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My excitement at becoming a Media Baron soon turned to fear… what now?
Well, the beauty of a takeover means almost everything is in place, the only missing ingredient is your own X-factor. So here are the pieces of the newspaper production puzzle that I inherited and put in place:
- A pool of advertisers. Most were there, I had to convince them that continuing with the paper was worth their while and perhaps find more. So phone and internet access were crucial.
- A printing company with an affordable monthly printing cost. This was already in place. I got the first month's printing free and then an affordable deal based on pages, black and white and projected advertising revenue.
- Publishing software; the previous publisher used Corel Draw so I kind of had to go down the same route if I didn't want to redesign from scratch with limited knowledge. So, a smallish investment in Corel Draw.
- Computer with Microsoft Office including Excel, great for spreadsheets of advertising income and page planning. An average spec will do, just make sure it has a a sizable memory and RAM (operating memory, publishing software and image graphics can use up large amounts of memory real quick).
- Internet access for all those great free software things you can get, image compressors, pdf to Word converters, free clip art, etc.
- 'Journalists', or people who like to write and submit regular articles for the love of it. You can't write the whole thing on your own. I had some writers in place and set out to find more for those anxious empty-pages-with-nothing-to-fill-them moments...
- Delivery methods. The local post office already took a stack and there was a group of elderly people who liked to deliver house to house and enjoy the walk at the same time. The group of elderly people remains a mystery, I do not have their contact details, I hope nothing happens to them any time soon!
- Bank account: it's a community venture and most of the income will go towards costs with the remainder going to yourself as taxable income, so try to open a community account with the newspaper name as the payee, otherwise advertisers might balk at paying into the personal account of someone who at the outset they do not know.
- A notebook; you are probably going to want to write the headline article, so a big good old-fashioned notebook will be great for interviews, edition planning and things to do, etc.