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Monday, 14 March  2005  Business Women

Meet two women who've started up their own papers, which have become very popular with parents of young children.


LUISA SACCOTELLI: There aren't too many people in Australia who can say they've created an independent media company, one which has gone truly national and all without big backers or start up capital. Two women can make the claim - the founders of the parenting publications Melbourne and Sydney's Child.

GILLIAN HUNDRED, PUBLISHER: When we started the paper actually the recession hit and made trying to sell advertising into a free publication that no-one had ever heard of or seen hard - most people thought that we were absolutely mad.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: That was 15 years ago when Gillian Hund and business partner Joanna Love started Sydney's Child. Melbourne's Child was born 10 years later. The Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra siblings are only in their infancy.

GILLIAN HUND, PUBLISHER: We started with one Mac II computer, which I brought back from the States which cost $13,000 and that was my investment in the company. Joanna put up the cash and I put up the computer.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: With the desktop computer and $13,000 the two began putting out a paper, juggling small children and a chaotic schedule.

GILLIAN HUND: It actually took a very long time to break even.

After five years of working every day, all day, full-time, long hours, we actually wrote ourselves a cheque for $200 each for the month, and I remember saying to Joanna, "If I didn't need this money so much, I'd frame the cheque." If you're an advertiser aiming to meet the family market, then we offer a very targeted and niche publication to reach that market of parents of children 0 to 12. The head office is in Sydney. It helps the bottom line in that you're not duplicating the staff or the equipment in each place to get the job done.

The key is servicing the needs of the readers - that's the number one. In terms of the advertising costs, I think that we offer - I wouldn't necessarily say an economical, because that makes you sound cheap. We offer a lot of value. The success of the business personally for me is not something that I put down in just dollars and cents.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: But for those who do, the papers now have a circulation of 393,000 copies a month and generate turnover of $6 million a year from the five mastheads.

GILLIAN HUND: So whereas on the surface it might look like, "Gee, they're making a lot of money", a lot of money is also going back and developing the circulation. You can't just have a business and run it and hope it's successful and then pay yourselves huge salaries out of it. It just doesn't work that way.



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English Bites - Business Women
story notes

gone
The past participle of the irregular verb go.
more information: go

backers
Here, backers are people prepared to invest large amounts of money.

start up capital
Start up capital is the amount of money needed to start a business.

seen
The past participle of the irregular verb see.
more information: see

thought
The past tense of the irregular verb think.
more information: think

siblings are only in their infancy
She means that the papers in Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra have only just started. Siblings are brothers and sisters and infancy is early childhood.

brought
The past tense of the irregular verb bring.
more information: bring

put up
Here, put up means to provide.

Example: She wants me to put up the money for her course.
Follow the link for more meanings of the phrasal verb put up.
more information: put up

juggling
Juggling is a trick where you throw things up into the air at the same time and catch them.

But juggling can also mean doing several things at once.

chaotic schedule
A schedule is a timetable, a list of things you have to do, and when you have to do them.
Their schedule was chaotic, which means that it was confused and disorganised.

break even
To break even is for a company to not make or lose any money.

bottom line
The bottom line is the final line in an account which tells you how much money you have made or lost.

circulation
Circulation means the number of people who buy copies of the paper.

generate
make

turnover
Turnover means the total amount of business that a company does.

Example: They generate turnover of $6 million a year.
Notice that the noun turnover is written as one word. To turn over, the phrasal verb, is written as 2 words. It means to do an amount of business.

Example: The business turned over $6 million a year.
See today's spotlight for more about turn over.

mastheads
A masthead is the title of a paper or magazine, written at the top of the front page. From the 5 mastheads here means 'from the 5 different papers'.


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