Is it worth saving my small publishing business?
My family has a small publishing company which is performing badly; in all parts of the company there are inefficiencies and the company is at loss.
To mention the main issues:
- book sales are decreasing
- software sales are increasing and, if the last product will be completed, are expected to still grow; but the growth is less than expected
- all books are produced internally, which makes it impossible to produce more than 1 book at a time
- accounting is close archaeological and the accounting consultant is very expensive
- the employees are very expensive and unskilled
- animations are fundamental for the softwares but we have no cheap way to produce them
If the situation is fixed, I think it is also possible to provide some consulting to other small publishers about how to improve their performances.
Should we close the business or try our last chances which risks losing even more money? My available time also is very limited, I can do only do evening/weekend work.
If the business is putting you in debt and you can’t pay it, then you need to get out before it gets worse. If you are just scraping by, then it becomes a love for the work you do but. If you need to spend money “as it seems you do” to fix the problems, you will need to figure out will it give you a return.
If you have access to a cloud accounting system like Xero that could immediately save you accounting/bookkeeping costs. Focus on your software/ digital publishing as Daniel has said and research your audience to find out what traditional print books are critical to save, if any. In line with your shift towards software, review the skills of your employees and cut those positions that are no longer needed/or re-train. It would also be very helpful to know what you are publishing/your target sectors.
Matteo, as I have some decent global experience in the publishing industry too, I hope to provide you with my 2 cents here..
- You will need to focus on your core business; building content, reaching out to your audience; increase sales!
- Get the work done through third party, service provider; this can be outsourced or off-shored; here you get to have a high quality product at a quicker time, with a fair amount of cost savings as well.
- Even software support can be managed remotely in the above case, where you might be not only spending a lot of money, but also losing time, and spending even more time in trying to identify and getting things done. It is wise to identify a vendor / freelancer (depending on volume of work) who can take the pain off from you to ensure your goals and objectives are met. Experts in animations, are many if you have the right connect.
- Look at using digital marketing initiatives, to build your brand, build a loyal customer base, work on strategies for referral business; utilize your years of experience for a better client reach strategy.
- Try rope in an advisor who can possibly guide you in this, as looking through a 'third-eye' can sometimes make a huge difference.
I am not sure of your segment (book/magazine) or for that case if it is STM, Education, Trade, etc. The strategy and execution of those tasks will vary based on what you do, what you produce, etc.
Happy to help, in case you wish to explore this further; will be glad to see your initiative pays and can be a game-changer for your publishing business. I would suggest to anyone, not to close out on your business, before exploring all avenues/options, as many a times, success can be pretty near, before you call it off!
- Shyam (Startup Xperts)
i see a lot of answers in here that are people looking for work, or to take over your business the back-door way...Just think -- if your business is making you at least a living wage, then it's worth saving! If it's a financial sink-hole, then get out with what you can, and start a new business with the best employees you have, offering them a percentage of the business
Yes it is worth saving, you and your family put a lot into it, just do a little research see what is selling today, one of the biggest education topics, people today are hungry for knowledge, where do the get if from reading books, not everyone can go to school so they buy how to books, books for dummies, I love the one who came up with those books and I do hope no one takes it the wrong way the word "dummies" it is genuine slogan. but brainstorm are you keeping up with the rapid changing industry or are you still stuck in nostalgia mode. Do Biography people love talking about there self look how these Reality shows took off.
Accoeding to your information - two imporant reasons a rise 1. Books business is very weak at present . 2. your time is limited , So I suggest that you try to sell your business & try to make new one which suits your money & time , instead of losing the rest of the remaining value .
This is definitely a tough decision. I think the first question is, "Do you want to save it?"
If you do, then determine what the worst possible outcome is. If you are ok with the worst possible outcome, and there is a good potential upside, then roll up your sleeves and get to it.
If you don't want to save it, then let it go.
Hi Matteo, hope this helps you.
1. Publish for readers, not authors. The 21st-century publishing environment has tipped the balance still further towards the importance of the reader.
2. Focus on editing and design. The new publishing dispenses with a variety of traditional functions: investing in print runs, warehousing, catalogs, chasing payments and processing returns. But other tasks such as editing and design take on additional importance. Ensuring that books are readable and attractive is a vital way for publishers to stay afloat in an ocean of self-published titles.
3. Hold no stock. Print-on-demand remains significantly more expensive than conventional printing.
4. Publish fast. For books dealing with current affairs or breaking cultural trends, to say nothing of the publisher's cash flow, the advantages of direct-to-reader digital publishing's faster turnarounds are enormous.
5. Hand-sell on the internet. Rocketing title output, combined with reduced books pages in newspapers, has made traditional review coverage much harder to obtain. The internet can help fill this gap. Video, flash ads, electronic fliers, multiple serializations and social media – all present opportunities for reaching potential audiences.
6. Use real-time information. For many years publishing enjoyed a consoling period when no one had much idea how a book was doing once it was out in stores. When selling direct to the customer via the internet, reporting of sales figures is exact and immediate. This allows authors access to real-time feedback about performance, a welcome transparency in an industry that has made an art of camouflaging sales figures in sporadic royalty reports.
As a last chance you should call upon your clients of the past on a Event -"Gallery Archives" and let them go through the publication collection you delivered over the years.
1. It might give you a strong reason whether their is still any scope.
2. Anybody can be directed to go into backward integration thereby leading you to a fresh lease of life.
Do ensure to overhaul your systems by removing ineffeciencies and stay tuned for more help once you achieve either!
You must get the service for the third eye assessment. Business improvement program was prepared by the third eye assessment. You can do different works in the evening and / or weekend.
Your company can be cooperation with the other publishers. You make search for new products and services for your company.
Also, You can try to more increase software sales. You can surprise to your cilint for more profit.
I wish you happiness and success