With the right equipment and a lot of effort you can create a vending machine business in your spare time. Here are a few of the steps you will have to take to head toward success.
Items you will need
- A business plan
You need to find the right equipment, meaning vending machines. The best way to do this is to either search for vending machine manufacturers or wholesalers. You can search for used equipment on EBay, craigslist, and your local newspapers. Either purchase the equipment or keep track of how to get a hold of it until you have a location to set it up in.
Most obvious locations are already going to have vending machine service. That doesn't mean you shouldn't look into it. Start by creating a list of the kinds of businesses or locations that would have enough traffic to justify having a vending machine. I would start out with laundry mats, small offices, gas stations, corner stores that aren't open 24/7; the only limit is your imagination.
Either use your local phone book or an online business directory and get the name, address and number of every business that falls into the categories that you created. You can call or create a letter asking if they would be interested in letting you place vending machines at their location. Be specific in your letter. Include what type of vending machine you want to set up, the power requirements, the locations liability for the equipment, and any compensation you will be offering.
These locations will want some type of compensation for allowing you to place vending machines on their property. I suggest you either offer them a percentage of your monthly profits from their locations or you offer to rent the space for a set monthly fee.
Create a business plan
Now that you have a number of locations willing to allow you to place vending machines, and a general idea of how much it will cost to purchase the vending machines, use that information to create a business plan. There are several sources available for creating a business plan. I recommend you start to the SBA, Small Business Administration, and talk to a few of their specialists. Apart from the SBA there are a number of books and software programs available that make the process easy.
The SBA is a great resource for anyone trying to start their own business. They can walk you through each step of the process from creating your business plan to finding loans to purchase equipment, obtaining insurance for your equipment, and even finding investors to help you finance. If you are serious about starting a small, or part time, business you need to make contact with the SBA.
Once you have a solid business plan put together you will know how much money it will take for you to get this venture off the ground. You will use your business plan to show potential investors how and where their money will be spent. Even if you plan on financing the entire project yourself, create a business plan. It will help keep you on track.
If you do need outside financing start with the SBA. They have several loan programs that you might qualify for. After the SBA talk to friends and family, they may be willing to help you get off the ground.
Insure your equipment. Check the new business registry with your state for any new businesses that may require vending machines and send them a letter. Consider creating an LLC, limited liability company, to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. Talk to the SBA about creating an LLC.
Remember to insure your equipment. Get everything in writing, everything. Don't be afraid to ask questions.