Starting a Vending Machine Business

Job duties

Starting a vending machine business is an exciting opportunity to be your own boss. When starting a vending machine business your job duties include looking for an ideal location for your vending machine/ machines, refilling your vending machines as needed, overseeing repairs/ maintenance of the machines, collecting the money, and ensuring there is enough change in your machines. You will have to decide what kind of vending product you want sell. There are vending machines for a wide variety of products such as sodas, snacks, movie rentals, ect. I recommend conducting market research to uncover what goods are in demand in the area you want to locate your vending machine.

Where will you work?

starting a vending machine business

When starting a vending machine business identifying the right location for your vending machine is the key to success in this business. You should look for a location that has a large number of potential customers so it can yield a high amount of profit. Locations with a large number of human traffic is ideal. Popular locations for setting up a vending machine includes malls, parking lots, schools, banks, hospitals, hotel lobbies, break rooms and restaurants. However the list is never ending and you can try a variety of possibilities. When evaluating a location for your vending machine try getting a rough estimation of your potential customers.

Basic Costs

When starting a vending machine business your major business cost will be the vending machines. You can start small and grow your business over the passage of time. You will have to decide whether you will be renting, leasing or purchasing a vending machine. If you have a limited budget, you can consider renting or leasing options. Another major cost will be the products you are selling in the vending machines such as sodas, candy, snacks, ect. You have the responsibility to refill the vending machines as needed. When constructing a budget don’t forget to save some money for repairs and maintenance of the machines. If you are locating your vending machine in a business or commercial location, you most likely will have to pay monthly fees to the owner.

Starting a Vending Machine Business Tips

  • Get to know your Customers– You should get to know your target customers. If you are placing the vending machine in the break room, make sure that you ask the owner of the office what kind of snacks the employees prefer. Get to know the tastes and trends of the local population.
  • Start Small– Don’t go out and buy ten vending machines all at once. Buy one or two vending machines and once your gain more experience and knowledge about the vending machine business then you can decide to expand to more machines.
  • Don’t expect to make a huge income overnight– The amount of income that you will generate depends solely on your selected location and your practical approach. However be mentally prepared to offer a small percentage as an incentive to the owner of the store whose space you are using to run your vending machine. Mostly, they charge 15%-33% of the monthly income. However research the market and opt for the cheapest rates. In fact there are a few charitable organizations that can persuade the store owners to allow you a space for free if you are associated with them.
  • Get a license to avoid future problems– Consult with your local licensing departments to find out the rules and regulations that you need to follow when setting up your vending machines.
  • Watch out for Scams– When starting a vending machine business watch out for scams. There are many scams out there claiming how you can get rich with vending machines. Like an other business, it takes work and research in finding a good location. Start small at first so you can get a feel for it. Avoid scammers who claim that their vending machines can make you rich on the first day.

Not sure about starting a vending machine business? See a list of small business ideas

Do you have a business story or experience you would like to share?

Share with us your story on starting a vending machine business.