When was the last time you went to a business that had a waiting room and didn't see a vending machine? We walk by vending machines just about every day, so someone is definitely making money in vending machine sales. But we never really think about where these machines came from. That is where your vending machine business comes in. Now that you are clear that there is in fact a market for this product, how do you go about marketing it?
Develop the basis of your vending business marketing plan by listing details about the product and customer. What types of vending machines will you be selling? Will they be used machines, brand new machines or both? Since this is business-to-business (B2B) sales, who are the business owners who you will be targeting? Are you trying to sell to larger companies like Coca Cola or smaller boutique companies who place a few vending machines in various locations?
Do research on other vending machine businesses in your area and online. How do they get the word out about their vending products?
Based on your research and the prospective customer, decide what type of advertising placements you believe would reach potential customers the most effectively for the least possible investment.
Take plenty of pictures of your stock of vending machines or get pictures of the products you intend to sell from the manufacturers.
Hire a print layout designer to develop a brochure that describes and touts your business. Add plenty of pictures.
Hire a web designer to set up a basic Website for your vending machine business.
Have your graphics designer produce business cards printed related to your business.
Place advertisements based on your marketing plan. Be sure this includes advertisements in industry publications that vending business owners receive on a regular basis and online text ads targeted for the highly specific keywords that vending machine owners would look up (e.g. discount vending machines or used vending equipment).
Attend vending machine business networking events. Pass out your business cards and brochures.
Write a press release concerning your vending machine business with a newsworthy twist that will attract the attention of your potential customers without being overly promotional (e.g. "Vending Veteran Introduces Revolutionary New Machine That Saves Time").
When you receive inquiries from customers, ask for their address so that you can send them a brochure and business card. They need something in hand to keep your business in mind.
- Don't put prices on the brochures unless they are amazingly low compared to what is on the market currently. If you are not good at selling and networking, hire to someone to do it for you.
- Don't spend a lot of money advertising to the general public; hone in on vending business owners. Many companies think they can convince everyday people to start vending businesses and then convince these new people to buy their products, but that is not a good business strategy. Pick people who are experienced in the business as your target market.