I think I've pretty much decided that I will close when the lease is up in October.
I've got a total of £20k debt (in loan and credit card) to pay off, as well as bills and invoices until I close.
How do I make sure that all this wonderful stock that no one wants to buy goes before my deadline of 24th October? How do I close? How do I close all my accounts? (and yes, I'm pretty sure that I'll have to pay get out fees for phone line and utilities)
I've seen some great posts from you in AIBU and some book related ones recently. You seem a bit more positive. Sorry haven't replied to you directly on them <I tend to lurk more than post, my wpm speed is very low now>
Its not a question of whether anyone could make a success of it though, its about whether someone else thinks they can make a go of it or fancies a try at it. Plenty of folk have a running a bookshop dream and a bit of money to invest. And after all you may be right that if BIWI can't make a go of it nobody can, but there again you may be wrong.
had a few comments on a facebook page that they thought i'd already closed. knew it was a bad plan to allow the paper to run a story...
took £149 on Saturday. but a friend of mine runs a War Gaming event each year and gave me a free table to sell Games Workshop - so I took £75 there on Sunday
I do have a customer database but don't take email addresses. so all the emails I have are from mail order customers - I did a round robin email to them a couple of weeks ago. (no response of course...)
People here don't like competitions where you have to buy something to take part - they really do want something for nothing! we've got a 12-shop prize draw taking place at the moment - it'll be drawn on Carnival Day. We've also roped in a local artist to paint a courtyard wall for us on Carnival Day (me and the cafe next door - they're turning my courtyard into an outside cafe for them, with the theory that it'll attract mutual customers - I just like the fact I don't have to do anything and they look after my space!) - it should bring in a few people I hope! The press will hear about that and hopefully will advertise it in advance.
Could you also run a competition? e.g. spend £x amount (a reasonable figure, say £10?) for the chance to win a bundle of books of your choice, worth £x. Anyone spending £x gets their name put into a hat and you make the draw a week or so later - and get the local paper to cover both the competition and the drawing of the name out of the hat.
Do you have a database of customers? Can you send out an e-mail with this week's offers? I know you do a lot with your Facebook page, but perhaps you need to go to them, rather than them coming to you, IYSWIM. (Sorry if you already do this - just trying to think of some more ideas!)
How irritating that someone has set up a rival bookstall, are there other toy shops around too?
An independent toy shop closed here because Toys R Us did a pop up Christmas shop in the local shopping centre and took 85% of their trade away. The shop manager was bitter because she'd lost all her experienced assistants and would have to return to the original store (5 miles away) as an assistant there.
Since we've had a new shopping centre built, the old parts of town have emptied and the shopping arcades have either emptied or filled with phone shops or charity shops. Big chains have folded too, of course.
I hope people come and buy lots at your summer events x
i had an article in the paper yesterday (weekly paper)
the only shopping centre round here has market stalls available, but they're £3000 a quarter (so the same as you'd pay in rent!) and some random woman has set up a frigging remainders bookstall in there.
I have some friends who emigrated to Australia, and set up a business there dealing in books.
Their first venture was selling second hand books, in markets - in Australia new books are prohibitively expensive. Then they moved into a shop, to get out of the market environment (no doubt fed up with being too hot or too cold and wet too often!) But that was also very expensive. So they started a business then selling books in shopping malls - took a stall in any shopping mall where there wasn't a 'fixed' book shop. Overheads were much lower. They then developed this so that they managed the process (buying stock, organising distribution, etc) and had teams of people dispatched to the various malls around Sydney. Is this something that you could consider?
(the hardest thing is running down the stock - it is just so depressing knowing that I won't be ordering anything else for the shelves, and that I'll probably lose customers because I don't have How to Train Your Dragon for the next 4 months)
I am in the worst possible mood today - and I feel like all the "customers" have been time-wasters and cheapskates. (not that many either)
And I think I already feel like I'm winding down and just don't feel like caring anymore. This is my life and my passion - I love books more than anything else in the whole world, and I feel like I hate them at the moment.
I don't like coffee, it makes me feel sick.
yes, thank you ever so much for all the advice (everyone!) and the good wishes (and sad faces too)
I also had a call from the paper this morning asking if there was anything they could do, but it really is too late now.
and life goes on as normal until September, I suppose.