Our family have been an independent bookseller for 25 years and have been building our local business year on year. I took the first step into the family business back in 2003 by seeking out and finding nurseries which previously we had not tackled due mainly to the limited opening hours.
This was a really exciting time for me after being a white-collar worker for 20 years and now being in control of my own destiny. I won’t say it was easy, firstly finding the calls and then promoting the books, but I’m proud that many of the nurseries I found are still customers and a number of them are amongst the highest spenders, especially in the run up to Christmas. An added bonus is that many of the managers and staff have become good friends.
In 2009 I was given the opportunity to completely take over the family business giving me an insight into the wider aspect of book selling. I was determined to take our business to the next level and we now spend a lot of time looking for new customers. Despite some of our long established offices moving to new locations, we have found some new and exciting calls and that good news is we keep finding more!
Recently we took over the Chelsea and Westminster area and after a few months we were invited into Buckingham Palace to run a sale for the staff. This was a great day for us and they are already planning dates to have us back. Unfortunately, the Queen wasn’t in that day!
We now have a solid customer base and everyone is always looking forward to seeing us with a new selection of books every 5-6 weeks.
Our biggest customers by far are the schools and the relationship that we have them is just brilliant. To be able to walk in and say “it’s The Book People collecting” and get a big smile and a “how are you?” makes you feel great. The hospitals we visit are always pleased to see us and on many occasions they buy from us for birthdays where they don’t have much time on their hands to pick something up. The nursing homes, where people can’t quite get out and about, love our service too and many times I’ve sat and had a cuppa and a cake!
If you are a ‘people’ person this job is so rewarding. The effort and time you put in will reflect on what you get back in return.