Education Resources

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Operations & Finances: Utilizing Co-op

Operations & Finances: Utilizing Co-op (June 28, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Operations & Finances: Utilizing Co-op at Children's Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Utilizing Coop Presentation (PDF)4.96 MB
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“Co-op” is a word booksellers often hear from publishers, but it can be quite confusing to try to decipher what it is. In this session, bookstores that maximize their spending using co-op dollars will share with attendees:

  • What co-op is
  • Where co-op comes from
  • How a store can save by using their accrued co-op dollars
Watch video from this event.

Operations & Finances: Categories and Sub-categories for Inventory Maintenance and Control

Operations & Finances: Categories and Sub-categories for Inventory Maintenance and Control (June 28, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Operations & Finances: Categories and Sub-categories for Inventory Maintenance and Control at Children's Institute 2019.
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Optimize your bookstore search and reordering process by implementing tags and keywords for categories and sub-categories in your point-of-sale system, Edelweiss, and in staff reference documents. Attendees of this session will learn:

  • The benefits of using tags and keywords
  • Tag and keyword suggestions
  • Best practices for implementing tags and keywords
  • How to get staff involved
Watch video from this event.

Programming & Partnerships: Customer Loyalty Programs

Programming & Partnerships: Customer Loyalty Programs (June 28, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Programming & Partnerships: Customer Loyalty Programs at Children's Institute 2019.
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There’s nothing like walking into your favorite bookstore and being on a first-name basis with the staff. Why not say, “Thank you for being a friend,” and reward customers’ loyalty with a frequent buyer card, membership subscription, or other benefit program that will keep them coming back over and over again? A panel of booksellers with robust customer loyalty programs will share:

  • Background on their store’s customer loyalty programs
  • How to create a program that rewards the customer but also the store
  • How to onboard customers
  • How to market the program
  • How to integrate a new program into your store’s culture
Watch video from this event.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Conducting a Diversity Audit

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Conducting a Diversity Audit (June 28, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Conducting a Diversity Audit at Children's Institute 2019.
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Representation matters. #OwnVoices matters. As bearers of knowledge and information for children, it is imperative that a bookstore’s inventory reflects the experiences of all kinds of people to cultivate cultural awareness and engender empathy in youth. One step toward a more inclusive collection of books is to conduct a diversity audit on your store’s inventory. This session will teach attendees how to:

  • Assess their inventory
  • Conduct an audit
  • Identify where attention needs to be focused
  • Use an audit to inform the ordering process
Watch video from this event.

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.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Representation in Store Culture and Why It Matters

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Representation in Store Culture and Why It Matters (June 27, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Representation in Store Culture and Why It Matters at Children's Institute 2019.
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Bookstores are important fixtures in every community. They serve as places to gather, to find and research new ideas, to explore new worlds, and to find refuge. But bookstores can also be intimidating for people who are underrepresented by the makeup of a store's staff That’s why it is important for a store to not only reflect its immediate community but also the larger community. In this session, HR leaders will share with attendees:

  • The importance of hiring a diverse staff
  • The impact a diverse staff has within the store and on the greater community
  • How to find great bookstore employee candidates outside your store’s community
Watch video from this event.

Operations & Finances: Small Acts for Financial Gain

Operations & Finances: Small Acts for Financial Gain (June 27, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Operations & Finances: Small Acts for Financial Gain at Children's Institute 2019.
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When your wallet is slim and margins are small, every penny counts. But there are little things that can be done every single day to boost a bookstore’s bottom line. Bookstore panelists who have effectively pinched a penny here and saved a penny there will teach attendees:

  • How to identify small costs that add up
  • Where to look for savings
  • Small actions booksellers can take to impact overall savings and sales
Watch video from this event.

Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity

Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Expect the Unexpected: Planning for Store Longevity at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Planning for Store Longevity pdf48.31 KB
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The ability to stay in business for decades—and longer—means weathering change by staying adaptable and flexible. Customer relationships and sales are just part of the equation that can ensure the longevity of a business and even turn it into a celebrated, longstanding institution. Careful planning and understanding of your store’s resources, a flexible business plan, continuously improving operations, and a culture that willingly embraces change in order to adapt and improve are all factors that influence where your business will be around in 5, 10, or 20 years—or more. A a panel of longtime booksellers will lead this not-to-be-missed conversation.

Managing a Multi-Location Business

Managing a Multi-Location Business (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Managing a Multi-Location Business at Winter Institute 2019.
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If you are thinking about opening a second location -- or if you have recently done so -- this session is for you. A panel of experts who have been through the process will share tips and provide insight on how to know if opening a second store is the correct decision for your business, and if so, how to navigate the process. The topics discussed will include:

  • Review: Make sure your business is currently financially stable
  • Resources: monetary, staffing, and current owner responsibilities
  • Financing: Accessing traditional financing and other options

Market research: Ensuring your choice for the second location is sound

Watch video from this event.

Mixing Bookstores and Bars

Mixing Bookstores and Bars (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Mixing Bookstores and Bars at Winter Institute 2019.
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Independent bookstores are champions of innovation when it comes to business models. For the last few years, many bookstores have added bars to their business model by blending books with booze. This session will feature booksellers from both small and large stores who have experienced the successes and challenges of this business model.

Watch video from this event.

Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers

Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Do We Need to Talk? ​Surviving the Political ​& Cultural ​Divide With Your Co-Workers at Winter Institute 2019.
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Divisive political commentary and ongoing reports of cultural and social misconduct continue to be highlighted in both national and local media. Because bookstores are both unique meeting places and businesses, many booksellers are struggling with how to navigate the resulting personal and professional pressures. What are the questions that owner/managers and staff should be asking that can lead to fruitful discussions and solutions? If you have found yourself thinking about this and discussing it with colleagues, please join the conversation. Facilitated by a professional moderator, this is an opportunity for booksellers to participate in this important discussion.

Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills

Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Developing Leaders in Your Store With Alden Mills at Winter Institute 2019.
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Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Register here As a bookstore owner or manager, having multiple responsibilities means your to-do list is never done. And as your business grows, your days only get longer. In order to keep your sanity, you need staff who can take on more responsibilities and grow with the business, providing leadership in your store and possessing the confidence to represent your store in the community. For this to happen, you need employees who can think strategically, take initiative, and feel empowered to solve problems. Alden Mills—Inc. 500 CEO, Navy SEAL, and author of Unstoppable Teams: The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership (HarperBusiness)—will teach important strategies you can apply immediately to develop leaders in your stores. You’ll walk away with Alden’s C.A.R.E.-based model that focuses on building relationships in four ways—with customers, co-workers, and community. This Advanced Education Session is designed for in-depth exploration among peers about management and operational concerns. Space is limited and registration is first-come, first-served. Each ABA member company is limited to two AES participants. ABA will attempt to accommodate all interested stores with at least one AES placement; assignments will be e-mailed prior to the start of Winter Institute. Presented twice on Thursday, 1/24: 9:20 to 10:20 am and 3:40 to 4:40 pm.

Watch video from this event.

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project

Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Bookstores Launch the Open Discussion Project at Winter Institute 2019.
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As part of the pilot program of the Open Discussion project, five independent bookstores will be launching reading groups in the fall of 2018 with the goal of bringing liberals and conservatives together to discuss the issues that divide them. The Open Discussion Project is sponsored by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) in partnership with ABA. NCAC and ABA are inviting booksellers to join the Open Discussion Project when it goes national next year. A panel of booksellers who are participating in the pilot will discuss their experience.

Watch video from this event.

Your Landlord, Your Business Partner

Your Landlord, Your Business Partner (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Your Landlord, Your Business Partner at Winter Institute 2019.
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Your landlord can be one of the most important influencers on the success of your business, but this critical relationship is often only considered when the rent is due or when it’s time to sign the lease. Bookstore owners who have experienced the positive results of cultivating the landlord relationship will share their experiences and explore effective strategies for landlord relations. Panelists will discuss:

  • Best practices for improving landlord relationships
  • Tips for turning your landlord into an advocate for your business as well as indie businesses in your community
  • Tips for lease negotiations
Watch video from this event.

Industry Trends and Analytics

Industry Trends and Analytics (January 23, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Industry Trends and Analytics at Winter Institute 2019.
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Industry experts present a review of the most recent data on the U.S. book market with a deep-dive into the latest trends. There will be plenty of new insights to help attendees improve their business in the coming year.

Watch video from this event.

Maximizing Pre-Orders Fall Shows 2018

Maximizing Pre-Orders Fall Shows 2018 (October 21, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Maximizing Pre-Orders Fall Shows 2018 at Fall Regionals 2018.
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Maximizing Pre-Orders focuses on how indie bookstores can take full advantage of pre-order opportunities and boost their sales, PR, and market share. In this presentation, booksellers will also discover ways to successfully promote and sell pre-orders including new methods developed and tested by ABA’s Pre-Orders Task Force of indie stores.

Advanced Education: Do Less, Then Obsess - Recognizing Your Store’s Strengths and Making the Most of Them, with Morten Hansen

Advanced Education: Do Less, Then Obsess - Recognizing Your Store’s Strengths and Making the Most of Them, with Morten Hansen (January 23, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Do Less, Then Obsess - Recognizing Your Store’s Strengths and Making the Most of Them, with Morten Hansen at Winter Institute 2018.
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PDF icon How to Create Value Worksheet (PDF)74.84 KB
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Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Morten Hansen, co-author of Great by Choice (Simon & Schuster) with Jim Collins, is a professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley. His forthcoming book, Great at Work, which draws on a longitudinal study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, has already been hailed by organizational psychologist Adam Grant as “the definitive guide to working smarter.” Professor Hansen will lead an interactive workshop on how bookstores and booksellers might find more success not by doing more—not by joining another social media platform, by trying to sell nonbook merchandise, or by trying to be the “everything store” that Amazon has become—but by identifying the work that their bookstore does best, and then effectively obsessing about it. Hansen will lead a discussion for owners and managers who want to maximize their time and increase their job performance and will share his “Seven Work Smarter Practices” and provide an opportunity for booksellers to identify ways to apply them to their daily business lives. Advanced Education registration is closed.

Principles of Bookstore Finance Seminar

Principles of Bookstore Finance Seminar (January 22, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Principles of Bookstore Finance Seminar at Winter Institute 2018.
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This 101-level seminar covers the fundamentals of budgeting, understanding cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. The workshop includes a segment focusing on strategies for achieving higher profits and improving cash flow. The program concludes with an interactive group discussion, working through an example of how booksellers can use their store’s financial information to make sound business decisions. The seminar concentrates on bookstore finances as opposed to bookstore accounting, and though it is helpful for attendees to be familiar with basic bookstore finances, deep financial experience is not required.

Advanced Education: Managing Managers (pre-reg required)

Advanced Education: Managing Managers (pre-reg required) (January 29, 2017)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Managing Managers (pre-reg required) at Winter Institute 2017.
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For owners and managers. Pre-reg required.
This ticketed session is open to ABA member store owners and managers only. One of the most important hires for any retail operation is a manager. Whether for the entire store, a section, or a key function, managers take pressure off owners, allowing them to focus on big-picture business decisions, secure in the knowledge that day-to-day operations will continue successfully. In this session, owners will learn strategies for communicating, delegating, training, and thriving through skillfully empowering managers. Facilitated by Lani Basa, owner and CEO of The Business Women’s Circle (BWC), a group providing a confidential and collaborative setting for businesswomen to foster growth and work on their businesses with the support of others.

  • Lani Basa, Owner and CEO, Business Women's Circle (Minneapolis, MN)
     

Best Practices for First-Time Managers

Best Practices for First-Time Managers (January 29, 2017)
Content related to the education session, Best Practices for First-Time Managers at Winter Institute 2017.
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Congratulations, you are a manager! Now what? Being a manager is not easy, and, while your exceptional performance may have gotten you that promotion, your new position will require a whole new set of skills: delegating, motivating, negotiating, communicating, etc. A professional will offer tools and techniques to help first-time managers survive and thrive.

  • Lani Basa, Owner and CEO, Business Women's Circle (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Cindy Dach, Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe, AZ)
  • Mary Magers, Magers & Quinn Booksellers (Minneapolis, MN) (Moderator)
     

Advanced Education: Human Resources Essentials for Bookstores

Advanced Education: Human Resources Essentials for Bookstores (January 24, 2016)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Human Resources Essentials for Bookstores at Winter Institute 2016.
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This is a ticketed session. For owners and managers only. Limited capacity, first-come, first-served. Preference will be given to ABA owners and managers.
Dr. John Sherlock, Director, Master of Science Human Resources Program at Western Carolina University, will lead a discussion that will focus on best HR practices for small business owners, including talent management and how to create a skills inventory for you and your staff.

  • Dr. John Sherlock, Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC)
  • Meg Smith, ABA (White Plains, NY) (Greeter)
     

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