Writing & Living in Hanoi, Vietnam
I have spotted a massive and untapped gap in the market in Vietnam.
At the risk of blowing a hot business opportunity, what do you see everywhere you go in Vietnam? Security guards. They are a huge demographic being totally ignored by the print media. Is it not about time they had their own dedicated newspaper?
The title is tentatively called, Sắp xếp mọi thứ (Putting things in order), and is envisaged as a free newspaper entirely supported by advertising.
So when security guards are not shuffling motorbikes around and shouting at people, they can while away the long hours of boredom with crosswords, competitions, and word search puzzles, as well as trade news and features.
Yes, but shouldn’t they be paying attention while on duty? Well, that’s been thought of with an innovative design – a hole cut into the middle of the newspaper spine so surveillance can be maintained while perusing the adverts.
Actually, I thought to define the likely advertisers was going to be difficult. But it wasn’t really. What kind of things are bảo vệ interested in, apart from Facebook, Zalo, bolero and porn?
Umbrellas, chairs, food and drinks delivery, and a whole host of other goods and services that can be delivered, from haircuts to phone top-up cards. This trade paper is definitely a winner and has got the thumbs up from my pal, Đang.
If it was me, I would prove the concept in one city, like Hanoi or Saigon, and then look to roll it out elsewhere. The content would need to be about 70:30 or 80:20 adverts to editorial, with the focus being on local businesses of relevance, rather than attempting to get away with a generic one size fits all approach. It would be important, too, to provide interesting, audience-targeted content. To succeed this publication would need to plough its own furrow and avoid coverage readers could obtain elsewhere.
Just bear in mind the old adage, how do you make a small fortune in publishing? Start off with a big one.