I’m a mum of two boys, aged 3.5 and 2 years old. I created the New Baby Guides in January 2009 and since then, they’ve grown exponentially and have been the springboard to other great things for me and our family. The New Baby Guides are NHS Maternity Unit publications which we produce for local NHS Maternity Units at no cost to themselves. We fund the Guides by selling relevant and appropriate advertising from businesses with a local presence in them. We also give some of the profits to each Unit we work with. The Guides started in 2009 and are now getting to over 100,000 new mums and families each year. They have a glossy card cover and good paper inside, so they are something that women and their families hold on to and use regularly as a source of information and help. Continue reading “I Started a Business with a Baby: Liz Weston of New Baby Guides, Weston Communications and Young Families”
Tell me more…
You can start a business that produces a magazine for your town or local area. You would earn money by selling advertising space in the magazine.
- You can either buy a franchise or start your own magazine from scratch
- Your magazine could be aimed at anyone in the local area or could be for a specific group of people like parents or business people.
What are the benefits?
- You can choose your working hours to fit around your family.
- The satisfaction of producing your own magazine
- The potential to earn a decent income from a part-time business, although it will probably take several years of hard work to get there.
Things to consider…
- You will probably have a heavy workload on the run up to the publication deadline. How will this fit with your family commitments? Can someone else handle the childcare if you need them to?
- Chances are you’ll have to chase some advertisers for payment. You’ll need to be persistent and not afraid of phoning people and asking for the money you are owed. It may take a while to get payment, so you’ll need to make sure you can survive if several advertisers don’t pay up for a few months.
- If you’re not going down the franchise route and are just starting your own magazine, advertisers may be reluctant to part with their money as you won’t have a track record. Before you approach advertisers, think about how can you convince them that their advert will reach their potential customers.
If you’re considering buying a franchise…
- Don’t take the franchiser’s word for it in terms of how many hours you need to work each month. Talk to someone who is already running a community magazine.
- As with all franchises, be clear about exactly what you’re getting for your money and weigh up if this is good value. Talk to people who have already bought the franchise and learn from their experience. Write a business plan and make sure you can make a profit – don’t take the franchiser’s word for it, do your own homework.
- Franchisers will often give you exclusive rights to an area, but this doesn’t stop someone starting a rival magazine from another franchise or an independent magazine. Check out your competition, there may already be several magazines in your area.
- Ouse Valley Living is my local independent (i.e. not a franchise) community magazine – check out their website for inspiration.
- How about running a website instead? If your community is made up of people with a shared interest that is spread across the country or the world, you could create an online magazine. See Business Ideas For Mums – Running an Information Website.
Not convinced that running a community magazine is for you? Take a look at other business ideas for mums.