Often what attracts people most to the vending business is that it generates a mostly passive income. The fact that putting in as little as 1-4 days of work each month while generating a significant income, continues to build an allure to an industry that has been around since the 1800’s and still thrives in nearly every city in the US.
However, the magic of letting your machines do the work for you while you do what you want, whether that be working another full-time job or just enjoying life…only works if the machines are in a profitable location.
That’s it. That’s the X factor. To enjoy the passive benefits of vending it’s all about “location, location, location.” Sound familiar? While most of us probably associate the slogan “location, location, location” with the real-estate industry let’s be clear, a big backyard and granite counter-tops don’t really matter when scouting a location for a vending machine, people do.
Foot traffic is essential. Are people passing by the machine area often? Or, if it’s in a break room how many employees have access to the machine? Vending is often an impulse purchase when machines are in high traffic areas, but it can also be a habit when placed in break room and stocked with employee favorites.
As a general rule with a full-sized snack and drink machine combo you need a minimum of 50 full-time employees or equivalent foot traffic. There are a few other elements that factor into that number, a significant one being…competition.
Significant areas that are popular vending machine locations that typically satisfy the “high foot traffic” essential requirement include:
- Office Break Rooms
- Youth recreational facilities (i.e., soccer complexes, dance studios, gymnastics centers, etc.)
- Professional Plazas
- Hair and Beauty Salons
- Industrial Break Rooms
- Car Dealerships
- Doctor’s offices
- Auto Repair Shops
- Anywhere you see vending machines!
When scouting out a location it’s important not only to look at the other vending machines in the building / location, but also what other food services are on-site and nearby. Having another machine in the facility does not necessarily mean you should take the prospect off your list and, in fact it could mean better business in the long-run. Start by looking at what products they offer, and at what prices, also look at the number of people on-site or observe pedestrian traffic patterns. It could still work out to be a great location it’s just important to evaluate all the contributing factors using basic level research.
Of course, you will need permission from the decision maker to place a machine in a facility. Establishing a relationship with that person and understanding the needs of their employees or customers is vital. Also, there may be contractual conditions to be aware of. Some locations make sure if you are just getting into the vending business that you have an experienced advisor to help navigate you through this aspect of placement.
Naturals2Go Is Here to Help
The possibilities of locations for vending machines are literally endless, but a few success factors always need to be in place. Above all keep your eyes open and your networking channels busy as you never know when that next great location will present itself. Also, Naturals2Go’s mentors will also provide you with additional skills and tools to find great locations in your area for your vending machines. Contact us today to learn more.