Education Resources

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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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