A group of senior students in the Spring 2011 Strategic Management capstone course created a business start-up in Spring 2011—texts4less.

texts4less takes used textbooks, on consignment, from students in all Providence programs, and sells them to incoming students at the beginning of the following semesters.

At the end of the 2010-2011 academic year, using the Buller Centre Incubator, senior business students:

  • Set up a business
  • Created a basic corporate structure
  • Opened a bank account
  • Created a computer database
  • Marketed their business to their fellow students
  • Developed consignment contracts
  • Collected, catalogued and stored about 400 used textbooks

During the Fall 2012 semester, a new crop of students:

  • Sold $3,700 worth of text books
  • Set up the accounting for the business
  • Paid $3,000 back to the students who consigned their textbooks in spring
  • Automated data entry for the database

In the Winter 2013 semester, the students

  • Solicited more textbooks
  • Sold more textbooks
  • Paid back more money to students who had consigned their textbooks
  • Cleared out old inventory
  • Set up standard administrative procedures for the next crop of students to follow
  • Started recruiting volunteers to run texts4less next school year

Perhaps the most notable achievement of the second year of operations (in addition to actually having a second year of operations) was making the process more efficient, so that more books can be collected, processed, and sold in less time.

Tasks planned for the 2013-14 school year include:

  • Complete the recruiting process
  • Train the new students
  • Market text4less
  • Sell more books
  • Collect new books on consignment
  • Put the database online
  • Assess whether or not this can be a sustainable businesses
  • Figure out if this business can be cloned at other campuses