People go to bookstores not just to buy books, but also to browse through books they do not intend to buy, but end up buying anyway when they find it interesting. That is why some bookstores have couches inside to encourage patrons to browse through books comfortably. A Christian bookstore is a good place for people to hang out, especially for the young ones who are just starting to learn about the Scripture. Since there are only a few exclusive Christian bookstores, it is a good business at the same time, a good way to serve and spread the Word. The following tips may be useful in guiding you before opening up a Christian bookstore:
- Find out if there are Christian bookstores already operating in your vicinity. If there are, you might need to look for another area to put up a Christian bookstore. Otherwise, you can proceed to finding a place for your business.
- Decide on the location of your bookstore. It is best to have your Christian bookstore in the business district, at the same time it should also be close to a church and to schools, especially private Christian schools. This will ensure that there is a good amount of Christians in the vicinity who will purchase your books and other items. Your target customers are Christian families, especially children, whose parents find value in purchasing Bible related books and comic books for their kids. Christian books and materials are also good gift items.
- Find out which books and other materials you will sell in the bookstore. Aside from different versions of the Bible, it is good to sell other books such as inspirational stories like The Chicken Soup collection, success stories of well known Christians, personal development and self help books. Music CDs should also a staple product in your bookstore. Christian music is very much in demand especially for young people. Storybooks, comic books and coloring books for the kids should also be available since there are a lot of parents who want to expose their kids to Christian materials early on.
- Find out the requirements needed to put up a bookstore business in your area. You will need to secure permits and licenses from government agencies to put up your Christian bookstore business. If you are going to renovate or put up a building, then you also need to secure a building permit. Find out whether you need to join an association of bookstores and whether you need to pay for membership fees.
- Plan on the launch of your Christian bookstore. It is good to have a grand opening where you get to invite family, friends and future patrons. Have your store and business blessed by a priest or pastor, depending on your denomination, and have some catering and a short program. You can inform the neighborhood by giving out flyers, and have radio stations announce your grand opening. Since you will be opening a Christian bookstore, it makes sense to have some posters put up in churches, schools and establishments. You can also ask permission from churches to announce your grand opening during Sundays so people who go to the services will be informed.