How often will I need to service my machines?
If you are in high-traffic, high-producing locations, you will typically service your machines once per week. Servicing a machine does not require a lot of time (typically 15 minutes or less), but maintaining a well-stocked and clean machine is an absolute must. Otherwise, your sales will suffer due to the machine not functioning properly.
What type of licensing, paperwork and insurance will I need?
While our program includes a fire, theft and vandalism plan we highly recommended you purchase an umbrella insurance policy for your business. More times than not, the best options you can find is to go through local insurance agents.
While the decision is ultimately yours, the majority of vending operators establish their business as an LLC. You can use your personal lawyer or accountant to get this setup, or (if you’re more savvy) go through a service such as LegalZoom.
Additionally, please be aware that there are benefits of registering your business under one of the following categories. A basic internet search will yield all of the possible benefits of registering your LLC as:
- A small business (through the SBA)
- A veteran-owned business
- A women-owned business
- A minority-owned business
- A business owned by someone with a disability (deaf, blindness, etc.)
This is not an extensive list – but should certainly get the wheels turning!
Do I need a truck or large vehicle to service my machines?
Starting out, a dedicated service vehicle will not be necessary. You can use your personal vehicle. You can do this because you will only put in your vehicle the products you need to stock each machine. Using eManage, your vending management software, you will be able to print a report of exactly what is needed to fill any machine at any time. One you have a very large business, you may eventually need a larger vehicle to transport larger quantities of products.
Do I have to pay a portion of my sales to the business or location where my machine is placed?
The majority of locations expect to receive some type of commission from your vending sales in exchange for “renting” you real estate from which to sell (especially if they have received commissions from their previous vendors).
You can typically negotiate a 15%-30% commission rate, depending on the location type and foot traffic. Experienced vending business owners use the tactic of offering a higher commission rate in exchange for exclusivity within a location – meaning their machines face no competition onsite.
What are the best types of locations?
You can learn more about how to land the most profitable vending locations in Chapter 3.
Why is that, you ask?
Here are the main reasons:
- Schools have consistent and static foot traffic (students go to school 5 times per week and it’s the same students who go to school everyday, so they know what you sell in your machines).
- Kids love buying from vending machines – it’s a fun experience for them.
- Students don’t usually plan ahead to bring snacks with them to eat throughout the day.
- Parents give their kids money to buy snacks from school. A lot of the time, those snacks end up being from the vending machine.
Some other good location types are offices/office buildings, gyms/recreation centers, YMCAs, and hospitals.
How profitable is a vending machine business?
The profitability of your vending machine route will depend on the locations you place your machines in (that’s why we dedicated an entire chapter to this topic) and the time and effort you put into your new business. We will show you how to use eManage, your vending management software, to help make sure each machine is filled with the best selling products for their individual locations.
In addition, we’ll show you the best resources for products. Lower pricing on the products you buy will give you higher margins on each product sold, meaning more profit for your business.