Billboard Connection

Q&A with Tom Flood, VP and Brand Director for Billboard Connection

How was Billboard Connection originally conceived and started?

The original agency was started by an independent billboard rep who was asked to source other billboard advertising other than the inventory he represented. After researching he found that there was a multitude of options and even more companies that sell these options so he recognized the need for a single access point for advertisers to source thus type of advertising. After failed attempts to expand and franchise on his own he was introduced to Ray Titus, President of Sign*A*Rama & EmbroidMe, who recognized the opportunity to grow the business through a successful franchise system.

What was your original vision for Billboard Connection? How has that changed over time?

The original vision was to focus on strictly billboard advertising. Now we are a resource for over 100 different types of outdoor media formats.

 What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?

Finding a business that fits your personality that you can enjoy.

 Why should someone choose Billboard Connection over other similar franchises?

We have found a niche business that not only allows our franchisee to work with almost any size business in almost any industry our media products are increasing in value while competing advertising formats are losing value.

What makes your industry attractive?

The outdoor advertising industry is experiencing growth because of new technologies making the media more effective while at the same time technology is hurting traditional media formats such as TV, print, radio & direct mail. Consumers can now chose to avoid commercial advertising on other formats while outdoor advertising can't be tuned out, turned off or discarded.

What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?

Strong sales skills/ the desire to succeed/ strong work ethic/ ability build long term relationships/ who prefer to be out and about instead of stuck at a desk all day.

 What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?

Franchise license, 3 weeks of comprehensive training (1 week classroom/ 1 week home assignments/ 1 week one on one in market), license to access our propriety software, individual website, initial marketing supplies, industry organization memberships, regional meetings, mentor program, technical support, marketing support, on-going training & business management & sales support.

 How do territories work for your franchisees?

Each agency is assigned a marketing area that has a mix of businesses & industries that they help outline based on their location and market. We ensure they have more than enough businesses to be successful in their own defined area.

Why has the Billboard Connection model been successful?

We found a niche that eliminates any competition in an industry that continues to grow.

Where do you see Billboard Connection in the next 5 to 10 years?

With our continued growth globally and domestically our goals will take us to become one of the top media specialist agencies in the world.

 What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?

Follow the system and use the support at your disposal.

 What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a Billboard Connection?

This is a home based business that has little overhead and no employees which makes it easier to become profitable. And that every franchisee has had those very same concerns.

Can you explain your financial assistance?

We have relationships with third party finance companies that offer several financing options based on your individual situation. Our Director of Finance is available to point people in the right direction for their individual needs.

On average, how long does it take to start a new Billboard Connection from the franchisees point of view?

As a home based franchise we are able to get people operational in as little as 3 weeks.

What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?

We have several other successful franchises starting with Sign*A*Rama which has been in business for over 25 years and is the world largest sign franchise with over 900 locations in over 50 countries; EmbroidMe just enjoyed their 10 year anniversary with 400 locations in 16 countries. Billboard Connection is the third brand we built with over 80 licenses in 5 countries.

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