If you are fond of news and information and love to share them with people, Newspaper Business is ideal for you. You can start a small newspaper and earn money apart from following your passion.
People are fond of Newspapers and in the case of local newspapers, they would love to see their regional issues and topics of interest highlighted in the Newspaper. Not only that, with proper planning and management, you will be able to get advertisements in your newspaper which will earn you profits.
Is Newspaper Business Profitable?
Due to the entry of the internet, the print newspaper business has taken a hit in recent years. The subscription of newspapers in print format has declined in the last decade.
But still, there is a lot of scopes for a new newspaper to be successful. One needs to be innovative to attract young readers into reading newspapers. Try to bring out a digital version of your newspaper because more and more advertisers nowadays prefer advertisement packages that include both digital and print editions.
Newspapers have a universal demand and printed words are really powerful even today. However, you need to go through a lot of research and planning before launching your newspaper business.
Small Newspaper Business Plan Guide for Beginners
Here are the 13 most important steps to start a successful newspaper business:
1. Decide on the Type (Content), Frequency, and Size of the Newspaper
First of all, you have to decide on the type of your Small Newspaper. You can very well publish news of national and international importance. But you have to think of something unique that will set your Small Newspaper apart from and ahead of others. Try to highlight local issues, things of local importance, and useful information about the local institutions and companies that will benefit your readers.
Regarding the frequency or how often you should publish your Newspaper, it is advisable to start with a monthly Newspaper. This will give you enough time to gather news and information and get ads also. After some time, you can change to fortnightly and then weekly.
As for size, you should publish a Newspaper of 8-pages. That will give you enough space for news, information as well as ads. The size may be a broadsheet measuring 15 × 22.756 inches, or a tabloid measuring 11.024 × 16.929 inches. It will depend on your convenience and getting ads.
2. Do the Research & Understand the Local Newspaper Business Market
Doing research is the most important aspect of your small newspaper business. Do thorough and in-depth market research of the demographic profile of the area, people’s preferences, local problems, and issues need for information, etc.
Try to find out what the people want; what kind of news or information. Reach out to local businesses, educational institutions, and other various types of organizations and try to incorporate their activities in your Newspaper. This will help you in getting not only more subscriptions but also advertisement revenues in the future.
Apart from all these, use your news sense to find out news angle from so-called common things. For example, you can highlight local talents or local events. Try to find out what people are looking for in a new newspaper.
3. Decide the Number of Copies to Print
If you are starting your small newspaper business at a place having a population of 50,000 people, start with 10,000 copies. After a few months, you will be able to find the demand and increase the number.
You can also start with a trial run of free copies and find the demand. Then you can decide on the actual number to be printed. However, you should focus on reaching the maximum number of people in the area.
4. Choose a Name & Register Your Newspaper Business
After the research part, you have to choose a suitable name for your Newspaper. Brainstorm your ideas and make a shortlist. Choose the name which appeals most. Keep in mind the type of newspaper you are going to publish and name accordingly.
Find a relevant domain in the name of your newspaper. Make your news website with all the information about your Newspaper, the Mission and Vision, and selected articles.
After the name is finalized, register your Newspaper with the Local as well as Federal Authorities as required. Every country and state offers different legal structures to run a business. Every formation has its pros and cons. For example, if you are from the United States, forming an LLC saves your personal assets in case your company faces legal financial disputes.
5. Get Necessary License, Permits & Taxes
After registration, get the necessary license and permits to run your Newspaper Business. Remember without proper license and permits, your Business may face legal problems. Also, register your business for relevant taxes.
6. Open Bank Account
Open a Bank Account in the name of your Newspaper. This will help you to get and make payments in an organized way. Also, get a business Credit Card.
7. Hiring Staff for Your Newspaper Business
Depending on the nature and content of the Newspaper you have to hire personnel. In the case of a small Newspaper Business, hiring too many people is not profitable. You have to hire a good reporter with the knowledge, promptness, and smartness required for reporting. You can be the editor to edit all the News Items. Sometimes you have to do the reporting also. You can take the help of news agencies.
Hire a person on a part-time basis, to finalize the page make-up of your Newspaper. It is an essential part of your Business as the look of the Newspaper is very important to attract both readers and advertisers.
You will also need a good marketing person for the publicity and advertisement of the Newspaper. However, in the case of a Small Newspaper Business, your public relations, news skill, and personality play a very important role both in readership and getting ads.
8. Calculate the Cost of Starting a Newspaper Business in Your Location
To start your Small Newspaper Business, you need to spend money on different heads like Printing and Distribution, Salaries, Rent, etc. This will amount to approximately $ 5-6000 per month.
You can also start your Newspaper Business with a small mock-run, where you will try to get ads and publish the Newspaper and distribute it free to get an idea of the response and having suggestions.
9. Make a Revenue Plan & Fix Advertisement Rates
The revenue or the profit of your newspaper business will come from advertisements. The more ads you get the more profit you will make. Again, the ads depend on the popularity, readership, and content of your Newspaper.
There are different sizes of advertisements that can be published in your newspaper. Like 2×2 inches, 2×3.5 inches, half page, full page, etc. The rates will be decided according to the size of the ad. The rates of colored ads are higher. The rates may be from approximately $ 100 for 2×3.5 sq inches to $ 500 or 600. You can also ask for sponsorships for special articles.
You can offer a contract to your advertisers, by which their ads will be published in the same space for consecutive issues. Give some discounts in case of contracts.
10. Create a Marketing Plan to Source Advertisements from Sponsors
In the case of selling ads, you have to be extremely positive and convincing. You need to contact the decision-maker of any corporate or other organization and explain to them the mileage they will get in giving an advertisement to your Newspaper.
Keep a sample or dummy copy of your Newspaper while talking to the advertisers. That will give them an impression of the looks and nature of your Newspaper.
Convince the advertiser about the readership range of your Newspaper and the rich content. That will create an interest in the advertiser to advertise in your Newspaper.
Try to publish some articles that will serve the interests of the advertiser. This will generate ads and you can also ask for sponsorships of such articles.
Publish some special color supplements with your Newspaper that will contain special topics. This is more attractive for advertisers.
Keep good contacts with schools and colleges in the area so that they can publish their admission and employment notice in your Newspaper.
Local shops, salons, hospitals, and charitable organizations are also good sources of advertisements. You have to keep good and regular contact with them.
Remember, you have to reach more readers to get more ads. Apart from that the content and the quality of printing should be good. That will attract both readers and advertisers.
Learn More: Low-Budget Marketing Ideas for Small Business
11. Fix a Good Printing Press
The quality of printing is an essential part of any Newspaper. Good printing quality creates a good impression. You have to fix a good printing press for printing your Newspaper. The press should not only produce a good quality newspaper but also maintain the deadline strictly. Remember, missing the deadline is bad for your reputation.
12. Establish an Effective Distribution Network
It is ideal if you can mail the copies of your Newspaper directly to your readers. That will ensure that they will get copies of the Newspapers. However, that is costly. You can also distribute it through canvassers or agents.
Another way of distribution is giving or selling your Newspaper in different places where there are waiting for lounges or reception. This includes places like offices, schools, salons, hospitals, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, offices or apartments, etc.
13. Have a Strategy to Increase Newspaper Circulation
A good circulation or readership gives you a greater number of ads. Therefore you have to take all possible measures to increase the readership. For that, your Newspaper must have good and interesting articles and a good layout and print.
Remember to highlight the local problems, achievements, and issues in your Newspaper. In case of the visits of VIPs or celebrities in the area, cover the news well and from a different angle. Try to publish an interview with the person in your Newspaper.
Keep a good touch with the readers through surveys and their letters and try to understand their opinion about your Newspaper and what do they want. Structure your content accordingly.
10 Extremely Important Tips to Run a Successful Newspaper Business
You have to be careful about certain things in your Small Newspaper Business. Some of them are the most essential in long-term success. Let us have a look at aspects that make or break your newspaper business.
Be sure about News Source
You have to check the authenticity of the news source before publishing it. Don’t publish anything which you are not sure of. If it is something controversial, check the source of the news properly before publishing.
Don’t Publish Objectionable Content or Gossips in Your Newspaper
Don’t publish anything objectionable for any class, race, sex, or other groups of society. Never publish gossips because that may tarnish the image of your Newspaper.
Don’t Compromise on Quality of Printing
This is an important aspect of your Newspaper. The print should be of very high quality to attract readers as well as advertisers. Keep a close eye on the quality of printing and go for some dummy copies before publishing to judge the quality of printing.
Don’t Publish Content for Cheap Publicity
Don’t put any cheap content like personal details or other irrelevant matters in your Newspaper. It may give you some publicity, but that is temporary and creates a bad impression in the long run. You will have to judge the news value before publishing any content.
Do regular Readership Survey and Change According to the Demand of the Readers
Starting a Small Newspaper Business means much involvement from your end. You have to do regular readership surveys to know the opinion of readers. If you find that the readers want a new approach or angle of your Newspaper, you have to consider that and make changes. Remember, greater readership will earn you more revenue through ads.
These are the important points of starting your Small Newspaper Business. Be ready to work hard and spend long hours for the success of your Business. After all, printed words have their power and that will empower you to get your achievement.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.