The U.S. is a nation of shoppers. The average American will spend a staggering $1,800 every year on clothing in order to satisfy our habit. Though online shopping is increasing in popularity, most people prefer to head to brick and mortar stores to get their fix, ensuring that everything fits perfectly before bringing it home.
If appearances matter this much to consumers, you can guess how they’ll react to vandalism and graffiti. Spoiler alert: it’s not positive. Not only does it affect the value of your property (by as much as 15%) if you’re trying to sell, but it is going to cost you — both directly and indirectly. Let’s take a look.
Repair And Replacement
There are many different types of graffiti, from the quick tag to the more complex ‘urban art;’ no matter what kind ends up on your building or property, it’s going to cost you to remove it. If you don’t have business property insurance, you’ll be forced to front the costs out of pocket. Replacing a broken window will likely cost you between $300 and $700. You may have to rent equipment to keep business going if windows or doors have been broken during the process. Fortunately, almost 40% of remodeling activity consists of minor additions and repairs, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding equipment to help your business.
Vandalization of any kind can put your business on hold. If the damage is extensive and spans beyond simple graffiti (such as if your fleet’s tires have been slashed, or machines have been broken), you’ll end up dealing with the fallout in a big way. Fortunately, business interruption insurance will cover your lost profits and expenses, such as rent for a temporary store or the costs of keeping your enterprise running amid repairs or property replacement costs. However, you’re on your own if you neglected to purchase that insurance.
In general, graffiti is seen as unsightly and potentially dangerous. Gang-related signs can make community members feel unsafe or threatened, causing fewer people to want to leave their homes to visit your business. As one of the most visible forms of crime, it can become associated with the unruliness, social decline, and antisocial behavior of certain neighborhoods; this attitude inevitably causes consumers to take their business elsewhere.
The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that a single incident of vandalism can cost a business $3,370 on average. When you consider the above results, that doesn’t seem too surprising. Now that you know how much you’re paying for it as one of the small businesses that account for over 99% of businesses in the U.S., you can take the proper precautions to ensure your company doesn’t suffer at the hands of vandals.