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Sizing Your Online Bookselling

Updated on November 17, 2015

I don’t want to build an online bookselling empire.

Truthfully, some days that’s exactly what I want to do, but most of the time, I’m comfortable with the fact that I don’t want to work that hard.

I’m not lazy, but I’m an entrepreneur because I want to be in charge of my own destiny. If I go hungry, there’s no one to blame. But I’ll never go hungry. I have plenty of confidence in my abilities.

I’m capable of renting warehouse space (or building some on my acre of property–still room left). I can hire a couple of people to sort and list books and a couple more to run shipping and packaging for me. Someone to handle customer service emails would be nice too. A box truck to haul books would come in handy. Oh, how about a small retail store to get rid of the very common items that don’t sell well online?

Online Bookselling With Only 1,000 Books

I keep about 1,000 books in stock, and I make enough income for one person. I have some help each day from a sometimes-willing housemate who pulls my orders in the mornings and lists some of my inventory for me.

I was surprised a few years ago when a friend said part of the reason he continues to run a small, money-losing sandwich shop is a commitment to providing jobs to the few people he is able to employ. It may or may not have occurred to him that fast-food jobs are among the easiest to get in the nation and (speaking from experience) the worst to actually possess.

Some people, however, feel that job creation is part of their mission in life. I don’t. So I won’t be hiring any help for the sake of helping the country’s economy. And since I don’t want the hassles or the invasions of privacy that come with employees running my business, I think my one-man operation is perfect for me. If my opinion changes, I’ll grow my business then.

Size Really Doesn't Matter When Selling Books Online

The success of a business is not related to its size. My business is not less than successful than a megaseller with warehouses in every state nor am I more successful than a stay-at-home mom who sells twenty items a month on Half.com.

A business is successful when it serves well the goals of those involved.

I sometimes dream about warehouses buzzing with employees making me money, but when my eyes are open, I realize I’m truly happy with the one-person online bookselling business I have.

I can’t offer you a job, I’m afraid, but never mind. Go out and create your own empire.

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