of the business will be unable to expand the business as he has not planned for additional investment previously. He becomes incapable of using even the income he got out of the business.

Thus, make sure you clearly draft what has to be done before it is started. Now, let us learn about making proper estimates for every single element that makes up your bookstore. The following are some of the areas where a particular amount of money is to be allocated to each.

  • Store rent
  • Utilities and basic amenities
  • Fixtures
  • Business cards and banners
  • Operating expenses for each month
  • Salary for sales man
  • Stocking expenses
  • Procuring expenses
  • Store maintenance expenses for each month

Now what happens after you make monetary allocations for these elements? The answer is simple. You spend the particular fixed amount in all these areas and will end up in having money in hand which is free and not likely to be spent in any further activity.

It is like a free way and it gives you the liberty to think beyond the regular activities. This benefit might look simpler, but makes wonders in the way you carry out your business.

Procurement of books for the store

Here comes the pivotal part of the business that has the capacity to enhance the profits you can make. Procurement of books is undoubtedly the one and only activity that supports the survival of your book store.

Like other businesses, you can not wait until a dealer approaches you to order products for your store. Bookstore business is successful only if you make efforts to find and order books at the right time. Regular follow up of book releases and new authors takes your business to heights.

It is a critical process of procuring books because, books hold a value for itself. This implies that beyond the costs of producing a book, the inner value of it is more. Passionate readers will always think of reading a book at the earliest time once it is released in the market.

Of course, they will opt the original copy to read. This is where your early procurement planning and follow up benefit you. Books will be printed in considerable quantities but thinking in a wide perspective, the copies are often less and it becomes hard for all the bookstores to order them.

You might not witness this is academic books, but in case of books from famous authors there exists this problem. Have all these in mind, so that you don’t halt in any phase of the business due to reasons of insufficient books.

Also, make sure that you stock all the different types of books in your store. No customer should be left dissatisfied because of unavailability of the desired book. Some of the genres of books essential in any bookstore are,

  • Science fiction
  • Satire
  • Drama
  • Horror
  • Guide
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Competitive exams
  • Art
  • Diaries
  • Series
  • Trilogy
  • Fantasy
  • Biographies
  • Autobiographies
  • Anthology
  • Poetry
  • Encyclopaedias
  • Prayer books
  • Journals
  • Comics
  • History
  • Religion

Arrangement of books

A lot of entrepreneurs owning book stores will often forget to even talk about arrangement. I have to make a point clear here. Arrangement is something that has the capacity of creating a huge impact in the business operations, both positive and negative.

This is the reason for taking or briefing about arrangement under a separate sub-head. Understand that your business is embedded with books that can be placed under a number of categories. And in that too, each category will have sub-divisions within itself.

Imagine the complexity and you will understand how important it is to keep your books arranged in a specific order. I have mentioned about the impact of arrangement in the costs of your business. Let us get understood about it by a simple example.

Consider a man approaching your bookstore to buy a book of a particular title and author. You, having your store randomly arranged will not be able to retrieve the book that has been demanded.

You take time to search and at times you will not be sure even if the asked book exists in your store or not. In such a case, the following negative impacts can happen.

  • Customer leaves the shop dissatisfied
  • The book remains in the shop carrying the holding cost
  • The book loses the value due to time passage
  • The book swallows in the procurement cost
  • There is a revenue decrease due to block in sales
  • Overstocking

These problems show how much time and money are wasted due to unordered manner of books in the store. A proper arrangement can give the opposite impacts of the mentioned negative impacts.

Profits Margin

The profit margin of a bookstore business in India depends on several factors, including the nature of business operations (e.g. online or offline), the size and location of the store, the pricing structure, and the overall market conditions. Typically, bookstores in India are able to achieve a profit margin of 10%-15%. However, depending on the store’s geographical location and the quality of its services, this margin may vary significantly.

It is a challenge for all the book store owners to survive in the market after the advent of online book reading facilities. If you think deep, there exists a number of demerits to online books. The most primary demerit is the possession of those books.

It is not possible for students at school or college to study the entire subject from the internet. Also, the time consumed in learning from an internet source is higher than conventional. Another drawback is the tradition of collecting books.

Senior citizens make up the highest percentage of this group. Reading alone is not their intention. Collecting books and storing them up for some personal purpose is one reason why online books are not chosen. All these will tell you the how competent you have to be by owning a physical book store.

On the other side, there is a need for you to match with the trend too. Amidst all these drawbacks, there exists one group of people who are truly addicted to online books.

These people find it easier to find their books online and read them without involving the activities of searching, transportation, etc. Here you should understand that the drawbacks of online books were mentioned only to show your stand important in the domain and not to stick only to physical stores.

On an average your profit margin will be 40% in a book store. This reasonable figure allows you to expand your business and make it available online. Online book store can cut down costs of maintenance and inventory. Also, it overcomes geographical barriers and connects to global customers.

About 30% of the annual sales of a book store comes from online sales. Apart from these, you can improvise your business by setting up a cafeteria in your premises.

A café connects and is more relatable to a reading place. It can definitely attract your customers as they will find your place enhanced than other book stores in the market. For this, additional licenses may require and certain regulations should be followed.

Think about augmented features like these so that your business is elevated to a higher position in the market with less promotional expenses. Value added services or elements like these allow you to increase the price of the book and thereby there is an increase in the total income.


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