Do you want to start a graffiti removal business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a graffiti removal business with NO money and no experience. The fact that graffiti is not welcome in most parts of the world especially when it is sprayed on public buildings doesn’t stop people from going all out to stamp their presence with graffiti in public facilities. No doubt, starting a graffiti removal business can be a profitable business- especially if you are working directly for the government of your country as their agent.
In most parts of the world, it is the duty of the government – essentially the local government, to ensure that they remove graffiti from public facilities and to maintain a cleaner and decent environment. Since it is the responsibility of government to maintain the beautification of public facilities, it is therefore very important to position your graffiti removal business to be able to secure contract from the government to help remove graffiti in your environment.
It is very important that you analyze the existing graffiti removal companies in and outside of your area. Know how many there are. Also, you would be required to check the existing competition, as well as know their strength and weaknesses. Knowing the weaknesses of the existing graffiti removal companies around you will make you learn from their mistakes and in turn come up with a better and more preferred graffiti removal service.
So, if you are serious about starting your own graffiti removal company, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped.
18 Steps to Starting a Graffiti Removal Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
It is important to state that graffiti removal business falls under the commercial cleaning services industry and the industry provides several services. Franchises in this large industry mostly fit into one of three areas: cleaning and janitorial services, carpet and upholstery cleaning services, and dry cleaning and laundry services. In 2010 there were about 50,000 cleaning services operating in the united states and about 9,000 carpet and upholstery companies, which brought in a total of about 40 billion dollars in annual revenue.
About 90 percent of the cleaning revenue is accounted for by cleaning companies, versus about 10 percent by carpet and upholstery. There were 30,000 companies in the laundry and dry cleaning business that brought in about 10 billion dollars in revenue last year, 70% of which were retail laundry and dry cleaning operations, and 30% of which were coin-operated laundry locations.
There were 824,394 workers in the cleaning industry in 2010. About 7% of cleaning workers are self-employed. There are both small and large cleaning companies, but small companies tend to be restricted to residential cleaning since large commercial cleaning requires many employees and specialized skills.
The economic depression of the last few years hit the cleaning industry as it hit most American industries, but the health care industry played a large role in managing to keep the cleaning industry profitable. As the number of elderly Americans increased, there was a greater need for cleaning services.
Low vacancy rates in office spaces are important to the continuing success of both the cleaning and carpet cleaning sectors, as they depend on getting most of their business from offices and commercial buildings. When office vacancy rates went up during the recent depression, business suffered significantly. For residential cleaning, the economy is also important.
When incomes are lower, residents will choose to save money by putting off carpet cleaning. Competition may come to cleaning services from larger catch-all companies who offer cleaning as part of a bundled program of many more services, such as parking, snow removal, and pest control. In-house janitorial services operated by buildings and management companies may also serve as competition.
The commercial cleaning services industry is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States. It is predicted that cleaning services (graffiti removal inclusive) will experience a five percent growth rate between 2008 and 2018, and this growth will be largely due to the health care industry, where elderly care needs will only increase over that period. In addition, personal consumption for cleaning, laundering and repair of clothing is predicted to increase at a compound annual rate of 3 percent from 2015 to 2019.
The graffiti removal business will continue to blossom because government, property owners, facility managers and organizations will not relent in removing unwanted graffiti. Despite the fact that the industry seems over – saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own graffiti removal services company.
Over and above, graffiti removal services businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to network with stakeholders and reach out to their target market.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of graffiti removal services companies cut across government agencies, businesses and households hence the demographic composition for a graffiti removal services company is all encompassing. The truth is that when it comes to graffiti removal services, there is indeed a wide range of available customers.
So, if you are thinking of starting a graffiti removal services company then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include the public sector; government ministries, agencies and parastatals (public works department), organized private sector, households, property owners, facility managers, boarding houses/campuses, playground/parks, estates and communities, farm settlements, camp grounds and corporate organizations within the location where your company is located.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
There is no niche area in the graffiti removal business because the graffiti removal business is a niche area in the commercial cleaning industry. Basically, graffiti removal services companies are known to professionally remove unwanted graffiti from public and private facilities as demanded by the owner of the facility.
So, if you are planning to start your own graffiti removal business, then you should work towards creating a process that will help you carry out neat and thorough graffiti removal services; services that will stand you out.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the commercial cleaning services industry cum graffiti removal services line of business goes beyond competition amongst graffiti removal service companies, but also with commercial cleaning services and landscaping services companies who also provide graffiti removal services in your city or country. So, it will be right to say the competition in the graffiti removal services line of business is tough.
The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job, and you make use of effective chemicals and processes, and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several graffiti removal services companies scattered all around the United States of America. So, if you choose to start your own graffiti removal services company in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competitions amongst other graffiti removal services companies and commercial cleaning services companies and landscaping services companies who also provide graffiti removal services in your city or country.
Besides, there are larger graffiti removal services companies, commercial cleaning services companies and landscaping services companies that determine the trend in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading graffiti removal services companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Goodbye Graffiti™ Inc.
- Graffiti Removal Las Vega
- Tagaway Graffiti Remover
- GumBusters – Chewing Gum & Graffiti Removal Service
- Graffiti Removal Guys ® San Jose, CA 95123
- (GRS) Graffiti Removal Service, Inc.
- Sosafe USA Inc.
- American Graffiti
- Universal Site Services
- Hydra Force Powerwashing
- My Graffiti Removal Guy
- Legacy Power Washing and Graffiti Removal
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Graffiti removal services business has been in existence for a long time and it is indeed a competitive business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several graffiti removal services companies when you go out there sourcing for the services of graffiti removal companies.
So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount needed to register the business, purchase working tools and paint removal chemical, logistics and also the running cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a graffiti removal services company, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of registering the business, purchasing the needed equipment and tools, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base and far reaching business network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a graffiti removal services company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of a graffiti removal services company to buy. It is a business that is open to all and sundry.
Besides starting a graffiti removal services company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business. With graffiti removal services company, you should just try as much as possible to get the right and effective paint removal chemicals, machine/equipment, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful graffiti removal services companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own graffiti removal services company today, one of the major challenges you are likely to face is the presence of well – established graffiti removal services companies and landscaping and commercial cleaning services companies that offer same services as you do. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you may face are economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, history has it that business such as graffiti removal services and the likes usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers.
So also, unfavorable government policies can hamper the growth of your graffiti removal services company. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a graffiti removal services company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some graffiti removal services company design their business for city wide market, while others for the state market and others for national market.
You have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as graffiti removal services company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale graffiti removal services company especially if you are just starting out with moderate capital and covering just a city. But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons.
As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and offer your services to customers all across your state and throughout the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your graffiti removal services company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or a ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
If you are considering starting your own graffiti removal services company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Clean Wipe Graffiti Removal Services Company
- Deal with IT Graffiti Removal Company, LLC
- Crest Delight Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- One Nation Graffiti Removal Company
- Golden Star Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Cosmos Commercial Cleaning Services Company, Inc.
- Fresh Walls Graffiti Removal Services, Inc.
- Gray Mallows Graffiti Removal Company, LLC
- Crispy Class Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Rave World Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your graffiti removal services company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own graffiti removal services company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance (comprehensive insurance)
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own graffiti removal services company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Aside from your ability to handle chemicals and operate paint removal / cleaning equipment and tools, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some graffiti removal services stand out. If you want to make impact in the commercial cleaning services industry as a graffiti removal expert, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own graffiti removal services company;
- ISSA CIMS Certification
- Certified Graffiti Technicians
Please note that you can successfully run a pest control services company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the commercial cleaning services industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own graffiti removal services company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Chemical Handling License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Contract Document
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a graffiti removal services company can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale with standard office facility and over a handful of full – time employees, then you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale graffiti removal services company.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first thing and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your graffiti removal services company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Even though you can afford to start a graffiti removal services company from any part of the world, when it comes to choosing a location for your graffiti removal services company, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the access to the needed paint removal/cleaning chemicals and availability of clients. Of course, if you are able to start your graffiti removal services company in the right location for such business, you won’t struggle to make headway with the business.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your graffiti removal services company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consist of people with the require purchasing power and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of starting your graffiti removal services company in an area where you will find it difficult to access paint removal / cleaning chemicals, you will struggle to grow the business because you will spend more in importing paint removal / cleaning chemicals.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your graffiti removal services company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for the services of graffiti removal services company related businesses in the location
- The purchasing power of the residence of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The numbers of graffiti removal services companies and related services businesses that in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
There is no special technology needed to run a graffiti removal services business. On the average, the technology / equipment needed to run this type of business include paint removal and cleaning equipment and tools, inventory-management software and other relevant software applications. So also, you will definitely need computers / laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of an office facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard graffiti removal services company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer/Manager (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Field Workers (Graffiti Removers / Cleaners) (6), Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, and Front Desk Officer. These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium – scale but standard graffiti removal services company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Basically, it is the duty of the merchandize manager or marketing manager to help the organization source for good and affordable paint removal/cleaning chemicals and working tools/equipment. They go out there to source for good business deals and they also ensure that they do not only purchase paint removal/cleaning chemical supplies at the right prices that will guarantee them good profits, but also ensure that they purchase effective paint removal cleaning chemicals.
Before a deal is sealed, a graffiti removal services company is expected to carry out inspection on the location and the size of graffiti to be removed and the nature of the surface the graffiti is painted on. This will enable them know the type and quantity of paint removal/cleaning chemicals and equipment to be deployed to the site.
Once a deal is sealed, then the graffiti removal services company goes out there to carry out their job as agreed by both parties. Usually, if after the job is carried out and the client still find traces of the graffiti that was meant to be removed, the graffiti removal services company is expected to go back and do a thorough job at no extra cost to their client.
It is important to state that a graffiti removal services company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated graffiti removal services company business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a graffiti removal services company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for the commercial cleaning services industry.
People and organizations will hire your services if they know that they are going to get value for their money.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy will center on reliability, quality, swiftness, safety, pricing, secured payment platform, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers hire your services, they would be rest assured that they will get excellent service. If you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain our old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses this days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort will be directed to internet users; your website should become your number one marketing tool.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your graffiti removal services company;
- Introduce your graffiti removal services company by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to the public sector; government ministries, agencies and parastatals (public works department), organized private sector, households, property owners, facility managers, boarding houses/campuses, playground/parks, estates and communities, farm settlements, camp grounds and corporate organizations within the location where your company is located
- Advertise your business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and radio station
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still meet their demands
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business
- Join local chambers of commerce around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a graffiti removal services company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your graffiti removal services company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your services
- Install your Bill Boards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your graffiti removal services company.
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact the public sector; government ministries, agencies and parastatals (public works department), organized private sector, households, property owners, facility managers, boarding houses / campuses, playground / parks, estates and communities, farm settlements, camp grounds and corporate organizations within the location where your company is located informing them about your business and the services you offer
- List your graffiti removal services company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your graffiti removal services company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your graffiti removal services company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
18. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
In order to successfully run a graffiti removal services company, you must establish good business relationship with wholesalers and manufacturers of paint removal/cleaning chemicals and equipment. Of course, you would need steady supply of paint removal/cleaning chemicals from wholesalers and also manufacturers in order to remain in business.
It is also advisable that you enter into business partnership with government public works department and key stakeholders in the real estate industry most especially facility managers; they are in better positions to give you steady graffiti removal contracts. That of course will guarantee your company steady flow of income.
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