Starting a Publishing Business
Interview with Paulette Ensign, Founder of Tips Products International
Meet serial entrepreneur, Paulette Ensign. She founded Tips Products, a tip booklet publishing business, in 1991.
Paulette Ensign started her publishing business from her home in San Diego, California.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
Tips Products International focuses on transforming a person's expertise into tips booklets and other info products by teaching people to do it themselves or by doing it for/with them, to use the products as marketing tools and/or direct income streams. Owner of the tips booklet niche since 1991, we show how to surpass our results of selling well over a million copies of a single tips booklet in various languages and formats without spending a penny on advertising.
How did you come up with your business idea?
Someone offered a tips booklet about a topic of interest to me. It was an excellent model for repackaging my expertise into a product that would both market my business at that time and also be a new source of income.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
Prior to this I was a Professional Organizer, and before that, taught string instruments in public elementary schools. This is NOT my first business.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
The past several businesses have been operated from home. There are many more benefits than challenges in doing this. The flexibility and the cost-saving features completely out-weigh any possible momentary isolation. The isolation is easily fixable by reaching out to colleagues, clients, and friends.
Have you outsourced any portion of your business? Has that worked for your business?
Outsourcing has worked very well and is something I'm doing more of as time goes on. Certain parts of my business must be outsourced because they are completely beyond my skill set, interest, or equipment. These include graphic design, printing, certain editing, and website design. Other things just make sense to outsource to Virtual Assistants because my time is more valuable than doing routine types of things or learning technology that is of no interest to me.
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Yes, social marketing has generated business with new, current, and past clients. It has served to introduce my company to people who didn't know anything about it, reinforce it to people who have heard about it and haven't done business with us yet, and reminded those who have an experience of us that we've got more to offer them. It has also opened many doors for joint venturing.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Joint venturing of interviews and product offers have continuously helped my business grow. It's been the ideal way to introduce my company to larger audiences through people they already know, like, and trust. Collaboration has been the singular way my company has grown through the years since 1991.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Do it while you're thinking about it rather than waiting until you think you have everything you need to get started. There will always be course corrections to make along the way.
Thank you Paulette for taking the time to share your business "tips" with our readers at Gaebler.com!
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