HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. In case you do not know about the service, you should. It's a site that has gathered numerous journalists and businesses, including a large number of small businesses. Journalists place queries for sources and businesses - "experts" - respond.
I use the service extensively for my stories. I have used it for years. If you are interested in having me cover your story, please keep an eye on my queries in HARO.
I am thinking, though, of something different, as a business opportunity.
Today, around the world, there are numerous small businesses. They all need publicity to get the word out about their respective products and services.
Journalists are also looking for global sources. I certainly am, since the One Million by One Million agenda is 100% global.
However, I don't receive as many global pitches as I would like to.
How about a service that specifically focuses on recruiting global SMBs and global journalists? I would be interested in using such a service.
What about the business model?
Well, HARO is free for both sides. They make money through ads, at least they did, until Vocus bought them. Nowadays, I don't know if they make much money at all.
I am also not sure how much Vocus is investing in building out the footprint further, especially on a global scale.
I think, and you would need to validate this assumption, that if you charge a small subscription fee for such a service from the small businesses (say, $10 a month), and you have a quality set of journalists using the service, you may be able to build a nice SaaS business. A small one, perhaps, but for a solopreneur, this could be a very nice side business, or even a core business.
Let's do a back of the envelope ... $10 x 2500 = $25,000 a month. You need to recruit 2500 paying customers.
I'd say, you can do that.
Photo credit: Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Uruguay/Flickr.com.