How to Start a Vending Machine Business
Hi everyone, welcome back to another episode of What’s Your GamePlan. Today, I’m going to give you a quick guide on how to start a vending machine business. If you didn't know, vending machines can be VERY profitable! And when you can find a good, high trafficked location and serve popular items, you can consistently rake in the cash. So, if you want to help people quickly get what they need and make money doing it, here’s how you can get started.
So before you begin, it's helpful to decide on what you want to sell. You can go the standard route, which is selling snacks and drinks, but there are other non-food items also being sold. These include: laundry supplies, electronics, skincare and hair care products, toiletries, fitness merchandise and even beach supplies. Once you decide on what you want to sell, proceed to step 1.
Step 1 - Get a Business Plan
If you have no idea how a vending machine business operates or you are a first time online business owner, I recommend downloading a business plan from BPlans.com. Their plans outline exactly how the business is supposed to work and what you should expect.
Step 2 - Find a Supplier
When you start a business like this, you're going to need two things. One, a vending machine and two, supplies to fill it up with. If you plan on growing your business, find a supplier who you can buy in bulk from. You'll get all of your supplies for much less. Which means more profits for you. To find a machine to buy, just google the word "wholesale vending machines". When you need to find supplies, just google the words "wholesale vending machine supplies" or replace the word "vending machine" with whatever you are interested in stocking your machine with.
As you can see the listings will update and from here you can find a company to buy in bulk from. You can also buy the actual vending machine and the supplies from Amazon Business. They always have quality at a low price. After this, you can proceed to step 3.
Buy Vending Machine Supplies on Amazon Business
Step 3 - Register Your Business
Now, when you've got that sorted, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to buy wholesale cleaning supplies until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. Depending on what state you are in, you will likely also need a reseller or retail merchant certificate as well. This allows you to buy products, tax free. I recommend using MyCorporation, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.
Legally Incorporate Your Business Today
Step 4 - Open a Business Bank Account
After you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, you can officially open a business bank account. It's pretty easy to open, but they won't get you set up without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you are already using or you can just choose a new one.
Step 5 - Buy Branding
This is one of the most important parts of creating a vending machine business, because it's your brand’s identity that will leave a big impression on your clients. I recommend using 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. Vending machine businesses usually need to start with a logo, business cards, and t-shirt designs. 99designs actually has what they call the ‘brand identity’ pack that will get you started right away.
Get Branding for Vending Company
Step 6 - Buy Website Hosting
So, the next step is to buy web hosting. Since you'll be signing contracts with businesses and property owners, you'll want to come off as professional as possible. So, You'll need to have a presence online. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for e-commerce websites. With their packages, you’ll also get a free domain, a free ssl and access to 24/7 tech support. So, you really can't beat it. Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step.
. Get an Incredible Website Hosting Package
Step 7 - Work with an E-Commerce Web Designer
Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step. If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick. You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the Bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Find a Website Designer on Fiverr
Step 8 - Setup a Merchant Account to get Paid
While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments in-store, online via my website or over the phone. An account with Square is free, but since you are planning to open a vending machine business, the payment link feature should come in handy.
Signup for a Square Merchant Account
Step 9 - Create a Money Game Plan
Since you are a vending machine business. You'll need to reach out to business and property owners who will allow you to place a machine on-location. Get a contract agreement together for a set amount on commission and decide on how long the machine will stay. On average, most vending machine companies will pay the business owner 5-7% of each sale made from their machine. Vending machines often do well at grocery stores, malls, apartment complexes, hotels, universities, hospitals, airports, laundromats, train stations, and workplaces.
Be prepared to outline whose responsibility it will be to replace the goods in the machine, who is authorized to remove the money and how often they'll come by to stock up.
Step 10 - Be Prepared for Startup Cost
Now, I know you're probably wondering...what's the price tag on this baby? Startup costs for this kind of business usually starts at $2500-$3,000 on average but could go as high as $10,000. So, if you're looking to buy multiple machines, be prepared to drop the big bucks. Have a look at the bottom of this post and if you can use any of these products or services, please feel free to make a purchase! Every sale helps support this channel and for me to keep bringing you the money making tips!
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
She hosts the What's Your Game Plan TV show features: Free Expert Advice, and Growth strategies for Business Owners Across the Globe. Access thousands of FREE Tips, Trends & Tools to Move Your Business Forward!