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Vending Machine Business Marketing Plan

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					How to Start a Vending Machine Route
and Succeed
By some estimates, over forty billion dollars is dropped into vending machines
by Americans every year. A vending machine business represents a great
opportunity for entrepreneurs to start a home-based business with realistic profit
potential. Smart businessmen and women realize that quarters and dimes can
quickly add up to a lot of money when you own dozens of machines in good
locations. This article looks at the vending machine industry in the US and offers
an overview for those wanting to how to start a vending machine route that is
profitable.
A Growth Industry
The vending industry in the US has grown at a phenomenal rate over the past
few decades and that growth rate looks set to continue well into the future. This
growth is driven by an expanding population, an expanding variety of new
vending concepts and the increased need for convenience. An increasing
variety of payment options also now means that consumers never have to pass
up on a machines offerings due to not having any coins in their pockets.
Recession Proof?
Most sectors within the industry are seen as being insulated from economic
downturns due to the fact that they are price competitive with retailers. Vended
products such as coffee often represent a much cheaper option compared to
retailers.
Competition
The industry is certainly competitive, like any business is, but competition is not
always a bad thing. In some cases vending machines placed in the same
location mutually support each other by forming blocks that offer better variety,
value and convenience than nearby stores.
A Seasonal Business?
The industry is not seasonal overall. Certain machines doing hot or cold
beverages for example certainly will fluctuate in sales volume throughout the
year. Some locations can be better in summer or winter. Don't forget that some
locations may completely close down for short vacation periods leaving you with
no sales at all.
Start a Vending Machine Route - Regulations and Compliance
Some states require vendors to have a business license (usually around $100),
sellers permit, a sales tax license, or all of these things. Before you set up your
vending machine route you should inquire and find out how to comply with local
regulations. Depending on what products you are vending you may also have to
comply with your local health authorities.
Most vending business owners go for sole proprietorship but a limited liability
company also has advantages to offer. It is best to speak to an attorney or an
accountant and try to determine the best legal operating structure for your
situation.
Startup Costs
Startup costs in this industry are reasonable. It is possible to start a vending
machine route for less than a few thousand dollars. However, if you have more
funding available then obviously you can start off in a better position and grow
much faster.
The Nature of Vending Work
The work of a vending machine business operator can be divided into two basic
areas. Firstly there is the maintenance and re-supply of the machines that the
owner has in various locations. Secondly operators have to continually find new
locations to place even more machines.
As a vending machine business owner you can choose to work by yourself, with
a partner or hire teams to work for you. Most highly successful business owners
in this area take on a sales role, continually trying to get more of their machines
out there, while they hire teams to re-stock machines and maintain them when
required. If you wish to hire staff to collect cash and re-stock machines then you
need to develop systems to account for inventory and cash so that your staff
don't take advantage and steal from you.
Vending Machines and Repairs
The great thing about vending machines is that they are essentially your best
employees. You can have a great deal of success even as a sole operator while
leveraging on the productivity of your machines. Vending machines never need
vacations and only require electricity to function in some cases (instead of a
wage) and are thus the ideal workers.

				
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Description: Finding great vending locations is one thing but to have any hope of being a success in this business you have to become good at convincing location managers to let you place your machines on their premises. What you need is a marketing strategy to help you to get in touch with prospective clients and successfully sell your service to them. This article looks at how you can put together a vending business marketing plan. Who will do your Marketing? Ideally, you should approach clients yourself so that you can learn as you go and keep costs to a minimum. Hiring someone to handle your marketing for you is also an option. You could even consider using the services of a professional 'locator' and many businesses have sprung up that offer this service to vendors. What are you Marketing? The first step is to define exactly what you are trying to sell. This is not as easy as it sounds as the needs and opportunities at every location will be different. Most business models in other industries require you to choose a product or service and then go out and find a market for it. In vending you would be foolish to buy machines and then go on the lookout for suitable locations. Instead you should be aware of a variety of vending machines and then consider the needs and opportunities of each location on a case by case basis. Win the account first and then acquire the machines to service the location. Who are you Marketing to? Think about who your clients are and how you can design a marketing campaign that will appeal to them specifically. You may have to adjust your strategies if you target a variety of different businesses and organizations. If you are approaching schools for instance you should let them know that you can stock your machines with healthy snacks if they require. Take along some samples for them to try and let them know that you strongly agree with their decision to limit their student's intake of junk food. Make your Vending Machine Business more Marketa