Words of Life Books and Gifts
Stephanie Fellhauer started as an employee of Words of Life Christian Books and Gifts but soon found herself with the opportunity to purchase the business. Knowing better than to assume an active business would remain solvent on its own, Stephanie and her husband Scott quickly got to work creating a business plan, analyzing the status quo of the organization and brainstorming creative ways to improve. Soon they had expanded their product offering, began hosting events like book signings and live musicians and offering customer incentives like punchcards.
The Fellhauer’s saw their biggest increase in sales with the addition of special order book offerings, which now averages about 20-30 titles per week. They partnered with Ingram/Spring Arbor in order to make it feasible and have been able to offer the titles within 3-4 days of purchase at no additional charge.
Mentor Terry Turner offered his expertise in several aspects of the business but most noticeably in its branding. After reviewing the data, they discovered that only 12% of their local market was comprised of self-identifying “Christians” and they subsequently removed the word from the store name and broadened their offerings to include non-Christian items with positive messages. They have also added the playful tagline of “Bee Inspired.” Both decisions have proven to be wise.
The Pueblo chapter’s “QuickBooks” workshop introduced them to software that would prove very useful in analyzing places for improvement within the business. Employing the QuickBooks Point of Sale and Accounting systems allowed the Fellhauer’s to have more accurate reports of their inventory, profits and losses. This lead them to realign their product mix and discount or drop slow moving inventory.