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Strategic Plan

Strategic Direction #1

NEIBA will help increase member competitiveness, profitability, and success by building on the collective strengths of its membership.

Objectives & Strategies

Objective 1A: Use the strengths of NEIBA members to bring business assistance directly into individual stores in order to help stores identify and attain the services, systems, and tools they need to operate profitable bookstores.

Strategy 1A-1: Maintain a NEIBA program for in-store peer review, utilizing the experience and expertise of fellow booksellers. Encourage members to use the program to improve operations in their own stores and to join in helping others to do the same – stressing that this program can and will help all types of stores.Develop post-visit evaluations, data tracking/monitoring, and other appropriate program oversight.Use the feedback from peer reviews to recommend specific follow-up action to be taken by the bookseller with NEIBA staff, or other booksellers or consultants with expertise in the problem area(s) identified.

Strategy 1A-2: Find new opportunities for booksellers to share expertise, experiences, and strategies for success; for example, web site and digital peer reviews.

Objective 1B: Make education more accessible to members by supporting existing educational programs, creating new ones, and developing innovative delivery methods.

Strategy 1B-1: Continue to assess the needs of the membership in the area of education, and survey the members to gain further information for designing future programming.

Strategy 1B-2: Evaluate educational programs developed by other organizations, and make the best of these programs available to NEIBA members.Identify and review programming developed by ABA, other regional and national associations, and others in the industry, using booksellers as well as NEIBA staff.Evaluate programs of NEIBA specialty groups, primarily NECBA, for their usefulness to the general membership, and make them available when appropriate.

Strategy 1B-3: Continue to assess educational formats at the Fall Conference, and develop other more focused formats. Explore bringing in experts from outside the book industry for education.Maintain and expand stand-alone formats such as spring meetings, seminars, and workshops. Continue to provide and expand scholarships to attend stand-alone educational offerings.

Strategy 1B-4: Bring education and information to member regions and stores. Continue the “All About the Books” model with an education component.Provide and develop programs for front-line booksellers, owners, and managers that can be presented around the region.Support and encourage the gathering of like-minded groups within the bookselling community.

Objective 1C: Identify services and service providers that will aid booksellers in the day-to-day operation of their businesses.

Strategy 1C-1: Institute NEIBA staff visits to stores.

Strategy 1C-2: Continue to communicate regularly with other regional organizations and ABA, with an eye toward finding tools and services that may be beneficial to NEIBA members.

Strategy 1C-3: Encourage use of the listserv to share information about products and services.

Objective 1D: Use technology to increase and enhance communication and networking among members.

Strategy 1D-1: Provide frequent e-communication to members in addition to the existing listserv.

Strategy 1D-2: Refresh, enhance, and update the NEIBA website, and launch the enhanced site. Appoint a committee to launch a new NEIBA website by the beginning of fiscal year 2015.

Strategic Direction #2

NEIBA will continuously adapt its activities and services to meet the changing needs of its members by intensively working with industry partners to monitor and anticipate trends affecting the book industry.Objectives & Strategies

Objectives & Strategies

Objective 2A: Ensure the Fall Conference meets the current needs of all stakeholders – booksellers, vendors, publishers, sales reps, and authors – with immediate, continuous, intensive, and extensive consultation processes.

Strategy 2A-1: Maintain ongoing assessment of the NEIBA Fall Conference to continuously improve and strengthen it in the coming years.

Objective 2B: Position the Holiday Catalog as a valuable tool for booksellers and publishers.

Objective 2C: Engage comprehensively with industry partners to monitor and anticipate book industry trends and assess their change implications for NEIBA’s programs and services

Strategy 2C-1: Consult and partner with Book Publishers Representatives of New England (BPRNE). Identify ways to strengthen the relationships and to develop collaborative programs to accomplish the shared objectives of each organization.

Strategy 2C-2: Work with national and other regional bookseller associations. Closely collaborate with ABA and other regionals.

Strategy 2C-3: Continue to support the work of the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council (NECBA).Host NECBA meetings.Consult NECBA on children’s programming at the Fall Conference.

Strategy 2C-4: Encourage and support bookseller visits to publishers.

Objective 2D: Foster alliances within the independent business community.

Objective 2E: Collaborate with publishers and wholesalers to raise consumer awareness of books, authors, and independent bookstores, using a variety of approaches.

Strategy 2E-1: Continue to support the New England Book Awards and raise their profile.

Strategy 2E-2: Promote reading and literacy by facilitating members’ participation in literacy programs, and by continuing to tie award grants (New England Book Awards, Presidential Award, and Gilman Award) to literacy groups and collecting donations for literacy at autographings and from publishers at Fall Conferences.

Strategic Direction #3

NEIBA will assist booksellers’ efforts in their own communities to shift consumer culture toward supporting locally-owned businesses. 

Objectives & Strategies

Objective 3A: Help booksellers raise consumer awareness of the benefits of supporting local independent businesses.

Strategy 3A-1: Work with national and local IBAs to continue bookseller education on the value of local independent businesses and how to convey this value to consumers.

Strategy 3A-2: Continue to assist booksellers in forming local independent business alliances in their region, developing approaches and models that other booksellers can use in their own communities.

a. Provide information, talking points, approaches, and materials that will educate booksellers and their communities–local business leaders, school administrators, other public officials and institutions, and consumers– about the value of shopping locally.

b. Provide small grants (not to exceed $2,500) to developing or established local independent business alliances (that include member bookstores), strengthening their efforts in ways that can be replicated by other member stores.

c. Aid bookseller efforts to increase local, out-of-store-sales (business-to-business, working with schools, one-time collaborative events with other organizations, etc.).

Revised & approved by the NEIBA Board October 29, 2014.