Capitalizing on Current Opportunities in the Billboard Advertising Industry

As someone who has been in the billboard business for decades, I am often asked how I would approach entering the industry today, considering the rapid changes and developments. Here are some of the key focus areas and cautionary points for those looking to venture into the billboard advertising business in the present landscape:

  1. Wooden units:

    Wooden billboards have always been appealing due to their cost-effective construction and impressive return on investment. They are simple to operate and manage, making them a reliable choice for those looking to build a steady income stream.

  2. 8-sheet units:

    These compact, urban signs can often be found abandoned or in junk piles at major billboard companies. With vinyl wraps and modest rental fees, they offer similar economic benefits as wooden signs.

  3. Wallscapes:

    Mounting vinyl ads on building exteriors can provide some of the highest returns in the billboard industry. With minimal construction costs, wallscapes can generate substantial monthly revenue.

  4. Reviving abandoned units:

    There is a wealth of abandoned billboards across the United States, presenting ample opportunities to restore and monetize them. With minimal investment, reviving these units can yield returns comparable to other billboard options.

  5. Exercise caution with monopoles:

    Thirty years ago, monopoles were relatively inexpensive to build. However, their construction costs have increased dramatically, leading to diminished return on investment. Carefully assess the financial viability of any monopole project and aim for a minimum of a 20% annual return on investment.

  6. Be wary of LED billboards:

    While LED technology is undoubtedly innovative, the novelty may be wearing off. High prices, rapidly evolving technology, and potentially inflated ad space rental expectations call for skepticism. Avoid getting stuck with outdated and overpriced LED billboards.


Opportunities abound in the billboard advertising industry, but it's crucial to stay adaptable and focus on areas that offer the most promising return on investment. Keep an open mind and remain flexible in your approach, ensuring that you maximize your profits regardless of the niche you choose to pursue.

Frank Rolfe started his billboard company off of his coffee table, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had no formal training on the industry, he learned as he went, and developed his own unique systems to accomplish things, such as renting advertising space. Frank was formerly the largest private owner of billboards in Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as a major player in the Los Angeles market.