As a proprietor to a used-books store, I am dependent upon a number of factors, including competition, politics, laws, economics, social practices, and local culture, that will impact my business success. To be successful in business, I have to obtained enough revenues, i.e., sell enough books, to be able to offset the expenses incurred for the business. After expenses are deducted from revenues, I will use the remaining amount to expand the business.
Before talking about profits, I have to be conscious of the business factors. If a university, which has its own library and bookstore, is situated near my book shop or if there is a Barnes & Noble store, which has more funds for marketing, I might have problems grabbing market share. As for politics and laws, if laws are implemented that would allow authors to seek royalty payments from sellers of second-hand books, my expenses will increase. For economics, given that buying and selling is subject to supply and demand and prices, people might be stringently looking for cheaper second-hand books, the prices of which are readily available in the Internet, specifically in E-bay. As for local culture, people are using the Internet nowadays to read for information
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Five years from now, my greatest struggle with my second-hand book shop will be innovation of the Internet. Since the advent of the Internet in the 1990s, more and more people have been given access to it, and Internet subscription has gone cheaper. The Internet allows people to (i) read books online, and (ii) order second-hand books from auction sites. However, I could also do some innovation of my own. I could place a lounge in my used book stores, and wire an Internet connection in my store. In that way people could use the Internet, and look over my portfolio of second-hand books to obtain information.