Josh and Meaghan Coward's desire to create a unique family-friendly experience is what started Whoop Your Axe (WYA) – a mobile axe throwing business in 2021. The mobile unit could be found at county fairs, town festivals, and private parties during the summer season.
With the popularity of the mobile unit, they realized that taking the leap into business ownership at the storefront level made sense.
Challenge: The Cowards needed to create a sound business plan to confirm that expanding to a storefront would be financially possible and determine all the expenses they would incur. They also needed information on applying for a business loan. They contacted the center in March 2022 and aimed to obtain financing by May 1.
How Illinois SBDC helped: From the beginning, Josh and Meaghan worked with Business Advisor Pam Clodfelter. Pam provided resources such as templates, market research, and explanations of available loans. The Cowards developed their business plan using an online template where Pam could offer advice efficiently and timely. They shared that "Pam was a fantastic resource for us from day one. Being new to the business owner world, we had so many things to do, items on our lists to complete, and papers to turn in. Pam was there to help navigate all of this and help draft our business plan. She played a huge role in completing our business plan. Not only did this plan have to be completed for loan purposes, but it was also nice to see our future projections on paper. We would have never been able to do this plan without her help, and we are thankful this resource is available to our community."
Result: Whoop Your Axe obtained financing through the Advantage Illinois program and welcomed customers to their store in October. They have created a family-friendly experience. The atmosphere is active play, with the main focus on axe throwing. They also have several TVs to watch sporting events and arcade games to accommodate the younger ones that can't throw axes just yet. Whoop Your Axe is where the Cowards take their children and welcome other families to enjoy it as well.