A Soon to be Brick & Mortar owner

Five years ago I decided I wanted to own a used bookstore.  Four years ago, I decided it should be both online and “brick and mortar.”  Three and a half years ago I purchased my domain name (and have renewed it twice with still nothing worth mentioning on the site.)  Two years ago I registered my business name with the province.   A year ago, I made an impulse purchase and picked up about 700 paperbacks for $25 (but now that I’ve sorted through them I think I may be able to break even on that deal.)  In the past four years I’ve gotten married, become a step-dad to a teenager, assisted my wife through the birth of our two children, worked a full time job and picked up a seasonal job as a tax preparer to boot.

Saying that the bookshop is going slowly is an understatement. I’ve done a lot of research, but the business plan that I started years ago in a leftover green binder is still incomplete, and I’ve flip-flopped on so many of my once “solid” plans that I know I will need to rewrite the entire thing again before I even think about talking to creditors about financing…

Regardless of my set backs and distractions, I am committed to seeing through this dream of mine and some day Spinebender’s Book Exchange will become a reality.  My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Melcher, once said that if there were 21 ways to skin a cat,  Sam would find the 22nd way.  I’m not one for taxidermy, but I have always found my own way around challenges, and I am hoping that my current game plan is both unique enough to make me stand out and easy enough for others to follow and maybe help them when making some important decisions about their own shop.

I came across The Bookshop Blog about three months ago and have gone through many of the archives of articles.  I’ve laughed and shook my head at several of the articles and have changed my mind several times about how I feel about certain things like selling on Amazon or adding a coffee shop to the brick and mortar store (part of my original dream that I just can’t get rid of…) I’ve subscribed to Adam Bertram’s mailing list and I chew through his emails on a regular basis.

When I saw Bruce’s call for writers I was tempted to sign up right away, but one of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I shouldn’t jump into things with both feet until I’ve had time to think about it first.  When the second call for writers came I decided it was time to throw my hat in.  I’m hoping that through my submissions and involvement with this site  I can find some mentors with experience in the business who are willing to help me turn my dreams into reality.

So, Hello World!  Greetings from Nova Scotia, Canada.  My name is Sam, and it is a pleasure to meet you all.

2 thoughts on “A Soon to be Brick & Mortar owner”

  1. Wow, and I thought our journey towards an open door took a lot of time! Spinebender’s, eh? I gotta tell ya, that made the librarian in me go “eep! & Agh!” Bending spines will get you that look over the top of my glasses, you know!

  2. lol, sorry to make you cringe… I thought that Spinebenders would immediately bring to mind the thought of both an open book and a group of people or club. I really want to encourage those around me to dive head first into what they are reading and share their points of view with the community around them. Our motto is going to be “Open a Book, Open your Mind.” Maybe “Bend it, don’t Break it” should be visible somewhere too…

    The process has taken a long time for me to have gotten not so far, but I don’t plan on retiring once I open my store. I read somewhere that Marriages and new small businesses have horrible odds at making it past the first 5 years, and that if you start both at the same time, one is doomed to fail. As much as I dream about being able to open my own store front, my relationship with my wife and children is millions of times more important to me. If I can open my doors within the next 7 years, I should still have 30 years or more (Lord willing) to build my store (with the help of my family) and pass it on when I am gone.

    Or maybe it is just a persistent pipe dream, but a man has to have goals… and a hobby…

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