Billboard advertising companies purchase or rent small lots for billboards that are used to display ads for their customers. Other types of outdoor billboard advertising include truck advertising, public benches, vehicle wraps or advertising on buses. These businesses also buy billboards from other companies and resell the advertising space for a higher price. They perform a valuable community service by enabling property owners to earn income by leasing an unused portion of their land to provide advertising space for businesses.
Billboard advertising business owners play an important role in increasing the visibility and success of businesses. Those who prefer to perform a wide variety of duties in a number of different work environments both indoor and outdoor, thrive exceptionally well in this business. Community-minded individuals are well-suited for meeting the challenge of matching the right location with the right advertiser at the right price.
How you can build a successful billboard advertising company?
- Communication and interpersonal skills for building strong business relationships and negotiating leasing contracts and advertising prices
- Accounting skills for budgeting, accounts receivable and accounts payable
- Computer skills for maintaining a website with information about your services and locations. There are classes available for learning these skills.
- Graphic design skills for creating customized billboard advertising for customers. These skills can be acquired through classes as well.
What are the steps to start a billboard advertising company?
Once you're ready to start your billboard advertising company, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your billboard advertising company is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your billboard advertising company keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
How to promote & market a billboard advertising company
One of the best ways to promote your billboard advertising business is by keeping abreast of new developments within the industry and the creative ways in which competitors are using them. Creating a blog on your website that features a profile of a different local business each month is a good way to demonstrate your knowledge of and dedication to the community. Advertisers love to take advantage of holidays to offer their customers great sales promotions and savings. Sending out pre-holiday promotion offers of your own is a good way to maintain consistent contact with existing customers as well as develop new business relationships.
Super sale billboards
How to keep customers coming back
Visiting your local chamber of commerce is a good way to meet business owners who can benefit from the advantages of billboard advertising. Attending and sponsoring community events is another. When prospecting for new customers, it’s important to have a portfolio that illustrates your best work as well as statistics demonstrating the correlation between billboard advertising in a specific location and an increase in sales figures as a result. Creating a loyalty program that offers savings for long-term contracts is a great way to ensure a steady stream of income while you cultivate new prospects.
How and when to build a team
It is important to build a team before you start your business. Your initial team will consist of financiers, city and state officials, property owners, business owners, and advertising agencies. Some billboard advertising businesses also include graphic designers on their team. Maintenance personnel are also important team members.
Federal Business Licensing Requirements
Billboard advertising companies must comply with federal and state laws related to the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
In certain states, business permits and licenses may be needed.
How much can you charge customers?
The cost depends on a number of factors, including the location and type of billboard. Billboards in areas with higher traffic are in greater demand than those with less visibility. Prices are also determined in part by the length of the contract with the advertising company. For regular billboards, prices can range from $1,500 to $100,000 per month. Electronic billboards rotate advertising for multiple customers. Small to medium sized billboards can earn $300 to $2000 per month, while large ones can command prices between $1500 and $30,000.
What are the ongoing expenses for a billboard advertising company?
Ongoing expenses for this type of business include:
- Property rental or lease costs
- Liability insurance
- Electricity costs for billboard lighting and electronic billboards
- Maintenance and repairs
- Construction costs for the erection of new billboards
- Transportation to potential sites and meetings with business associates
How much profit can a billboard advertising company make?
For the top four billboard advertising companies, the industry average for annual revenue in 2015 was 3.69 billion dollars. Profits generated by billboard companies can reach up to 50% before depreciation, taxes, amortization and interest. It commonly takes between 7 and 10 years to pay off the initial cost of the purchase of land and the construction of a billboard. Once that has been accomplished, profits increase significantly.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Creating and following a good business plan is one of the best ways to make your business more profitable. That plan should include expansion because many advertising companies require a minimum amount of billboards before they will agree to work with a new business. Another way to increase your profits is by designing the billboards rather than hiring another company for that part of the process.
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