Twelve Tips for Operating a Niche Media Business
Cultivating a D.I.Y. ethos.
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:
â€˘Â Â Â Keep infrastructure costs lowâ€”spend only on products and people, and no excesses.
â€˘Â Â Â Check facts and contentions versus â€śtrust.â€ť
â€˘Â Â Â Drive sales. If you are not a former salesperson you may feel you have no right. You have the right. Do it.
â€˘Â Â Â Go on sales calls. There is a tendency among publishers to sit and preach from the tower. Itâ€™s the only way to really know what is happening.
â€˘Â Â Â Use drill-down research as an excuse to meet with potential advertisersâ€”become a market resource.
â€˘Â Â Â Always know that initiatives start at the top.
â€˘Â Â Â Figure out the special numbersâ€”say, the number of spreadsâ€”that clue you in to how the business is running.
â€˘Â Â Â Get a sounding board/partner, or have outside sources of advice.
â€˘Â Â Â Maintain insurance. You owe it to your family.
â€˘Â Â Â Have excellent personal credit. It keeps you in business.
â€˘Â Â Â Bill early and bill often.
â€˘Â Â Â Watch cash flow short term, and long term, as well as the P&L.
-- 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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