While wandering in New Orleans (for the NSTA conference), I came across a lovely used bookstore (Crescent City Books). Since I am interested in developing a successful business model for Iridescent, I always ask people how they run their businesses and asked the cuddly, old gentlemen behind the counter whether business was booming. Surprisingly one of them launched into this long task-list on how to start and run a bookstore. I share.
- Don't sell your own books; that will just make you unhappy. Go to library sales, yard sales and buy a ton of books. Don't focus too much on quality. People read all sorts of crap, so dont let your judgement cloud what you buy :)
- Find a space. It doesn't have to be on a busy, main street. Booklovers are determined people and will go out of their way to find good books.
- Get a good carpenter who will make you good solid shelves. you dont need fancy wood, but you do need to have the shelves raised off the ground by a foot to protect the books from dust.
- Buy an eye-catching piece like an antique bookshelf, chandelier or lovely lamp for the entrance, so that people are drawn into the store.
- Advertise in the newspaper.
- And you are on your way!
Anyway, after that list on how to start a bookstore, I started wondering whether anyone had a task-list on how to start and run a booming education nonprofit. Maybe the list would go somewhat like this:
- Find a cause you are passionate about.
- Find others who are passionate about the same cause.
- Experiment, evaluate and re-assess.