Maybe Best Low Cost Business Start Up Ever: Coupon Magazines
If you are looking to start a business, have limited capital, seek great upside potential and do not need a great deal of expertise beyond common sense, then coupon magazine printing may just be your ticket to the bank. One of the nicest things about printing coupons in a magazine form is that it is a self fulfilling franchise, where you can actually franchise it or simply expand your base once you find the formula that makes the first publication work for you. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to know or learn on how you can create an exciting new business with coupon printing in a magazine format.
Here are some of the things you will need to know as well as what type of capitalization you will require in order to have a successful venture:
As with any start up business you will be required to have a certain amount of capital in order to get started with coupon magazine printing. To keep things simple at first as well as costs at the low end, you will need to assume the role of sales person. Therefore the out of pocket expenses, other than printing a coupon magazine for overhead, would be your auto expenses, telephone and distribution expenses, which if you have a van or truck would be limited expenses. The only large expense would be that of funding the cost of the coupon magazine printing. With respect to this, here I will greatly caution the reader, be prepared to have the cash on hand for the total cost of the publication’s printing in advance as well as any mailing costs should you integrate any direct mail marketing of your magazine. The last thing you would want to do is to try and finance your venture on the back of pending advertising sales income. Do not do this as you will find some advertisers will consider not paying you until your issue hits the street. Some may even not pay you at all, as in most business ventures there are the bad players.
As with any publication to be printed you would want to take advantage of standard page sizing and page counts that are the most cost effective for you and that will also maximize the best cost and consistency of your advertising rates for your coupon printing. I will not deal with this hear, as I have covered this many times over in my blog writing pointing these things out. You can reference such blogs with respect to standard sizing, page count, press signatures etc. as all will be important to understand in order to allow for your best cost per page and thus your most attractive ad rates for your customers. I will also caution you here, that unless you have unlimited money to invest, stick with standard formats, page counts etc. and do not try and reinvent the wheel as all you will be doing is to reinvent your costs in an upwardly fashion and possibly to the point where your coupon magazine will have ad rates that simply are not conducive to acquiring advertisers.
3-MAGAZINE PRINT QUANTITY
With the advent of quality digital print technologies such as the iGen or Canon machines that rival ink, you now have three different print technologies to utilize in order to cover a quantity range that can be as little as a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Let’s assume you start with a sixteen page edition at letter size. I state letter size, which will vary slightly between print technologies for your coupon magazine printing. Digital toner and sheet fed presses, which may take you upwards of a 10,000 copy run, would consist of an 8.5 x 11” page size, but as the quantity and/or page count increases you would desire web printing for best costing and your page size would be reduced to 8 3/8 x 10 7/8” at a minimum. Paper thickness is also dependent on quantity as the technology you print on will have limitations as to how thin the paper is that you can print on. With web printing for your coupon magazine your printer may have no trouble supplying you with 40 or 45# gloss book paper stock. As paper may be half the cost of your magazine, thinner is usually better in order to keep costs low. Sheet fed and digital presses cannot print on anything thinner than 60#.
Here is where many miss the boat as there may not be any content whatsoever. Remember the old adage; content is king. Content may serve several purposes. It may drive people to read your coupon magazine and as an afterthought utilize some of the coupons. Your content may also be used in order to reward some better advertisers as well as to generally explain in more detail how the reader may benefit from utilizing your coupon and visiting the advertisers business. Whatever copy you write, make it relevant to your advertisers and readers. Create content that is chock full of tips to buyers on the best deals, happenings in the neighborhood, asking locals to contribute stories, posts or details regarding the neighborhood, including any comments about the local businesses. These may not be advertisers yet, but reading an article favorable to their business may be a sure fire way to get them to become advertisers.
Have an online version as well as it serves as one more location where your advertisers may see their adverts and this can be accomplished with something as simple as a one page website with links to flip book versions of the exact printed piece. You will be able to let your potential advertisers know that the same ad they have in the printed coupon magazine will appear online as well. With PBD, we supply the online version at no cost to our clients providing they meet certain minimum provisions as posted on our web.
6-WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
If you choose to work from home, you will not at first be saddled with rents and such for overhead. However, should you care to set up your business in advance with all of the usual necessities, you would best be served making sure you have appropriate insurance, legal and accounting counsel, resale certificate, register your business name as a d/b/a at the very least. It also would pay to join the local chamber of commerce where you can meet local merchants who would be prospective coupon magazine clients as well as pitch the chamber at one of their luncheons extolling the virtues of advertising with you in your magazine. As copy can set you apart from the competition invite local writers to submit relevant articles. Many may do so on a speculative basis in order to help you launch your venture which would then become a steady vehicle for the writer. If you intend to mail your coupon magazine be sure to check with the local post office in order to make sure your coupon magazine is in compliance for the best mailing rates, as well as acquiring the best but yet most cost effective mailing lists. Again, as I have blogged extensively on direct mail marketing you will find further information in those blogs regarding mail marketing.
Hopefully I have provided you with sufficient input and hopefully some incentive in order to venture forth into the world of coupon magazine printing. We would be happy to help you with your new venture and look forward to speaking with you about it.
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