————- Continued from previous message —————
10.03 - Can I make money running a BBS?
The BBS As A Profit Center
How To Successfully Run a BBS for Profit: By S. Carol Allen ___
Review by Dan D. Gutierrez, SYSOP, AMULET:vc BBS: A Collection of Virtual Communities (specializing in Virtual Reality, Artificial Life, Nanotechnology, Cyberpunk Lifestyles, Cyberspace). 310-453-7705 dataline.
As a Sysop who has been running boards since 1984, the idea
of charging for what in the past has been a labor of love, a hobby, a way to communicate with my students at UCLA, and the occasionally useful tool for my business, is new to me. The realities of this economy, a mortgage, and the desire to excel in virtual reality, have been the impetus for me to look around for information about making my board self supporting. There is not much out there that I could find and when I received a copy of this book from the publisher, the title intrigued me – How to Successfully Run a BBS for Profit.
Being a skeptic by nature, I approached this new release in
my usual fashion. I read the foreword, checked out the table of contents, then started to scan the chapters that most interested me. I was instantly hooked. For me, chapters 8-10, Getting the Word Out, Hooking Your Caller's Interest and Assuring Your Callers Return, were exactly what I had been looking for. I read those chapters then proceeded to read the entire thing (unusual for me). When I finished, I couldn't wait to put several of the creative and inexpensive marketing ideas to work.
As I assume is the case with most Sysops, when setting up my
board I concentrated on the technical needs of the board while the marketing needs seemed unimportant. In my case, they were also unknown. The author of this book obviously recognizes that for most of us, marketing experience is not part of our past. She tutors the reader, not with just an explanation or description of what needs to be done, but with numerous worksheets and a collection of sample marketing tools (press release, direct mail letter to potential subscribers, a "report card" for user feedback, etc.) that can easily be customized for any BBSes use.
Don't think that this book is just for the hobbyist turned
entrepreneur. Any individual or business that is running or planning a BBS will benefit from the marketing secrets revealed throughout this book. True, there is the basic business information on putting together a business plan, determining start-up costs and long term costs, and getting financing if you need it. But, then there are the BBS focused tips on attracting new callers, getting them to call back and to pay you top dollar, collecting the fees by credit card (even if you don't presently have a merchant account) and guaranteed ways to generate other revenues besides subscription fees. There are phone numbers, board numbers and addresses for a long list of BBS resources.
Some of the suggestions seemed pretty simple and were just
common sense, but I hadn't know about them so they gave me ideas for my board. Other marketing avenues seemed too advanced for me, but on the other hand, I can see myself growing into them. In essence, the tools are laid out in the book, it's now up to me to choose the timing and implementation.
For all of us, the timeliness of this book seems significant.
Although I found little information out there on making money with my BBS, it's hard to read a magazine these days without seeing references to the explosion of the BBS industry. With this book has come the realization that a BBS can be a significant profit center.
Not only does it contain the marketing tools described, it
also includes over $1,000 worth of money saving coupons from vendors of products and services for Sysops. Also included with the book is a disk with the full version of a DOS based decision support program. It proved to be very useful and lots of fun whenever I needed to choose between alternatives the book recommended.
Here's a list of the Chapters from the book:
1) Winning in the 21st Century 2) Surveying the Marketplace 3) If You Fail to Plan Then Plan to Fail 4) Choosing the Theme of Your BBS 5) Value Adding Options For Your Customers 6) Pricing for Profits 7) Increasing Profits by Reducing Costs 8) Getting the Word Out 9) Hooking Your Caller's Interest 10) Assuring Your Callers Return 11) Collecting Your Money 12) Owning a Gold Mine 13) Growing and Expanding Successfully 14) Achieving Your Goals Appendix A - BestChoice3 Documentation (software disk included) Appendix B - Marketing Toolkit Appendix C - Bibliography, Glossary and Quick Phone Directory Appendix D - Coupons Index
The publisher is so confident that a reader who applies the
techniques described in this book will be making profits within 90 days that they offer a 90 day money back guarantee for the book. I would be surprised if they get many back. It's on my reference shelf with a 5 star rating.
So, bottom line, this is probably the BEST investment you
can make for your BBS!
The book has 304 pages and costs $49.95. You can call the
publisher, InfoLink, to order this book by credit card (Visa/ Mastercard/AMEX) by calling toll free 800-776-3818 Ext. FG20 (US) or 619-228-9653 Ext. FG20 or Faxing an order to 1-619-369-1185. FAX orders please include: "ATTN Dept. 254-FG20". Orders with checks can be mailed to InfoLink, 56089 Twentynine Palms Highway, Suite 254-FG20, Yucca Valley, CA 92284. $49.95 + $5.00 shipping and handling + California s ales tax.
* Reprinted by permission of AMULET:VC BBS
10.05 - Building your online commmunity.
- This topic will be available in future versions of the BBS FAQ.
10.06 - BOOKS & OTHER SOURCES FOR SYSOPS
QUICK REFERENCE PHONE NUMBERS
——————————————————————- PRODUCT COMPANY BBS# VOICE
DLX Baudtown 818-893-7600 818-894-4150 Excalibur Excalibur Comm. 918-496-8113 918-496-7881 Kitten Telpro Technol 804-442-5867 804-442-5865 Major BBS Galacticomm 305-321-2404 305-583-5990 Megahost ASCII Comp. 209-836-2402 — OPUS-CBCS – 214-528-4943 214-528-4687 PcBoard Clark Dev. 801-261-8976 801-261-1686 Powerboard NUIQ Softw. 914-833-1479 914-833-3479 Proboard Proboard Intl. 612-537-8655 612-537-8655 Remote Access Wantree 913-441-0595 913-441-1336 RoboBoard F/X Hamilton Tele. 819-685-0994 800-363-7626 RY BBS The Ryco Co. 414-962-1097 414-962-5967 Spitfire BBS Buffalo Crk. So 515-225-8495 515-225-9552 Sapphire Pinnacle Softw. 514-345-8654 514-345-9578 Searchlight Searchlight Sw. 216-631-9285 800-780-5483 Synchronet Digital Dyn. 714-529-9547 714-529-6328 TBBS eSoft 303-699-8222 303-699-6565 TinyHost Bruce Krobusek 716-924-4193 716-924-8284 Virtual BBS Virtual Tech. 616-399-4818 210-787-2443 Wildcat! Mustang Soft. 805-395-0650 805-873-2500 WWIV WWIV Soft. Svcs 210-631-5841
- INTERNET USENET NEWSGROUPS
alt.bbs.allsysop alt.bbs alt.first-class First Class (Mac) alt.bbs.majorbbs MajorBBS, Galacticomm Inc alt.bbs.pcboard PCBoard alt.pcbuucp PCBoard UUCP gateway alt.bbs.unixbbs UnixBBS, Nervous XTC alt.bbs.wildcat Wildcat!, Mustang Software
- The BBS Construction Kit
Author: David Wolfe
- Creating Successful Bulletin Board Systems
Author: Alan Bryant
- How To Successfully Run a BBS for Profit:
Author: S. Carol Allen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MODEMS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= 10.08 - Carrier Dedected =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Below is a list of companies which offer reduced prices for sysop's when purchasing a modem for BBS's.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VENDOR BBS# VOICE FAX ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ AT&T Paradyne 813-532-5254 813-530-8276 813-530-2398 ATI Technologies 905-764-9404 905-882-2600 905-882-2620 Cardinal Technologies 717-293-3074 717-293-3000 717-293-3104 Computer Peripherals 805-499-9646 805-499-5751 805-498-8306 Digicom Systems 408-262-1412 408-262-1277 408-262-1390 Galaxy Networks No BBS 818-998-7851 818-998-1758 GVC Technologies 201-579-2380 201-579-3630 201-579-2702 Hayes Microcomputer 404-446-6336 404-840-9200 404-449-0087 Image Communications No BBS 201-935-8880 201-935-6548 Intel Corporation 503-645-6275 503-629-7000 503-228-8707 Microcom 617-255-1125 617-551-1000 617-551-1988 Multi-Tech Systems 612-785-9875 612-785-3500 612-785-9874 Practical Peripherals 805-496-4445 805-497-4774 805-374-7202 Supra Corporation 503-967-2444 503-967-2400 503-967-2401 Telebit corporation 408-745-3861 408-734-4333 408-734-3333 U.S Robotics 708-982-5092 708-982-5010 708-982-0823 Ven-Tel 408-922-0988 408-436-7400 408-436-7451 ZyXEL 714-693-0762 714-693-0904 714-693-0705 Zoom Telephonics 617-423-3733 617-423-1072 617-423-9231
10.08 - Takin' a spin through the CD-ROM showroom
——————- End of The Official BBSFAQ ———————-