Steve Drazga, CEO of Energy Central, started his Internet publication for the global power industry in 1995 from a home office.
At the time, he
employed three people, one of whom, Mark Johnson, is now Drazga's business partner."We started with a $100,000 investment from an angel investor and boot-strapped from there," he
explains. Prior to starting his online venture, Drazga spent five years in management consulting to the utilities industry, first with Stone & Webster Management Consultants and then with EDS (Electronic Data Systems) Management Consulting Services.
Based in Aurora, Colorado, Drazga's
online venture generated about $150,000 in revenue its first year in business.Last year, his
online ventures, which represent about 60 percent of the total business, generated more than $3 million.In January 1996, Drazga moved his business into its first office space, which encompassed about 1,800 square feet.Today
, the company employs 35 people, all of whom work out of a 10,000 square-foot office.
Nine years later in November 2004, Drazga
launched EnergyBiz which is delivered six times a year to more than 20,000 power industry executives.
"Our vision is to create a company that is media-agnostic," Drazga
says."Our goal is to deliver knowledge in the way that professionals want to receive it.Print is a major component of that knowledge delivery strategy."
But the launch of EnergyBiz was costly.Drazga
budgeted $160,000 just to launch the first two issues.By the end of the year, he
had spent about $500,000 to print all six issues of EnergyBiz.By comparison, an EnergyBiz e-newsletter, which comes out three times a week, costs about $100,000 a year to produce."It costs about 500 percent more for one twenty-sixth of the frequency," Drazga
says."Our cost structure for online has very little incremental cost to launch new publications or expand our circulation."
Still, the advertising revenue and the increased readership that print can bring in are worth it, Drazga
says.EnergyBiz netted $700,000 in revenue in its first full year in publication, close to five times more than Drazga's
Internet publication did in its first full year.EnergyBiz is on target to earn about $1 million in revenue this year.
"Many traditional advertisers started working with us both in print and online after the launch of EnergyBiz," he
...Steve Drazga, CEO, Energy Central.