Twelve Tips for Operating a Niche Media Business

Cultivating a D.I.Y. ethos.

Ted Bahr By Ted Bahr
04/28/2009 -10:18 AM

Editor's note: Ted Bahr, president and publisher of BZ Media, a Long Island, New York-based software-development industry publisher, gave a keynote at the third annual Niche Magazine Conference, an event for small companies, held in Denver this week. Here, taken from Bahr's keynote, are 12 tips for operating a niche media business:

•    Keep infrastructure costs low—spend only on products and people, and no excesses.
•    Check facts and contentions versus “trust.”
•    Drive sales. If you are not a former salesperson you may feel you have no right. You have the right. Do it.
•    Go on sales calls. There is a tendency among publishers to sit and preach from the tower. It’s the only way to really know what is happening.
•    Use drill-down research as an excuse to meet with potential advertisers—become a market resource.
•    Always know that initiatives start at the top.
•    Figure out the special numbers—say, the number of spreads—that clue you in to how the business is running.
•    Get a sounding board/partner, or have outside sources of advice.
•    Maintain insurance. You owe it to your family.
•    Have excellent personal credit. It keeps you in business.
•    Bill early and bill often.
•    Watch cash flow short term, and long term, as well as the P&L.


Ted Bahr By Ted Bahr -- Ted Bahr founded BZ Media, a technology-focused media company, with Alan Zeichick in 1999. Before that, Ted held numerous positions at Miller Freeman, finally as a Group President and member of the Board of Directors. At Miller Freeman, Ted launched 8 magazines, plus many conferences and ancillary products. He has managed magazines in many markets including computers, electronics, music, video, travel, real estate, interior design and manufacturing.

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