If you want a business that you can start up with little capital and minimum supervision, then think vending machine business! A vending machine business is a convenient way to create another source of income for yourself while still maintaining a full-time job.
Sometimes when people are out in public places and get thirsty or hungry, they look for the nearest vending machine, insert a coin and pop out a drink to refresh themselves. These days, items sold through vending machines are no longer limited to snacks and drinks, a lot of other items are being sold via vending machines such as movie tickets, perfumes, shoes and even dresses.
Why You Should Start a Vending Machine Business Today
A vending machine requires minimal supervision; your business is up and running even while you are on vacation or sleeping at home. You just need to visit your location a few times to restock; and this depends on what you sell.
Vendors who sell perishable items like food and snacks may need to visit daily while those who sell items like clothes and shoes may just visit once in a while to replenish their stock. However, it is important that you do not get lazy and leave your machine without stock for long periods as this may discourage customers and reduce patronage.
Starting a Vending Machine Company – Sample Business Plan Template
The perfect location for a vending machine business would be a public place where there is generally high human traffic. Places like a shopping mall, cinema, gas station, college and office buildings, hospitals, airports and sports recreation centers are good locations for your vending machine. You should ensure that your vending machine is in a strategic and visible place where customers can easily see it.
When searching for the perfect location for your vending machine, security is another thing you have to consider. Your vending machine should be located in a clearly lit up place with high foot traffic and security to prevent it from being vandalized.
You may be able to place your vending machine in a location for free while in some places, you would be required to pay some amount as rent or a little percentage of your profit as compensation for allowing you use their premises for your business.
You should also make sure that the location you choose is appropriate for the products you want to be selling. For instance, selling snacks and soda at a fitness center might not be such a good idea because most people visit fitness centers to keep in shape and as such may want to avoid such treats but you may be able to sell more if such machine was located in a shopping mall or a recreation center.
It is also very important to conduct a small research before setting up your vending machine business. Visit potential locations to observe the human traffic around the area and how often people seek for, and buy the item you want to start selling.
If you do not have any specific item in mind, this may also help you determine the perfect item to sell. When you have settled all issues related to finding the perfect location for your vending machine, it is now time to purchase your machine.
3. Buy a Vending Machine
You can either choose to purchase a fairly used vending machine or a brand new one. However, if you choose to buy a used machine, you must make sure that the machine is in perfect working condition because constant breakdown of your vending machine would lead to loss of income and customers for your business. You should also ensure that you have someone that can help you service your vending machine regularly.
It is wiser to start with one small machine if you are new to the business and then when you have mastered the business perfectly, you can purchase multiple machines to be placed in different locations. Make sure you buy your machine from reputable suppliers with warranty options.
4. Restocking Your Machine
Restocking your vending machine is easy. How frequently you need to restock depends on what you are selling. The most important thing is that your machine should always be filled with fresh and clean products.
This is because you would not have direct contact with your customers and as such, cannot solve problems or give explanations; so it is important to do whatever you can to ensure that customers are always satisfied with their purchases. When restocking your machine, never be in a hurry. Do it carefully to prevent items from getting stuck.
When such happens, it’s either customers end up not getting products paid for, or customers get more items than they paid for. Both scenarios are bad for business and would affect the profitability of your business, so it is important to guide against such occurrences.
5. Obtain the needed license or permit
You should contact business licensing and tax offices in your local area to determine if you would need a license to operate your vending machine business. You should also find out how much taxes you have to pay on sales made.
In conclusion, you do not need a lot of equipment to start a vending machine business. The most important thing is finding a good location that would guarantee a huge turnover, a good vending machine in perfect working condition and good products at the right price and you are on your way to making good profit from the comfort of your home.