I want to start start a billboard and street pole advertisement company. However I do not have any experience on this field. Where should I start?
The company will start its operations in my rural town in Kenya as I intend to expand it to the surrounding towns. There are a lot of advertising companies in Kenya but none of them have set up shop in the town, there is no billboard at all. I was wondering why could this be when we have got companies who would like to advertise there products on them.
I know one outdoor advertising company called BackLite Media LLC, based on Dubai. They have an office in Kenya as well. My suggestion is to contact them to get idea on this. They are one of the popular advertising firm in Dubai. The company website is backlitemedia.com ; Contact them directly to proceed in your business. Thank you
Hi Korir, Kenvision Trainers have offered you good advice. I'd encourage you to talk to the county leadership. There are agendas they would like to push and there are private companies that you can bring on board. For instance the biggest agenda of every county is building the revenue and sustaining it. Working with the county government, you need to show them why advertising is an ATM for them.
While at it, I would advise you to get in touch with Jim Bowes who has also responded to your query below. His concept is new and rich and it appears as though it has hidden business opportunites. His concept may easily be copied by other counties and you can try to talk him into franchising the concept in the region. This is considering how closed the billboard - county councils (governments) relationships are.
Whenever you deal with investors trying to make investment decisions for a company like this, they always focus in a few primary areas: 1) is this a team in which I want to invest; 2) how is the company's solution addressing a pain point; and 3) how are they differentiating from the competition. They ask these questions because businesses with favorable answers succeed and businesses with unfavorable answers fail. Thus, I'd encourage looking at your enterprise this way.
You are addressing a pain point. You are differentiated in that no one else is running a billboard company in your town, but they may as soon as you lead the way, so that isn't a big point in your favor. If you are starting a billboard company and you do not have billboard company experience/knowledge, you are starting with a highly deficient team. To that end, I suggest you start by partnering with someone relatively local to you with the knowledge/experience to help guide your business decisions. Good ideas will fail without the right team, and the right team is about more than being smart, hardworking, or energetic. You need knowledge.
The outdoor media world is a very cut throat business. It is one of the only businesses that has been able to keep a monopolistic model which goes against the whole idea of fair competition and competition to keep prices down. In most markets, they "win" (buy) the exclusive rights to advertise in an entire city.
Outdoor advertising is also something that cities get addicted to as it pays them a lot of money to allow companies to use the public space while at the same time most people and even cities would be happy to get rid of all outdoor advertising as it is often seen as visual clutter.
I would also ask you this, when you travel to places that do have out door advertising, ask yourself what ads you remember. I ask this question to advertiser all the time. Usually the answer is, I have no idea what any of the hundreds of media frames I drove or walked by had in them. So though the industry says it is very effective, I really have to wonder.
I also have an unconventional street marketing company called GreenGraffiti.com. We are using the public space and though we do not see ourselves as an outdoor media company, we are are seen by others as being one.
We are using natural media such as reverse graffiti, sand printing and milk paint to create unconventional communication. Maybe this is something for you given the sustainable ambitions of Kenya. It is hard work, you will deal with corruption whether outright corruption or "Western corruption" (in my opinion the tender process in Europe is just a different form of corruption as it comes down to what company will put the biggest bag of money on the table not what company has the best operations or best business model just one thing MONEY).
What we do is rebellious. We are challenging the idea that governments OWN the public space - no governments manage the public space, we tax payers own it and pay for it.
Our cities are dirty. They also control hundreds of times more potential media space - dirty public space - than all outdoor media companies combined so why aren't our cities monetising their dirt to help support public programs like education, public health etc. Our dirty public spaces are worth millions if not billions of dollars. If you are interested in sustainability or green and are courageous, this might be something for you to look into.
You seem to have discovered a big niche. Now the question is how to you turn this into a business? First find out why there are no billboards in your market. It could be because Kenya has decided they do not want it for many reasons. Validate that you you could do this before investing to much time and energy on something that end of the day they will simply not allow you to do! Good luck! Go for it!
I would start by getting some experience in this field. If you don't know anything about it, how are you going to run it? Sell it? Most people that start a company work for a company that has done something in which they feel that they can do better after working for that company for a while.
Sales come from experience. If you can't educate people on your product then you won't be able to sell them on your product!
My suggestion would be to go to work for a reputable company in this field and keep your eyes and ears open. Learn as much about the business as you can and find a way to be better, faster, cheaper than the company that you just worked for.
To start it blind would be ingredients for disaster!
I have been to Kenya. You need clients and sales. Plus the signage or the structure for signage. Your biggest obstacle or obstacles may be signage costs, legal expenses, political issues and legal issues . I knew an outdoor company in the states (I know there are country differences) which had more attorneys than sales people, and you don't make revenue goals with a tough political landscape with difficult cost structures.
Be careful. And wish you luck. Sounds like an opportunity if you can handle costs and the other issues. All the best.
Check the other towns to see whose doing it and try to get some costs. Sometimes companies shy aware from incurring costs in certain areas. Remember the cost of the Bill Board and the location can be the driving factor.
Once you have your costs do research in your town to see which company is willing to use this type of advertising. Costs will include development of the Billboard, constructing and payment to the location where the Bill Board will be situated. Another point about Billboards unless it is the digital ones, once they are seen a couple of times that's it with the exposure that is why the focus is now on text marketing etc. Hope this helps.
Yours is a very noble idea. It would be prudent to sort out the legislative issues first. This includes ensuring that your company is registered to do the sort of business you want to do, then approach the county government regarding your intentions so that they can give you the rates that they have for different sizes of advertising boards. The next to stop is that of the targeted clients- in this case i have in mind the businesses and organizations whose business targets the rural folks. Negotiate with them the possible charges you may have for them if you were to put up the structure (which i believe you would have have their estimated cost which should include labour and security factors). Apparently some of the potential clients will be the same county institutions, schools, health centres, Local NGO's, Performing teams coming to the local town, etc.
If your maths works out well at all those stages, then you are set to go!!