Vending is very much an entrepreneur’s business. Vending operators essentially run their own small businesses. As a vending operator, you must become a jack of all trades as you will be taking on a lot of responsibilities. You will be managing things such as product restocking, service calls, machine maintenance, finances, travel between locations, and administrative duties. While entering the industry as a vending operator may seem overwhelming, do not be discouraged as becoming a vending operator can be quite rewarding.
You may be wondering if the vending business is right for you. Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages. As an operator owning your own vending machines, you will enjoy higher profit margins and will be allowed greater flexibility in pricing and product offerings. To enter the industry as an operator you will need money up-front to purchase the machine. Plus you will need to buy product to stock your machine.
As the factory direct supplier of vending machines, eVending is one of the only manufacturers to provide in-house financing for machine purchases (based upon credit approval). eVending offers a variety of accommodating financing options, ranging from six (6) months to 48 months. Plus eVending offers no monthly payments for the first 90 days. With an average item profit of $0.50, your vending machine could pay for itself with sales of just seven to ten snacks or drinks per day. eVending’s financing options are ideal for operators entering the vending industry to be more affordable and profitable than ever.
As you prepare to put your business plan into action, you may want to make a list tailored to your needs as the operator. The following are several tips to help you prepare to enter the industry as a vending operator.
- Have a business plan – It pays to plan. Have you thought about what your goals are or how the math works out? With vending profit is not immediately obvious, there will be a significant delay between your actions and financial results. If you want to get an idea of what your machines will bring in, eVending’s profit calculator is a useful tool. The calculation takes into account the number of machines you have, vends per day, the cost of the product, and the vend price of the product to give you the most accurate prediction of your future profits.
Be sure to align your business plan with your finances as well as lifestyle goals.
- Select the vending machine type – Over the years vending machines have evolved beyond cookies and crackers. Today, you can vend anything from gumballs to a full meal. Decide which market you want to enter then find the machine that best suits your needs.
- Get the proper licenses – Before you get started, check with your local licensing office for requirements in your area.
- Buy the machines – Now that you have decided what type of machine is best for your location, you will need to purchase the machines. eVending offers a full line of machines that are 100% manufactured in the USA. Our new machines come with a one-year limited parts warranty and are specially designed to provide maximum energy output with minimal electrical requirements which helps keep your expenses as low as possible. Additionally, our new machines can be managed remotely due to their cellular-based designs.
- Buy or lease a vending truck – You will need a vehicle to move products from machine to machine and even to move the machines themselves. The size and type of vehicle you need will depend on the size of your operation.
- Find a supplier – Buy your products in bulk through stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco or a site that sells candy in bulk. Be sure not to buy quantities so large that they expire before you can sell them.
- Secure your locations – When selecting a location look for places with high foot traffic. Think along the lines of an office, mall, bowling alley, or hotel. Be sure to check out each site in person before approaching the owner to secure a deal.
- Service your machines – Now that your machines are placed you will be in charge of upkeep. This will involve keeping the machine functioning, clean, and well-stocked. Depending on your machine’s popularity, this may need to be done more than once a week. When you purchase one of our machines you will have access to eVending’s complimentary phone customer support as well as to Vendnet— your one-stop source for parts, service, and vending products, with online support for vending machine manuals or parts ordering.
Finally, the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s (NAMA) Vending101 article is a good resource for a more in-depth look at the industry.
If you decide you’re ready to make your way as a vending operator, visit www.evending.com to learn more or contact eVending today at 1-888-915-7572.