A lot of my time recently has been spent getting to grips with various image editing programmes and attempting to build a webpage. This has all been for my first venture (which started at the turn of the 2012 year), called Access Regional. This initially began life as a social enterprise which would be similar to the Big Issue in that it would be a magazine, and proceeds would be going to a good cause. However, my idea was around helping out students with disabilities. The main issue I encountered would have been the cost of publishing, particularly as establishing and circulating a new magazine would be tricky.
The idea then developed into an online advertising portal, advertising both student venues and employment opportunities. We spent a long time going over the concept and creating a portal, however, I had a doubt in my mind over how unique this would be and where the revenue would be developed; this was only reaffirmed when speaking to like-minded people. There had been huge delays in launching this, and eventually it was decided that the best way to proceed was for the other Company Director and I to part company.
So the company is now on its third evolution, and it’s been keeping me very busy! The idea now is a combination of the two original thoughts: advertising and reviewing local entertainment venues, but doing so in a magazine. This would also mean that I could get a team of writers together covering the Birmingham area, which would help with distribution. The idea of a physical copy of the magazine being published was abandoned a long time ago, and now the focus is on an e-magazine. The business model adapted by the ‘Shortlist’ magazine is one which I admire, and it must be working, given the number of awards they have received. So this is the model which I am adapting, but with a twist in the method of delivery and circulation, and therein lies the USP. I can’t reveal what that will be just yet, as I’m looking into the intellectual property behind this, and whether or not I can protect it. Needless to say, this will be the world’s first magazine distributed in this way.
As the other Company Director used to handle the web development and graphics side of the business, this has given me a steep learning curve, but one I am enjoying and learning a lot from. I’ve found www.moonfruit.com a great place to start, and would recommend that to anyone. There are several courses you can go on in order to learn how to use Adobe PhotoShop, but so far, I’ve found finding free fonts, and then altering the images using basic features of PhotoShop produce good results.
The landing page for Access Regional is now up (www.accessregional.com), so do have a look and subscribe to pre-launch page, to ensure that you are one of the first to hear about the launch and receive a copy.
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