It’s a little-known fact that vending machines are a 42 billion dollar industry, and within this massive industry is a lot of opportunity for money to be made. Starting a side business with vending machines can even border on the edge of passive income. After finding locations for your machines, there is little to do besides making sure the machines are stocked and collecting your cash.
Ok, obviously it’s not quite that simple, but when you run correctly vending machines can make a great side business opportunity for people looking to make some extra money. The steps mentioned below serve as a guide and provide you with a lot of aspects to think about on your own and then do some select reading before really going for a vending machine business or not going for it.
One thing is sure, you do not stand to lose a lot by opening the first couple of machines. So why not start thinking about this business seriously? This is almost a passive income source where you or someone you hire will have to re-stock the machine and collect money deposited there.
The most interesting aspect of vending machine is even if you make a small profit per machine, you can earn a lot by putting up a large number of machines.
Steps required to open a vending machine side business
Set Your Goals and Expectations
The first step in getting involved in the vending industry is deciding if it is the right opportunity for you. This includes deciding your 3 why factors: reason, time, and financials.
Reason – What is your purpose for getting into the vending business? Whether it be to just make a little extra money or control your own financial future, it’s important you have a clear reason before you start. This will help keep you motivated down the road.
Time – How much time do you have to commit to the business? If you are planning on running 40+ machines, you better be prepared to put in at least 40 hours/week. For a side business, 7-10 machines are much more realistic. Knowing the amount of time you are willing to commit will allow you to keep realistic expectations.
Money – How much money are you willing to commit to the business? Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to set reasonable expectations for your business. It will also help you decide what type of business you want to start: whether becoming a franchise or buying your own machines.
Finding Machine Locations
Finding locations for your machines is the most important part of starting a vending business. It has been said that the vending machine business is actually the location business. This is simply because, without a location, there is no way for your machines to generate sales.
Along with finding locations, making sure you have the right equipment for your locations is equally important. For example, if you find a location in an office building with working adults, chances are they prefer to use the credit card. If you have a machine that doesn’t take credit card you are going to miss out on a lot of sales.
For this reason, if possible, you should always try to secure a location before purchasing your equipment. This will allow you to know what type of machine you are going to need before having it placed.
Finding locations is a sales process. Start with generating leads, qualifying them, and then close the sale. Sticking to this process will allow you to consistently find new potential locations for your vending machines and work towards securing them.
Once you have locations for your machines it’s just a matter of choosing what products to sell and maintaining your machines.
Make the Commitment
In the beginning starting your own vending business can be a good amount of work, but unlike other businesses, once you have your machines up and running the hard work is done. This will allow you reap the benefits over the long term while putting in side-business hours.
When you increase the number of your machines, the profits will compound, so a basic commitment is needed, if not the commitment to check on the inventory regularly and replenishing stocks before they empty out.
If it sounds like the right opportunity for you, make the commitment today. Decide your ‘why’ factors, find your locations, and you will have your machines up and running in no time.