There’s nothing like the sweet relief of finding a vending machine when you’re starving during a long road trip.
Truck stops and rest areas are just two places where vending machines are in high demand. Virtually every sector orders vending machines, whether they’re community recreation centers, financial buildings, courthouses, gyms, schools, or sports stadiums.
You’ve always wanted to own a business, but life and lack of capital got in the way. Fortunately, you can start a vending machine business for as little as $1,000 or less per machine.
Don’t wait to follow your entrepreneurial dreams. Learn how to start a profitable vending machine company from the ground up.
Generate Capital for Your Vending Machine Business
You can’t start a business without capital. Luckily, the vending machine industry is one of the cheapest to break into.
Machines range from $1,000 for $3,000 for used machines, and $3,600 to $5,000 or more for new machines. A few vending machines are better than one, so you’ll need to plan your budget accordingly and plan for additional machines to be added.
If you’re applying for a bank loan, you’ll need to write up a business plan for your vending machine company. This must include the cost of machines plus any expenses related to marketing, inventory, operational costs, overhead, office rent, and other business costs.
If you can’t secure a bank loan, there are private loan options with higher interest. There are also no-credit-check loans for entrepreneurs with poor credit or no credit at all. Consider asking a family member who’s in a position to help and work out a pay-off plan.
Since the start-up costs are pretty low, you don’t have to worry about securing such a hefty loan for your business. If you secure enough contracts and strategic locations, you can pay off your loans faster.
Should You Invest in a Vending Machine Franchise?
Another way to break into the vending machine business is to invest in a franchise. You’ll find more of these opportunities in the healthy vending sector. This is an excellent option if you want to get contracts with gyms, spas, hospitals, schools, and other establishments that promote good health.
Vending machine franchises can cost tens of thousands of dollars, with Healthy You Vending starting at $30,000. However, these franchises are still significantly less than other franchise opportunities. Furthermore, the company helps franchise owners find profitable location opportunities.
Aspiring business owners are attracted to vending machine franchises. While there are upsides, it’s critical to consider all your options first. Your initial investment can quickly quadruple with a franchise, and your business decisions are limited as a franchisee.
Craft a Prospect and Lead Generation Strategy
Once you’ve secured business funding, you’re off to the races! Your next step is to generate prospects for your vending machine company. Prospects are potential leads, and leads are potential clients.
Your business isn’t like a retail store or restaurant. Vending is a B2B industry. B2B stands for business-to-business.
Since you’re brand new to the scene, your phone won’t be ringing off the hook. You have to make yourself known. That requires lead generation marketing.
Prospect generation is just that — generating prospects for your business. Great prospects start with strategic targeting. You can’t generate prospects if you don’t know who your audience is.
Start your prospect generating strategy with market research. What is your target business sector? Do you want to secure government contracts for rest stop vending machines?
Once you’re done with this step, you’ll have a strong prospect profile to work with.
Since you’re in the vending machine industry, most of your prospects will be driven by location. In your market research report, identify areas with high foot traffic that need vending machines.
Your market research data will help you generate a substantial list of locations, businesses, institutions, and contacts to work with. The next challenge is to develop a communication and sales strategy that turns prospects into promising leads! One of the best ways to approach this is to create a sales funnel.
Create a Vending Machine Sales Funnel
You’ve got the first step of your funnel out of the way, which is prospect generation. Next, you’re going to develop an engagement strategy, followed by lead generation, and ending with a sale.
Sales funnels are not one-size-fits-all.
Adjust your funnel to your goals. Start with a set number of prospects, leads, or sales, and build your funnel around that. Setting manageable goals will keep you focused and driven.
Now that you’ve generated all these prospects, you need to make contact to see if they’re lead potential. There are different ways to go about this.
Some vending machine companies cold call prospects, while others prefer to cold email contacts. Another strategy is to team up with other businesses to grow your referral network. Since cold-calling and emailing is the leading marketing strategy for vending machine companies, it’s worth hiring a salesperson or marketing professional to help you.
Once you’ve turned a prospect into a lead, you’ll need to employ lead nurturing strategies to convert that lead into a sale.
Expanding Your Vending Machine Ambitions
The more profitable locations and contracts you have, the more money you’ll make with vending machines. As you generate profits, start thinking about scaling. You’ll need to invest in more machines, inventory, and lead generation marketing.
Invest in a professional website. You’ll need this to generate organic leads from search engines. Use search engine optimization to attract B2B prospects who are looking for vending machine services online.
Do you want to help other entrepreneurs succeed and grow your company? As your business grows, you may be in a position to create franchise opportunities for people who are just starting out.
Discover the Possibilities of Vending Machines
Your dream of opening a business is just a vending machine away. Consider the benefits of starting a vending machine business and the investments required to succeed.
Business is always changing. Make sure you have the latest resources for better decision-making. Check back often for new tips and trends for breaking into your industry.