5 Tips for Starting a Smart Vending Machine Business

In the current times of pandemic, a lot of businesses still remain closed; however, this doesn’t mean it can’t be an opportunity for you to start a business.

Although there may be several rules and regulations and temporary holds when it comes to opening a walk-in business, there aren’t many such things when it comes to starting a smart vending machine business.

With the vending machine industry generating $23 billion in global revenue, it’s enough reason to open up your own business. If you think this is the right business for you, here are some tips you need to consider:

Consider Your Options

Although most people conjure an image of a vending machine that only dispense soda and chips, that’s not what smart vending machines are all about. Once you start doing your homework, you will find there are unlimited options.

Vending machines generally come under three categories: food and beverage, bulk vending, and specialty vending.

Food and beverage vending machines make up about one-third of all vending machines, followed by bulk vending machines that dispense gumballs, rubber balls or stickers. The specialty vending machine, however, is not just limited to food and drinks but may contain a variety of other stuff like:

  • Electronic products
  • Cupcakes
  • Sweet desserts
  • Salads
  • Fresh Pressed Juices
  • Sandwiches / Wraps
  • Skincare products
  • Real Hair
  • Eyelashes
  • Laundry detergent
  • PPE
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Tobacco

Find the Right Location

Ideally, you want to place your vending machine in a location that does not have another business that is selling the same kind of product as you. Most people typically buy from vending machines when they are waiting somewhere or are in a hurry. Therefore some good locations for vending machines are:

  • Park
  • Hospitals
  • Airport
  • Schools
  • Grocery stores
  • Apartment complexes
  • Manufacturing factories

You can also go to your local Chamber of Commerce and ask them for help to secure the ideal location for your vending machine. Typically, the area needs to have heavy foot traffic.

Making a Contract

If you want to install a machine or someone else’s premise, you will not just need to get their permission but will also need to give them a percentage of commission. Typically, a property owner may charge you 10% to 25% of your revenue as commission.

Your contract should also state:

  • What type of machine you use and the products you sell
  • The length of the contract
  • Provisions for breach of contract
  • Expectations regarding restocking and servicing your vending machine
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Possibility of unprofitability

Purchase the Equipment

If you are not purchasing an existing business or franchise, you will need to acquire your own vending machines.

Digital Media Vending is a custom vending machine designer and manufacturing company that offers all sorts of vending machines for retail businesses. Here, you can buy wall-mounted vending machines, smart vending machines, PPE vending machines, electronic lockers, and interactive kiosks for all purposes.

Digital Media Vending also offers a warranty with our machines.

Provide Good Customer Service

If you want your vending machine service to succeed, you need to provide good maintenance and customer service to it. This includes:

  • Keeping the machine fully stocked with inventory
  • Keeping it cleaned and repaired. Ill-maintained, broken down machines will turn away customers.
  • Provide contact information for support staff so people can report any issues
  • Rotate products by sell-by date so your inventory doesn’t get expired or wasted.
  • Consult with property owners on which types of products are the most popular to improve sales
  • Maintain a good relationship with the contact person at the location of your vending machine who receives complaints on your behalf.

Starting a Smart Vending Machine Business

Then great thing about starting a smart vending machine business is that this niche has fewer barriers to entry. With the right research, hard work, and dedication, you will be able to grow your business faster than you thought possible.

But most importantly, don’t forget to provide exceptional customer service to gain loyalty as this is something that will set you apart from other businesses.

Give us a call and speak to one of our vending machine business veterans

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