Vending machines allow you to sell products, without hiring employees, buying or renting a property for a store, or providing shipments. Consumers handle the paying and buying process themselves. They insert money, they choose a product, and the machine dispatches it. This makes vending machines one of the best options for a decent business.
They have been around for about a century, offering an efficient way to sell food and beverages on the go, especially in places where space is limited, or there aren’t many other options. This is why they are generally found in places like offices, hospitals, laundromats, airports, bus stations, train stations, universities, shopping centers, nightclubs, hair salons, hotels, tourist sites, gas stations, etc. For this and many other reasons, a vending machine business can be very profitable.
Starting a vending machine business is fairly simple but there are things you should consider. For example, there are various legal rules and regulations that you will have to follow. Aside from that, all you need is the finances for the initial investment and a good strategy. If you want to start this kind of business, we have a simple guide that will walk you through the steps.
1. Create a Vending Machine Business Plan
To know if your vending business will be profitable, you should not simply trust others who have invested in this. You should prepare your own business plan to study the feasibility and the success potential of your idea.
Along with your detailed plan, you should also develop a vending machine pricing strategy that will help you make sure that you will be able to cover your costs and ultimately make a profit. And determining the prices of your products is a crucial step in running a vending machine business.
2. Select the Products You Want to Sell in Your Vending Machines
One of the best things about vending machines is how versatile they are. Even though the first things that come to mind when you think about a vending machine are snacks and beverages, they can also be used to sell useful items like mobile device chargers, batteries, lighters, medical supplies, hygiene products, toys, and so much more.
Use your business plan to decide what you want to sell. This is the first thing you need to consider before you start making money with your vending machine business. The best idea is to start with one approach. This will make it much easier to operate your business in the beginning. Then, once you start growing, you can think about expanding into other sectors.
3. Choose Where You Are Going to Place Your Vending Machines
There is a lot of competition in vending machine businesses, so you may find it difficult to introduce your product. Nevertheless, thorough market research and understanding where they are necessary will help you ensure profitability, as well as create a marketing strategy and spread awareness about your business in these locations.
However, keep in mind that this is a highly flexible business, and vending machines exist everywhere, and places where there is a constant influx of people, are a great option. Keep in mind that your direct competitors are other vending machines but if you sell certain goods, the indirect competition could be restaurants and cafes. So before making a decision, it’s always best to evaluate the location of your vending machines on your own.
4. Choose and Purchase Your Vending Machines
Whether you are starting with only one vending machine, or you want to invest in several from the get-go, choosing one takes time and there are many things to consider. And the first thing to consider, of course, is the price of the vending machine. When shopping for vending machines, comparing the prices between online and local physical stores will give you an idea of the different offers out there. You should also take into account the cost of inventory when creating your financial plan.
You should also consider the type of vending machine you want to buy. This will be determined by the products you’ve decided to sell. For instance, vending machines for hot beverages and snacks are quite different. You should also consider whether you want additional features, such as interactive screens, touch or voice accessibility, paying by credit card, software for remote monitoring, low inventory alerts, and so on.
The vending machine business moves billions of dollars around the world and it can be a great source of passive income. To start you need a relatively small capital, but you will have to work a lot to store the products, maintain the machines, and collect the money.