Education Resources

You're looking at education materials related to the topic(s) Operations. Results are filtered using the Topics, Focus, Event, and Format filters on this page.

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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.

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.

Advanced Bookselling & Special Topics: Small Footprint, Big Impact

Advanced Bookselling & Special Topics: Small Footprint, Big Impact (June 27, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Advanced Bookselling & Special Topics: Small Footprint, Big Impact at Children's Institute 2019.
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You don’t need an infinite amount of space to remain competitive in independent bookselling. Bookstores under 1,000 square feet share what they do to maximize their selling space and host events without having to knock down walls. Attendees will learn from panelists who call a small store home:

  • The logistics of hosting an in-store event
  • Crowd management in a small space
  • Inventory management in a small stockroom
  • Keeping it fresh with inventive displays
Watch video from this event.

Events University

Events University (June 26, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Events University at Children's Institute 2019.
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Pre-registation required; $45 fee per person; space is limited and lunch is provided.

Hosting events in-store and offsite is a great way to strengthen a customer base, build goodwill within your community, and make money. But tackling the ins and outs of events, no matter how large or small, is daunting, time-consuming, and, let’s face it, overwhelming. This full-day, two-part workshop led by aces in bookstore event management will teach attendees:

  • Best practices for in-store author events
  • Tips for navigating events in a small space
  • Best practices for off-site author events, including partnering with schools and libraries, hosting large-scale events, and using alternate venues
  • Best practices for ticketing events and anticipating turnout
  • How to launch a book festival in your community

Events University is open to all booksellers, including those who are not registered for Children’s Institute.

Watch video from this event.

ABACUS and Pre-Orders

ABACUS and Pre-Orders (
March 19, 2019 to April 25, 2019
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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. 

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.

Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner

Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner (January 25, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Thriving as a New Bookstore Owner at Winter Institute 2019.
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If you have been in business for five years or fewer, this is the session for you. Hear from booksellers who will look back over those first critical years and share tips for making it through the next five.

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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.

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.

Dealing With Difficult People

Dealing With Difficult People (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, Dealing With Difficult People at Winter Institute 2019.
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PDF icon Seminary Co-op Training Document pdf112.62 KB
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The goal of this session is to help bookstore owners and employees learn how to empower themselves to end uncomfortable situations, including harassment, with professionalism and respect. Among other things, the panel will discuss tips for identifying and navigating out of these distressing situations and suggestions for talking points booksellers can rely on while under duress. Booksellers will hear discussions on:

  • Prioritizing personal safety
  • Tips for changing the power dynamic
  • Tips for extricating yourself from a situation in a professional way
  • Learning how to ask for help when needed
Watch video from this event.

How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer

How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer (January 24, 2019)
Content related to the education session, How to be a Highly Effective Bookseller, Manager or Buyer at Winter Institute 2019.
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One minute of planning can save you ten minutes in execution. Planning skills can make you a more effective bookseller and help prevent burnout because planning creates efficiency and leads to improved productivity. Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstores (Tempe, AZ), will teach booksellers techniques for time management, planning and organizing daily tasks, all with an eye toward completing the big-picture projects. This session is part of Changing Hands' professional development program.

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.

Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency for Your Business

Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency for Your Business (January 25, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency for Your Business at Winter Institute 2018.
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PDF icon Resources for Emergency Prep (PDF)4.03 MB
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When your business is hit by a disaster, you need to know you are prepared. Whether you are dealing with floods or fire or other disaster, your business survival will depend on having a solid emergency plan in place and a resilient and adaptable business model. Booksellers who have experienced disaster in their store and community will share best practices, and local and national FEMA and emergency preparedness experts will share tips that will help businesses survive and rebound.

Google Analytics 101

Google Analytics 101 (January 23, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Google Analytics 101 at Winter Institute 2018.
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PDF icon Google Analytics 101 (pdf)130.91 KB
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Is your store website working for you? Who’s visiting, what are they interested in, and where are they coming from? Google Analytics is a free tool that can help answer all of these questions and more. It’s not as hard as you think, and the answers might surprise you! We’ll give you a quick tour of the highlights of Google Analytics and show you how to dig in and learn some interesting things about your website and its audience. This course is intended for beginners to Google Analytics and is not specific to any particular type of website or platform.

Idea Exchange: Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures

Idea Exchange: Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures (January 23, 2018)
Content related to the education session, Idea Exchange: Favorite Bookstore Forms, Documents, and Procedures at Winter Institute 2018.
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Are you looking for better checklists and forms to help you organize your store operations? Or do you already have procedures for self-published authors, special orders, or other store operations that you can’t live without? Here’s an opportunity to crowdsource solutions for you and your fellow booksellers. Come to this idea exchange with a number of copies of your “best loved” forms and exchange them with “best loved” forms from other 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.

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)
     

Take Your Show on the Road: Managing Large-Scale Events

Take Your Show on the Road: Managing Large-Scale Events (January 28, 2017)
Content related to the education session, Take Your Show on the Road: Managing Large-Scale Events at Winter Institute 2017.
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Managing large-scale off-site events takes a lot of planning. With concerns ranging from securing a location and ticketing to working with the publisher, formulating marketing strategies, and event team logistics, pulling together a large-scale event can quickly overwhelm even the most seasoned event planner. Come spend an hour with colleagues from bookstores that regularly produce large-scale off-site events for insights and tips on how to manage a successful event of your own.

  • Robert McDonald, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court (Winnetka, IL)
  • Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola's Books (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Jessica Stockton-Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT) (Moderator)

Creating a Bookstore Café

Creating a Bookstore Café (January 24, 2016)
Content related to the education session, Creating a Bookstore Café at Winter Institute 2016.
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If you are thinking about opening a café or other food and beverage component in your bookstore, this session is not to be missed.  Panelist will discuss tips and best practices for start-up, profitability, staffing, and overall management for combining book retail and a café business.

  • Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe (Wichita, KS)
  • Nicole Magistro, Bookworm of Edwards (Edwards, CO)
  • Nicole Sullivan, BookBar (Denver, CO)
  • Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT) (Moderator)
     

Event Management for the Very Small Store

Event Management for the Very Small Store (January 24, 2016)
Content related to the education session, Event Management for the Very Small Store at Winter Institute 2016.
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Owners of (self-defined) very small stores are challenged to find the time and resources to organize successful events and to balance daily work with event budgeting, planning, execution, and follow-up. This panel will feature owners of very small stores who are excited to share tips and practices for hosting successful events.

  • Daiva Chesonis, Between The Covers Bookstore (Telluride, CO)
  • Jacqueline Kellachan, The Golden Notebook (Woodstock, NY)
  • Anna Thorn, Upshur Street Books (Washington, DC)
  • Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX) (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)
     

Best Practices on Edelweiss for Publishers and Booksellers

Best Practices on Edelweiss for Publishers and Booksellers (January 22, 2014)
Content related to the education session, Best Practices on Edelweiss for Publishers and Booksellers at Winter Institute 2014.
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PDF icon Edelweiss+ Best Practices (pdf)943.26 KB
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Edelweiss is a program that provides value to both booksellers purchasing titles for their stores and sales reps.  This session will explore the ways Edelweiss can both optimize and streamline the buying process and facilitate better communication among booksellers and reps.  Robert Sindelar, Managing Partner of Third Place Books, with stores in Lake Forest Park and Seattle, will moderate the session. 

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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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