One of our core principles at The Company Dime is that it’s about you, the reader, not us. But last week we celebrated our first birthday, so we hope you don’t mind indulging us as we reflect. Actually, we need a favor. Read on for more details, but to get straight to the point — if you haven’t purchased a subscription, please do. If you haven’t tried our trial, email us to request one. And if you are a subscriber, please spread the word.
We think our service offers lots of value to travel management and procurement professionals. We charge a very reasonable fee.
We’re trying to avoid getting into advertising and the other marketing models that typically generate media revenue. We hope we won’t ever do “custom” publishing. The biggest driver of revenue in the B2B media industry is events. But we don’t want to start a conference that requires sponsors in order to be economically feasible. We want to keep saying “No, thanks” to industry players offering to invest in us. We want to remain your independent resource. We believe the industry needs that.
Most any entrepreneur can attest to the fact that starting a business is stressful. By the summer of this year, we had moved out of the constant-heart-attack phase and into the emotional-roller-coaster phase. We’re hoping 2016 brings us closer to consistent calm. That way we can allow the industry’s constant changes to be what keeps things interesting.
We had a wonderful first year. We’re proud of what we have accomplished. And we’re not finished adding value.
In April we launched our Buyers Council, an informal networking group that is complimentary for subscribing travel manager/buyer members. We share intel on monthly, optional conference calls and related email communications. The Council offers us invaluable advice. One of the first business questions we raised with the council was, “What should we do if we don’t sell enough subscriptions?” We suggested creating services, like a podcast or an event, that could be sponsored.
Some members balked at the notion. They encouraged us to “keep The Company Dime the clear and impartial reporter.” It was heartening, and we’re working as hard as we can to meet that challenge.
We started the podcast in July (without going after a sponsor), and we’ve had some amazing guests and awesome conversations. We’ll be the first to admit that we’ve also had a technical difficulty or two. But we’re having fun with it and feel confident it can only get better.
Ten Cent Tour
Our “Ten Cent Tour” got underway in May in Washington, D.C., and we continued with speaking appearances at seven additional Business Travel Association events. We have another next week in Philadelphia.
In September we ran a general session at the Society of Collegiate Travel Management event in Virginia and this week we were at the Meetings Tech Expo in New York.
We really enjoy public speaking. It’s nice to get out of the office. It’s great to meet new people and see familiar faces.
It’s also exhausting and in a lot of the weeks when we had these events, it hurt our productivity on the core product. So we’re going to put the Tour on hiatus for at least the first part of next year.
We will travel to various events, of course, but we have a couple different ideas up our sleeves. You may see us do something entirely new.
A Few Notes About Your Subscription
• We have made one small change to the subscriber agreement, as we have found some folks don’t realize that sharing their password hurts our business. We added a third item here.
• Our paywall provider Tinypass was acquired in August by Piano. We’re told users should expect no real change other than the branding.
We welcome all of our subscribers to join our LinkedIn group whose members (now 453) are encouraged to engage in discussion about our articles, to challenge us and to post information of their own.
This is a company founded by two guys who are longtime colleagues and friends. When we started The Beat more than a decade ago, we were childless and without mortgages. Worries over its success for the 2005 versions of David and Jay were more akin to an annoying cold than cardiac arrest. We have a lot more riding on this company, but also a lot more experience.
Our biggest challenge might be that media consumers are accustomed to getting their news and information for nothing. We’ll say it again: You get what you pay for.
News is free. Opinion is cheap. Knowledge is priceless. Our commitment is to put every ounce of our professional energy into delivering the intel you need to stay ahead in your career. As always, we encourage and welcome your feedback.
We had a birthday thanks to you, our readers. Together we can make many more. Cheers!