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.