Continuing with our recent series of “Starting a..” articles, which have already included starting a Jewellery Business, a B&B and a photography business, this week we are taking a look at the ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs of starting your own magazine. A valiant undertaking indeed, but one with potentially great rewards!
Firstly let’s assume that you are someone with a good prospect of being able to set up your own magazine i.e. you maybe have some experience of publishing and a basic understanding of the magazine business. You also have a brilliant idea for a magazine, so what do you do next ?
Concept and Market Research
A solid concept and good market research are key, so at this point it would be wise to think about...
What the main theme of your magazine will be ? Music? Art? Cars? Etc.
Who will your target market be? This will determine the style, content and potential advertisers in your magazine.
Are there other magazines which already cater to your target market? If so, what can you learn from them? How will you make your magazine more appealing to the customer?
If there are no other magazines fulfilling a similar role, is there a reason for this? Is there definitely a market for your magazine?
Do you have a catchy name for the magazine?
Do you have experience of the things which will be featured in the magazine? You won’t be able to create an insightful and engaging magazine about a topic you know little about!
Where do you plan to sell your magazine? Could you contact some local retailers to gauge their reaction ?
How much will you be able to charge for the magazine and how much will you be able to generate through advertising revenue ?
Are there any grants or start-up business funds available where you live to support your enterprise?
Planning and Development
If your concept is strong and your market research is bringing back positive results, you now need to push forward and decide how you can turn your hypothetical magazine into the real deal !
Have you written a comprehensive business plan ? Do you really know what a business plan is?
Where will your magazine be based ? Will you be able to work from home or will you need a dedicated office space?
How do you plan to advertise your publication?
It’s a good idea to launch a website to go along with your magazine, this allows people to preview the content and provide feedback. Who will design and maintain this website and how much will that cost ?
Will you require any additional equipment for the business? How much will this cost?
How often will your magazine be published ? Weekly ? Monthly?
Will you need to hire anyone else e.g. marketing manager, content writer, editor, sales manager ? How much will these people need to be paid?
Is there anyone that would be willing to write content for your magazine for free?
What kind of advertisers will you be targeting and where else do they advertise?
Setting up a magazine is a labour intensive process, so do you plan to work full-time from the get-go?
Who will print and bind your magazine for you?
Is there anyone you could contact that has prior experience of publishing a magazine?
At this point it might be helpful to create a mock-up of what the magazine will look like, this will allow you to further cement the style, layout and content.