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How to Start a Vending Machine Business in 8 Steps

Do you want to start a vending machine business at low cost or free? This low-cost business opportunity requires minimum skills and training to start. Furthermore, you can start this business from as part-time too.

A vending machine is a simple machine that dispenses any items like foods, drinks, cigarettes, etc. Snacks and cold beverages are the largest product segments in the industry. when you put money or tokens into it.

Nowadays, upgraded vending machines are eligible to take not only money but also credit and debit cards. You can operate this business part-time also with your current job.

The business is simply procuring vending machines, making stocks available, and putting the machine in a perfect location. Any individual with a flair for knowledge about specific consumer goods can start this business on a small-scale basis.

Here are the Steps to Start Vending Machine Business

1. Market Research

Before starting vending machine business, it is essential to gather information regarding the local market demand for the selected products you are planning to vend. It is advised to do an exhaustive market research program and learn more about the competitors’ pricing and market volume. It will help in creating an effective vending machine business plan.

2. Select your Niche

The next important step is to select the right vending product as per the local demand. There are many popular niches in vending machine business that are operating in the market. Some of them are the following:

  • Food & Snacks Vending
  • Beverage Vending
  • Laundry Vending
  • Electronic Gadgets Vending
  • Garment and Apparel Vending
  • Book Vending

3. Choosing The Right Vending Machine & Product

You can start a vending machine business in two ways. Either buying a franchisee of a reputed company or purchasing your own machine and selecting your own product. Choosing the right product and machine for that particular product is one of the most crucial aspects of this business.

You will find a lot of machines dispensing soft drinks and snacks. You can try some new products that will attract the traffic to the location where you put your machine. Some of the trending product ideas are beer, cosmetics, CDs, cookies, etc.

When you are initiating your brand, selecting the right machine is very important. Easy disposal of goods with no hazard is the most desired criterion. You can provide vending services with a variety of machine options. You will be able to supply each location with the different options they want. This goes beyond just the products.

Your ability to supply a full range of options to a location will give you an edge in securing the deal. Choose a vending machine that includes credit card reader equipment with remote monitoring.

4. Selecting the Location of Vending Machine

A location having a large amount of foot traffic is the most perfect for the business. Generally, large factories, warehouses, office buildings, airports, recreation centers, arcades, supermarkets, college campuses, and clubs are the perfect locations for this business.

Understanding the location’s needs and creating a basic proposal for how your vending business might meet the needs of this location, is important. You can approach big companies to locate your machine for their employee’s convenience.

In most cases, you will need to share a small percentage of sales revenue with them. You must assure the security of the machines. It is recommended, first select the location, then the specific need of that sight, and lastly purchase the vending machine.

5. Maintaining Vending Machine

These are machines. They need maintenance and care. Preventive maintenance will allow them to last a long time. Knowing the basics about how to maintain your own machines will save you both money and your credential with the location. Ask for training from the machine manufacturing company. Check your machines frequently to assure the availability of stocks.

Product optimization will allow you to think about the well-being and happiness of your consumers. It is not that, all your products will perform well. Rotate out the poor sellers with new products. Try different brands, placements within the machine, types of food or drinks, etc.

6. Vending Machine Equipment

You will need to procure some common tools like screwdrivers and cleaning equipment. One vehicle is mandatory to move out with your machine. Procure some cleaning solutions and spray to clean the machine’s surface.

7. Make your Vending Machine Business Legal

Choose a proper business structure under which you are going to run your vending machine business. In addition, check with concerned local authorities for licenses and permits that are needed to operate in the specified location.

8. Promote Your Vending Machine Business

  • Promote your business on-site.
  • Adding innovative quality products will allow you to keep your customer happy and create new consumers.
  • Use neon-colored signs or stickers to alert your customers when you put in a new product or reduce the price of an existing product.
  • Promotional products are the best giveaway to the consumers who make considerable sales volume.
  • Be proactive. Ask your customers for feedback.
  • Gather knowledge about your machine equipment so you can reduce downtime and keep your accounts happy.
  • A birthday wish and a ‘Thank You’ message do a lot in making customer relationships.
  • Keep your vending machines always in stock. Interact with your customers at the time of restocking. Find creative ways to engage with your vending machine customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cost of Starting Vending Machine Business?

The major cost is the vending machine. The cost of a vending machine will depend on the item and features. For example, a coin-operated multi-item vending machine will cost anywhere in the range of 1.5 lacs to 2.5 lacs.

The other costs include branding expenses, product sourcing costs, maintenance of machines, manpower costs ( if you are not maintaining of your own), and transportation.

How to Start a Vending Machine Business for Free?

The best way to start a vending machine business for free is to tie up with an owner of a vending machine. Negotiate a win-win profit-sharing deal with the owner. You will do all the legwork of running the business and pay a certain percentage of profit to the vending machine owner.

As profit starts coming in, consider buying or leasing a vending machine.

If you are a beginner and looking forward to starting a business with no skills attached, the vending machine business is a safe and easy business to start.