The product of the proposed business is a digital platform and, in the future, a printed edition. Mission Statement: We strive to unite people with similar interests and give them access to publish independent materials. Vision Statement: We believe in the ability to express ideas in an accessible way. The name of the business is Z-Zine, which reflects the concept of a business idea. In this case, the company offers a customized journalistic experience on a digital platform, which implies a personalized approach. The company focuses on collaborating with young authors as well as professional editors. The general customer acquisition strategy is to collaborate with media platforms and various bloggers to promote the product. The main competitors are both large media and independent zine resources. Additionally, people can post personal posts and ideas on their social media, further complicating the competitive landscape. However, the product offered by the company is unique and provides features that are not available on other platforms. In particular, it integrates ideas from major media and independent posting platforms.
The presented business plan describes the main aspects of creating and operating a Z-Zine company aiming at creating a digital zine platform. This idea involves opening a digital platform for posting independent materials by amateur authors in collaboration with professional editors. The business plan contains a business description, industry and market analysis, competitive analysis, operational issues description, human resources plan, marketing plan/strategy, and financial projection.
The product of the proposed business is a digital platform and, in the future, a printed edition. The main services are providing support for the publication of materials, editing texts, and developing thematic communities. The goal of the business is to create a digital platform zine within which interaction will take place. A sole proprietorship was chosen as the most suitable legal form for this business. The main advantage of this form is the ease of starting a business, as well as its management (Pride et al., 2019). Another important factor that speaks in favor of choosing the form of a sole proprietorship is the possibility of decentralizing business processes. When creating a zine as an Internet platform, it is necessary to collaborate with various professionals who may be located in different parts of the world.
Industry and Market Analysis
The industry in which zines are distributed is part of the broader market for media resources. The development of the Internet has greatly increased competition among copper platforms and resources, making it difficult to start a business (Ji, 2018). Among the uncontrollable variables, the economic and legal situation can be underlined in the first place. These factors can have both positive and negative effects that cannot be predicted. Another important uncontrollable factor is the actions of competitors, who may also look to zines as a promising business model.
Primary competitors in the market are existing zines that have been published for a long time and have their own niche audience. Such publications have their own audience and occupy a certain place in the industry. Secondary competitors in this industry are large media resources, which are currently actively moving to the Internet. Sources such as the New Yorker publish various materials and have a wide audience, making them strong competitors. The proposed zine business has several competitive advantages that combine the benefits of both primary and secondary competitors. The main strategy for the successful functioning of the business in this situation is the diversification of materials. In contrast to niche zines, the current business is focused on creating more diverse content that can appeal to a wider audience.
The delivery of the product to the market will also be carried out via the Internet, for which it is important to integrate vigorous activity both on the platform and in social media. The main operational issue of this stage is the search for competent employees to create a platform and provide the declared services. The main advantage of this business is the lack of need for suppliers. However, within the company, it is important to cooperate with other media and platforms, which can be the source of materials and authors. When publishing printed materials, it is necessary to collaborate with wholesale paper distributors and printers that can print small runs. These service providers must be selected based on economic advantages, and delivery can be carried out anywhere in the world.
For the functioning of the business, an office is needed in which the company’s management and a small warehouse can be located. Since the main part of the development team and platform support, as well as editors, is decentralized, it is necessary to provide the necessary hardware and software for remote communication. It is also important to provide employees with the necessary equipment to perform daily tasks. The most important aspect of operational issues management is risk assessment (Gartenstein, 2019). In this regard, it is also important to take into account potential difficulties for contractors, which requires the company also to purchase servers and desktop computers, as well as include a full-time programmer.
Human Resources Plan
To ensure the functioning of the business at the initial stage, a limited number of specialists are needed, including a project manager, two remote programmers, a web designer, two editors, two platform administrators. This number of personnel should be enough to create a platform and ensure its operation at the initial stages. Depending on the workload in the future, it is necessary to consider the possibility of hiring a full-time programmer and editor to ensure the stability of work and minimize risks.
Currently, many specialists do not have relevant education, which is especially true for leading developers. Thus, for programmers, the skills in creating Internet platforms on which community interaction can take place are most important. For a project manager, relevant work experience of at least three years is essential, as business implies the need to coordinate teams and resources to create a platform from scratch. There are no relevant education requirements for editors, but it is important for them to have experience in editing texts for media resources. Additionally, the ability to shape and maintain the style of the zine is a key skill. Finally, it is important for a web designer to have the skills and experience to design web resources as well as communicate effectively with programmers.
Currently, the print and digital media market is actively growing and developing, which is especially relevant for magazines. More specifically, revenue in the segment of digital newspapers and magazines is expected to reach $39,012bn in 2022 (Digital newspapers & magazines, n.d). It is also important that most of the revenue is projected to be generated in the US, and the number of global users will reach 1,882.6bn by 2026 (Digital newspapers & magazines, n.d). Thus, the size of the digital media market is expected to grow rapidly.
With regard to print media, especially magazines, active development is also expected. It is especially important in this regard to pay attention to the growing popularity of the segment of mobile and tablet applications for media. The market size of the magazines and periodicals segment in 2022 will reach $21.7bn (Magazine & periodical publishing, 2022). However, from 2022 to 2027, an active decline in market size is expected, which will reach more than 5% per year (Magazine & periodical publishing, 2022). In 2022, the market size is also expected to decrease by almost 2% (Magazine & periodical publishing, 2022). In this case, businesses should pay special attention to digital media resources and mobile platforms.
Market target and business segmentation are digital media publications and magazines. In particular, the company should focus on creating mobile platforms for publishing zines, as this market is growing rapidly. The size of the print media market is actively shrinking, which makes this segment secondary in importance. Thus, businesses need to focus specifically on product diversification within various digital platforms and printed publishing. This strategy will allow to actively develop in the main segment and capture part of the adjacent one.
- Product: The main product of the business is the zine, which will be distributed through the website and mobile platforms. The main differential advantage of the product is the ability to publish materials by amateur writers with a professional editing service.
- Price: Business implies the need to set a price for a product higher than the market average. This fact is explained by the need to pay the creators of the platform, as well as editors.
- Promotion: Within the framework of the project, there is no need to hire sales associates since the process of selling a product can be automated. The advertising budget must be set at around 20% of the total project at the initial stage.
- Distribution: Distribution of the product will be made through a direct channel, which eliminates the need for intermediaries.
- Income: $14.300
- Fewer interest expenses: $14.300
- Expenses: $23.500
- Personnel: $12.000
- Equipment, including software, hardware, data storage, server spaces: $3.000
- Office Rent: $500
- Promotion: $1.000
- Income Tax: $1.200
- Profit: $36.000
- Purchases: $36.000
- Net Income: $15.300
- Total Budget: $95.000
- Personnel: $36.000
- Equipment: $24.000
- Office Rent: $20.000
- Promotion: $5.000
- Development: $10.000
The Income Statement of a business shows that in the initial stages of operation, the company cannot generate significant income. However, the business still makes a profit, which, combined with the nature of the company, is a positive trend. The company’s annual budget includes the costs of running the business based on all the necessary components. For the successful development of a startup, the most profitable type of loan will be personal business loans, which provide flexible conditions. However, the interest rate of such a loan may be too high, so one might also consider the U.S. Small Business Administration’s microloan program.
First of all, the Bible teaches Christians wisdom in decision-making, which involves long-term and short-term planning. In particular, Christian values promotes wise allocation of funds and investing for profits. Additionally, the principles of Christianity involve generosity, as well as concern for other people and society as a whole. Within these values, it is important to create a good public reputation for the business, which would support it. Finally, a fair and honest attitude towards people helps in building a cohesive team for effective work. These values will lead the company to greater success through wise and honest activities.
Digital newspapers & magazines. (n.d). Statista. Web.
Gartenstein, D. (2019). Operational issues in a business plan. Bizfluent. Web.
Ji, S. W. (2018). The Internet and changes in the media industry: A 5-year cross-national examination of media industries for 51 countries. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 96(3), 894-918. Web.
Magazine & periodical publishing in the US – Market size 2005–2027. (2022). IBISWorld. Web.
Pride, W. M., Hughes, R. J., & Kapoor, J. R. (2019). Foundations of business (6th ed.). Cengage.