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How to start a magazine

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by Startacus Admin


Financing can prove a real headache for some people setting up a new business, but if you get your head around the figures early on, it will stand you in very good stead! Some of the things you need to start thinking about are:Starting a magazine

  • How much is the magazine going to cost to set up? How do you plan to raise the capital to do it?

  • If you plan to have a dedicated office space, how much will this cost? Or if you plan to work from home are there any renovations which need to be considered?

  • How much are your monthly overheads going to be? (Don't forget to factor in all costs associated with the business)

  • How much money will the magazine need to bring in to break even/make a profit?

  • It will take some time for you to develop a regular readership, so do you have a contingency fund in place to help should you miss your targets?

  • How much will you be charging retailers for your magazine and what will the recommended retail price be?

  • Are there any additional qualifications/certificates which would add to the integrity of the publication? How much will these cost? Will staff be employed on a full-time or part-time basis? How much will it cost to employ them and how do you plan to recruit them?

  • What will your method of distribution be and how much will it cost?

  • Do you plan on managing the finances yourself, or will you be using an accountant?


  • Have you created a marketing strategy? Is there anyone who could help you with it

  • Do you have any existing contacts within your magazine’s content area that you can speak to or get some free press from?

  • Could you write for local papers/journals about the process of setting up a magazine? Are there any websites which are looking for start-ups to share their experiences? Startacus certainly is!

  • Are there any expos or fairs relevant to the magazine’s content where you could potentially market the magazine?

  • How will you use social media to promote the magazine? Are you going to set up Twitter/Facebook accounts and who will maintain these?

  • Will you offer a subscription to the magazine? Will you offer this at a reduced price to encourage regular readership?

  • Are you going to produce e-newsletters to encourage people to purchase the magazine?

  • Will you offer the option to subscribe to the magazine direct from your website? If so, how will you charge customers for this?

  • Are there any businesses which would be interested in a regular subscription to your magazine e.g. hotels, medical surgeries or businesses which a specific interest in your content?

  • Will there be a special introductory offer for the first issue?

Business Practicals

The fiddly dull bits that nobody likes but everybody needs!

  • Are you well versed in the legalities of publication and copyright legislation? Remember that you are legally responsible for anything written in your publication.

  • Are you familiar with employment law? Keep an eye on relevant sources of info as legislation changes all the time!

  • Will there be any insurance practicals to sort out?

  • Don't forget to layout clear company policies with regards to equal opportunities, health and safety, copyright , data protection etc. (have a nosy at the policies of other publications for inspiration)

  • Do you have a bespoke database to record customer details?

Phew!! There's lots to consider! As always this is by no means a definitive guide but we hope that it gives you a fair idea of the things you need to be thinking about !

Check out the Startacus business toolkit for a growing directory of all the business bits-and-bobs, links and articles you may need - no matter what business you are considering starting and get working on your business idea in our virtual workspace...

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Published on: 21st August 2013

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