How to Start a Magazine – Know Your Numbers

Magazine Printers


As a publisher, it’s important to that you have a complete understanding of the numbers that drive your business. One of the most important financial documents to understand is the income statement.

The income statement, sometimes called the profit and loss statement, is the financial Scorecard of a business.  It shows you money coming in (revenue), money going out (expenses), and what’s left over (profit). It’s very straight forward but at times misunderstood because the terminology is referred to by different names.

To simplify things I’ve reduced the income statement to the four most important numbers and explained the definition of each. If you understand these numbers, review them every month and share them with your team you will have your finger on the financial pulse of your business.

Four Most Important Numbers on the Income Statement:

Revenue: Money coming in the door.

Margin: Margin is calculated by subtracting Revenue from Cost of Goods Sold (COGS). COGS are the direct expenses associated with producing a product.  In the publishing business your product is your magazine so these expenses include printing, graphic design, editorial, photography, etc.

Profit: Profit is equal to Margin minus Fixed Expense.  Fixed Expenses are the expenses that you have each month whether you publish a magazine or not.  These include rent, utilities, salaries, etc. Profit is the money left over after all expenses are paid.

Cash: Cash is the Money collected.  How is Cash different from profit?  Let’s say you sell an ad for $500 but the client does not pay.  On paper is may show a Profit but the reality is that you don’t have the money in the bank.  Profit on paper is nice but money in the bank is the most important thing.






REVENUE: aka Sales.

Money coming in.

COST OF GOODS SOLD: aka Direct Expense, Variable Expense, or COGS.

These are the expenses directly associated with producing your product.

MARGIN: aka Gross Margin or Gross Profit.

Calculated by subtracting Revenue from your COGS.

FIXED COST: aka In-Direct Expense.

These are the expenses you have each month that do not fluctuate with sales or production.

PROFIT: aka Net Profit or Income.

This is the money left over after you pay all of your Cost Of Good Sold and Fixed Expenses.

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Gal Shweiki

Shweiki Media, Inc. President/CEO

Gal Shweiki is the president and founder of Shweiki Media. In 1984 as a Student at the University of Texas at Austin, Shweiki began his career in publishing by starting a college guide book titled, The Student Guide to the Best in Austin. After graduating, Shweiki founded Study Breaks Magazine, a monthly college entertainment magazine. In 1999 Shweiki grew the publishing business into Shweiki Media when he purchased a five color web printing press. Currently a leader in publication printing Shweiki Media prints over 350 different magazine titles throughout the year for many different publishers all over the world. As a publisher himself Shweiki enjoys the interaction and understands the concerns of his clients.

Shweiki completed his education at the University of Texas at Austin and currently resides in San Antonio with his wife, Col. Bonnie Hartstein, M.D. They are proud parents of two daughters, Jacqueline and Aimee.

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