Is it normal to be losing a lot of money in the initial stages of a startup?
I've started an independent comic book company and have been selling two digital comic books via the Amazon Kindle Store, but have not been making much money. I invested thousands of dollars and have had low sales. Is this a business I should dissolve or is it normal to be losing so much money in the first stage of a startup?
No! Remember , work your plan , plan your work. That means you may have to rethink how you are doing your plan. Make some changes.
Sometimes no matter how much you plan. Others plan too. Family, Friends can assist you in your goals . Keep pushing towards your goals.
Having had my share fair of failures!! Keep moving positive and continue to find greatness in you and your dreams.
1. I believe you have to define what you mean by losing 'a lot' of money.
2. Over what period of time has the comic book been operating?
3. Did you do any research into the comic book industry and target audience?
If you had, you would have known the amount of start up costs needed and the time frame it would take to break even-point / profitability. Each is different for each industry.
4. Did you test the comic book with your target audience before releasing it to determine if it was something (a) they would be interested in (subject matter) and (b) would they pay for it and how much would they pay?
5. As everyone else has mentioned did you have a business plan in place before launching the publication? I would agree with the others that it sounds like you didn't have one.
6. Did you do any marketing do generate awareness for your comic book?
Bankers hate seeing 'if I build it, they'll come' mentality of start ups. And, just because you built it doesn't immediately mean that comic book enthusiasts will know that you exist.
I would highly recommend that you seek out a mentor(s) who have comic book and publishing experience to help guide you through your journey. One place you can go to find them is your local SCORE (www.score.org) office.
Hi! Yes it's possible to loose money in the early stages, but you need to review if this was part of your business plan. Losses in the initial years could be part of your projections, before you start making profit.
You also need to review your strategy. Learn from your experiences, till date. Do an analysis of what is working and what needs improvement.
It is also advisable to do a pilot before you actually start anything new.
Best of luck!
It's a stage of startup that tries one's soul. The best way is to explore other ideas channels and turn that cutomer needs into a thriving start-up. When you don't know whether it's just a natural outcome or an omen that the start-up won't be that promising, go back to your business plan and see what are the objectives or the milestones that you set up for your start-up: achieved,not achieved, rethinking is needed.
I agree with Joanne Tica Steiger, You sometimes spend a lot in startup cash but your revenue should support your operational expenses. If it isn't try talking to other authors on amazon with similar products, see what they have done. Are you on any of the discount kindle book newsletters? Have you tried giving away the first issue and charging for the next. Some people that have 4 or 5 publications in a series give away part 2 and 3 free and then charge for the 1st issue and the others in the series.
Do you have a way within your publication for people to click to the next or other publications in your series? Do you have a website so people can sign up for your newsletter to notify them when you have something new coming out. A lot of authors give away a couple short stories that fill in some blanks and background information about the series in as a reward for signing up for the newsletter or even posting a review of something they have read of yours.
Authors I have talked to say they make as much or more self publishing on amazon as they have in the past with traditional publishers.
I hope this helps a little.
I did a some research on your offer and presence. Please take the following in the sense of comity and support for your intent of building a business. (Yes, I do this type of consulting for a living.)
Producing and selling comix is not for the faint of heart and few - very few - make much more than pin money from it. Crafting a good story in comic format is far different than crafting and executing a good (profitable) marketing process.
If you want to build a "real" business, I suggest you attend to a deep dive into the psyche of your target audience. Prepare to address the mechanisms and means to inform them of your "new, exciting, and unique" take on the genre. Create marketing messages that entices them to explore your "take" on story.
At the simplest level of Amazon promotion, the "description", you are missing the opportunity to entise prospective readers/buyers with some "taste" of experience to come. Your logline is weak in my opinion.
I'm no expert but I suspect that your audience is looking for a read that indulges their escapist fantacies, allowing them to use your framework to build their own mind-world to vicariously project themselves into.
No, it is not a common occurence.
It is important to differentiate between the money that you have invested for start-up costs and your operating income from sales. A start up typically doesn't have the financial capacity to pay operating expenses AND to repay start-up capital. You should not feel defeated if you can't pay yourself back yet. If your business model is strong, then you should be able to set aside cash as your business grows to retire debts to yourself and to others. The money to do this comes from profits.
You need to evaluate whether you are making enough money from operations to continue the business. Your sales should ideally be paying your operating expenses (or at least that is how the business plan should have been set up). If you are having challenges with generating enough sales to cover your regular operating costs, then you need to reevaluate your business model. If you are breaking even, then you might be in decent shape since you are a start up.
"Normal" isn't necessarily the right word...but losing money in the first instance is common as you look to give the fledgling business a decent launch.
Think of it like a space launch where they use up the fast majority of fuel to get out of earths gravitational pull...thereafter it's not as onerous.
There are a number of important considerations at start up.
Do you have enough money to properly launch?
Will you spend it wisely to get real bang for buck?
Money is sometimes lost in the beginning bjt those who persist can be victorious. So, hang in there:-)
However its not sufficient to write a book and upload it to Amazon. You still need to market it, make your SEO work for you so that "you are found" by your audience.
Amazon is big and great but I think you might also want to approach other portals with the same material. Check out www.dimcos.com which is a new one with great potential. Dimcos is really taking social punlishing to a new level.
Depends on the Plan you had going into it. If you did not have one, that may be the root of the situation. Content may be King But Planning is The Titan as it relates to Business. I am not saying your content is good or bad, but to get to where you want to go, it is important to put Plan in place that will take you from where you are not to where you want to go!
It is common however it is important for you to compile your roadmap (not business plan) to break even and then profitability. You also need to be running low or no cost marketing campaigns to test and measure the interest in your comic books and if there is an alternative distribution channel.
It's very common. However a really smart way to curb the tend is to get some experienced help - commonly assembling an advisory team.
Feel free to contact me directly. I'd love to help.