Iowa Microloan

Backyard Adventures

Company name and address

Backyard Adventures of Iowa
3135 99th Street,
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Name and title of the company contact


  • Sean Schneider, Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

  • Gail Schneider, Accountant at Financial Plus Credit Union

  • Blaine Ostwald, Managing Partner

What assistance was provided?

After being turned down for a loan, a local lender referred our company to Iowa MicroLoan and they came through with a business loan to facilitate our seasonal cash flow. Backyard Adventures provides products that are seasonal and correlated with the housing market. After suffering some losses connected primarily with our second store, we tapped out our line of bank credit and need to use credit cards to cash flow our business. We closed the second store in Cedar Rapids three years ago, and since then Backyard Adventures has shown net income growth annually. Our credit scores are improving and we hope to graduate to conventional credit in the future.

Who provided the assistance? Were multiple organizations involved?

Iowa MicroLoan

What was the success?

The business was started in 2001 and expanded rapidly with the housing market. So much so that in 2005, Backyard Adventures of Iowa opened a second store in Cedar Rapids. Hired store management, often does not work out as well as managers who have ownership incentives. This coupled with sagging performance due to the onset of the Housing crisis caused us to decide to close the second store and concentrate on the Urbandale location. Hot tubs were added along with the Goalsetter™ Basketball Hoops and premium outdoor furniture for creating "Backyard Resorts". We have enjoyed an active internet sales presence, and we are planning to implement several social marketing strategies. Iowa MicroLoan’s technical assistance will help us accomplish our marketing as well as our financial goals.

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