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  • Big dreams for bookshop

     

    I have been working in my mum's bookshop with her since I left school and she believes I will always just want to work in the bookshop even when she retires - but I have much grander plans. If she is open to it, I am envisaging turning the bookshop into a cafe/bookshop/meeting place for meditation classes and the like and building a brand and maybe opening more outlets in Sydney and beyond. I would like to have a clear vision and plan of what I am dreaming about before I pitch the idea to my mum. Are there advisers out there who can help me with this planning stage and/or do you have any advice as to how I could make this idea a success?

    You're doing the right thing to get your ideas documented before you rush into making a pitch to your mum. An important part in any plan is knowing what the key advantage of your business will be, or the niche you will be exploiting, and how you will sustain this advantage and ultimately profit from it.

    You need to clearly outline why changing the strategy of the bookshop will make it more successful, such as the new markets it will open up (backed up by some evidence), how it will be funded, how it will look and how it will be marketed.

    Keep in mind that if your mum is nearing retirement, she may not quite be prepared to risk her business and standard of living in retirement.

    I would include in your plan a way of allowing your mum to realise some of the value in her business and reduce her risk, so her lifestyle is not going to be entirely dependant on the success of any changes you make to the business.

    This may require you to look at more cost-effective changes to the business that can improve its profitability without adding to its risk, and ways you can buy into the business.

    Anthony Bell is CEO of award-winning accountancy firm Bell Partners. Visit www.bellpartners.com.

    Email all your small business questions to toviaj@dailytelegraph.com.au


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