Looking to start a cashless vending business? Not sure where to begin? Here's all you need to know about owning a successful cashless vending business.
The vending and unattended retail industry has a long history, with the first coin-operated vending machines being introduced in England in the early 1880s. Although the industry has come a long way with its focus shifting to smart vending and cashless payment options – the business continues to remain ripe with opportunities.
There are several advantages that make starting a vending business especially lucrative. To begin with, the initial cost of starting a vending business is relatively low. You can set up shop with only a couple of machines and scale your business once you become profitable. You don't need a dedicated office space or additional machinery, other than a vehicle that can help you regularly stock the machine.
Once the machines are in place, they will make extra money for you on the side without interfering with your day job. Vending machines basically advertise themselves, sell your stock, and collect money up-front on your behalf – saving you from the pain of tracking accounts receivable.
No specialized skill is required to learn the basics of running a vending business. Modern telemetry solutions simplify tasks such as tracking sales, inventory management, and monitoring machine health, which means even your family can assist with running a profitable cashless vending business.
And let's not forget that this is a business that's relatively safe from the adverse effects of both globalization and events with major economic implications, such as COVID-19.
you can start from scratch and go solo, you can purchase an existing business, or you can buy a vending machine franchise.
If you choose to run a solo business, you should be prepared to do an extensive amount of industry research. You will need to scout and secure machine locations on your own, as well as create your own suppliers. You will also need to develop robust servicing, restocking, and customer service processes.
If you have some business experience under your belt, you can skip the initial setup work by buying into a pre-existing business that already has its machines, inventory, and contracts in place. Alternatively, you may look into companies that specialize in vending machine rentals.
Working with an established vending machine company such as a franchise owner is also an easy way to get your business up and running. These companies already have established operating procedures, have a proven business model, and can provide dedicated training and support. However, keep in mind that buying a franchise can be more expensive than going solo because, in addition to the franchise fee, you may be required to pay a percentage of the profits to the franchisor.
In the end, it's important to remember that there's no single route to success in the vending machine business. You will need to put in some time and hard work to determine the best locations and merchandising options for your business. But once that's done, you only need to provide top-notch customer service and conveniences such as cashless vending to generate a steady, passive income stream. Gradually, you can scale up the business to more locations and manage them all remotely with the help of a vending management solution.