The more I work for an eemployer, the more I find myself wanting to start my own business. Someone once said that to me that the key is to find a niche market and open a business, something that has a high demand and low supply. I am a chef by trade, and that is pretty much all I have ever done. The problem is, although I still love cooking, I am not so interested in doing it for a living anymore. What I have been thinking about is radio. In my area, there is a large Latino population, and there used to be a spanish radio station. It was shut down a few months ago, and I am thinking that it would be a great way to make money in this area. Only I don't know much about radio, if anything.I have other ideas, but this one has really got my attention. I am wondering if any of you would have any suggestions about how to get started in the radio business? The cultural part I am not too worried about, I speak fairly fluent spanish, and my wife and most of my friends are latino, but the business angle eludes me. Would I need to take courses in business management? These are just my first thoughts, and any suggestions and/or advice would be greatly appreciated. Any suggested reading or good online resources would be very helpful as well. Thanks in advance!Mike in NJ
Someone once said that to me that the key is to find a niche market and open a businessYou mentioned you've been a chef. I have a friend who is a gourmet cook but had always worked for others in different kinds of business.She got fed up with working for others, so she wrote a cookbook. It's turned into quite a success already. Maybe with your chef's background you could do something like that...even a Spanish/English one. Just a thought. Radio sounds fascinating too....good luck with your quest.Abba
The radio business is pretty cut and dry. You have overhead and you sell advertising to make the income.Business knowledge will not help you as much as legal knowledge. Since you are going out on the public airwaves, you face many restrictions. One person that you might talk to is, of all people, your representative in congress. I only suggest this because the Latin spin (get it?, spin . . . radio, I made a funny. That's a joke, son) might enable you to get a license faster and cheaper since it is minority oriented. I think someone did a TV station around here like that.The only thing about radio is that the locally owned stations are going by the way-side. The profit would probably more in selling something that you started than running something that you started.Fred
Start a radio show that is intresting. Outside of houston there is a radio station where you can rent the place by the hour. For under $100 an hour you can have your own show. There MAY be something like that in yoru area.Strategy: create a radio show which you can syndicate and sell1. Become an expert on SOMETHING that would intrest people I would sugest that you try and find an area that people would be intrested in and devolp yourself in that area. Be strategic about your choice here and pick something that can do which people would be intrested in. 2. Learn about the business GO learn about how radio works. Houston, has a pacifica radio station that is for the public to use. You can volunteer and work on a show and pretty quickly get put "on the air". Read some books about syndication ect. 3. Figure out an intreting way to present yourself. You can do all of this while your still working so you can build up some money and not take all the risk at once. If it looks like a bad idea two weeks from now you've still got your job.
"the key is to find a niche market and open a business, something that has a high demand and low supply. "I think that there is one other aspect to starting a business that is crucial to having it be a success. You have to know the business. My first question would be to ask you what you know about the radio business? I would caution anyone who is considering going into a business that they have little experience or knowledge.I think that a chef would make a great talk show host to discuss food preparation. Writing a cookbook would be a good start to moving in that direction. Working in the radio business using the skills you already have can help prepare you to learn about the radio business. L
Thanks for the replies so far guys, good stuff! However, I really am pretty sure that I don't want to work in food anymore. I am more interested in ideas in how to get a radio station off the ground. I think I'll take Fred's suggestion and try writing to congress and see wat they have to offer. (And yes, I got the joke, Fred. Thanks!) Keep the ideas coming, if ya got 'em, and thanks again!Mike in NJ
Since you are a chef and have that knowledge down pat, interested in radio.....so a cooking show on the radio? Discuss recent recipes that coincide with upcoming holidays etc, invite local cookbook authors to promo their books etc.Jenn
Radio stations, are capital intensive SCARCE items. Stations sell for the millions, and in almost every area there are no new "spots" on the dial to be had. If you want to OWN a station, be prepared to learn about raising large sums of money. There is an effort to create some "smaller" stations but it is a ways away. I sugest that you watch and investigate that process as it is most likely a VERY lucrative oportunity that could happen within the next few years. Getting in front of that space would be something that you could do extreamly well at, but it will take work.
There is an effort to create some "smaller" stations but it is a ways away. I sugest that you watch and investigate that process as it is most likely a VERY lucrative oportunity that could happen within the next few years. Getting in front of that space would be something that you could do extreamly well at, but it will take work. That sounds pretty interesting, bankingintern! Do you know if that process has a name, or do you have any links to good material? A small station would fit in pretty well where I am. Mike in NJ
I have an idea.You know a lot about cooking, but you don't want to do it.You want to get into radio, but don't have a lot of money.I sure liked the previous suggestion about a radio show about cooking.So, how about the next best thing, namely a web site on the internet devoted to cooking, and to chat rooms where people talk about their cooking expereiences, share recipies, and maybe even have a cook book online that you can access for a fee. That would be where you could make the money.Maybe even a book titled: "My Favorite Cooking Story".This could lead to a book tour to radio stations, which could lead to a 2 minute spot each day on the radio with a tip of the day on cooking or a recipie which people could access from your website. The show becomes syndicated.This all leads to a half hour show once a week, and then a 2 hour show every day.I'll be your agent. Call me. We'll do lunch.
No but information was on the process durring the past 2-3 weeks. Small means maybe a few miles of range.... not to far off what you can make a mr microphone do with a small bit more power... I would start with the FCC.
Here's a piece describing the issue of low power broadcasting and FCC proposed rulemaking in this area.http://www.motherjones.com/parrish/Seattle Pioneer
I don't want to put you off because I think it is basically a good idea - whether you've got or can get the capital to do it is a different question. BUT. Why did the last Latino station close down? This is always a very important question. Perhaps it wasn't well run. Perhaps it had boring programmes. Perhaps the owner died and it was just a one person business. Perhaps Latinos don't listen to Latino stations any more or perhaps they do but don't tend to buy from the advertisers. Is this because what was being advertised was not attractive? Because it wasn't what the target audience is prone to buy? Because the target audience doesn't have much money? The latter is a very important consideration if you want to run the station as a substitute for being a chef! I run a shop in the UK. So many people have said to me why don't you move to these premises or these premises. My answer often is that the last five businesses to trade in those premises all went bust. Perhaps they were poor businesses, but perhaps there just isn't enough passing trade, not enough parking or too much crime in that area for people to want to come and shop there. People say to me 'that shop is rent and rates free for an introductory period of some months' when I say 'why' they look baffled. But the answer is usually that so many businesses have failed in those premises that the owner is desperate for a tenant, desperate enough to give several months rent free, but even rent free the last tenant went bust too! That doesn't mean no one can be successful there but it does mean beware!I agree with other people who've said that somehow you've got to capitalise on existing expertise in the new venture you'd like to get into. Maybe a Latino Station would work, if the programmes had the right slant, but what slant can you think up that is different from the station which closed? Maybe it would work but there aren't enough listeners from the Latino population to make it work however good the programmes so success would depend on getting enough listeners from other backgrounds? I'm not Latino, but if a Latino Station was doing a series on say 'Simple but fun Latino cookery for people with no knowledge of how to cook this food' I'd probably tune in. If it did an introduction to understanding the history and origins of Latino music and a guide to new developments in Latino music, I'd probably try to catch the programmes. Sorry actually I couldn't as I'm here in the UK but I'm sure you'll be following my meaning. I sell Latino music in my shop among various 'world music' titles and it is very popular - with UK citizens (white, black, asian) - I rarely sell any of it to Latino customers (and I do have quite a few) - they are too busy buying the other 'new to them' strands in world music.Lynn
Lynne had some great ideas. I know you said you don't like food any more (unless someone else cooks it, right :-) Anyway, you said you don't like food any more, but you might have to fall back on that. I think a lot of people would enjoy a cooking show, particularly if you talked about Latino food. You have to be, like, dead, to not like Mexican/Salvadorean food.Anyway, good luck, and let us know what you find out about why the last station closed. Then you can go from there. -Molly
Great post, Lynn, and thank you very much for the input and ideas!Why did the last Latino station close down?Well, I don't have any hard facts on this, just the "word on the street". Most of my friends are Latino, from various South and Central American countries, and everyone listened to "The Mega", which was the old station. The Mega had a talk show in the mornings where these two Puerto Rican guys would talk about all kinds of stuff. But, things had started to get out of hand. They got more and more graphic, and would use a lot of foul language and explicit sex talk, and, rumor has it, that it got so bad the FCC shut them down. You can still hear that station, but only on AM, and about 50 miles west of here, and the morning show is gone. It is all music now, but the signal doesn't reach all the way down to where we are. When The Mega got shut down, it is all everyone talked about for weeks, and I never heard the blame placed anywhere except for those two morning guys. I sell Latino music in my shop among various 'world music' titles and it is very popular - with UK citizens (white, black, asian) - I rarely sell any of it to Latino customers (and I do have quite a few) - they are too busy buying the other 'new to them' strands in world music.That's a good point. Right now, a large majority of the Latino population in my area is first or near-first generation. They all love the music of their home countries, and they are not so big into the American stuff. But, as that generation ages, their children will become the major listening audience, and I'm pretty sure that they will not be wanting to hear so much cumbias, salsas and merengues as their parents did. That would be something to think about. Mike in NJ
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