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: 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.

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.

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.

Principals of Bookstore Finance Seminar

Principals of Bookstore Finance Seminar (October 3, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Principals of Bookstore Finance Seminar at Fall Regionals 2018.
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The 101-level seminar, led by ABA CFO Robyn DesHotel and Cynthia Compton of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Indiana, covers the fundamentals of budgeting, understanding cash flow, business financing, bookkeeping, and financial statements. The seminar concentrates on bookstore finances as opposed to bookstore accounting and deep financial experience is not required.

 

Advanced Education: Succession Planning

Advanced Education: Succession Planning (January 24, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Education: Succession Planning at Winter Institute 2018.
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Pre-registration required; for owners and managers only. Registration is closed. Exiting a much-loved business can be difficult to consider, but whether you are preparing to retire or you expect to own your store for many years to come, it is important to have a plan in place for your business and to consider all succession options. A bookseller who has gone through the process of selling a store as well as a representative from a local financial group that offers business valuations will lead a conversation on how to prepare for this important step in the life of your store.

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.

First Steps to Financial Peace in Business

First Steps to Financial Peace in Business (January 23, 2018)
Content related to the education session, First Steps to Financial Peace in Business at Winter Institute 2018.
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Implementing a system to manage store finances is key to the survival of any business. A good financial system allows you to confidently meet financial obligations, from payroll to event budgets and more. This session will highlight a few tactics booksellers can use to create a better system to approach and manage store finances with confidence.

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.

Maximizing Margin

Maximizing Margin (January 30, 2017)
Content related to the education session, Maximizing Margin at Winter Institute 2017.
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PDF icon Increasing Margin (PDF)3.38 MB
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An ongoing commitment to improving margins is a key to increasing bookstore profits. Focusing on freight costs, cost of goods sold, and even shrinkage can help any business improve the bottom line. Panelists in this session will help booksellers focus on successful strategies and best practices that will help guide booksellers into greater profitability.

  • Sally Brewster, Park Road Books (Charlotte, NC)
  • Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books & Toys (Zionsville, IN)
  • Paul Hanson, Village Books (Bellingham, WA)
  • Libby Manthey, Riverwalk Books (Chelan, WA) (Moderator)
     

The Economics of Publishing

The Economics of Publishing (January 24, 2016)
Content related to the education session, The Economics of Publishing at Winter Institute 2016.
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In this detailed financial session, publishers will walk booksellers through the Profit and Loss statement of a new trade title and the financial realities of publishing, while delineating the many factors that affect both the bookstore channel and consumers. Important P&L line items such as suggested retail price, production costs, marketing, and returns will be discussed, as will broader themes that impact the day-to-day cost of publishing.

  • George Gibson, Publishing Director, Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY)
  • Matty Goldberg, President of Publishing and Client Sales Development, Perseus Book Group (New York, NY)
  • Kirsty Melville, President and Publisher, Andrews McMeel Universal (Kansas City, MO)
  • Steven Pace, Sales Director, Workman Publishing (New York, NY)
  • Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, ABA (White Plains, NY) (Moderator)
     

Creating a Business Plan for a Successful Future

Creating a Business Plan for a Successful Future (February 10, 2015)
Content related to the education session, Creating a Business Plan for a Successful Future at Winter Institute 2015.
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A business plan is a document typically associated with launching a bookstore. However, any time you decide to make a change to your operations, it's critical to have a plan.  This session will include a review of the essentials for any business plan. Attendees will have a chance to have their own business plans reviewed post-Winter Institute by panelist Jodi Rhoden, Owner/Operator of Short Street Cakes and Teacher at Birds Eye Business Planning (Asheville, NC).

  • Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC)
  • Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)
  • Jodi Rhoden, Owner/Operator of Short Street Cakes and Teacher at Birds Eye Business Planning (Asheville, NC)
  • Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT) (Moderator)

Alternative Sources for Raising Capital

Alternative Sources for Raising Capital (January 24, 2014)
Content related to the education session, Alternative Sources for Raising Capital at Winter Institute 2014.
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PDF icon Considering Alternative Financing (PDF)505.45 KB
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Whether you need business capital for a store redesign, expansion, or to open a second location, this session will help you to think about non-traditional options to acquire the capital you need. From social media campaigns to community involvement, there are a growing number of new options beyond the bank loan.

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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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