How Triangle Lawn Games Turned One Pair of Cornhole Boards Into a Multi-Location Leisure Business
Triangle Lawn Games is the leading lawn game rental and cornhole specialist in the country with locations in major cities including Raleigh, Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, and more.
RALEIGH, NC – Gordon Buchanan, CEO of Triangle Lawn Games, knows that “at their core, lawn games are a simple matter. You throw a bag in a hole, toss golf balls on strings, or throw a frisbee in a trash can…and that’s it. It is very straightforward.” But the biggest thing Buchanan has known all along is that lawn games are far more than the sum of their parts.
Lawn games add a dynamic element to any party, whether it is a friendly get-together or a corporate event, the fact is, lawn games breed competition. Competition is what adds excitement to an event and lawn games let anyone have a good time while feeling the joy of winning—or the sorrow of losing. 😉
Buchanan started Triangle Lawn Games in 2018 after reading the book The $100 Startup. From his reading, he learned that you could start building a dream with just a little bit of money and without quitting your current job. Buchanan had a set of cornhole boards in his garage that he had not been using and thought to himself, “I wonder if anyone would want to rent these?” That led to him asking friends and family, “what is annoying to get, fun to have, but a pain to buy and store?” The astounding answer was different types of lawn games. Buchanan searched the internet and saw that no one really fit the bill for what he had in mind so he set out to “hack the lawn game business.”
Buchanan got right to work, creating a rental service offering affordable pricing, insurance, 24-hour rentals, and free cancellations. He bought a few games, used his background in digital marketing to build an easy-to-use website, and got on the phone to start selling Triangle Lawn Games. His first big break came when North Carolina State University reached out to him about renting games for upcoming events they were producing. He quickly got so busy that he left his then full-time job to focus on his entrepreneurial pursuit. From there, business really took off: Buchanan was renting out games for events every weekend, he started to expand his game selection to fit everyone’s needs (cornhole, giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, giant Beer Pong, Ladder Golf, giant Kerplunk, Bucketball, badminton, Spike Ball, and these are just a few of the items you will find in his collection), and it looked like there was no stopping this little engine that could. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything changed.
Buchanan always wanted to offer free cancellations, and cancel people did. He started getting calls for refunds right away and ended up refunding over $20,000 while no new revenue was in his pipeline. At the time, Buchanan did not know how this new venture was going to survive, but ever the hard worker and thinker, he adapted. He took the unwanted free time he now had to focus on the future of the business, how to make it better, and how to keep it afloat until things returned to “the new normal”. The answers really brought him back to where it all started… he began looking into how to make cornhole boards even better. Although his customers did not feel comfortable renting games for events, they were home more and looking for things to do. Buchanan pivoted from a rental operation to retail, selling the new boards he created. The main feature that set his upgraded boards apart was customization. Buchanan brought on a graphic artist and the two engineered a method of printing designs directly onto the wood, leading to an aesthetically unique and longer-lasting investment for buyers. Triangle Lawn Games boards sold well and kept the upstart going until February 2021, when the phone finally started ringing for rentals again.
Triangle Lawn Games
Now, lawn game fans can rent their favorites in 14 cities and counting, including Raleigh, Charlotte, Chicago, Indianapolis, Richmond (VA), Columbia (SC), Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greensboro, Oklahoma City, and Wilmington (NC). He is opening locations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul this month, as well.
Buchanan aims to become the nation’s leader in lawn game services and with his eyes set on additional expansions to Phoenix, Nashville, and Boston, he just might be well on the way.
“We support day drinking, we support lawn games, and we support having fun. We want to make it easy and affordable for people to make their events better,” says Buchanan. “We couldn’t be more excited about the chance to bring fun to people all over the country.”
Ready to add some competition to your next event? Rent lawn games and purchase custom cornhole boards at TriangleLawnGames.com.