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How to Start a Vending Machine Business

Sarah Lynch, CEO & Founder Mama Gaia

How to Start a Vending Machine BusinessSarah Lynch, CEO & Founder Mama Gaia

Since 2012, the vending machine business has evolved exponentially. There are many opportunities in regards to starting a business associated with vending food machines.

If you want to start vending machine business, this post is just for you. We’re going to explore the ins and outs of this business and what it takes to be successful in this particular field.

How to Start a Vending Machine Business

Step 1: Research, Research and More Research

As with every other business, planning and market research are vital to starting a vending machine foods business. You need to look into essential factors such as the location and the prices of vending machines.

However, you’re better off if you have a machine distributor who instructs you how to find locations for vending machines and provides you with a definite cost of a vending machine.

Step 2: Determine the Prices of Vending Machines and the Available Options

Your initial budget should accommodate your ideal vending machine. The cost of a new vending machine lies between $3,000 to $6,500. A second-hand machine costs somewhere between $1,000 to $3,000. There are different types of vending machines available in the market today - there’s the snacks vending machine, healthy food vending machines, smart vending machines like Mama Gaia, and so on.

On average, a typical vending machine may earn you less than $5 every week. On the other hand, a strategically placed vending machine with smart logistics may earn you a lot more than that. Prices may go a lot higher than $100 each week or more per day. The overall costs vary based on a variety of factors. 

 

Step 3: Sort Out Legal Issues

Before you start a soda machine vending business or a business vending machine for that matter, ensure you discuss and finalize all legal matters with your lawyers, tax advisors, or accountant. The reason for this is that costs involved in starting up may vary greatly from one location to the next.

The average cost of a permit varies based on your location. However, most states charge about $10 to $250. Most places require food vendors to take a food handling and preparation course before they can officially be issued with a license.

Step 3: Start your Vending Machine Business

If you have rich experience in the sales and marketing department, you’re more than qualified to flag off your vending business. You can start out as a single entity and expand your business as it gradually picks up.

If you have the capital to hire a team of experts, the better for you. These skilled individuals will help you outsource the best locations and credible machine vendors. On the other hand, if you have enough experience to do all these on your own, you can save some money by going it alone.

Renting is also a valid option when it comes to lowering those up-front costs by spreading the cost over intervals of months or even years.  Here are the steps to take when leasing a vending machine:

● Draft a workable business plan.

● Determine the type of products you wish to stock up on.

● Perform a quick search of the best vending machine rental companies.

● Draft a Lease Agreement to secure the location of your vending machine.

Benefits of Operation

Is starting a vending machine operation something you want to do? Are vending machines profitable? If you still have your doubts about it, here are some advantages that will help you decide: 

1. Significantly Low Start-up Costs

You can easily finance your vending machine business without having to splurge extravagantly. Aside from your phone and computer, you won’t need anything else to manage your business. You may also need a vehicle to service your route. Other than that, you won’t need any other equipment.

 

 

 

2. Ability to Choose Your Choice of Product

For instance, let’s say that you have a snacks vending machine and a particular flavor of popchips isn’t really selling as well as you’d like. You have the option of replacing that product with a totally different snack or a different flavor altogether.

As a business owner, you have the ability to control how fast or how slow you’d like your profession to develop. Few business owners choose to keep their day job as they manage the growth of their business vending machine.

Depending on your finances and workflow, you have the option of adding a snacks vending machine or two healthy food vending machines. Again, the route you decide to take will be dependent on how and when you’re ready to expand your establishment.

4. Smooth Workflow

Once you secure massive business contracts and you have your machines in place, you’ll have an easy time running your vending business. You only need to check on your machines and ensure regular maintenance. If possible, restock them as often as possible in case they’re beyond working condition. 

Of course, you’ll need to tend to your administrative duties such as keeping track of financial transactions, taking care of customer-related concerns and reporting/paying taxes.

Start up with Mama Gaia

Mama Gaia is a smart vending machine built for franchisee opportunities. While typical junk food vending machines have smaller margins and a narrow product line of non-fresh items, Mama Gaia allows you to sell high quality product and grab the attention of the larger market segment that demands fresh food. Increase your vending revenue by adding Mama Gaia to your route.

Interested in learning more? Fill out this form here to get in touch with a representative at Mama Gaia.

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