Archive for the vending machine business Category

How to Get Started Owning Vending Machines

Saturday, July 21st, 2012 | Permalink

by Leslie McClintock | smallbusiness.chron.com

The vending machine business is a proven model for hard-working small-business owners with relatively limited capital. You purchase or lease vending machines and inventory and scout out your area for locations where you believe a vending machine would be profitable. Then you regularly drive around to your locations, collecting money from your machines and restocking the inventory.

Here are five easy steps for starting a vending machine business:

Step 1

Identify a location that needs a vending machine. Ideally, this should be a high-traffic area full of thirsty or hungry people with change in their pockets and limited competition. Contact the site owner or manager and ask him if he would like a vending machine. He may agree to put one in free to you, or you may need to strike a revenue share agreement, whereby you split the revenue the vending machine provides.

Step 2

Form a business entity, such as a limited liability company or a corporation. Fill out articles of organization or incorporation. Contact your state division of corporations for how to do this. Forming a business entity is important, because it can help protect your personal assets if your business gets sued. Since you or an employee will be driving your route regularly to restock machines and collect cash, you should consider protecting your personal assets against a lawsuit arising from a car accident. You may also want to consider putting liability insurance in place. If you don’t do this, an employee or partner who injures someone on the job could cost you your business and your home, and you don’t even need to be involved in the accident.

Step 3

Purchase vending machines. Consider the desires of the client, or site owner or manager before selecting the type of machine. You can purchase the machine outright for cash, or you can lease a vending machine. If you lease the machine, you should be reasonably confident that your revenue from the cash collection will more than pay for the lease cost of the machine.

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Step 4

Purchase inventory. This will likely be a significant cost center for you. Strive to purchase nonperishable inventory in bulk, where possible. You may wish to get a membership at a wholesale food retailer or discount grocer, such as Sam’s Club or Costco, depending on your volume. The more machines you have and the more food you sell, the better your discounts will be and the greater your profit margins.

Step 5

Keep records. As a business owner, you must keep a set of books in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rules. Keep track of your business expenses — expecially equipment costs, inventory costs, storage costs and mileage. As of 2011, you can deduct up to 55.5 cents per mile driven for business purposes. This can be significant for vending machine businesses because of the frequent restocking trips.

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About the Vending Machine Business

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 | Permalink

by Sherrie Scott | smallbusiness.chron.com

Consumers head to vending machines for a variety of reasons. Most machines exist to satisfy public cravings for snacks and beverages. Vending machines offer consumers a quick convenient fix for hunger pangs or sluggish activity by offering energy-boosting refreshments. The scope of the use and demand for vending machines is widening as advancements in machine technology improves. The vending machine business offers an entrepreneurial opportunity that can be quite lucrative to operators willing to put in the time and effort to be profitable.

Function

Vending machines are coin-operated devices that dispense goods to consumers. Consumers use vending machines by paying for the goods within the machine and utilizing the items dispensed. Machine operators earn money by placing machines in private businesses or public areas to compel customers to make a purchase. Operators have established routes in which their machines are located and it is their job to service the machines to ensure they are stocked with the appropriate goods.

Business Opportunities

Many business opportunities exist for vending machine operators. Entrepreneurs can opt to purchase an existing vending business, which usually includes the necessary licenses, machines and routes that have already been established. Business owners can also invest in a franchise, or start a new business from scratch. Purchasing an existing business requires that the operator maintains current accounts by services and stocking the machines with inventory. Entrepreneurs that choose to open a new business must purchase or lease their machines, purchase inventory, and obtain licenses and accounts for placing the machines.

Types

Common machines are snack and soda machines. Smaller devices dispense individual candies or assorted nuts. Many machines are popular in establishments that cater to families and children. These types of machines have prizes and goods that appeal to a younger crowd. Vending machines that dispense films available for rent are increasing in popularity. Vending machines that are appropriate for a certain niche are also available. For instance, machines that distribute disposable towels and individual auto detailing products are provided at self-serve car washes.

Payment Conveniences

Several developments have been made in the technology of vending machines, allowing operators to offer more conveniences to consumers. In the past, vending machines were limited to accepting coins or small forms of currency, such as $1 or $5 bills. As vending machine technology improves, the forms of payments accepted have also improved. Some vending machines now have the option of accepting credit and debit cards as an added convenience to customers.

Advancements

Vending machines are now offering a wider variety of goods. For example, an extravagant vending machine at the Mondrian Hotel in Miami allows consumers to purchase items as far-fetched as expensive jewelry, cars and real estate. There is a new demand for vending services that have not been available before. Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to determine a vending niche that has not yet been established in the marketplace capitalize on the initiative.

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