Thinking of Starting a Vending Machine Business? Here’s How

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Looking to start a business with low startup costs and no special training? Starting a vending machine business can be home-based or even part-time business, so it’s a great option for budding entrepreneurs.

Though vending machines are nothing new, launching a vending machine business can be an ultimate business opportunity. With little training and experience, you can get involved in this industry and create a successful business.

If you want to start a vending machine business, and be successful at it, there are some critical steps you need to follow to stay on the right track. Here’s how to launch a vending machine business in 6 simple steps.

1. Do Your Homework

While you don’t need comprehensive training to become a part of the vending machine industry, it doesn’t mean you can start immediately. To make your business successful, you need to do some market research.

By doing so, you can have an estimate of the amount you need to invest, how much time you need to put into the industry, and how long you’ll have to wait to get an ROI (Return On Investment).

2. Determine the Type of Vending Machine You Want

Once you do your homework, it’s time to invest in a vending machine. There are different types of vending machines on the market, and you need to choose one based on your target market. Generally, there are three categories of vending machines, such as food & beverage vending, bulk vending, and specialty vending.

No matter which kind of machine you pick, it’s wise to start with one or two machines that sell products focused on your target market and then expand to more machines as needed.

3. Pick the Perfect Location

Selecting the right location for your vending machine is another essential factor you need to consider if you want to earn a profit. Picking the right location for your snack machine can make a huge difference in making your vending machine business successful. Here are some places that you can consider to launch your business:

  • Office buildings with at least 50 employees.
  • You can consider areas with high traffic all around the week. For example, schools, shopping malls, train & bus stations, airports, event centers, etc.
  • Places that lack nearby food and drink options

4. Recognize the Startup Expenses

Like any other business, there are several expenses associated with launching a vending machine venture as well. Before jumping into the vending machine industry, you need to know all the startup costs in order to stay on budget. Here are some of the expenses you need to know about:

  • Vending Machine: On average, vending equipment may cost you somewhere between $3,000 - $5,000. It may vary depending on the condition of the machine, like whether it’s used or new.

  • Maintenance: You need to factor replacement and repair costs into your budget.

  • Insurance & Taxes: You will also have to add insurance and tax expenses to your vending machine business budget.

  • Other Costs: Other additional costs that you cannot ignore are monthly rent, hiring, staff salary, etc.

Knowing these expenses can help you in deciding whether or not you should invest in this business type.

5. Select the Right Products

Now, the next thing is to choose the types of products you want to sell. Stocking your vending machines with products might seem like an easy job, but you need to choose your inventory carefully for every location to make the most profit. Make sure you know what your clients in each location, and find out what they’re looking for.

While there are many options available, snack food tends to be a preferred choice for most people. That means you can consider stocking your machine with chips, soft drinks, and candy.

On the other hand, there’s also a rising trend of offering healthy snacks for your clients. According to Forbes, the City Council of Glendale, California introduced a policy to completely phase out junk food in favor of healthier options for all vending machines on city property.

6. Choose the Right Insurance

Last but not least, make sure you have insurance for vending machine operators. Once you’re ready to launch your business, don't forget to protect it by selecting the right policies. There are several insurance policies you should consider including:

The best option is to contact an insurance firm, discuss your business and budget, and let them provide you with the best insurance that meets your budget and requirements.

The Key Takeaway

Starting a vending machine venture is an amazing business opportunity to help you earn more money, with lots of flexibility. However, to be successful you should consider the tips mentioned above.

Once you understand the market, invest in the right vending machine, and pick the perfect location, you can make the most out of your vending machine business.