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How to start your candy vending machine business

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Are you interested in starting a candy vending machine business? If you answered yes, then we have great news for you.

Vending machines are a great passive income alternative that you can consider, to develop your venture. In addition, this business model does not require a large investment, and allows for sustained growth over time.

So, today in Monouso we want to guide you step by step how to establish your sales route. Let’s go for it!

Candy vending machine business. 9 infallible steps to start your venture

Starting a sustainable and profitable vending machine business is not that complicated. All you need is a small amount of capital, and a lot of desire to get the project off the ground. Here are the steps that will help you get started on the right foot:

1. Create a proper business plan

Before investing money, or making any decisions, you should take paper and pencil to answer the following questions:

  • What is your initial budget?
  • How much money do you expect to receive per month?
  • What contacts do you have for the location of your machines?
  • Are you willing to research the locations with the most potential customer traffic in your community?
  • Do you have the time and willingness to negotiate with store owners?
  • Can you dedicate a few minutes per machine for regular service?
  • Do you have the ability to balance costs, and manage the attention of the machines?
  • Do you have knowledge of the favorite candies of customers in your area?
  • Are you willing to be trained in vending machine repair and maintenance?

After thinking about these questions, you will have a clearer idea of how viable this business would be for you.

2. Determine the costs of the business

After planning the direction you want to take with your business, you must determine the costs. This is a relevant element to determine the productivity of any business.

First of all, research the suppliers, prices and characteristics of the candy vending machines. This will familiarize you with the business, and you will be able to network with others who have similar interests as you. Next, find out the number of potential customers who could access each machine.

For example, if your candy vending machine is in a public place, look at the foot traffic. If, on the other hand, you install it in an office, you need to know the number of employees who would have access to it.

Then, proceed to add up the overhead costs, including payment for equipment, supplies, transportation, among others, so that you have a basis for pricing your items. Don’t forget that vending machines must be in operation for a while, before making a profit.

3. Choose and secure the best locations

Without a doubt, the location of your vending machines is one of the most important variables. We recommend that you start by looking at sites that you frequent, building on established relationships in your community.

Also, it’s a great idea to keep an eye out wherever you go to spot busy places. Any location with a lot of foot traffic has potential for a vending machine.

Experience tells us that certain types of commercial establishments favor candy sales. Such is the case of shopping malls, laundromats, restaurants, movie theaters, universities, markets, cafeterias, banks, among others. Don’t forget that there are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of paying attention.

4. Communicate with your future customers and decide what to sell

You’ve purchased your vending machine and identified its location, now it’s up to you to decide what type of candy you will sell. To do this, spend some time researching varieties of gum and bulk candy. If you place the wrong products (even if you have the right machine and location), you won’t see results.

We suggest you inquire with the store manager about customer candy preferences. Generally speaking, though, bulk candy and gum are more profitable because they are an excellent choice due to their long shelf life and heat resistance.

However, if you choose other alternatives such as chocolates, try to ensure an optimal rotation with suppliers.

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5. Negotiate commissions with the administrators of the place where you install the machines

Now, you will deepen the bond with the owners or managers of the place where you place your vending machines. Start by explaining that you will do the maintenance yourself, and that they only take up two square feet.

Also, tell them that they don’t need electricity and will add a plus service to the establishment. And best of all, they will earn a gross sales commission of 15-30%.

For greater formality, we suggest you draft a written document to describe the agreement.

6. Test your vending machines before going into business

At this point, the idea is that you make sure you are dispensing the products correctly and with the right amount. Basically, it’s a technical test where you check that the adjustable wheels are set to dispense the portion you want.

Keep in mind that, a mistake like this can have a big impact on your profits.

7. It’s time for follow-up. Visit vending machines at least twice a week to monitor the process

Don’t forget to check the operation of your vending machines frequently, especially at the beginning of the business. By doing this you ensure that the candy stays fresh, and you verify sales performance at each location.

We recommend you to elaborate a roadmap, according to the amount of vending machine you have. This consists of putting in writing the day and time you will visit your vending machine establishments. In this instrument you can even add a column to record observations and a checklist box.

8. Install a cash change machine

You will find it very useful to place a change machine near your vending machines. Especially, because in these times it is very common that people do not carry the exact cash or do not have change.

This way, you’ll boost your sales (and the store owner’s) while helping users get quick access to cash.

9. Get trained in vending machine repair and maintenance

In this aspect you must be astute enough to anticipate major breakdowns. Since, a major repair can affect the business and even stop sales.

Our recommendation is that you clean and maintain your machines regularly. This detail will be crucial for your business to be sustainable over time.

Remember that some candies can clog the mechanism and make it malfunction. On the other hand, consider that some customers tend to hit the surface of the dispenser if they don’t get what they want.

Given all of the above, we consider it highly recommended that you train and acquire the skills to repair your vending machine.

How much does a candy vending machine cost?

In this section we will delve a little deeper into the topic of costs to start your venture. First of all you should know that there are different models of vending machines, and therefore the price will depend on what you have in mind. However, we will walk through several alternatives to help you with your goals.

Let’s start with the basics. The classic gum and candy dispenser machine has a standard dimension of 40cm high x 20cm wide x 20cm deep. In addition, you can store inside it 400 pieces of gum or 5kg of bulk candy.

It is constructed with a metal body (usually), a transparent spherical globe to display the merchandise and a lockable coin holder. The price of this vending machine ranges from 65€ to 85€ each.

On the other hand, the cubic model is slightly larger and differs from the previous one because it can store 20% more product. In other words, you will save time and money, because it requires fewer weekly refills of candy and gum. You can get this version in the market in a range of 70€ to 92€.

You should note that it is possible to purchase cast iron stands with a height of 76cm (approximately) for both versions. With them, your machines will be more independent, since you do not need to support them on a counter or table. The price of these accessories is around 20€ and 35€.

Also, you should know that there are double and triple vending machines. As their name suggests, they are machines that allow you to store much more products to offer greater variety. The prices of these models are between 157€ and 245€ approximately.

Are you satisfied? We hope we have helped you with your future candy vending machine business. It’s just a matter of getting down to work and following to the letter all the advice we gave you in this guide. And remember to check out our online store, where we have several products that will help you in your business.

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