Archive for

Thinking of Starting a Vending Machine Business? – Tips From an Expert and Solutions to Problems

You are thinking of owing your own vending machine business and you probably have a lot of questions. I owned a vending machine business for eight years. Eventually, when I sold the business, I had three employees and around 200 machines, including full size Coke, Pepsi, snack machines, frozen food machines, and coffee machines. I wanted to pass on some of the experiences I had and some of the things that I learned in those eight years of running my vending machine business.

I had contracts with both Coke and Pepsi so I had the opportunity of adding all the Coke or Pepsi machines that I wanted without having to purchase them. When you have a contract with Coke or Pepsi, they let you use the machines for free as long as you are buying the product from them. This is a huge advantage. If you are serious about having a vending machine business, this is a must. If you are starting without contracts and you have to purchase your beverage machines as well as your snack machines, your expenses will be much greater than mine and it will be much more difficult to make your business successful.

I do not recommend the “combo” machines that are for sale. They have one section that sells drinks, and another section that sells snacks. I had a few of these and finally got so sick of trying to keep them running that I sold them for parts. They break down continuously and have too many headaches. You end up with unhappy customers and can easily lose accounts. The best snack machines are the full size venders that have an “electronic eye.” This feature detects whether or not an item has vended when someone makes a purchase. If the product didn’t fall, the machine turns the auger a little bit more to make the item vend. It is worth the extra expense and is a great sales tool when getting a new account. This also protects your machines from people beating them up to get the bag of chips that is stuck inside your machine.

I started my vending business because I wanted the freedom of being home with my family while the machines were out there making money for me. It is a great idea and I was totally sold on it. At first, this worked pretty well. I was working one day a week, the rest of the time I was home with my family. But with just a few machines, I wasn’t making any money and it was very difficult to find new accounts. To solve this problem, I started advertising my business.

I got a great web site that regularly brought in new clients that wanted me to put machines in their businesses. I also had an ad in the Dex yellow pages and also in their online yellow pages. These marketing methods worked very well. They cost a bit, but I figured they would bring in enough business to make it worthwhile. My business grew steadily. I got more accounts and they were better, bigger accounts. I didn’t have to go searching for new business. Businesses called me, wanting me to put vending machines in their lunchrooms for them. It was wonderful! With the growth, a new problem arrived. Every time I added a new account, I had to purchase more vending machines. The Coke and Pepsi machines didn’t cost me anything, which was perfect, but the bigger the accounts I got, the more machines they wanted. Every account that was of any size at all wanted a snack machine. The larger accounts also wanted a frozen food or fresh food machine and some wanted coffee as well. These additional types of machines added more headaches and more expense as time went on.

The bigger my business grew, the more time it took me to service all my machines. When I began my little business, I was filling machines one afternoon a week. As the business grew, so did my time away from home. If I could just get enough machines to be able to hire employees to fill the machines, I’d be set. I could stay home and run the business while my employees filled the machines. This was my dream.

This was time that my business was the most profitable. I was working full time running like crazy every day filling, fixing, and placing machines. I was working a full eight-hour day, every day servicing machines, and then coming home to do paperwork and order my supplies and run the office side of the business at night. It was just too much for one person to handle and I had no time for my family. It was time to hire employees. If I could just get other people filing my machines I could stay home and run the business and it would be great!

Employees brought a lot more expenses and a lot more headaches. I had a payroll company take care of the payroll for me, but I had to find and hire and train and supervise the employees. My taxes and insurance went up considerably with employees. I needed more vehicles for my employees to use. I found that having employees quickly ate up most of the profits my business was bringing in. I ended up working an 8 to 10 hour day in the office while my employees were filling machines. I was working almost as much with three employees as I was when I was all by myself. I hadn’t really gained anything.

After eight years in business, the best day was the day I sold my business. I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I had just lost 1000 pounds. It was a fantastic feeling. The money I earned from selling the business went to paying off all the machines I had purchased on loan or lease to satisfy the needs of my clients.

So, after all this, what do I recommend for you? If you are determined to have a vending machine business, make sure you have contracts with Coke and Pepsi. That is first and foremost. Advertise, but don’t go very big. Try to keep your business the size that you can handle by yourself. There just aren’t enough nickels and dimes in the vending business to be really profitable with employees and all the taxes and insurance and headaches that go with them. When you ad new machines, do it very slowly, pay as you go. Don’t ad a new account if you can’t pay cash for the machines they need.

The Right Business Finance Package For the Right Business

Business finance is customarily a main detail when it comes to starting a brand new business, growing an established business, or maybe purely up holding the particular quality of business. Business loans are regularly made out to be a negative action from the business owner though if operating right it may in fact become a salvation of the business along with its repeated development along with its productivity.

Any business owner may well come up with a numerous inspired visions as well as strategies although if your lacking the correct business financing, it is possible that even the finest laid strategies can, and generally will, go skewed. When a business owner is dealing with the situation of whether there is acceptable money obtainable to complete the vital practices accurately operate for the business on a daily basis, it will simply generate havoc over the future.

It is most important that the business owner possesses the capacity to access sufficient funds to be able to be at ease so they can set up certain systems as well as operations crucial to becoming a promising entrepreneur. Fairly often, it is the business loan which delivers such clarity for a entrepreneur so as to permit you to continue on focusing with the elemental factors of the beneficial commerce operation.

Options of loans intended for business loans involve the secured business loan or the unsecured business loan. The secured business loan it is required that the business is able and willing to offer collateral against such finance. Such collateral may be in the way of land, buildings, and/or machinery. Offering collateral automatically makes it easier for the business in gaining favor in the eyes of a loan agency. This customarily results in certain rewards for a business owner. Those rewards could be in the form of length of duration of your loan, interest rates, penalties along with postponement requirements, furthermore a variety of added terms and conditions. Keep in mind, if choose longer loan period the repayments will be of smaller amount thus there are certain rewards to it.

Alternatively, a unsecured loan can have various benefits for the recipient of the loan. Such rewards can include a smaller amount of paperwork, quicker decisions by the finance agency, in addition to support for a business owner that is incapable of offering collateral of any kind. Regularly, in spite of this, the settlement time for this style of business loans is shorter also pretty often, interest rates possibly will be greater.

Prior to applying for a business loan of some type, the entrepreneur wants to be ready as well as prearranged. It includes arranging every one of business finance paperwork such as tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance statements, and also a few added items that could be called for from a financial organization. If you are more prepared you can be, the better your impression to the lender. Loaning agencies enjoy thinking the people they are loaning money to can be reliable and prepared. Your ability to submit the lending agency with all paperwork that is required in a well-timed manner plus in a prepared fashion will certainly aid in enhancing the view to a lender.

Hence, borrower’s needs to keep in mind that business loans are proposed to earn you money, instead of cost the business funds. Which means that all the funds that you borrow have to be spent sensibly with the purpose that every single cent is spent in increasing your earnings exponentially? Thus, an organized filing practice plus frequent analysis of the outflow in addition to earnings can be fundamental in making sure that the loan is going towards correct use within several areas business.

The old motto of it takes money to make money is really isn’t so far-fetched and also actually applies to business loans as well. As well as, a thinking process of spending other people’s funds to produce your personal cash might too be exceptionally beneficial to a business owner.

Lenders are keen to produce business loans to entities that can establish themselves to be trustworthy as well as a beneficial risk. Which is done as a result of having an attractive business design in place in addition to ordered, helpful commerce finance papers obtainable for scrutiny of the loaning representative(s)? In the situation you is willing to provide your loaning organization all necessary documents, furthermore if you have thought out the effect that the extra income may cause to your previous income, in that case most likely, you are a serious contender for the business loan.

Thus, business loans are able to in reality put riches in your pocket – a lot additional if they are used in a way which increases the drive in the business and improving profits. Therefore, every business owner that desires to steadily foresee progress and advancement within their own business must not hesitate in moving forward in acquiring commerce financing.

Portrait of a Dysfunctional Business Owner – Do You Recognize Yourself?

We all believe that we run our businesses effectively. Have you ever questioned the way you do things and wondered – why on earth do I do that? Maybe you can only spot these oddities in other people. Here is a list of a dozen hair-brained things that business owners often do.

1. Running after every bouncing ball
2. Hiring people just like them
3. Spending all their time watching over the shoulders of staff
4. Losing sight of the big picture due to focusing on minutiae
5. Trying to do everything themselves
6. Making decisions on instinct alone
7. Failing to plan for the future
8. Spending working capital on fixed assets
9. Assuming they have all the answers
10. Bringing in family members to hold key positions in the business
11. Frequently changing direction of the business
12. Giving mixed messages to staff

One of the tenets of good business management has always been to stick to the knitting. In other words, find out what you are really good at and concentrate on doing that supremely well. There are an extraordinary number of business owners that could be compared to the dog, in the fable about the dog with the bone. They may have a solid business but they spot something else which is more glamorous and they divert resources into that. Many do it again and again in pursuit of the illusive pot of gold and only succeed in damaging their core business.

It seems obvious that you should always hire the best person for any job you are trying to fill. However, many business owners do not use objective scoring methods during interviews, which should deliver the best qualified person for the job based on their comparative score. Instead, they focus on gut instinct and make decisions based on seeing traits in individuals which are part of their own make up. Results are usually disastrous.

Of all the sins a business owner may commit, one of the worst is to spend his or her time directing individuals in how they should be doing their job. Most people respond positively to autonomy and will generally do a far better job if they are not being constantly watched and undermined by the boss. This can be compounded by the boss losing sight of the big picture because he/she is so far down in the trenches.

As a business grows, it becomes impossible for business owners to do everything themselves. Unless they learn to delegate, particularly low level tasks, they will become swamped. They need to focus on high value activities that significantly benefit the business and delegate everything else to their colleagues.

When a business is new and in the early stages of development, the owner commonly makes many seat-of-the-pants decisions. Some work out fine but as a business becomes more complex and the stakes get higher, it is vitally important that the owner gathers together all the information available and then objectively assesses what the correct decision might be. He should seek advice from colleagues and consider all of the risk factors before making a final determination for all key decisions.

It is very common for many businesses to drift along without a well thought out business plan. This is almost as ludicrous as trying to navigate your way around the world without bringing a map along. A business plan is your road map for your business.

It may be very tempting to purchase a piece of machinery, a vehicle, a building or even another business when you have a healthy balance sitting in your business bank account. This is something you should never contemplate. An asset needs to be financed over its useful working life, not bought for cash.

I have worked with many owners and managers in large and small business over my working life and the echo of them saying that they are the boss and that they are always right brings a shudder to my spine. Nobody has all the answers and pride comes before a fall.

Many entrepreneurial businesses are family owned and run. However, it is a tremendous mistake to place a family member in a key role simply because they are family. If they do not have the skill set for the role you need to fill, then get in a professional to do the job.

Frequently changing the direction of the business is similar to running after every hopping ball. If you have a clear business plan, you are less likely to engage in this dysfunctional behaviour. Finish what you start and only make mirror course adjustments as your journey progresses.

Managing people can be more art than craft. It is important that you set clear direction for colleagues and subordinates and that you periodically review performance with them on a one-to-one basis. Try to resist the temptation to send them racing off in one direction today, another tomorrow and a totally different direction next week. This only leads to confusion and sub-par performance and it can be detrimental to the business.