Graffiti are inscriptions, slogans, drawings, etc. scratched, scribbled, or drawn, often crudely, on a wall or other public surface – it is a form of vandalism involving painting text or images in public places. They often represent rebellion, so it is often the visual language of the unheard or disenfranchised hence the reason why the government will always pay people to remove graffiti anywhere they are found in the city.
Graffiti removal businesses are known to generate good revenue annually. At the national level, the costs associated with graffiti have been estimated to be as high as $15 to $18 billion, and $12 billion a year is spent to clean up graffiti nationally. The bottom line is that it is very expensive to clean up graffiti and it costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Steps on How to Start a Graffiti Removal Business in 2023
Table of Content
1. Conduct Market Research
The first step in the market research process for your graffiti removal business is to develop a market-based research question in line with your overall business goal and objective. In this regard, you should source information that will help you maximize your business, information that will help you operate your graffiti removal business with less stress, and of course, build the business to profitability.
a. Who is the Target Market for Graffiti Removal Business?
The target market for graffiti removal business 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 and parks, estates, and communities, farm settlements, campgrounds, and corporate organizations within the location where your company is located.
b. Is Graffiti Removal a Profitable Business?
Yes, the graffiti removal business is profitable because there are countless government buildings, schools, and private businesses affected by graffiti each year, and a larger percentage of the money you charge to remove graffiti will translate to profit.
The annual cost of monitoring, detecting, removing, and repairing graffiti damage in the United States has been estimated as high as $15 to $18 billion. In Clark County, Nevada, it was estimated that it costs the public and private sectors $30 million annually to remove graffiti.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
There is no niche area in the graffiti removal business because the business is a niche area in the commercial cleaning industry.
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- 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
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Graffiti Removal Business?
No, there are no county or state regulations or zoning laws for a graffiti removal business, but players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing similar businesses in the county where their business is domiciled.
It means that at any point in time the county office can determine whether the graffiti removal business meets the zoning rules of the community. They also ensure that all graffiti removal businesses are properly licensed with a county or state agency.
f. Is There a Franchise for Graffiti Removal Business?
Yes, there are franchise opportunities for a graffiti removal business, and here are some of them;
- Goodbye Graffiti Franchise
- The Graffiti Eaters & Stain Eaters
g. What Do You Need to Start a Graffiti Removal Business?
- A Feasibility Report
- Business Plan
- Licenses and Permits
- EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
- A Corporate Bank Account
- Equipment and Utility trucks
- Cleaning supplies
- Startup Capital
Memorable Name ideas for Graffiti Removal Business
- Wipe Clean© Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Graffiti and More® Commercial Cleaning Company, Inc.
- Jason Macel© Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Go Green® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- City Clean™ Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Anthony Lawson™ Graffiti Removal Company, LLC.
- James Kingston© Graffiti Removal Company, LLC
- The Restorer® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Allen World© Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Like Pro© Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Tony Morgan® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Cleanest Group® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- We Remove® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- The Base® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Go Getter® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Red Berret© Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Gleaning and Co™ Graffiti Removal Company, LLC
- Chicago City® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Bally White® Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
- Make Clean™ Graffiti Removal Company, Inc.
Register Your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Graffiti Removal Business?
Though there are some options when it comes to the business structure of a graffiti removal business, the one that most players in this line of business consider is an LLC. It is common to consider an LLC because a provider wants to protect themselves from lawsuits.
Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below. Most new single-member LLCs classified as disregarded entities will need to obtain an EIN.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Graffiti Removal Business?
- General Business License
- Health and Safety Permit
- Zonal Permits
- Signage Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections (If you have an office)
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Graffiti Removal Business?
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run a graffiti removal service;
- ISSA CIMS Certification
- Certified Graffiti Technicians
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Graffiti Removal Business?
These are some of the basic legal documents you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run a graffiti removal business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit and Building Approval
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
If you are considering starting your own graffiti removal business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. 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.
Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Graffiti Removal Business?
When it comes to starting a graffiti removal business, the startup cost ranges from $2,000 to $80,000 depending on how much equipment the business owner decides to purchase. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.
b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting a Graffiti Removal Business
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines, and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of the graffiti removal business for $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The total cost for hiring a business consultant including writing a business plan – $2,500.
- The total cost of purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property-casualty) coverage at a total premium (initial (first) premium) – $2,400.
- The cost for renting or leasing office space or warehouse for storing your equipment – $20,000.
- Other start-up expenses including, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills and fueling et al) – $10,000
- The cost for start-up inventory (stocking with cleaning chemicals and materials et al) – $3,000
- The cost for the purchase of storage hardware (bins, rack, and shelves) – $3,720
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $2,000
- The cost for the purchase of a utility truck: $12,000
- The cost of launching a website: $600
- Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Graffiti Removal Business?
- The Type of Graffiti Removal Business
- The Choice of Location
- The Required Licenses and Permits
- The Type of Facility
- Additional Service Offerings
- The Cost of Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
- The Cost for Branding, Promotion, and Marketing of the Graffiti removal business
- The Cost for furnishing and equipping the Graffiti removal business
- The Cost for Insurance Policy Covers
- The Cost for Registering the Business
- Source of Your Supplies and Ongoing Expenses
- Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff
- The Cost of Purchase and Customizing of Uniforms
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?
You don’t need to build a facility for your graffiti removal business because you are expected to go out in the field to offer your services. You may just decide to operate from a small office space or just lease a storage facility for your tools and equipment.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Graffiti Removal Business?
- Cost of stocking up supplies such as cleaning chemicals, cleaning towels, disposable hand gloves, and facemask et al
- Utility bills (gas (fueling for utility truck, internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
- Salaries of employees
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $35,000 per year
- Accountants (Cashiers) – $25,000 per year
- Graffiti Removal Technicians (Cleaners) – $23,000 per year
- Utility Truck Driver – $21,150 per year.
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Graffiti Removal Business
- Raise money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raise money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Apply for a loan from your bank/banks
- Apply for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
- Source soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Our graffiti removal business is standard and licensed and will be located in the heart of the city to easily work with the government at all levels. Although our intention of starting a graffiti removal business is to offer only the above-stated services, we will not close our doors to diversification (additional services) as long as it does not affect our core services. We are set to contribute our quota in making sure that our city and state in free from unwanted graffiti that may be covering the beauty of the city.
b. Products and Service
- Removing graffiti
- Facility (wall) restoration.
c. Mission Statement
Our mission is to establish a graffiti removal business that will create a standard of excellence in the industry. We want to grow our graffiti removal business to be listed amongst the top 10 graffiti removal businesses in the United State within the first 5 years of launching the business.
Our vision is to establish a standard and world-class graffiti removal business that will be the “go-to” graffiti removal service in the United States of America.
d. Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the Graffiti removal business are to project an image of cleanliness and beauty in our city and also to fight against street crime and gangsterism. This is so because a graffiti wall or a fully coated wall will attract more graffiti, invite gang activity and promote crime in the city.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Accountants (Cashiers)
- Graffiti Removal Technicians (Cleaners)
- Utility Truck Driver
a. SWOT Analysis
The strength of the Graffiti removal business is that we have certified graffiti removal technicians under our payroll. So also, we operate in a location notorious for graffiti.
When it comes to graffiti removal services, the bulk of the contracts come from the government. They usually give such contracts to established contractors and we don’t have such connections yet.
The opportunities that are available to graffiti removal businesses are unlimited because youthful exuberances will always force youths to express how they feel by painting and defacing walls. The government will always engage the services of graffiti removal companies.
The major threat we will face is if the citizens become law-abiding and desist from graffiti or if the government comes up with strict laws that will punish anyone caught painting graffiti on public facilities. Another threat that may likely confront a graffiti removal business is the arrival of a newer, bigger, and well-connected graffiti removal business, power cleaning company, etc. that is also engaged in graffiti removal in the same location.
b. How Do Graffiti Removal Companies Make Money?
A graffiti removal business makes money by charging clients to remove their unwanted graffiti and, if necessary, to repaint the area and restore it to its original outlook.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Introduce your graffiti removal business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to corporate organizations, campuses/colleges, the government, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your graffiti removal business is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Join local graffiti removal businesses and commercial cleaning associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise your business in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
The amount to charge for your graffiti removal services should depend on some factors. If the client is not paying a monthly fee for your services, then you would typically charge them between one and three dollars per square foot of the area you are expected to clean. You may also consider charging between thirty to seventy dollars to drive out there: this will help pay for fuel and equipment costs.
b. How Much Profit Do Graffiti Removal Business Owners Make a Year?
A typical graffiti removal business owner will make between $2,125 to $3,791 per week ($25,000 to $45,000 per year).
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- The capacity of the graffiti removal business
- The location of the business is covering
- The management style of the graffiti removal business
- The business approach of the graffiti removal business
- The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the graffiti removal business facility – business
- The number of years the graffiti removal business facility is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Graffiti Removal Business?
The profit margin of a graffiti removal business is not fixed; to a large extent, it will depend on some factors that are unique to your location. It could range from 45 percent to 80 percent depending on the nature of graffiti to be removed and of course the time, equipment, and tools required to carry out the contract.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
Below is the sales forecast of a graffiti removal business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $120,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $180,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $200,000
Set Up your Shop/Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Graffiti removal Business?
- The demography of the location especially as it relates to youths who like graffiti
- The demand for the services of graffiti removal businesses in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of graffiti removal businesses and other businesses that also offer graffiti removal services in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City is Best to Open a Graffiti Removal Business?
- San Francisco, California: The Mission District.
- New York City: Bushwick Collective.
- Miami, Florida: Wynwood Walls Curated Graffiti Murals.
- Los Angeles, California: Downtown Arts District.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Chicago, Illinois
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Graffiti Removal Business?
You should be prepared to purchase cleaning equipment and tools, utility truck, ladder, inventory-management software, and other relevant software applications. You will also need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine, and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten fairly used.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard graffiti removal business, you should make plans to hire a competent Manager (you can occupy this role), Accountant, Graffiti Removal Technicians (Professional Cleaners), and Utility Truck Driver.
Launch the Business Proper
In recent times, no graffiti removal company opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.
The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the graffiti removal business, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your graffiti removal business is open for business.
a. What Makes a Graffiti Removal Business Successful?
- You are on a retainership with the government of your city or state or even the federal government
- You are generating profits from the business
- Your customers are happy and satisfied with your services and they are freely recommending your services.
- Your employees are happy and satisfied with the organization.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Graffiti Removal Business?
When it comes to what happens during a typical day in a graffiti removal company, there are no hard and fast rules about it. When they resume work, the marketing team goes out to source business deals.
Before a deal is sealed, the company is expected to carry out an inspection on the location, the size of graffiti to be removed, and the nature of the surface the graffiti is painted on. This will enable them to know the type and quantity of cleaning equipment to deploy to the site.
Once a deal is sealed, the company carries out its job as agreed by both parties. Usually, if after the job is done the clients still find traces of the graffiti that was meant to be removed, the graffiti removal company is expected to go back and do a thorough job at no extra cost to their client.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Graffiti Removal Business?
- Ability to Pay Attention to Details
- Good managerial and human development skills
- Good Accounting and Bookkeeping Skills
- Visionary Leadership
- Team-building & Interpersonal Skills.
- Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
- Organizational skills.
- Problem-solving skills
- Good Supervisory skills
- Experience in managing commercial cleaning business
- Experience in managing people
- Experience in business administration
- Experience in handling cleaning chemicals and handling power cleaning machines and equipment.