Do you want to start an axe throwing business? If YES, here is a 20-step guide on how to start an axe throwing business with no money or experience.
If you intend to start this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you. You also need to pay a visit to the regulatory bodies in your country to get all the information you need before you can legally open your own axe throwing center in your city.
You can start your axe throwing center business from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized.
Steps on How to Start an Axe Throwing Business
Understand The Industry
The Axe Throwing Centers industry provides a facility where people can throw axes at various targets in a safe and controlled way. Sometimes they offer axe throwing along with other games and activities and may also offer food and drinks. Axe throwing is offered to individuals by the hour or to groups for parties or events.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 359 licensed and registered axe throwing centers responsible for employing about 2,416 employees and the industry rakes in a whopping sum of $163 million annually with an annual growth rate projected at 2.2 percent between 2016 and 2022.
It is important to state that no company holds the largest market share in this industry. A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that over the five years to 2022, operators in the Axe Throwing Centers industry have benefited from increased consumer spending levels and time spent on leisure and sports.
Specifically, per capita disposable income has increased an annualized 2.2% over the five years to 2022 while time spent on leisure and sports increased an annualized 0.6% during the same period.
These growth rates boded well for industry revenue prior to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Amid the pandemic, industry operators were required to temporarily close to slow the spread of the virus, hurting industry revenue significantly.
As a result, industry revenue has grown at an annualized rate of 1.9% to $203.3 million over the five years to 2022. Please note that the factors that depressed industry revenue during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic are expected to reverse.
Consequently, the industry is expected to benefit from higher recreational expenditures and an increasing number of domestic trips over the next five years. Furthermore, the national unemployment rate is expected to decrease during the outlook period, translating to more customers that can afford industry services.
Lastly, axe throwing centers and other related business have come to stay and as a matter of fact, it is solving problems for people who have difficulties venting their anger. Hence it is an industry that is very much open for new participants.
Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who visit axe throwing centers is not restricted to people with an anger issues it is for every adult who want to be entertained and relax their nerves from work and stress. There is a wide range of clienteles who visit and patronize axe throwing centers for different purposes.
In essence, the demographic composition cum target market for an axe throwing center is all-encompassing; it is not restricted to any gender, race, tribe, or group of people. So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your axe throwing center, then you should make it far-reaching to include all adults in your area.
Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there are no niche ideas when it comes to the axe throwing business because axe throwing business is a niche idea in the sports and entertainment industry.
Players in this business may decide to go beyond providing axe throwing for people, to going ahead to host axe throwing competitions and also make available video game house, bowling alley, BBQ joint, food and drinks court, ice cream shop and enough parking space et al and they can achieve this by adopting any of the following methods;
- Walk-in sessions
- Large group sessions
- Large group sessions with coaches
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Irrespective of the line of business you decide to invest in, you are still going to compete with others who are in same line of business and axe throwing business is not an exemption. The level of competition in the Axe Throwing industry to some extent depends largely on the location of the business and of course the capacity of your axe throwing facility.
If you can successfully create a unique niche for your axe throwing center, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
For instance, if you are the only axe throwing center in your location that operates 24 hours 7 days a – week services and also have robust side attractions, you can successfully monopolize the market for a long time before you start having competitions.
Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
Here are some of the most popular axe throwing centers in the United States of America;
- Bury the Hatchet Axe Throwing Brooklyn
- Bad Axe Throwing
- Axe Factor Throwing
- Hatchet Hangout – Axe Throwing St Pete
- Bear Axe Throwing
- Stumpy’s Hatchet House Delran – Axe Throwing
- Battle of the Axes NJ – Axe Throwing
- All American Axe Throwing
- Johnson County Axe Throwing
- Craft Axe Throwing- Lexington
When it comes to starting an axe throwing business, you just need to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profit. When conducting costing and economic analysis for your axe throwing business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, property, pricing, and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your business. As an axe throwing center owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to maximize profits and be in the frontline of the industry.
It is important to note that security, facility and equipment maintenance, and replacement cost is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of running an axe throwing business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your cost and economic analysis.
Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend to start a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement.
Although there are very few axe throwing centers that are into franchising, if you are looking towards starting an axe throwing business, it will pay you to start from the very scratch simply because you can hardly get the franchise of an axe throwing business at an affordable price to buy. It is a business that is open to all and sundry.
Besides starting an axe throwing business from the scratch might be stressful initially but it is profitable and can run on autopilot when compared to other similar businesses which usually require detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With axe throwing center – business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a good location, ensure that you have good space for axe throwing, other entertainment, and side attractions, foods and drinks, and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your axe throwing center.
Please note that most of the big and successful axe throwing centers around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work, and determination to achieve business success.
Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Trendy axe throwing bars are becoming the rage in major cities around the US, including New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.
Hence, if you decide to open your own axe throwing center today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well-established axe throwing centers, and of course other players in the entertainment and recreational industry in your target market location.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market by concentrating on a small community. Some other threats and challenges that you are likely going to face when you start your axe throwing center are mature entertainment and recreational markets, bad economy (economy downturn), and stiff competition.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, a downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumers spending for leisure services such as axe throwing centers and of course the emergence of new competitors within the same location as yours.
Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the options of either choosing a general partnership, or limited liability company for your axe throwing center. If your intention is to grow the business and welcome visitors from all across the United States of America, then you should choose Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership.
In the axe throwing centers industry, LLCs are common and are recommended. When you form as an LLC, you will be getting a straightforward business structure that will protect you and separate your personal and business assets through what’s called the corporate veil.
Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents.
Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend to operate from when naming their business. If you are considering starting your own axe throwing center, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Throes and Tees® Axe Throwing Center, LLC
- Axe House® Axe Throwing Center and Bar, Inc.
- Timber and Caliber® Axe Throwing Center, Inc.
- Daz Daze™ Axe Throwing Center, LLC
- Fun Zone® Axe Throwing Center and Bar, Inc.
- Red Zone® Axe Throwing Center and Bar, Inc.
- Kent Pandora® Axe Throwing Center, LLC
- Axe Down® Axe Throwing Center and Bar, LLC
- Oliver Bally® Axe Throwing Center and Pub, LLC
- Quintas Palm® Axe Throwing Center and Bar, LLC.
Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start an axe throwing business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
You can contact the following leading insurance companies in the United States of America to purchase the needed insurance policies for your axe throwing center.
- Allstate Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual
- Progressive Insurance Group (PGR)
- Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
- New York Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- MassMutual (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own axe throwing center, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection or trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you want to leverage on the business opportunities within the industry and also to protect your company’s logo, unique concept, and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating an axe throwing center business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to open and operate an axe throwing center business. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of managing the business.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your axe throwing business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own axe throwing business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard axe throwing business is relatively capital intensive even if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you only have a handful of full–time employees on your payroll.
Leasing of a standard facility that can accommodate the number of axe throwing rooms, your customers and staff members, and of course equipping the facility is part of what will consume a large chunk of your start-up capital, in essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you will still have to source for fund to finance the business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors, and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start-up capital for your axe throwing business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Starting a business such as axe throwing business comes with its own challenges. You will need approval from the local council and other regulating authorities in the city you intend to open your axe throwing business.
Generally, in business, it cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power, and lifestyle.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your axe throwing center in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business. It is important to note that a business facility in a good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough funds for leasing or renting in your budget.
If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for your axe throwing business, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps the country you intend to start your business.
Before choosing a location for your axe throwing business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility study and market survey. The possibility of you coming across a similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
Having said that, these are some of the cities in the United States of America where you can locate your axe throwing business;
- Los Angeles, California
- New York City, New York
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Orlando, Florida
- Chicago, Illinois
- Dallas, Texas
- Washington, District of Columbia
- Boston, Massachusetts
Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When starting an axe throwing center business, you will need a well-equipped facility. In setting up a small office for your axe throwing business, you will also need a computer, printer, software apps, telephones, pager, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine. These machines can be purchased as fairly used especially if you are limited finance to meet your budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your axe throwing center – business, the size of the facility you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice. Besides, you will need a facility in a serene environment, a facility that is big enough to accommodate the number of visitors and staff working for you.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making the decision.
When it comes to starting a standard axe throwing business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals; Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Marketing and Sales Executive, Accountant, Disc Jockey, Facility Manager, Axe Throwing Instructors, Coaches and Assistant, Front Desk Officer, Security Guards, and Cleaners.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard axe throwing business.
Service Delivery Process of the Business
The service delivery of an axe throwing business to a large extent depends on the organization and what they stand to achieve.
An axe throwing center makes money by providing axe throwing in a secured and safe space, hosting axe throwing competitions, and selling food and beverages, including alcohol and they achieve these via walk-in sessions, large group sessions, and large group sessions with coaches.
Overhead costs must also be covered. It is important to state that an axe throwing business may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility.
Write a Marketing Plan Packed With Ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small-scale axe throwing business is not too high means that there are bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with a unique and fun-filled facility if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state, or country.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your center. Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your axe throwing center;
- Introduce your axe throwing business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to youth organizations, sports clubs, households, and key stakeholders in and around the location where your axe throwing business is
- Open your axe throwing center with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities, airports and train stations et al.
- Making your first impression count positively to those making use of your axe throwing center for the first time
- Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to your center
- Advertise your services in community-based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your axe throwing center – business
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
- Leverage on the internet to promote your axe throwing center
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your business; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your services at the right price is to ensure that you get a good bargain when buying your supplies, cut the operational costs to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save costs for paying sales and marketing executives. So also, if you are able to secure a business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, you will be able to get the right pricing and of course maximize profits from your business.
Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The axe throwing business is not a competitive industry, but you must come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Part of what you need to do in order to stay competitive in the industry is to ensure that your facility is a state–of–the–art entertainment center with multiple attractions based around entertainment and stress relieve.
In other to stay competitive in this industry, you must ensure that your clients are always comfortable (homely), secured, and always ensure that you pay attention to details when carrying out your job. The truth is that if there are fluctuations in the services you provide, customers can choose to shift allegiance and settle for other options available.
Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your facility and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers. If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers to retain your services. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results, or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk SMS and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).
Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting your brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand-boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your axe throwing center;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and entertainment magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community-based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your axe throwing center
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your axe throwing business in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your axe throwing business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your axe throwing center – business is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company’s logo.