Adapting Your Bookselling Business To Stay Profitable, Stay Viable, Stay Alive

"Business is a process, not an entity. Successful businesses are those that continually adapt to changes in the marketplace, the industry, the economy, and the culture. They behave more like organisms than organizations, shifting and growing and dividing and combining as needed..."
-- from "The Brand Gap" by Marty Neumeier

So how is your online bookshop adapting to changes?

Are your shifting? Growing? Combining?

Do you think of your used book business as something you own? Or does your business own you?

The peculiar nature of selling on new online platforms, where you are a third-party seller -- i.e., Amazon.com, Half.com, Ebay.com, your local Facebook yardsale group -- means you have to keeping evolving, adapting, improving.

Are you regularly reviewing how you can improve? How you can buying books cheaper? Source better books with higher margin? Ship book orders for less? Avoid duds? Add new lines of merchandise? Diversify?

If you're not getting ready to quit, you need to get started growing.

Someone was quoted once as saying: "Life is like a wheelbarrow -- it stands still unless someone pushes it."

You are the one who will push your business. You are in charge of the heaving lifting. You are the only one who cares.

And, that's a unique opportunity that you can grab onto today, to push your business into new territory, to lift your business to the next level, to make it take you to where you want to go.

It's not easy. As they say, "The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work."

But it is worth the effort.

Source more books at better prices. Cull out old books that have turned into penny-book duds. Tell everyone you meet that you are adding to your collection. When you are at a yard sale, say these words: "Do you have any other books for sale?" You'd be surprised how often they'll bring out boxes and boxes of good quality books you can resell for good profits.

Post your used book inventory as soon as you buy it; don't delay and get behind. It costs you money when you have inventory boxed up, unlisted, in your basement, your garage, in the corner of your office. Go to work. Get them listed. Sell them asap!

And, never give up. Sometimes it might get discouraging when sales lag and you think nobody's ever going to buy another book. But that feeling will pass with the next used book you sell. Remember, this is a process. You are learning, growing, adapting and expanding. Keep at it. You will succeed.

Keep this advice in mind as you go forward: "The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way you used them."