There’s always a steep learning curve in setting up a new business, or even taking over an existing one, and getting Bittern Books off the ground is no different.

First up are all the operational issues: new bank accounts (why do banks make it so difficult to set up a new account?), setting up the storage space we need for stock, and of course IT systems, which these days we can’t live with out.  When it comes to the takeover date we will have to move all the stock and record exactly what we’ve got to keep the accounts straight.

Then we need to understand who our customers are, what kind of relationship they would like, the types of product they’re interested in.  The first step in this direction is to analyze past sales data, but more important is to get out to talk to customers – but that takes time and can’t happen immediately.

Our suppliers range from large book publishing companies through to independent self publishing authors, and we need to establish relationships with all of them.  In some cases that involves filling out tedious account forms, in others a friendly chat on the phone or a quick email. And we need to set up services such as delivery.

So a lot to do and quite a short space of time to do it in.  The transition will start on 3rd September but may take a week or so to complete, during which time we probably won’t be able to ship any orders.  From then on you may find some lines will be backordered as we build up our stocks to the right levels, but I hope you will bear with us while we work things out.