The Basics Of Winning At The Billboard Game

Monopoly has been a popular board game since 1935. Most every American knows how to play it, as well as the steps you need to take to win at the game (buy land pieces, build houses and hotels, collect rent, etc.). Really, most every endeavor in life is kind of like a board game: there are rules and you have to know how to play and what the ways to win are. And billboards are no different. Here are the basic steps to win at the billboard business.

Step #1: Define a territory

Where do you live. Point to it on a map. Now draw a circle around that dot that extends about 5 hours out in drive time. This is your official “territory”. In some parts of America it may take you across several states. And it will encompass a huge number of interstate highways, state highways, major roads, city boundaries – an enormous amount of opportunity. You should then break this circle into four quadrants, and identify which quadrant appears to be the one with the most promise (typically the most number of major cities). This is where you will initially focus: that pie-shaped parcel with the point at your house and emanating five hours away from your home.

Step #2: Learn the laws

There are two types of billboard locations: 1) the laws of the state if you are outside of a city limits and 2) the laws of the city if you are inside their limits. So it’s essential that you learn the laws of the state as well as the laws of all the cities that the target highways flow through. You can find these laws online or through a simple phone call.

Step #3: Work smart

The whole billboard industry revolves around the simple principal of “spacings and zonings”. Learn efficient ways to size up the market quickly, as well as tricks to help you plow through miles of potential road frontage. Everyone figures out the shortcuts that work for them and, once you do, you will be able to work fast.

Step #4: Hit the road

Finding billboard locations is all about getting in your car and driving out and looking for potential sites. Once you know the laws, there’s no substitute for surveying the area with your own eyes. In addition, when you are first looking for advertisers, nothing beats going to the next several exits and writing down the business located there as those are your primary customers.

Step #5: Don’t take no for an answer

Persistence is essential in any endeavor, and that holds true for finding billboard locations. Those who never give up always win. It’s as simple as that. There was a rule in the Civil War that success was more attainable if you ran at the enemy with your bayonet on, and that’s the same with finding billboards.


If you can play Monopoly and win, you can also win at the billboard game. Just like Monopoly you need to understand the game, form a strategy, and get into action.

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.