There are a number of companies in Pakistan who want to publish their booklets, newsletters and brochures. An experienced publisher is essentially required for these kinds of publications as many of the companies have serious corporate clients. For that the publication should be designed professionally with proper language, to make a profound impression on the readers.
According to IBEX research, the publishing business has potential in the metropolitan cities of Pakistan. Companies in the corporate sector are always willing to publish brochures and newsletters of their corporations. The bigger giants listed in stock markets also publish their quarterly and annual reports. It is a stressful task for many of these companies to publish such materials properly even though they have the information but lack the designing skills.
Starting the Business
To start the publishing business, the first step is to categorize the work. You have to hire a few employees on project or permanent basis. You also need proficient editors who can edit and change the language according to the requirement. The number of editors depends on the work load. You also need a talented graphics designer to design the final print material and an editor who is in charge of proof reading the final layout and written material. This final proof reader can be ignored for small projects. Usually women and university students having a good command on English are well suited for this job.
Getting the Business
For the establishment of this business, contacts in the companies who publish newsletters, brochures, magazines, and annual reports are an essential requirement. You can also hire a sales person to get the business from different companies. It is quite feasible to make a list of companies listed in the stock markets, universities and other small companies registered in the chambers of commerce. Targets can be given to the sales person every month to get projects on commission basis.
Initial Investment, Expenses and Profit
The only initial investment is the hiring of employees consisting of a few editors, a designer and a proof reader. It is advised that at the start of the business the employees should not be hired on fixed monthly salaries but on project basis. An average good editor charges from Rs.20, 000 to Rs.50, 000 a month depending upon his/her experience and expertise. In some projects, you also need creative writers. A professional English writer charges Rs.3000 to Rs.10, 000 for writing an article and normal graphics designer charges Rs. 300 for designing each page of a newsletter or a magazine. Permanent designers can also be hired for Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 a month. Proof readers charge around Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 if they are hired on a fixed salary. If you want permanent employees, you need an initial investment of Rs. 5 lacs which also includes their 6 months of pay. Alternatively, if you hire the employees on project basis, you can start the same business with only Rs. 1 lac including the cost for a computer system and some office furniture if you are providing space to your employees in a room at your house. You can allocate a work space at your home or let them work from their homes. It is not wise to have an office for this work in the initial stages of the business.
The prices you charge from your clients vary from company to company with reasonable profit margins. For example if a company wants to print a news letter of 20 pages and you have to write, edit, and design the newsletter, it is going to cost you only Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 including the project based salaries of editors, designers and proof readers. The price can easily be quoted more then Rs. 50,000. If you can get 10 projects a month, you can easily make profit of more than Rs. 50,000 and at times even more than 1 lac.
Once you start getting the projects in bulk and maintain your portfolio of clients, then you can hire the employees on permanent pays as well. Another important aspect to increase the profitability is to develop a relationship with 2 or 3 printing presses and take the responsibility of printing the materials to get a profit percentage from the printing press.
There are two main issues in this business: firstly, the high turnover of employees. If you are using project based employees, there are chances that at the last moment it would be hard to find any creative writer or editor when you get a new project. You should always have backup writers and editors.
The other issue is getting the projects and maintaining the relationships with the clients. If you have contacts in the companies then you can easily get these kinds of projects, otherwise you need a sales person to find projects from the corporate sector. Once a company gives you a project of publishing and printing of a newsletter or an annual report, you can maintain good relations with them so that they give you business every month, quarter or every year depending upon the frequency of the printing material.
To expand your business, you can also start publishing and printing commercial magazines. It will increase your responsibilities of getting subscriptions from the market and circulation of the magazine in the cities. For that you need different expertise and it requires relevant experience of at least 2 years.
Keys to Success
- Excellence in fulfilling the promise – completely confidential, reliable, trustworthy expertise and information.
- Developing visibility to generate new business leads.
- Leveraging from a single pool of expertise into multiple revenue generation opportunities – the newsletter and subscription website, retainer consulting, project consulting, market research, and market research published reports.