Vending machines are a big business. There are an estimated 5.6 million vending machines in the United States, and they generate an estimated $22 billion in annual revenue.
So, how does the vending machine business work? Let’s take a look at the tasks involved when contracting locations for your vending machines and the day-to-day operations required.
How to Get Location Contracts for Your Vending Machines
There are a few ways to go about getting location contracts for your vending machines. The first is to contact businesses directly and offer your services. This can be done by visiting the business in person or calling them on the phone.
Another way to get location contracts is to work with a broker. There are companies that specialize in connecting vending machine operators with potential locations. These brokers typically have a database of businesses that are looking for vending machines on their premises.
Once you’ve found a potential location, the next step is to negotiate a contract. This will involve agreeing on terms, such as how long the contract will be in place, how much the monthly rent will be, and what type of vending machines you will be allowed to place on the premises.
It’s important to have a lawyer look over any contract before you sign it. This will help to ensure that you are not agreeing to any terms that could be harmful to your business.
Day-to-Day Operations of a Vending Machine Business
Once you have secured location contracts, the next step is to install your vending machines. This process will vary depending on the type of machine you are using. Some machines can be installed by oneself, while others will require the assistance of a professional.
Develop your pricing strategy to attract customers and generate revenue. Most vending machines accept coins and paper currency, but cashless vending machines are becoming increasingly popular. These machines allow customers to use a credit or debit card to make purchases, so depending on the type of machine you purchase, your pricing strategy may vary. Check the costs upfront for options such as the consumer use of credit or debit cards.
Once your machines are installed and priced, it’s time to stock them with products. This will involve ordering products from suppliers and stocking the machines on a regular basis. Depending on the location of your machines, you may need to hire someone to do this for you.
It’s important to keep an eye on your inventory levels and restock your machines as needed. This will help to ensure that your customers always have access to the products they want to purchase.
In addition to stocking your machines, you will also need to regularly maintain them. This involves cleaning the machines and making sure that they are in good working order. Depending on the type of machine you have, this may need to be done by a professional.
Keeping track of the sales data from your vending machines can help you to make decisions about where to place your machines, which products to stock in them, and how to price your products. This information can easily be tracked using a spreadsheet or vending management system.
By following these steps, you can start your own vending machine business and be on your way to generating revenue. While there is some initial work involved in getting started, once you have your machines up and running, the day-to-day tasks are relatively simple and require minimal maintenance.