By Nicole Harris
Like most Americans this holiday season, I’m being thrifty both at home and at work. At work though, I’m feeling downright Grinch-like. I must cough up an extra $25,000—at least—from my proposed 2011 budget. I won’t and can’t plump up my projected revenue for our print and online titles. The industry we serve is still flat heading into 2011 so conservative goals must stay. But after surviving 2009 and limping through 2010, I was really hoping to do three things next year:
- Fatten up my skeletal crew with extra freelance
- Add back circulation to our print runs
- Allocate dollars to launch new products
2011, I told my staff, was all about rebuilding.
I wasn’t ready to give up on these goals when my boss told me to revise. I walked back to my office and pulled out a paper weight cost analysis I reviewed in August. We’d already changed paper in 2009 to reduce costs and these were extra reduction options I’d requested from our printer. These would go a long way to ease my budget cough-up. As I whittle line items, I’m more convinced that what has to give is the wrapping. Our subscribers have seen most magazines skinny down, so it’s not like they’d be surprised—if they even noticed a paper change. Today I read the draft of one of our January industry forecast articles that sums it up: Minimal growth and tight lending conditions will continue to affect investments. The smart survivors are reevaluating their business plans and product mix, investing where they can for future prosperity.
A prosperous 2011 depends on the package and how it’s made, not the wrapping.
Nicole Harris is vice president of the National Glass Association and is responsible for its print and electronic publications.