Tell us about you and your family.
We have 3 kids, Rylynne (15), Ramsey (13), Kendall (6), and a 6 lb. Yorkie Bishon named Bella. In February of 2020, Ryan said that we should look into what it would take to own a yard sign business. We researched a few yard sign companies at that time. Then COVID hit. We decided we needed to wait. The following February, Ryan said let’s look into a yard sign business again. One of the first yard sign businesses we googled, was Yard Love. I believe God led us to wait until 2021 to start our business with Yard Love or we could have been associated with a franchise and I didn’t want to be part of a franchise. Yard Love was EXACTLY what we were looking for. We are so glad we became an Affiliate in April 2021. It was one of the best decisions I think we have ever made.
Do you work your YL business full time or is it a side business? If you work full time, what do you do?
YLNWO is a “family” business. I am the contact person, bookkeeper, marketing, and sign coordinator. I prep all of the signs 24 hours in advance and do almost all of the set up. Our kids help with setting up greetings, tearing down greetings, cleaning signs, and organizing the signs/racks in our garage. Ryan helps set up, does most of the tear downs, and delivers the retail school and graduation signs occasionally. Yard Love Northwest Ohio is a part time business that we work in the evenings and weekends. I work as an Administrative Coordinator for a large Physician Group that contracts with a local hospital to provide the Emergency Medicine Physicians in the Emergency Department. I also have an EMT-B for 28 years. Ryan is the Adult Misdemeanor Probation Officer for our county. My husband also works part time with three grown handicapped men and he referees volleyball. He coaches two of our kids and their basketball and volleyball teams. We love spending time with family, extended family, friends, and neighbors. We love our busy family and wouldn’t change a thing!
What are some tip or tricks you’d like to share?
When someone contacts me to book a sign, there are several things that I feel are very important. I respond to all inquires within a few hours. I have some “notes” in my phone that have been previously used to describe what we do, when we set up, tear down, and ask them to complete the booking form on Yard Love’s website. I also try to get information on “why” they are requesting a sign and who that person is to them. I make the client booking the sign feel special and also tell them I will make contact with them a couple days ahead of time just to make sure everything goes as planned. It takes a couple minutes to send out a quick text or message with what time you will be there and let them know we are excited to set this up.
If the yard greeting is booked by someone not living at that address of set up, we include a Yard Love card (that we order through Yard Love). In this card, we say Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to them and that their relative or friend thought so much of them to book this 24 hour yard greeting. We also go into a little about our business and include a business card. We also take pictures of all of our set ups. That way when someone says they liked a particular greeting, we can go back and see what was staked.
This was our first year doing this business in the unpredictable Ohio winters. Once the ground froze, we utilized our sign stand exclusively. We would set them up in our climate controlled garage out of the wind, sleet, snow and ice. My dad volunteered to load them up in his full size cargo van and deliver them to the location. We literally took the sign stand already set up out of the van, placed it in the yard, sandbagged, took pictures, and left. Those were the shortest times that we ever set up signs. My elderly dad loved helping us and it gave him something to look forward to.
What advice do you have for new affiliates?
If you don’t have any signs to set up, find somewhere to donate a greeting. We have always said that the signs do no good just sitting in our garage. Get them out and get exposure to people. We set up signs for all our immediate family member’s birthdays. Most recently, we set one up for my father. As he was working in the yard several days after the sign had been taken down, people were driving by, yelling out the window wishing him a Happy Birthday and several of those people he didn’t even know!
Several months ago, we purchased a 15 foot tie out cable like you would use outside for a small dog. We placed a small stake on each end. We use this for setting our stakes straight. Initially, I spent hours trying to make the signs straight and after purchasing this, it has saved us so much time.
I have heard that other Affiliates only set up after dark. Due to an autoimmune illness called, Sjogrens Syndrome, I have found that the lack of sleep will cause body weakness and other health problems. I love this business because you can make it work for your family, your situation, and your customers. When a potential customer inquires about our business, we let them know we set the signs up just before dark. By setting the sign up before dark, it helps with assuring we have the correct address; it keeps us from stepping in what we call “land-mines” (aka dog waste); and we get better pictures before dark. If someone requests that we set up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, we can make that work. Each Affiliate needs to find out what works for their family.
We appreciate the Yard Love Corporate Office and all the Yard Love Affiliates. It has been a great first year getting to know some of the other Affiliates. And both the Yard Love Corporate Team and Affiliates have been wonderful in sharing resources, ideas, pictures, tips and tricks. We are so blessed to be part of this growing business.