While there are a large number of vending startups each and every year, very few survive in the vending business. There are a number of reasons why these startups fail very early on. Most people do not take the time to study the industry and do the research needed before jumping in, and many start off with too much too soon with undesirable vending equipment from the wrong sources. It is so important to review and study the “Census of the Industry” to see which aspect of the vending business one wants to pursue. A great way to do this is to look at the yearly industry statistics which give very detailed information on all segments of the vending industry and their market share such as Bulk Vending, Beverage Vending, Snack & Candy Vending, Ice-cream vending, Coffee Vending or a great number of other specialty vending. To review such “Census of the Vending Industry” you may follow this link where you will have an opportunity to access it at no charge. http://www.onlinevending.com/census2010.pdf .
This Census of the industry will give anyone considering the vending business a wealth of knowledge too numerous to mention in this writing. The other thing which is beneficial is to subscribe to some of the vending industry magazines such as the Vending Times and the Automatic Merchandiser to gain more knowledge as to what’s happening in the vending industry. It is also very advisable to contact the NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association) as this is another great source of information. An effort should be made to call a number of vending machine distributors and ask them questions about the equipment they are selling and the pros and cons of one type of vending equipment verses another for certain applications.
Most people will usually go and Google the word Vending or Vending Machines or some other such search word, then up pops a few companies at the very top who are paying handsomely to be at the top of the list and are often going to be “Business Opportunity” companies selling pie in the sky. This is where the great majorities of startups make their biggest mistake, and get taken to the cleaners. Very often these companies will try to make a huge impression on how big a company they are, or that their company was on TV and a number of other impressive claims such as but not limited to being the smartest in getting you launched in the vending business. Really, many of these operations have never even run a successful vending operation ever. What they know of the business is what they have read in books. These companies will try to sell you a large number of vending machines at one given time, sometimes a minimum of $50,000.00 to $125,000.00 for them to even speak to you. It is usually best to walk away from the “Business Opportunity” operations because their first and foremost goal is to sell overpriced vending equipment. They may try to sell you on some special products such as a line of health products with fancy logoed machines or a certain brand of products, however, that is just a distraction from the real business in which they are there to do, and that is to SELL OVERPRICED VENDING MACHINES. Most of these companies also know that they will only have one shot at taking as much of your money as possible, and they know that you will never be back to buy more because they feel it will not be long before you are out of business. One must also be very careful not to fall for the testimonials these companies offer and so quickly provide of other happy customers.
Many of these “Vending Opportunity” companies are usually selling the Snack/Soda Combination Vending Machines, and sometimes they may offer other add-on components such as a food machine.
They offer long warranties on the equipment and the promise of placing machines as well. The reason they offer long warranties is because they realize that the great majority of people will be out of business by the end of six months to a year after being gouged and misled by them. It is also important to be wary of any business opportunity whereby a company is just offering one type of specialty product and machines such as clothing apparel no matter what it is. We have seen thousands of these business opportunities come and go over the decades, and yes, those long warranties they offered their customers, well those are also gone with them.
It is always best to start small with one machine and go through all the motions. Get your feet wet and learn as much as possible, so once you feel comfortable with what you are doing then you take the next step and grow cautiously from there. You may even decide for one reason or another that you don’t want to continue in the business, and if that is the case then you are only in it for one machine. It is always a good idea to find a distributor who has been involved in all aspects of the food and vending industry who can offer you advice from their true and practical decades of experiences. There are many distributors who have very little knowledge of the actual business but are there to just sell vending machines.
Most startups look to the small snack/soda combination machines because that is what they are inundated with everywhere they turn. A lot of these “Business Opportunity Operations” are also found on Craig’s List. Many of these business opportunity companies on Craig’s List have somehow figured out a way to advertise in just about every city of every state in the country. In many cases startups may be faced with a wide range of bulk vending opportunities as well, which are both an easy sell for the “Business Opportunity” companies as that is all they deal with and that is what they are there to sell you. No options or choices of other equipment, very simply put, what you see is what you get a one fits all vending program. However, it is quite possible and often quite feasible to start with other types of vending machines depending on what your goals and objectives are. These are the types of discussions you may have with a distributor who has access and provides a wide range of Vending Equipment and opportunities to choose from. Between the knowledge you acquire by reading the Census of the Industry Reports as well as the knowledge you gain from reading many of the Vending Industry Magazines and speaking to a number of distributors with decades of experience, you are now in a better position to decide what is the best direction and plan of action you need to take.
If you were fortunate enough to have stumbled onto this blog, and, you are looking to get started into the vending business, then you are one of the lucky ones who will have a better chance of survival and not fall victim to a scam or getting started on the wrong leg. To learn more about scams and how to avoid them as well as to learn more about the vending industry you may visit www.onlinevending.com. You will also find more valuable blogs at this site as well as free consultation on all aspects of the vending industry by vending industry veterans with over 35 years of hands on in-depth knowledge and experience.