I am interested in getting into the billboard business, but am a little worried if it is possible to compete against the competition. There are several big players in my area with multiple billboards in several locations around the city and surrounding cities. If I can only manage to start out with one, is it still possible to compete and secure advertisers even though the competition has leverage with multiple locations and the ability to offer a rotary program? Is there any other way to compete other than price?
You should get Frank’s course. There are no magic bullets. I thinks it’s doable.
A big company is nothing more than a bunch of people. They have no competitive advantage over you – in fact, you have an advantage over them because you have more at stake and reap all the benefits and, as a result, you fight harder. While it is true that big companies have an advantage in renting advertising space to ad agencies and large accounts, the large national advertisers that they prey on are the most likely to non-renew their ads when the economy gets tough (like is happening now). Local advertisers are the most stable and long-lasting, and you again have an advantage over the big companies with local advertisers as you will probably have lower rates and better customer service. Rotary programs are again something that national advertisers crave, but are not a part of local advertiser’s desires, as local advertisers prefer directional “exit now” kinds of opportunities.
But don’t the big guys have more to spend, thus making it more likely for them to continue to afford advertising in tough economic times? I definitely feel like the local businesses would be much more loyal, but would have to cut costs when times got tough (and billboard advertising would probably be the first to go).
Also, do you think it’s possible to have a full time job and own a billboard or two until income is sufficient enough to do it full time, or would you have to completely devote all your time to the billboard company from the beginning?
In your market, are majority of billboards empty or rented? Occupancy rate in billboards nearby will tell you if people canceling out in high rates. In my markets, 95% of them are taken and the remaining 5% aren’t run well. Plus we been in tough economic times for a while now, so if boards are rented they must be working.
Can you own BB company on the side? I dont see why not. I think, this is how most of the big guys started.
Hope this helps,
Best of luck
A majority of billboards are currently rented out. As with your market, there are a few that have been mismanaged that has led to unoccupancy.
Thanks for the input. I’m just curious how I could balance my time, but I think iota could possibly work.
I meant I think it could possibly work.
Local advertisers see a direct result from a billboard, while national advertisers do not. A McDonalds with a billboard that says “exit now” sees a material decline in revenue if he cancels. A billboard for Metlife does not care whether a certain sign is up or not. So the whole concept of renewal is out the window with national accounts – they run a campaign and then it’s over. Let the big companies keep the national accounts. You’ll have much more consistent revenues with local advertisers.
You are much better off doing billboards as a part-time job until your critical mass enables you to do it full time. One of the people who went to Boot Camp is now up to 10 billboard structures strictly as a hobby-job. The beauty of billboards is that you can operate them strictly on nights and weekends – they do not need full-time supervision.
Thanks for clearing that up about the difference between local advertisers and the big companies; it makes so much more sense now what you were trying to get at earlier.
I have purchased your book along with the DVDs, but is there anything else I can do to prepare myself before I get into the business? My fear is getting into the business with limited knowledge and putting myself in a position more likely to fail than succeed. Any tips you have or other things I can do to increase my chances of success? My dad has always harped on experience, yet I have zero first hand experience in the billboard industry. Am I setting myself up for failure with no first hand experience or can you still be successful without it?
Start small, do calculated risks, eliminate risks where you can.
Think of it this way, some people didn’t have any help at all. You got Frank’s training. Some people don’t. Who do you think has an advantage?
What is your email address so we can discuss your project further?