I have one week to go until my Copy Date, so that up to two weeks before my press date. This week I have spent maybe an hour a day on the magazine, sending emails, answering questions and generally trying to sell advertising. At this point I’m not too worried about the content. Some of the advertisers may want some editorial space if they have special things planned for the Summer and I know there are three features I need to run, so it’s not looking like I will be very short of content anyway. The confirmed advertisers are always the first items to be placed when I start laying out the magazine, so there’s no point in starting too soon then having to redo pages at a later date. So, still calm and unstressed. Next week the hard work will start.
So today I have started to think about my next issue. The copy date is just over two weeks away, the press date is about three weeks away and now all I need to think about is selling enough advertising to cover my costs and make some profit for myself.
This will be the Summer issue so I need to approach Summer schools, Summer events and I need to think about Back-To-Schools stuff; uniform and stationery shops, shoe shops, etc. And the big news for families this year is the new 30 hour free childcare initiative from the government that begins in September. Worth speaking to all the nurseries around to see if they will be taking part in the scheme and whether they would like to be part of a special feature about the new scheme that I am planning. An hour or so spent sending out nice, chatty emails to see who I can help with their advertising needs.
Yes, I’ve had a couple of weeks off. You have to when the family are on school holidays. We even managed a few days away visiting Grandparents and, since they live by the sea, that can never be a bad thing.
Just a few accounting jobs to do today – end of year stuff. Working out how much my business owes me for mileage, rent, etc. I’ve spent some time helping my daughter with some maths in preparation for her exams, and done some batch cooking to re-stock the freezer. Now I think I may put some time in trying to reduce the Sky Plus percentage!
This week I have been mostly doing my other job of Desktop Publishing a programme for a local event in a few weeks time. But that went to press yesterday, so today has been a bit more relaxed with a pleasant meeting, over a nice cup of tea, with two of the ladies that produces other local Scallywag magazines. This was followed by some shopping and home in time for the kids getting back from school. My desk is currently clear with only a few last bits of paperwork to do from the last magazine issue. Hopefully it will be all done by the weekend and I can be a full time mum for a while.
This weekend the sun was shining and the temperature climbed to over 15 deg for the first time this year, so we all went out for the day. Where? Somewhere we hadn’t been to before so I could write it up as a family day out feature in the next magazine. We chose a large inner city park in Manchester, about 45 minutes drive from home, where the kids played on the brand new and very exciting play area, petted the animals, walked around the lake and visited the little railway. Unfortunately, with it being before Easter, many of the attractions hadn’t opened for the Summer season but we still had a fantastic day out, got lots of fresh air and exercise and, even better, I can cover some of the cost on expenses!
I am older than I look (or should that be ‘feel’?) so I can remember a time before computers. The first computer I saw was wheeled into my maths class at school, on a huge trolley. We were allowed to look but only the A level students were ever allowed to touch. Since then, as computers have become a bigger and bigger part of our lives I have found myself drawn to their orderliness; the way they store all my correspondence, answer all my questions and present information clearly. I always wanted to use their capabilities as fully as I could so, when I started to put together the first Scallymag, learning how to use Desktop Publishing software was an exciting step. It is now a part of the job I love.
That is why I agreed to do the design, layout and publishing for other businesses and it has now become my second part-time job. This week I have been doing the design and layout work for another Scallywag magazine plus starting to put together a programme for a weekend event taking place in my town in April. I have also finalised some publicity posters and flyers for a local theatre group. An exciting skill I would never have found had I not been a Scallymag Editor.
Today I got a call from a new parent living in my magazine’s distribution area. She had been trying to contact someone listed on my diary pages, without success. She had been looking for a baby massage class and, by the end of the phone call, we had sorted her out with some contact names and numbers. Ok, I’ll admit my diary pages, as published, were a little out of date, but they will be sorted next issue and I still get a great sense of satisfaction in being able to help someone find a class they were looking for. Of course I usually only get to hear about my Diary Page use when something has gone wrong so, I presume, for all of the rest of the time, my diary pages are doing a great and useful service to the parents of the towns where I live.
Do you hate Monday mornings? Saying good bye to your kids at the childminders for another week of graft to earn a crust? Have you ever thought about packing it all in and running your own business? How about buying a Franchise to cut down on some of the ‘new business’ risk?
The Scallymag is a perfect franchise for mums with young families. We need people who know what parents need to know. People who will have no problem coming up with ideas about how to fill a magazine aimed at parents and carers. People who know their local area, know what’s happening, or know where to find out what’s happening and, in return, you get a sense of satisfaction, a sense of doing something for your community and your family and, best of all, you get to stay at home and work when you want.
I have just finished distributing my 56th issue of The Scallymag; that’s 14 years worth of features, day’s out, diary updates, etc. and I love doing it now as much as I did when I started, when my children were aged 4 and 2.
So if you’re wondering whether this is the right thing for you, I thought it might help if I keep a diary of the next three months so you’ll have some idea of what your life could be like if you decided to join us.