April 21, 2014

So You Want to Start a Successful Healthy Vending Machines Business?

So you want to start a successful healthy vending machines business, do yuh ?  Well, you should!  Many people are starting to see the health and wellness sector, once considered a luxury market, turn into an essential market.  What?!?  Yea, that’s what I said!  But, the numbers speak for themselves – or so say the experts.  The “numbers” show that people increased or kept their spending the same when it came to purchasing healthy foods, services, and products (i.e. the gym, personal training, fitness DVDs, organic foods, etc.) during the recession.  You remember … the one we’re still in!

Here’s how to create and maintain a successful healthy vending machines business in a nut shell …

Real Estate …

Let’s face it.  Successful healthy vending machines, any vending machines for that matter, need to be visible.  I know what you’re gonna say, “premium real estate comes with a premium price.”  Well, that isn’t necessarily the case.  If you’re just starting out and you’re on a shoestring budget you’re really limited as far as great locations.  The good news is, as my high school English teacher would say, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”  That is to say, do some leg work.  Here come’s the advice so listen up:  ask around your family to see if anyone works within a large office environment, and look around for offices or contact businesses in the yellow pages. What you’re looking for is an office with more than 50 employees and doesn’t have a vending machine (Remember:  your key is foot traffic and lack of choice those 2 together will = success).

There is an alternative, I’ve found an innovative, successful healthy vending machines business that will actually run a public relations campaign (local listings/announcements to generate interest before your vending machine is even on location), look for prime real estate, and essentially hand everything to you on a silver platter.  What are you waiting for?  Go do your own research!

Cater to Your Demographic …

Make sure you understand your potential customers’ opinion on what they like/dislike so that you could stock your healthy vending machine appropriately.  Consider adding a suggestion board.  This will make your customers feel involved, especially when you come through with the products they’re asking for.

Mind Your Competition …

Yes, you’ll inevitably be competing with someone.  If not, and your making money – keep it to yourself or else you will!  Here’s what I mean:  if your vending machine is situated in a building with a juice bar, you may want to consider limiting the amount of juice you stock.  I think this one is self explanatory, but crucial nonetheless.

Create More Income Streams …

I talk about this in a previous post more, but I’ll do a quick recap because I love you guys.  So, just to put this out there – again, there are really cool healthy vending machines out there that will provide you with three income streams.  That’s three ways to make money …  ready here it goes again:

  1. Make a profit off of advertising on your really sweet 23″ LCD TV.  They’re out there!
  2. Make money selling advertising space on your really sweet 23″ LCD TV.  Know of a cool, healthy product and a company that is willing to advertise and you’ve got yourself a nice, big serving of what I like to call profit!  If you don’t have a sweet 23″ LCD TV then innovate.  Create a nice advertising space on the side of your machine (make it presentable – nice glass and make sure it’s well taken care of!).
  3. Sell your products.  We’ve discussed this already.  If I tell you any more I’d be doing it for you!

Becoming successful in any business is a feat that not many people accomplish – let’s just be realistic.  Some because they are afraid to risk, others because they gave up too soon, others because they thought they had no help (some actually didn’t), and so on and so forth.  To start and run a successful healthy vending machines business will take work, but it starts with research.  Look for a company that will provide support in finding a location, studying the demographic of the area, and, in general a company that will make you feel secure in your investment.


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3 Essential Practices to Owning Successful Healthy Vending Machines

The vending machine business is the oldest business in the world – wait, that’s prostitution.  Okay, so the vending machine business is the second oldest and, to make things worse, when one thinks about the vending machine business, we wouldn’t use adjectives like:  sexy, lucrative, interesting, philanthropic, successful, entrepreneurial, and we definitely don’t think healthy.  All jokes aside, the vending machine business is a niche all its’ own.  Today, people have become more health-centric than ever; and, with the rise of obesity (along with all of the health problems associated to it such as diabetes) in children as well as adults, organic/healthy products and stores are all over the place – even on food trucks!  Have you seen a healthy vending machine because I haven’t?  Healthy vending machines are to the everyday vending machines what the Apple Ipod is to the old Sony Walkman – remember those?  Today there is an opportunity in the midst and I will educate you, the reader, on 3 essential practices to becoming a successful healthy vending operator.

  1. Do Not Try to Appease Everyone.

Vending operators tend to add products to their machines without any forethought.  In doing so, the customer finds themselves in front of a machine that offers Gatorade, Coke, organic trail mix, powdered donuts, etc.  While the vending operators’s mindset is “I’m trying to appease everyone by allowing the person to choose between healthy and junk.”  Consider the following:  healthier products have a higher quality than their junk food counterparts, it’s only fair that they cost a bit more, not by much, but they do.  Thus, the vending operator is allowing their customers to choose from cheap and cheaper.  This leaves your healthier, costlier products taking up valuable real estate within your vending machine every time.  By putting in one general type of product (i.e. only healthy foods) you bring in repeat customers who already know what they’re getting, and, to the vending operator this translates into much more free real estate more often!

  1. More Income Streams = More $$$
    In the olden days vending operators increased their income streams by adding a vending machine location.  So, to the vending operator of the past, each vending machine was one income stream.  A vending operator would have to own a whole lot of vending machines in good locations (let’s face it, you can’t just place it anywhere and expect it to work) to make their investment work.  These days technology and innovation has paved the way for  healthy vending machines that come with three income streams built in.  Vending machine advertising, which is the breakthrough innovation that allows advertisements to be displayed via a LCD TV.  The vending operator gets paid a % from every advertisement per location/machine they own.  This translates into passive income as the advertiser will pay monthly.  The vending operator can actually go out and secure potential advertising clients (second income stream).  After all, you’ll have the free time, why not put it to use – or not, you still have two other income streams that will make you money.  The third is the obvious one – sales from the healthy vending machine itself.  No need to explain this one.  So, in a nut shell  5 healthy vending machines provide you with 15 income streams!  Need I say more …

  2. Customer Convenience is Essential

    Nowadays people hardly ever have cash on them.  I know from my own experience, as a student in college, I’ve bypassed the vending machines for the nearest snack shop just because it didn’t accept credit/debit cards.  I’m not talking about just once, but countless times within my 4 year college experience.  This translates into potentially tens of thousands of dollars lost every year for the vending operator if you consider how many other students did the same as I.

The first step in becoming a successful vending operator is to own healthy vending machines.  Not only will you profit, but you can also feel good about taking a small step toward combating obesity.


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