With Graduation Season approaching, I sat down with other Veteran Yard Carders to get their best tips on how to thrive instead of just survive the next few months. With over 30 years of collective experience in Yard Carding here is what they had to share…

Don’t freak out, this too shall pass. Take a deep breath and remember why you do what you do, your bank account will thank you for that. -Dots Porter with 5280 Yard Cards & Denver Balloon Co. in Colorado

Do NOT go out of your service area for travel and time purposes. Staying local will help maximize the amount of sets you do a night. -Queen Robertson with Royal Yard Cards in Georgia

Upsell the Keepsake items (Class of 2022) or offer them as a free gift with each order. Also advertise early, so you can be prepared for all those names you will be spelling out. Waiting until the last minute to book will leave you scrambling for letters. Let your customers know that anyone booking after a certain date will only be getting “Congrats Grad.” There will ALWAYS be last minute orders, so have an extra set ready to go.  -Leah Russo Meschke with Whidbey Yard Cards in Washington 

Stay organized! We print our contracts out and keep a list of each day’s orders. Then we make piles of what we’ll be using for each set-up, so we know we are good to go. We also really enjoyed using the Flash sets or Flash Quick Sets vs spelling things out. It made set-ups much faster. -Amy Emmrich with Yard Sign People in Ohio

Buy neutral colors in graduation pieces (black, gold, white and silver). It’s okay to have your local school colors on hand, however with neutral colors, you can go from one yard to another, only changing the name, balloons, and celebration pieces. This also allows you not to be stuck with color specific pieces in your inventory, while having an order come through for a different color. Pre-stake your orders. Take time to stake your orders during the week for the upcoming weekend. -Alicia Huff with It’s a Yard  Party in Texas

Research online to identify the graduation dates of all local high schools and colleges then block these dates.  Determine the max orders your business can accommodate per day. This number will be determined by inventory on hand, staff, and amount of time you personally can invest per day.  -Wendy Rennell with Montgomery Yard Cards in Texas

For the love of everything holy, do NOT forget about your stake inventory as you’re prepping/ordering sign inventory. We invested a couple of hundred bucks in the spring on additional stakes (all sizes), and it made all the difference in the world during the madness of graduation week. The fewer stressors you have, the better - and having enough stakes was something we never had to worry about or struggle with. Be prepared to show a little extra grace and patience in the month or so leading up to graduation - and especially during graduation week(s). For folks who haven’t had kids graduate yet, or who don’t have kids, it’s hard to explain how stressful/exciting/overwhelming that time of year is for families with graduates. Parents/grandparents will email/call/message repeatedly to ensure their orders are confirmed/accurate/on-time as they’re running through their checklists and we’ve found that by being active listeners, we provide a little bit of calm in the chaos. And we’ve even had the opportunity to help parents find other things they need at the last minute. Always be the solution - never the problem! -Bonnie Upright with Peacock Announcements in Florida

There is no need to offer discounts for Graduation displays, they will be in high demand. Focus instead on your marketing campaign. Posting on Social Media is great but don’t forget to send out an email to all your customers about what you are offering as well. Cira Long with Smile Signs in Utah

Hats Off to these Veteran Yard Carders!  We hope these tips and insights help you as you continue to prepare for Graduation Season. Don’t forget to join Yard Card Supply - Business Support Facebook Group, if you haven’t already. You’ll often find additional information, tips, and videos from other carders.


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