Bookstore Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Bookstore Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your own bookstore business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their bookstores.

To write a successful bookstore business plan you will first need to decide what type of bookstore you want to open. Will you be a traditional bookstore, a specialty bookstore, a children’s bookstore, a used bookstore, an online bookstore, or a religious bookstore?

You will need to conduct market research about your bookstore and identify market trends within the book industry. This type of information includes data about customer demographics for your target market, a detailed marketing plan, and a financial plan (full financial projections including profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement).

Sample Bookstore Business Plan

The following bookstore business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning plan:

  1. Executive Summary – The Executive Summary is the most important part of your business plan. It is a brief overview of your bookstore, its products and services, potential market opportunity, and competitive advantage.
  2. Company Overview – Also called the Company Analysis, here, you will provide a detailed description of your bookstore, its products and other services, and legal structure.
  3. Industry Analysis – In the Industry Analysis, you will provide an in-depth analysis of the industry in which your bookstore operates including major players in the industry, market size and growth, and profitability.
  4. Customer Analysis – In the Customer Analysis, you will identify your target market and provide insights into their purchasing habits. You will also create customer segments and discuss your marketing strategy for reaching them.
  5. Competitive Analysis – In the Competitive Analysis, you will identify your direct competition and provide insights into their strengths and weaknesses. You will also discuss your competitive advantage and how you plan to stay ahead of the competition.
  6. Marketing Plan – The Marketing Plan includes a discussion of your marketing strategy and tactics along with your pricing strategy. You will also provide a book sales forecast and budget for your marketing activities.
  7. Operations Plan– In the Operations Plan, you will discuss your bookstore’s day-to-day operations. You will also provide your business goals that you plan to achieve and a budget for your operating expenses.
  8. Management Team – In this section, you will provide a brief overview of your management team and their experience in the industry.
  9. Financial Plan – In this section, you will provide a three-year financial statement for your bookstore. This will include your income statement, projected balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Bookstore Business Plan FAQs

A bookstore business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your bookstore. Among other things, a business plan outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial forecasts.

You can easily complete your bookstore business plan using our Bookstore Business Plan Template here.

There are many types of bookstores to consider when writing your business plan. Many stores are independently owned and carry a variety of new books from many different publishers. Independent bookstores are able to dictate which authors and genres they want to sell in their store. Other retail bookstores are large national retail stores that have a wide selection of books and accessories. There are also bookstores that focus exclusively on used books to sell. They accept donations of books and sell them at a discount price.

The primary source of revenue for bookstores is the products sold at the store.

The key expenses for a bookstore are the cost of purchasing the product inventory. Other expenses are the overhead costs for employees, rent, utilities, and any marketing for the store.

When opening a bookstore, you will need to do the following:

  1. Write a business plan and track your progress. This will help you stay organized and on task.
  2. Secure funding. This can be done through investors, a small business loan, or personal savings/equity.
  3. Choose a location. This should be based on your target customer, what's available in the area, and your budget.
  4. Stock your shelves with books. You can order them from distributors or buy them used from other bookstores.
  5. Market your business. Use social media, print advertising, and word-of-mouth to get the word out about your store.

Learn more about how to open a bookstore:

Bookstores, along with other similar businesses in the industry, are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your bookstore business plan to them. Another option for a bookstore is to obtain a small business loan. Outside investors, crowdfunding, and/or friends or family are other typical funding options.

This is also true for online bookstores, used bookstores, and independent booksellers seeking funding.