Newsletter Business Plan
117 Munson Ave.
Eunice, LA 70677
This plan provides insight into the planning, production, and distribution of a periodical publication conceived and written by one person. Equipment, cost, and procedures are covered. The revised version of this plan immediately follows.
- STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
- THE BUSINESS
- GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- METHODS FOR OBTAINING GOALS
- READER PROFILE
- PROJECT MANAGEMENT—COMPONENTS
- PROJECT MANAGEMENT—PHASE I
- PROJECT MANAGEMENT—PHASE II
- PRODUCTION SCHEDULE
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This plan will be an operating and policy guide for Network Journal, as well as a proposal to be submitted for the purpose of obtaining a grant for starting a small home-based business.
Janice K. McGraw, sole proprietor and operator of Network Journal, is requesting a $20,000 grant to purchase the computer, printer, supplies, and services necessary to create an environment conducive to immediate business start-up. A list of items, services, and costs is included in this proposal.
This grant will allow this publication to go online within three months of receipt of funds.
Description of Business
Network Journal will be a solely-owned and operated publication, producing and distributing quarterly newsletters pertaining to personal and planetary enlightenment, free at distribution points and by subscription for a fee.
The beginning target market areas will be Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, with minimal interspersion in the continental United States.
Network Journal has an anticipated distribution start-up date of January 1, 1995. Initial contacts are currently being made for advertising and distribution commitments. All advertisements, directory listings, and events listings will be paid with submission of information by money order or certified check.
The publisher is currently researching copyright and trademark acquisition.
Product and Service
The primary product offered will be a several-page newsletter offering in-depth interviews with a featured person (holistic practitioners, authors, teachers, philosophers, spiritual leaders, futurists, etc.); book, audio, and video reviews; calendar of events—local and national; guest writers of articles; directory listings; and advertisements from persons or businesses that fit into the scope of the publication.
Network Journal will provide quality, informal journalistic newsletters to all readers in pursuit of persons, services, and/or products promoting enlightenment and self-empowerment as it relates to the individual and his planetary symbiosis by means of free distribution and subscriptions to the public on a quarterly basis.
The goal is to provide a newsletter, paid for by advertising, directory listings, and events listings, beginning in the Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles, Louisiana areas, with initial minimal distribution to other areas of the United States. This market has an approximate population of 1,209,939. Figuring a 1% minimum interested population results in an initial start up market of approximately 12,099.
Approximately two hundred potential initial advertisers have been targeted.
Customers will be approached through distribution points and subscriptions, then in the future through advertising in local and national magazines and newspapers. Word-of-mouth advertising is expected.
Location of Business
Network Journal will be located and operated at the publishers's residence at 117 Munson Ave., Eunice, Louisiana. Production of the publication requires proper computer equipment, desktop publishing capabilities, a laser printer, supplies, telephone, fax machine, and an answering machine. Physical location is important to the extent of having a space for equipment and supplies. Printing, assembly, and sorting of the publication will take place off-site. The publication will be delivered to Lafayette distribution points by the publisher. All other distribution points will receive their copies via a competent shipping service or the United States Post Office, based on the least expensive rate of shipping.
Subscriptions will be mailed first class through the United States Postal Service.
At present there are only four newsletters being published in the South that are similar to the scope of Network Journal. One is being published in Mississippi, one in New Orleans, and a new health-based publication in Baton Rouge. One Lafayette publication offers some holistic contributions, but is primarily targeted at business women. Two charge for publication, and two are free at distribution points.
Similarities exist in the areas of articles, listing of events, and advertising availability. None, however, are currently offering the full range of featured interviews or comprehensive directory listings that will allow Network Journal to appeal to a large audience beyond the immediate area. The majority of articles in each currently published newsletter represent editorial-styled articles by the same contributors each month. Network Journal will present in-depth interviews with local as well as national, and in some cases, international persons involved in body, mind, spiritual, and futurists paths, as well as articles from these same persons and others, giving great variety of information—two reasons that will make Network Journal stand apart from the current format of newsletters being published.
Janice K. McGraw, publisher and manager of Network Journal, has a degree from the University of Louisiana in Office Administration; twenty years of various experiences in bookkeeping, computer operations, and management with a local Certified Public Accounting firm; one year experience as an art editor, contributing editor, and co-publisher of a monthly newsletter for the local chapter of the Sierra Club; and two years experience publishing a monthly in-house newsletter for a sales and consulting business she owned and operated. She was a co-developer of a $20,000,000 proposed museum of science and industry, having been involved in the project's development for six years in the capacity of researcher, editor, and project coordinator. Additionally, she has been involved in the local literacy program for adults; co-implementer of the first recycling program in her region; and co-producer of the County Solid Waste program.
The publisher will initially receive a monthly part-time salary of $300, increasing to a full-time salary parallel to the growth of the publication. Ms. McGraw is currently employed full-time at Michaels & Affiliates, Ltd., A Professional Corporation of Certified Public Accountants, and will continue to work there until the publication of Network Journal warrants her full-time attention. The owner of Michaels & Affiliates, Ltd. is, at present, negotiating the sale of his business in anticipation of retirement at some point within the next two to three years. Full-time operation of the publication is being targeted to coincide with this transition.
Network Journal will begin as a small publication for a focused area, with expansion planned for the near future. Being published and distributed quarterly, the schedule required will allow Ms. Shafer to operate it while she remains employed full-time.
The accounting firm for Network Journal is Michaels & Affiliates, Ltd., 1066 Norman Rd., Scott, Louisiana. The attorney is Robert E. Crenshaw, 1193 Norman Rd., Scott, Louisiana.
Network Journal will remain solely operated by Janice K. McGraw until such time as additional staff is required.
Application and Expected Effect of Grant
The $20,000 will be used as follows:
|Micro 486DX2-66 Computer||$2,000|
|Laser Master WinPrinter 1,000/dpi||1,095|
|Postage and Shipping||500|
|Printing, Sorting and Assembly—5,000||625|
|Desktop Publishing program—PageMaker||452|
|WordPerfect for Windows||289|
|Post office box||50|
|Secretary of State||50|
|Shipping-Computer, Printer, Fax Machine||300|
|UPS System (Surge and Battery Protector)||300|
Network Journal will purchase the equipment and supplies on a cash basis from funds provided by the grant.
The vehicle used for the business is in good working order and bears no mortgage or lien. Other vehicles are available.
The computer, desktop publishing program, laser printer, additional equipment, and supplies will allow for in-house publication to produce a product ready for printing by the off-site printer.
The balance of the funds, which will remain in a bank account established solely for the purpose of operating the newsletter, will provide a monthly part-time compensation to the publisher, as well as operating funds including printing, telephone, utilities, auto expense, postage and shipping, and any other expenses involved in start-up and initial operation of the publication. This balance will act as a reserve line of credit to be used in taking advantage of special opportunities or to meet emergencies.
Network Journal is a sole-proprietorship. It publishes and distributes, for free as well as by subscription, a quarterly newsletter under the premise of being "the forum for like-minded individuals." It also provides space for advertising for persons and businesses who fit the scope of the newsletter.
Production will occur at the publisher's residence at 117 Munson Ave., Eunice, Louisiana, with distribution focus beginning in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The owner, Janice K. McGraw, is seeking $20,000 to purchase the necessary equipment, supplies, and adequate working capital to provide for start-up and operating costs, with some funds to be placed in reserve for expansion purposes. This amount will sufficiently finance publication and enable it to be delivered by January 1, 1995, so that the business may begin as a profitable venture. It will also provide for enhancement of primarily local and some national businesses.
Market response, to date, has indicated an unfilled demand for a method of networking between people who offer services and products in self-enlightenment, holistic, and planetary areas and those who seek them. Ms. McGraw's managerial and sales experience, and the assistance of legal and accounting associations, assures the entire operation will be carefully controlled.
The funds sought will result in the immediate production and controlled expansion of the business as Ms. McGraw will be performing the production, distribution, deliveries and shipping until such time as expansion warrants additional personnel. The additional reserve and working capital will enable Network Quarterly to substantially increase its sales while maintaining profitability.
8 1/2" × 11" (To be printed on 11" × 17")
White or cream paper (to be determined) [Recycled]
Stapled in center to form booklet
Printing on front and back of sheets
Margins: 1" on all sides
Copies for distribution will remain flat
Subscriptions will be folded into thirds, secured with small tab
Self-mailer on bottom third of back page
Grid: Two columns
|Body Text:||Style for Banner (to be determined)|
|Banner in Bold|
|Style for Text (to be determined)|
|Indents (to be determined)|
|Width of photo or centered, depending|
|1/2 pica beneath photo or drawing|
|Lead article headline:||Point (to be determine)|
|Underline (to be determined)|
|Column heads:||Point (to be determined)|
|Style same as text|
|Pull quotes:||Point (to be determined)|
|Flush left or centered, depending|
|Match to column width, depending|
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Network Journal is a newsletter published quarterly by a sole-proprietor. Its purpose is to inform interested readers about events, individuals, and materials available in the holistic, spiritual, and metaphysical fields, as well as to provide a place for advertising for persons and businesses that fit the scope of the publication.
To provide income for myself.
To provide information to readers about current and existing holistic events and fields.
To recognize practitioners, authors, teachers, philosophers, etc., for their contributions to the evolution of the individual, and thereby, humanity as a whole.
Regular features on local, state, national, and international practitioners, authors, teachers, spiritual leaders, et al, book and video reviews, directory listings, calendar of events, articles by practitioners, authors, etc., advertisements.
Style of Message
Informal news style, supplemented with informational content to appear in journalistic form.
Style Sheet - Format
Number of pages depending on available material and number of ads and listings.
8 1/2" × 11" on either white or cream paper.
2 column grid
All elements to combine into informal, tasteful, contemporary style to appeal to readers.
Frequency of Distribution
Unfolded for free distribution
Folded in thirds for subscriptions, mailing labels, first class
Personal computer using desktop publishing
Copies to be made at local print shop
METHODS FOR OBTAINING GOALS
Target all practitioners, authors, philosophers, psychics, etc., who are involved in disseminating information to the public. Receive paid-in-advance monies (money orders or certified checks only) for advertisements and listings, starting local, with some others areas of the country included.
Expand advertisers and distribution points as publication grows. Provide part-time income starting at $300 per month, increasing as publication grows.
Allow one year from start-up for part-time income to be established.
Allow two years from start-up for full-time income to be established.
Target all businesses and teachers involved in holistic, spiritual, or metaphysical practices.
Demonstrate increased awareness of services and events available.
Allow businesses and individuals to communicate with readers.
Increase contact between business people and readers
Begins with first newsletter.
Target all patrons or clients of advertised businesses and/or distribution points.
Inform readers about the background of practitioners, authors, teachers, philosophers, etc.
Inform readers about the various holistic, spiritual, and metaphysical services available.
Give readers sufficient information to allow choice of path for self-empowerment.
Begins with first newsletter.
Individuals involved in the pursuit or distribution of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, metaphysical, and symbiotic planetary information and/or practices.
Starting in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, with small distribution to other parts of the country. Eventual expansion throughout the state, later, throughout the country.
What the readers know
The readers are either teaching and serving in a business capacity or are looking for services and products that serve their holistic pursuits.
Where they currently get information
Readers currently get information by word-of-mouth, physically traveling to various locations that have business cards, pamphlets, or other publications. Little to no telephone directory access is available.
Why they want Network Journal
Businesses and individuals resort to handouts, word-of-mouth advertising, and minimal public advertising for information. This publication would provide strong local and statewide support of businesses and provide seekers with more information than normally given, through the vehicle of in-depth interviews and articles rather than solely through advertisements and directory listings. A need for this "network" has been expressed to the publisher by business persons and the public.
What my goal is
To affect readers and advertisers in a positive manner by providing a source of predominantly local and state, with a future expansion into national areas, information to facilitate connecting, thereby enhancing business for advertisers and each individual's pursuit of personal and planetary enlightenment.
The Goal simplified
To provide a vehicle for connecting or networking for like-minded individuals seeking personal and planetary enlightenment.
Definition of Purpose
To provide insights and information about new and existing holistic, spiritual, metaphysical, and planetary services and products to interested individuals as well as provide a place for advertising for practitioners, authors, teachers, and all other persons or businesses fitting into the scope of the publication.
To Achieve this Purpose
Network Journal will provide a compilation of information, easy to access through either free distribution at businesses or through subscription of $10 per year.
Why a newsletter
Several years ago, a need was expressed locally for a directory listing holistic practitioners, bookstores, persons and or businesses that offered services and or products within this scope. A directory was printed, distributed once a year, and ceased operations after the second year because it was not cost-effective.
When this need was expressed recently, it was expressed in the context that perhaps a newsletter that contained a directory was needed. Combining a vehicle for business listings with in-depth articles about and by practitioners, authors, philosophers, Think-tank participants, etc., will provide the readers with more information than usually given for choosing an appealing holistic personal and planetary path, providing readers a reason for wanting to read the publication each quarter, and thereby, a reason for people to continue to advertise in the publication.
Individuals, practitioners, authors, philosophers, Think-tank participants, and all likeminded persons or businesses desiring to either inform or become informed about practices, events, or books, audios, and videos relating to self-empowerment in the areas of nutrition, physical well-being, emotional balance, spiritual evolution, and their relationship to planetary responsibility.
Age: 13 and over
Marital Status: Not applicable
Education: Around 12th grade reading level and above
Business: All fields
Income Average: $ 10,000 and above
Cities of and Parishes surrounding
Remainder of state of Louisiana
With some other areas of the United States involved
Eventually expanding to the continental United States
Population: (1990 Figures)
Lafayette Parish: 164,762
Baton Rouge: 219,531
East Baton Rouge Parish: 380,105
New Orleans: 496,938
Orleans Parish: 496,938
Lake Charles: 70,580
Calcasieu Parish: 168,134
Total Population of the Four Parishes: 1,209,939
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: COMPONENTS
Holistic practitioners, spiritual leaders, authors, philosophers, futurists, and those of similar ilk—local and non-local. Interviews to be conducted by publisher and those who wish to contribute.
Book, Audio, and Video Reviews
New and existing books, audios, and videos reviewed by the publisher and others who wish to contribute.
List of events, seminars, and meetings to occur within the three-month period. Local and non-local. Occasional listings of events far in advance. $5 for 20 words, $.25 for each additional word per quarter.
Contribute articles on holistic practices, spiritual studies, philosophy, and any topic fitting the scope of the publication. A small biography will serve as free advertising for contributors of articles.
Lists all holistic practitioners, psychics, teachers, and businesses that fit into the scope of the publication. $5 for 20 words, $.25 for each additional word per quarter.
All businesses, services, and products that fit into the scope of the publication.
|Business Card||$40.00 per quarter|
|1/4 page||$85.00 per quarter|
|1/2 page||$160.00 per quarter|
|Full page||$325.00 per quarter|
Camera-ready copy is requested.
Non-camera ready copy to be negotiated between publisher and advertiser.
Table of Contents
In the Next Issue
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: PHASE I
- Contact federal government for grant applications/Apply for federal grant(s). (6-13-94)
- Verify that Word Perfect 5.0 can be used for presentable desktop publishing (Done) If not:
- Research and price alternative programs (Complement: PageMaker—$452)
- Research cost of transferring by diskette to local computer store.
- Determine if label program (mlist) can be accessed on home computer (Done-Yes) and add it to the menu. (Done)
- Determine how much room is on the hard drive/Determine what can be deleted, if necessary.
- Go through all WP 5.0 material.
- Do rough draft on home computer.
- Do interview with local practitioner, write article.
- Do book, audio, and video reviews.
- Use practitioner's business card and some made up ads, directory listings, and events.
- Ask contributor for an article on a spiritual topic.
- Include disclaimers and subscription.
- Get all expenses listed.
- Call printer and ask for price list for copying from computer original, batch sizes, assembly charges, paper, delivery, etc. (Done)
- Ask for cost of computer, laser printer. (Done)
- Ask if desktop publishing is included with programs. (Access C:\WP50\NEWSPAPR.WPG)
- Research cost effective desktop publishing available that will fit on computer.
- Prepare low-end start up costs. (Done.)
- Check information on self-incorporating.
- Check library first
- Check business supply store (Reserve for when necessary.)
- Check on Secretary of State requirements and availability of name for publication.
- Make a comprehensive list in mlist, if available, for contacts.
- Need names, business name, address, phone. (Nearly done)
- Categorize for ads, directory, interviews, guest writers.
- Create forms for meetings, ads, directory, articles, subscriptions, events (Done)
- Create and send out feasibility survey.
- Order telephone books for Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Lake Charles—business only, if available. (Alternative: go to library and write them down.)
- Get population of Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles and surrounding parishes. (Done)
PROJECT MANAGEMENT: PHASE II
- When surveys are returned:
- Organize into categories.
- Make contacts.
- Meet with Michaels for start-up procedures, taxes, etc.
- Fine-tune publication process (Make copy on laser printer at computer store, if not yet purchased.)
- Set up interviews.
- Arrange for articles, book reviews, etc.
- Open a bank account.
- Produce first newsletter.
- Distribute first newsletter.
- Send several free copies of first issue to family and friends.
- Weeks One and Two:
- Target featured individual(s).
- Make contact(s).
- Submit forms for articles, reviews, events, etc.
- Weeks Three and Four:
- Schedule and conduct interviews.
- Write and edit articles.
- Collect articles, reviews, etc.
- Select and edit articles.
- Weeks Five and Six:
- Put all information into computer.
- Create format.
- Run rough draft
- Rough draft.
- Run final.
- Cut and paste.
- Run laser copy.
- Make corrections and additions to addresses.
- Weeks Seven and Eight:
- Bring to Vendor for printing, assembly, sorting.
- Proof copy.
- Pick up from vendor or have them deliver.
- If necessary, make address changes or additions.
- Weeks Nine and Ten:
- Run labels.
- Affix labels.
- Prepare for mailing, shipping, and delivery.
- Week Eleven: Deliver, mail and ship.
- Week Twelve:
- Take a one-week deep breath.
- Start all over.
The following Addenda represent forms used by the plan author for everyday use in conducting her business.