need critique on this idea

takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber
edited June 2007 in Selecting a Business
The cost of newspaper advertising is outrageous, especially for a new business who is just getting started.  I know from experience because one single ad in the newspaper cost me over a couple hundred dollars, and I didn`t get a single phone call from it about virtual assistant services that I would like to provide.   I understand that for newspaper advertising to be effective, you need to place many ads- not just one.     
So, anyhow I have made up my mind that I am going to create another option for the small business owners in this town to get their name out there, especially, for new businesses.  It makes me want to do something about it because I know what it is like to not have a large advertising budget to work with!  I will create an option for them if it takes years to start it up!
So here is what I`m bouncing around in this small head of mine....maybe starting a magazine in my community, sort of like a "Small Business Connection" type of magazine is what I`m bouncing around now that would be published either quarterly or semi-annually.  In order for it to become a valuable tool for these businesses, I would like to include interviews and spotlights on new businesses in the area, an "ask the expert section" where people can write in with questions and local businesses can answer if they are skilled in a certain area, for example if someone has a computer hardware question, maybe a computer repair business can provide the answer to the question in the next issue.   And, also a business advice section where I spotlight small -businesses who are thriving and interview those owners who give their tips or suggestions on launching a small business and tell their stories.   I was thinking that local small businesses  would be able to advertise in it for  "free" but there would be several stipulations.  #1- they must include a "freebie type coupon" no less than a pre-determined value that would be included beside each ad that would make it more valuable to the readers.   I would need to come up with funding and distribution so I would almost need to include a stipulation that #2 each business that either advertises, is featured in, or writes an article for the magazine must purchase a subscription to the magazine. 
 Anyone know a ballpark figure on how much it would cost to publish a magazine like this?  Or, where to find good publishers?  Or, would it be better to find a self-publisher for the first few to see how much interest there is?  Or, even to publish the first one myself?
Also, to save $ on delivering the magazine by postal service, I would take care of hand delivering it to all the local businesses who subscibe to it.  At least, in the beginning , anyhow!
Am I way out there on this or is it something that could work?
 

Comments

  • takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber
    even a small business community newsletter would be a start!  could feature one or two new businesses and maybe say five or six ads or so would be more managable and I could do that myself and distribute them myself 
  • takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber

    hhhmmm let`s see....
    it`s a solution for the small business or home based to advertise who has no money
    I can see them being able to afford a one-time yearly subscription, but not a hundred dollar ad
    well the main difference would be it would be a way for the small business owner to get their names out there and it would not cost them hundreds of dollars like the local paper
    the main subscibers  would be the business owners themselves.  So actually, the businesses who advertise for free in it would be advertising to other business owners, but that would be a good thing because they all use each others services and would be good networking tool for them
    It would be a way to pull the business community together in one central outlet.  There really isn`t anything besides the chamber of commerce
    another difference would be it would be centralized to one location and all the businesses who advertise in it would be part of the same town
    and the coupons would make it more valuable to hold onto the magazine rather than toss it
     
     
  • takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber
    I like the newsletter idea.  I know a few small businesses who may be interested in a    "freebie" ad in the first issue.  I`m going to toss that around for awhile... 
    As for building the local services board online, how could that actually benefit the small businesses because then I would need charge a fee to advertise, and I don`t want to charge them to advertise.  Although, I could charge them a more affordable fee than the two hundred dollars ad I placed!!!!!   With a local services board,  I could reach all consumers this way, not just a business owner audience.
    I agree there are fewer and fewer classifieds in our print newspaper; and fewer ads.  I even noticed that there are not as many help wanted classifieds either. 
     
  • MarkBMarkB Posts: 2subscriber
    As the owner of a small business in a fairly small town, I would have concerns about the reach of the publication. You said "the main subscibers  would be the business owners themselves.  So
    actually, the businesses who advertise for free in it would be
    advertising to other business owners". So the problem that I see is that even if you were dealing in a mid-sized market, with the subscription rates of print publications in the basement, how many small businesses do you really think will pay you money to receive the magazine? Which means that there will probably not be many people viewing my advertisements. And the chances are, I am going to be viewing ads for a lot of the companies that I am already aware of.I just don`t see the compelling reasons to subscribe, as a business owner.
  • takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber
    nhgnikole,
    (Thanks for the link to that community magazine info.  I`m going to look at that more closely.)
    For someone like myself who is  trying to launch a small business while working an 8-5 desk job 40 hrs. with her butt glued to an office chair all day long    , having no flexibility whatsoever in my work schedule to even allow me to attend networking groups, etc. (there are not even many here that I know of) and no time to actually get out there and actually meet people,  I rack my brain on what else I can do to get things moving in the right direction, but never give up, working day-by-day, on my future business goals, even if it feels I am only progressing at a snail`s pace at times!   RIGHT THERE....THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF PEOPLE  I want to reach out to and help provide a way for them.  People like myself!   Not ones who have time to attend networking functions, or already have quit their day jobs to run their business full-time, or people who are outgoing enough to go door-to-door.  I`m not going to go after those type of business owners.  That is how I would be different from the networking groups that meet over coffee or tea.  I want to be the outlet for small businesses in the community who are "stuck" on not having the time or not having the money to move forward.  They are stuck in a never ending loop- no time, no money to advertise , nobody knows they exist because they don`t do anything about it to get themselves known, so they give up!!  I wish I could just give these people a loudspeaker and stand on main street so all their problems would be solved...What about the shy,  backwards folks out there who are business owners, super intelligent, have outstanding  business plans, yet they do not get out there and meet people like the need to.   What other options are there for them besides spending hundreds and hiding behind a newspaper ad?  I need to find a way to help people like this and that is how I would be different...
    ANOTHER EXAMPLE.....Just the other night I saw someone do something illegal just to have an outlet for them to advertise.   They were driving around in their car putting flyers in our neighborhood mailboxes.  We were outside and saw them do this, so my husband got the flyer out of the mailbox and tossed it.   Well, here they must have forgotten they had already hit our place and stopped by a second time!  As they were putting the flyer in the box, they glanced up at us and you could tell they realized they goofed.  It was a small-town new landscaping business who had no other means to get their name out!  THIS IS THE TYPE OF PERSON I NEED TO HELP IN THIS TOWN.
    I went to check out your website briefly and it looks like something I want to take a closer look at real soon!
    Thanks
    Thanks
     
  • takeabreaktakeabreak Posts: 5subscriber
    Yeah, that seems backwards ... you pay to advertise, not subscribe.
    I guess I was thinking reverse phychology would stand a chance...
     
     
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember Posts: 12subscriber
    The ballpark figure for producing, publishing, and mailing a magazine depends on a variety of factors. But you would be looking at $500/1000 to $2000/$3000 depending on the initial implementation. If you started off with a two page black/white with information front/back your costs are going to be much lower than if your want to produce something with numerous pages, glossy and in color. Overall this sounds like a pretty good idea to me and it sounds like you know your market. To support this with advertising, the most important part would be your circulation figures. Can you produce even a single page prototype, even with pencil and paper if necessary. You could take this to a printer and get an idea of the costs and you could test it with people. That might be a sensible next step.
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