The outdoor recreation industry is an economic powerhouse, employing over six million Americans and infusing both local and national economies with $646 billion dollars in outdoor recreation spending each year, according to the Outdoor Industry Association's 2012 Recreation Economy Report. Often under the radar, outdoor recreation is big business.
In this occasional Schmarder University series, "Our Business Is Fun," we'll meet an assortment of outdoor recreation industry leaders, learn about how their businesses serve the industry and its consumers, and talk trends in outdoor recreation.
A seasoned RV industry news purveyor, Sherman Goldenberg commands respect from every corner of the RV business world. Graduating from "boot camp" as a newsman, Sherman spent 26 years with Affinity Group, Inc., lastly holding the position of VP of RV Trades, before striking a deal with the company to purchase the RV industry's premier trade publication, RVBusiness.
Sherman and his business partner, Beverly Gardner, formed G & G Media Group LLC -- based in Elkhart, Indiana, the heart of the U.S. RV manufacturing industry -- to acquire RVBusiness and eventually Woodall's Campground Management. Each publication commands nearly complete penetration in its respective market and G & G Media Group LLC is finding a way to make print publishing profitable in their "small shop."
Watch this Schmarder University interview to learn about publishing in the RV industry, why Sherman views the word "success" suspiciously, and one businessman's evolution from corporate VP to private entrepreneur.
To help you navigate the interview, below the video is a brief timeline. Feel free to jump to the section that most interests you or tune in from start to finish.
About Sherman, G & G Media Group LLC, and their publications: 0:00
Business background: 1:20
Print vs. digital: 3:52
Movement toward digital: 7:00
Business model: 8:19
Making money: 9:29
Success and failure: 12:17
Authenticity in business: 13:53
Wrap up: 15:53
Are you a publisher? Do you feel that there's a profitable future in print? Is "in your face" honesty a prerequisite to small business success?