How to Start a Yard Sign Business
While some businesses suffered through the challenges of 2020, others boomed more than ever and Yard Card Signs is one of them.
You’ve probably seen them around town in peoples yards or perhaps at business events and they are usually large, colorful, and are celebrating something exciting like a birthday, graduation, or newborn baby.
Yard Sign Businesses are a perfect way to make some extra money on the side that can eventually turn into a full-time business.
Get in on this booming business while you still can!
Ready?! Here is everything you need to know about starting a Yard Sign Business!
How to Start a Yard Sign Business:
Select a Business Model
- Start your own company from scratch – if you want to be your own boss and can tackle on the growth state of starting a business, this is a great option. Although the initial startup costs might be higher, you don’t have to share in the profits with anyone else.
- Buy an existing yard card business – if you know someone that already has a yard card business and wants to sell, this could be a great option if you have the initial capital to invest in buying the business.
- Franchise – there are franchises in this specific niche that already have a proven business model. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you understand the ins and outs because franchises usually require a large initial investment.
Form Your Business
Legally, you are not allowed to do business until you’ve formed your business with the IRS.
If you choose to start your own company from scratch, then you will need to come up with a name for your business.
Once you have a name, you’ll need to decide on a business structure.
There are several business structures to choose from including sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), Corporation, etc.
If you are unsure which business structure is right for you, you can consult an attorney or business formation service. to help you setup your business. Some of them are free + State Fee!
Most small business owners choose to form their business as an LLC because it provides limited liability protection to you as the owner and it benefits from pass-through taxation.
You can always start as an LLC and change to a Corporation later if needed, but an LLC is always a good starting point.
Here is a quick checklist of things you need to complete to form your business:
- Select a business entity type: Sole proprietor, LLC, Corporation, etc.
- Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS – once your application is completed online, you will receive an EIN instantly.
- Register your business locally in the State in which you will be conducting business. This is done with the Secretary of State in the state where you will be doing business.
- Obtain any business licenses or permits required in your State to operate a personal care business. These can also be found at your local Secretary of State website. Most states require some sort of licenses or permits so you will want to do a quick google search on this one.
Set up the Business
Now that you’ve chosen a business name and have legally formed your business, you will want to complete a few more key steps:
- Open a business checking account (you will need an EIN to do this)
- Setup a way to manage your accounting whether it be a software program or spreadsheet to begin. This will help you track your income and expenses.
- Create a “media kit” that outlines your rates, services and offerings.
- Create a website where people can visually see what Yard Signs you offer, rates, and services.
- If you plan on having employees work for you, setup a payroll system or a way to pay your 1099 contractors.
Believe it or not, many businesses do not get the proper business insurance coverage.
A yard card business may seem harmless, but you never know what could go wrong and you want to make sure you are covered!
For example, say a customer orders a large yard card sign and your installer accidentally punctures a sprinkler hose when putting the stakes in the ground.
General liability insurance would cover the cost of fixing the sprinkler.
You never know what could be damaged by staking a sign in someones yard!
The following are the types of insurance a yard card business should seriously consider:
- General liability insurance – should a customer be injured while on your property, this will cover any costs as a result of that injury. It also covers costs for property damage claims against your business and advertising injury claims as well, among other things.
- Commercial property insurance – if your business inventory or equipment should get damaged or stolen, this will have you covered. If you are working from home or store your yard cards at home, most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover business inventory or equipment, which is why you need this additional coverage.
- Workers compensation insurance – this is only applicable if you plan on hiring employees to work for you. Workers Comp Insurance covers the business should an employee be injured on the job.
If nothing else, we highly recommend general liability insurance at the very least.
Build a Yard Card Inventory
There are a few startup costs to know beforehand and to budget for.
The most obvious one is the need for Inventory.
You will need to have an inventory of Yard Cards to offer your customers.
You should expect a minimum investment of around $3,000 to start with a more realistic number being around $4,000 – $10,000 depending on how big you want to go with your inventory.
Make sure you take photos of your inventory and place them on your website and marketing materials.
Always use good lighting that shows the fun, vibrant colors of your Yard Signs.
Detailed descriptions and measurements also help customer visualize how the sign will work in their space.
You’ll want to first invest in letters so that you can offer customizable signs such as “Happy Birthday Abby” or “Welcome Baby Aden.”
You will then want to invest in a variety of backgrounds in multiple colors and styles.
Also, stick to the most popular events which are birthdays, graduations, and baby showers and you can expand from there.
Think balloons, cupcakes, confetti, and fireworks.
Here is a list of inventory items to give you a start:
- Letters of the alphabet in a few different colors
- Yard Cards to add flair: balloons, cupcakes, confetti, fireworks, etc.
- Yard stakes in multiple sizes and heights
- Misc supplies: Rubber mallet, painters tape or duct tape, hand drill, yard card stands, zip ties
You will also want to make sure you have some sort of transpiration for delivering the yard card signs.
Other Startup Costs
Other startup costs include:
- Forming your business
- Business licenses
- Marketing costs
- Website development costs
- Insurance costs
- Storage space rental if applicable
- Hiring someone to deliver and setup Yard Cards if you don’t plan on doing this yourself
Setup Payment Options
You have everything you need to take on your first customer, but wait, you need a way to collect money for your services!
There are a few different ways to collect payments and many customers appreciate having more than one option, especially for these types of services where you are delivering something to their home.
Some suggested payment methods include:
- Venmo – this is nice to offer customers who don’t have cash on hand and the money goes into your account instantly
- CashApp – another great option for electronic payments that can be done on your phone
- Cash on delivery
- Website direct payment option – this is where customer pay when they select what they want from your website
Just keep in mind that some of these payment methods charge a fee, so you will want to look into that and select one that makes the most sense for you, financially speaking.
In order to get customers, you will need to market yourself.
The best way to do this is to setup a sign in you own yard or perhaps ask friends and family to use your Yard Cards for their next event and share on their social medias!
While word of mouth is great, it can be a slow process for growing.
Common marketing techniques include handing out flyers and business card to local stores, dropping them off in resident mailboxes, and of course, advertising online and on social media.
Also consider attending conferences like wedding conferences (think bridal showers) and conventions, baby conferences and events (think baby showers), and see if local party stores will keep some of your marketing material in front near the checkout area.
You can also create a referral program where a customer can receive a certain discount or reward for referring someone.
Creating a website is also a good idea so that you can share your work, rates, and business information with potential clients.
The more you market, the faster you will grow!
Starting a business can be overwhelming, but once you get through all of the initial steps, it’s just a matter of building your reputation and customer base from there!
Now go build your Yard Card Business!
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