Education Resources

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Operations & Finances: Intro to ABACUS: The Independent Bookstore's Benchmarking Report

Operations & Finances: Intro to ABACUS: The Independent Bookstore's Benchmarking Report (June 28, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Operations & Finances: Intro to ABACUS: The Independent Bookstore's Benchmarking Report at Children's Institute 2019.
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The ABACUS benchmarking report is designed to provide easy-to-understand guidelines for identifying independent bookstore business performance improvement opportunities. If you have never participated in the survey and would like to learn more about reporting to ABACUS-19, which will open in spring 2020, this session will teach you:

  • The importance of reporting to ABACUS
  • Information you need to prepare to complete the report
  • Best practices from booksellers who reported their store's numbers to the 2018 ABACUS
  • Actionable steps to take when you return home to prepare for ABACUS-19
Watch video from this event.

ABACUS and Pre-Orders

ABACUS and Pre-Orders (
March 19, 2019 to April 25, 2019
)
Content related to the education session, ABACUS and Pre-Orders at Spring Forums 2019.
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At each of the 2019 forums, ABA presented “ABACUS and Pre-Orders: Two Programs You Can’t Do Without,” an update on two initiatives critical to the success of any independent bookstore: an active pre-orders campaign and participation in the annual ABACUS financial survey. This educational session will focused on best practices for increasing pre-orders — including the latest on accurately reporting and tracking — based on in-store experiences and feedback from the Pre-Order Booksellers Task Force. 

Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool

Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Using ABACUS as a Budgeting Tool at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon ABACUS Highlights pdf188.33 KB
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ABACUS is a yearly benchmarking survey that gathers essential information and insights on bookstore financials. This unique and actionable data is key to a store’s long-term viability, as it can be used to create budgets and analyze important business questions. Bookseller panelists who regularly submit to ABACUS will explain how they have been able to implement changes based on their ABACUS report. In this session, booksellers will learn:

  • How to read key lines in an ABACUS report
  • How to recognize and make changes in bookstore financials
  • Important points to consider when making short- and long-term budgets based on ABACUS data

Information on how and when to submit your data to participate in the ABACUS report

Watch video from this event.

Lower Your Cost of Goods

Lower Your Cost of Goods (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Lower Your Cost of Goods at Winter Institute 2019.
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Increasing margin through better buying and careful budgeting can improve your cost of goods. This session will use data from ABA’s ABACUS report to outline a path to improvements in a store’s cost of goods, leading to improved financial decisions and substantial savings. The booksellers on this panel are excited to share straightforward financial practices that will make a big difference to the financial health of your business. In this session, booksellers will learn:

  • How to read the ABACUS report, including how to compare your data with national averages
  • How to make small changes to cost of goods that will result in a positive financial impact
  • How long it takes to see the results of small changes to cost of goods
  • How to evaluate which financial changes are the ones that will most benefit your business with the least worry and work
Watch video from this event.

ABACUS 101: Improving Bookstore Operations Through Benchmarking

ABACUS 101: Improving Bookstore Operations Through Benchmarking (January 24, 2018)
Content related to the education session, ABACUS 101: Improving Bookstore Operations Through Benchmarking at Winter Institute 2018.
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PDF icon ABACUS 101413.3 KB
PDF icon Sample P&L219.28 KB
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ABACUS is a yearly benchmarking survey that gathers key information and insights on bookstore financials. Stores that participate in ABACUS know how important this unique and actionable data is to their store’s long-term viability. Industry Insights, the organization that compiles and analyzes the confidential bookstore data, will offer a tutorial on the new ABACUS web portal, review key survey trends and results, and demonstrate how to generate reports to best utilize a store’s data. In addition, booksellers who regularly submit to ABACUS will explain how they have been able to implement changes based on their ABACUS report.

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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