Starting a business is a tough proposition. If you are a first-time entrepreneur, there is a learning curve in the form of domain know-how, capital investment, use cases, cash-flow, and more. This is where the right vending partner is relevant. Vending machines earn a decent income, especially if you have identified the right location and the product mix that you want to sell. The success of vending machines lies as much in their novelty as in their convenience. While everyone gets hungry and thirsty inevitably, it is often boredom or curiosity that vending machines satisfy.
There are several factors to consider before you purchase your first vending machine. Careful consideration of these factors can help turn your vending business into your primary source of income. While choosing the right vending partner is step 1, below we discuss more about the other important factors that warrant your attention.
How much to Invest
Vending machines are capital equipment. Your upfront investment needs to be structured in a way that yields returns in a short period. There are several ways in which you can achieve this.
- Finance your vending machine purchase: Timely access to capital is critical in order to break-even quicker. Our inhouse financing, for instance, has flexible plans that will be ideal for maintaFactory Inspected Remanufactured Machines: These machines are a good option if you are keen on reducing capital investment. The precaution you have to take is to always purchase machines from reliable suppliers or partners. eVending, for instance, has a team of professionals certify the machine after the replaced components have been double or triple checked. All of our remanufactured machines come with a one (1) year factory parts warranty and lifetime toll-free vending machine technical support.
- ining cash-flow.
- Update Your Machine: First-time buyers are able to purchase equipment without the latest features. However, do not forget that these features, like cashless payment systems or UVend Technology, can help you adhere to your target audience. Once you start generating returns, update your machines often. Reinvesting in your first machine to create a comprehensive vending experience for your customers will generate long-term returns.
Make sure to create a provision for stocking your machines. After all, you sell the products you stock, not the machine.
What Kind of Vending Machine to Buy
There is a wide variety of vending machines to choose from. The kind of product you vend is a crucial factor to consider while selecting vending machines. Refrigeration and temperature control are essential for beverages and perishables like salads or sandwiches. Combo snack and drink machines are ideal when catering to a diverse set of consumers in public spaces, such as airports. If you are looking for coffee vending machines, the product footprint and its area are crucial factors.
Where to Install the Machine
The location of the vending machine decides what products are sold in your machine, how you price them, and even how you accessorize the machine. Protein shakes and power bars may look out of place in a vending machine at a school and Snickers probably will not sell well at the gym.
The cost of placing the machine at the location you choose impacts the profitability of the vending business. The cost of power is another drain on profitability. Decide and agree on the fees or sales commission and all other expenses you will or won’t share with the location owner well in advance. After you commission your machine, there is little room for negotiation. However, some locations will not charge you for placing your vending machine. It all has to do with the location and the agreement you both come up with.
What is Your Business Structure Going to be
This decision has tax and legal implications and the time and money needed to ensure regulations. You can register your business as a sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, LLC, or limited liability company. Corporations and LLCs may require a registered agent to act on your behalf. Consult a lawyer to make an informed choice about the registration.
What are the Considerations for Incorporation
There’s a lot of paperwork involved concerning registration, especially for LLCs or corporations. Suppose you incorporate the business as a sole proprietorship or partnership with a name that is different from your brand name. In that case, you need to file a ‘Doing Business As.’ Look up the permits you need, licenses you have to apply for, and any other regulations you may have to comply with.
How will you Secure Funding
First off, you need to calculate the capital requirement. You also need to have an estimate of short-term operating expenses. Your capital requirement is not just the cost of buying a suitable vending machine. It should provide for the cost of incorporation, security deposits for the location, and the machine’s installation cost if your supplier does not offer that as a part of your purchase. The short-term operating expenses must include the cost of inventory, energy, location charges, and transportation, among others. You could also simulate your profits as per your research and market expectations with our profit calculator tool.
The capital and operating expenses together will give you the total investment needed for your vending business to take off. Prepare a business plan based on this information. A business plan typically includes an overview of your business, your products or services, your strategies for revenue generation, the budgeted expenses, and a model of your operations. Templates downloaded off the internet can give you an idea about writing a business plan, but do not forget to leave an element of “your business DNA” in the plan document. After all, investors fund the business but invest in the business owner.
Once you have a freeze on the investment required, decide on the means to acquire funds. Check your credit score to know which ones you qualify for. Some vending machine manufacturers or suppliers provide attractive financing options to encourage the purchase of their equipment. This will mean lesser hassle for you as a business owner. You do not have to run from pillar to post to process the financing, as long as your credit is healthy.
Which Company Should You Buy From?
The last step is to consider which company to buy your vending machine from. The manufacturer who provides the lowest price may be hard to resist, but remember that the lower price does not always translate to lower cost. Look for longevity in the industry, as nothing can beat experience. Above all, look for a manufacturer or supplier who manufactures locally. Local manufacturers understand the nuances of the usage of your vending machines and the products you sell.
eVending has over 90 years of experience in the vending industry. We offer a wide range of factory-direct machines at a very reasonable price. Contact 1-866-4958-4501 to give your vending business a flying start.