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4 Steps to Starting a Vending Machine Business

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Today you can find and get just about anything from a vending machine. Vending machines can be placed indoors or outdoors and they’re a cost-effective way of distributing goods. The type of products offered in a vending machine depends largely on the machine’s owners, target groups, and location. The most common vending machines sell snacks and drinks but some might even offer electronic devices.

As technology improves, there are more and more ways for vending machines to make money, and more and more people are starting businesses because of the great opportunities it offers.

Just like all other lucrative business opportunities, the vending machine business also requires you to carefully handle certain details. For this reason, if you wonder how to start a vending machine business, below we’ll go through the main 4 steps to help you get there.

Decide What Kind of Vending Machine You Want 

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Before diving into the steps for starting a vending machine business, keep in mind that you must set up an LLC or corporation to scale up your business and collect the profits legally.

Today, there are numerous options to choose from when it comes to vending machines. Most of the ones we see offer snacks and drinks and if you want to go in this direction, you should consider purchasing two or more machines and place them in different locations. They should also be stocked with different items, depending on the traffic in the specific area.

Oftentimes, you can see smaller machines at the front of restaurants, coffee shops, and grocery stores. Such bulk vending machines usually contain items such as toys, gumballs, etc. These products are usually the cheapest and since they are manually operated, they carry the least overhead. If you’re considering investing in bulk vending machines, you must make sure they are placed in the right setting as they can be an excellent source of passive income and they are the perfect option for up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

There are also specialty vending machines that offer premium products. They offer anything from electronics to ice cream. Investing in these machines can bring you a considerably higher income than when you offer standard snack and beverage items. No matter what vending machine you end up choosing, your top priority should be to tailor your offering to your ideal target audience.

Invest in the Right Equipment

An essential step in creating a successful vending machine business is finding the right equipment, that is, the best vending machines. You can either look for vending machine manufacturers and wholesalers or franchise companies.

You can also search for used equipment online and in your local newspaper ads. Either buy the desired equipment directly or find suppliers and wait until you have a place to set up your machines. Finally, be prepared to devote time and money to properly service and maintain your vending machines.

Scout Good Locations

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Finding locations for vending machines can be quite challenging. These types of machines are often located in office buildings, shopping malls, and car dealerships, where impulse purchases of snacks and other goods are more likely. If you can bring your vending machines into a busy area such as a mall, grocery store, eaterie, or near a popular tourist attraction, you can make a decent profit.

Start by creating a list of the types of businesses or locations that would have enough traffic to justify having a vending machine. Start with small offices, gas stations, shops that are not open around the clock, schools, and sports facilities. The only limit is your imagination.

Create a list of names and addresses that fall into the categories you have come up with. You can call or send an email and ask if they would be interested in letting you place vending machines near them or in the surroundings. Be specific and include the type of vending machine you want to set up, handling and site responsibility for the equipment, and any commission you will offer.

Stocking Products

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Certain states require a percentage of healthy options to be included in food vending machines so if you place such machines, make sure to have a reliable healthy snacks supplier. When it comes to food stocking, try to connect with wholesale suppliers so you can get the lowest cost per unit. By saving money on upfront food costs, you will be able to get more profit from your vending machine business in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Starting and creating a successful vending machine business requires you to think about the type of vending machine you want, find the right location, and identify your target market. However, before doing so, remember to take care of your registration and licensing.

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