If you’re looking for a new source of income, you may have considered the idea of buying a vending machine franchise.
On the surface of it, this type of money spinner looks pretty solid as a fresh direction to branch out in.
It’s a flexible way to work, you can keep the enterprise small or grow an empire, you’re your own boss, the initial investment is modest and your success will depend on commitment and drive rather than experience. And the system also allows you to develop business experience in spades.
So far so good. But what about that all important question? Do vending machines make money?
Can you make money with vending machines?
The short answer here is: “Yes”.
Many new franchisees make a profit from vending machines. The longer answer is: “Yes, but…”.
That’s because, although vending machine profits are typically dependable, the success of an enterprise like this will vary according to the commitment of the franchisee.
Although vending machine franchises are some of the most low maintenance out there, machines can’t simply be left to do their job indefinitely. Ensuring each machine you operate is generating its maximum possible profits means:
– Monitoring the performance of each machine in each location
– Checking in to ensure the cleanliness and operation of each machine
– Ensuring each machine is fully stocked to make sure they look enticing
– Noting which products sell best at which locations and adjusting quantities accordingly
– Raising red flags with your franchisor if sales are lower than expected in specific locations
– Being proactive in your approach
Ticking all of these boxes will help ensure that your vending franchise makes money and that you see a return from your investment.
Many vending machines will generate a passive income with less input, but the most successful machines will be operated by engaged, organised and proactive franchisees who really stay on top of their small business.
How can you find the best sites?
At Tubz we have a dedicated site finding department with over 12 full time, qualified staff who call upon their vast experience in finding suitable sites from our huge database and list of professional contacts.
These are all handpicked for that particular new franchisee. This gets your new business off to a flying start and ensures you start earning cash from day one.
How much money can vending machine franchises make?
Now we’ve established that vending machines do indeed make money, it’s time to discuss how much money franchises like this can make.
To do so, we’ve turned to our business bundle page to help us demonstrate the potential returns of a vending franchise. Please note that these profits are specific to Tubz Vending towers.
Here are our projected annual turnovers and gross profits based on 10-100 machines selling 10-30 Tubz per week. Even with just 10 weekly sales (just over 1 sale per day) from 10 machines, annual profit can be an impressive £2,340. At the other end of the spectrum, extremely active franchisees with 100 machines selling 30 Tubz per week could see profits of £72,200 per annum.
|Towers||10 Sales Per Tower Per Week||20 Sales Per Tower Per Week||30 Sales Per Tower Per Week|
Are vending machines a profitable option for you? Would you like to find out more about how our franchise works? We’re here to help. Get in touch today via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly on 0845 601 900.
Welcome to June’s Tubz Vending roundup, a monthly collection of some of the most interesting and inspiring franchising blogs from across the worldwide web. From breaking news, to indispensable how tos and a little dose of inspiration, we bring together the sources and resources which have caught our attention in recent weeks.
This month; get a lesson in growth from Tutor Doctor, discover why flexible franchising isn’t always a recipe for global success and meet the bfa Franchisor of the Year finalists.
A Lesson in Growth from Tutor Doctor, Frank Milner
After just 7 years with the company, Tutor Doctor president Frank Milner has achieved some impressive things, including growing the company to reach 200 locations worldwide. This interview with Milner by Lizette Pirtle which appeared recently on the expansion experts blog, is one of those reads which really pushes you to succeed.
In the interview, Milner attributes the success of the franchise under his leadership to a range of factors, but it’s clear this is a man who is all about “making it happen for yourself”. If you’re feeling low on motivation, or need a little encouragement to push just that little bit harder in your own enterprises, this is a great quick read, full of plenty of franchise wisdom.
Global Franchises & Culture Clashes
We recently thoroughly enjoyed this post by Callum Short on the Franchise Note blog all about the problem of culture clash for global franchises.
As you’ll know, one of the key advantages of franchising as a business model is rapid expansion across a large geographical area. But as Callum points out, few franchises have ever gone truly global, most find themselves limited by continent. Dependence on common culture and communal resources are one factor behind this, but in this post Callum Short examines the growing trend of “culture clash globalisation” in franchising. Interesting stuff.
bfa Franchisor of the Year Shortlist Announced
On the 25th June, the bfa Franchisor of the Year will be announced at the 2015 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. Ahead of the big day, organisers have released their shortlist of the UK’s finest franchisors, all vying for that prestigious top spot.
Featuring financial franchises like TaxAssist Accountants, Expense Reduction Analysts and Auditel alongside brands like Little Kickers, this is a diverse shortlist, striving to highlight franchises which really make the most of that franchisor-franchisee relationships. You can find out more about the awards ceremony on the Franchise Sales website. Good luck to all the entrants!
Who do you think should be Franchisor of the Year? Do you think your franchise has global potential? Let us know below or email your thoughts and opinions to the Tubz Vending team at: email@example.com
If you’re looking into vending as a business opportunity, you are quite rightly going to ask this question. Will it give you what you want out of a business? Will it be something that you can manage and maintain? Will it work? It will take a bit of looking into and some forward thinking but to make finding the answer to this question a little easier, why not turn the question around? ARE YOU RIGHT FOR VENDING? What do we mean? Well let’s take a look. Here are some things to ask yourself before you take your first steps…
Do you drive and do you have your own transport? A vending machine business is not based in one location. You will need to transport your stock for refilling your machines and, at times, the machines themselves? For many forms of vending such as tower vending, your car will suffice but if a van is needed, are you able to invest in one?
Have you got storage space? You could soon tire of eating your sausage and mash off the top of boxes stacked at home! A spare room or somewhere cool and dry will be fine.
Can you respond? If one of your vending sites has a problem with your machine, can you respond quickly? Downtime for any vending machine means loss of sales so if your response time is likely to be a couple of weeks, you will want to consider how to improve that.
Do you like people? You’re going to be meeting and interacting with lots of people, some pleasant and helpful, others not so much. If you’re not so much of a “people person”, you might struggle. Much of any relationship, business or personal, can be influenced by first impressions so if you want someone to allow you to vend your products in their business, you’re going to need to sparkle, even if you don’t feel like it! Practice your smile! If you enjoy meeting new people and forming new connections, then vending is certainly a way of doing so!
Are you pro-active? Vending is as subject to change as any business so are you prepared to greet changes and adapt? Moving with the times will help you stay on top and the rewards will be many!
Are you passionate? A passion for what you do always shines through. This can help, for example, in acquiring new sites for your machines. If you believe in what you do, that belief will strengthen your business in more ways than you can imagine.
Are you disciplined? Let’s face it, you’re going to be your own boss so sometimes you will need to be strict with yourself. You will be motivating yourself to get out to service your round, keep on top of product supply and maintain your books.
Are you ready? Going into vending could be a big change of lifestyle for you. It’s going to be fun and exciting but you will be right to be a little nervous – it’s human nature. Having the support of your friends and family in the beginning will help. Remember too that it is just as important to take time out – you will be working hard at the beginning to establish your business but don’t burn yourself out. Take some “me time”. Chill out!
Investment? Starting any new business requires some investment. Where will that come from? Do you have some free capital or will you be totally reliant on finance or borrowing? Many new businesses start with a little help from the bank but if you are able to invest your own funds, your returns will be sooner and greater. You will also have a lot more control over your enterprise. A vending business is one that you can start small and build up so think about what would be the best way for you to get rolling.
Cash flow? Aside from the initial investment, you will require some cash flow to move forward. Vending is a cash-rich industry and in effect, as soon as your first machine is installed and selling products, you have money coming in but you will need to be able to re-order stock and allow for other costs such as fuel. Due to the nature of vending, you could easily start your business whilst still gaining income through employment or other business interests before committing to it full time.
If you’re not sure or need some help to decide if you are right for vending, get some advice. There are many vending companies with the experience and know-how to be able to look at your requirements and advise you. See if you can speak to some vending operators to see how they found it starting out. Remember also to speak to your family and friends – your decision could impact them as well and they know you better than most!
Top Customer Service Do’s and Don’ts for the Vendor
As a vendor with a now firmly established business, you should be nothing but proud of the hard work that you have put in to securing some well-performing locations for your machines. That hard work should now be paying off in the returns but it doesn’t and must not end there. Your focus now should be making sure that you can maintain those locations and continue to see good sales from them. The most important factor involved in doing this has to be good customer service!
It is a fairly moot point that poor customer service is common these days and is one of the most frequent complaints about many companies. So how can you ensure that as a vending business, you will stand above the competition? Accepting that for the most part, your customers are represented by the venues where your vending machines are placed, here are some top do’s and don’ts for you to follow.
The longer you leave it before your respond to any message or email, the worse you and your business will be perceived. Not responding within an acceptable time says to the customer that you don’t really care. Consider this: if it seems that you don’t care about them, why should they care about your machine? Not only this, but if there is a technical issue with your machine, you are not only losing sales but also repeat business!
There is nothing more frustrating as a customer than to feel that they are “just a number”. We are all human and have some basic but natural expectations and one of those is to be treated fairly and respectfully. If don’t listen to your customer, how can they possibly expect them to feel that you can resolve their issue?
So you have responded quickly, you have given the customer time to explain the problem, now you need to act. Tell them when you will be out to see them (and not in a week’s time when you are due to be back in their area – make it within 24 hours or as soon as you can get there!) and stick to it. This shows that you and your company are reliable and trust worthy.
Regardless of how angry or difficult the customer is being, they are still your customer so always remember to apologise for any inconvenience and THANK them for their business. If you have managed to resolve the problem and have been courteous throughout, they will continue to be your customer.
Go the extra mile
Sometimes, going that little bit further to ensure that a customer is happy and looked after makes all the difference. For example: the manager of one of your sites has called you in the evening and told you that your machine has stopped working and they have an important event starting the next morning. After a long day, you probably don’t feel like going back out but by going out of your way to attend to the issue there and then speaks volumes and creates some extra gold stars for your company’s reputation.
Break your promises
For your customer to have faith in you and your company, they need to feel that they can trust you to do what is required. That faith is easily destroyed if you don’t follow through on your promises. If you promise on your website or business card a 24 hour response time, respond within 24 hours! If the customer is still waiting after 3 days with no contact from you, they are going to think twice about continuing to have your machine on their premises. In fact, during that time they may have started looking around at alternatives.
Make it difficult to contact you
Ever had a problem with a company and not been able to find the right contact details? How frustrated have you felt having to do search after search, sifting through websites or calling numbers that are never answered or allow you to leave a message? Annoying, right? So don’t let yourself be one of those companies. Always display your contact details on your machines and make sure that you answer the calls and respond to voicemails. It is quite easy to have a dedicated service number at little cost by buying a cheap mobile phone – your voicemail message should be relevant, professional, polite and clear.
Leave a problem unresolved
Not every problem is as easy to resolve as we would like but that is no reason to gloss over it. Problem solving can be a valuable learning process so if you don’t know the answer, find one!
A problem that is left unaddressed will very likely get worse at considerable cost to you and your customer!
Respond negatively to complaints
We all know that the customer is not always right BUT the important point is to make them feel that they are being respected and listened to. Frustrated people can be irate and difficult, so you need to patient and take your time to take on board what they are saying and respond professionally. It is perfectly human to want to respond negatively to unreasonable people but fighting fire with fire won’t help. You never know – you could even come out the other side with a thank you and commendation from them!
Perhaps the most important “don’t” for any vending business is to neglect your sites. Regardless of how much business they bring, each of your customers need to feel that they are as important as the next. Not visiting regularly and leaving your machines running low, unclean and operating inefficiently is the biggest mistake that you can make. The machine looks unattractive, the site owner perceives it as an eyesore and if they aren’t receiving their revenue share regularly or as you originally agreed with them, it won’t be long before they want out. So just because a site isn’t your best performer, not servicing it will still lead to cost and loss of business.
You might say in conclusion then that customer service is as much about caring and making the customers feel cared for as it is about the actual service that you provide. In truth, they go hand in hand and make a very powerful combination.
Companies partnering with charities and charitable causes seem more and more commonplace these days. But why? What are the reasons for these partnerships and who do they benefit?
There are many companies in the retail industry that actively promote their support of a nominated charity in their packaging, advertising and in-store displays. And hey, it’s not to be mocked or sniffed at. Even 1% of a company’s profits stacks up to a considerable gift to any charity and it is funding that they might not otherwise see.
When we see the fact that the shop chain that you have just purchased from supports a certain charity, there is a part of us that smiles and applauds them for their good work. But wait a minute: doesn’t it make us feel better as well? The fact that a small part of your money is going towards that good case makes you more comfortable with your purchase, does it not?
With all of this said, it comes as no surprise that charity and vending seem to be good bed fellows. But moving past the altruism of any such partnership, there is the underlying understanding that charitable support is a good way of promoting your products.
For charitable vending to work, it needs to be instantly recognisable that at least part of your customer’s pound will go toward a certain cause. Effective displays or banners should be employed to maximise that impact on the customer – it needs to be part of their choice in making the purchase. With vending, as we know, customer impulse is a key factor in the success of any vending concept. So let’s not be under any illusions that carrying a charity’s “branding” on a vending machine can influence your decision to purchase from it. Is this ethical? Certainly! It has a mutual benefit to both charity and vending company. So long as it is made clear what percentage of the proceeds will be given to the charity and that evidence can be provided to that effect, why wouldn’t it be ethical? Transparency is very important in anything to do with charitable giving. It is when the charity’s name is used under false or fraudulent pretences that the ethics are called into question.
For any vending company to be able to use a charity’s identity on their machines (and products, if applicable), they must first of all have official sanctioning for that organisation to do so. This includes the approved artwork and branding, the agreed percentage to be given and (perhaps most importantly) the manner in which the vending company promotes their partnership.
Charities rely heavily on public image and transparency to maintain their reputation and continue with successful fundraising and have no desire to be associated with unethical companies or practices. They will make clear any partnerships on their websites and will be able to confirm any claims that a company makes as to how much they have been able to raise.
Charitable partnerships are also an effective way for vending companies to acquire placements that might not otherwise be available to them. As times change, so do company policies and it may be that the prime location that an operator is vying for might not be swung on a cash commission. The store manager, for example, might not be able to make those sanctions but on the other hand, many companies now allow their managers a remit in terms of placing charitable machines on their premises. From the site’s point of view, they can be perceived to be offering their support to a charity which can only be a positive factor for them and helps maintain their reputation in the eyes of the customer.
Ultimately, the choice is still with the customer to make the purchase. Regardless of whether there is a charity involved, millions of people in the UK use vending machines every day. Sometimes, you might feel a bit guilty about having that naughty chocolate bar on your way to work so perhaps you can be saved from some of that guilt by knowing that some of your money is going to a worthy cause?
Why do we use vending machines? What is their appeal? Why has vending remained such a successful way of selling products, especially food and drink, to the consumer?
It’s an impulse thing!
Nearly all purchases from vending machines are on impulse. How often have you actually planned going to a vending machine as part of the schedule for your day? Never? Exactly! A lot of the decisions that we make through life are impulsive rather than planned and vending taps in to that impulsive side of your character.
Vending machines are located strategically where they can draw on impulse very effectively, such as on a station platform or near a waiting area. Feeling bored or a bit tired? Well how about some chocolate to carry you along!
In some cases, a well-placed and cleverly stocked vending machine can actually create a desire for a product. For example, a cold drinks machine displaying images of glistening cans of fruity zestiness can trigger you to buy a drink even if you’re not particularly thirsty.
If you’re very thirsty or hungry, a vending machine can provide an instant and satisfying solution. Much easier than going for a walk to find a shop!
Hunger happens a lot!
Yup, like it or not, we are all slaves to our appetites. We become hungry and thirsty many times through the average day. It’s supply and demand in its most fundamental form because regardless of age, gender or wealth, you need food and drink in order to survive. A well-placed vending machine meets that need when it happens. Instant gratification is the much simpler and appealing option to most of us and the fact is that simpler solutions are often the most successful ones.
Risk loses to reward!
One of the main things that we consider with most purchases is the risk weighed against reward. This is usually measuring the cost against the perceived value of the purchase. Fortunately, the benefit of food and drink vending is that we all get hungry or thirsty so the value of buying refreshments from a machines outweigh the cost: you will find enjoyment in consuming the product and most likely have more energy afterwards.
Interestingly, it is a widely understood part of psychology that we like to reward ourselves, much the same as when our parents would reward us for being good, as adults we like to reward ourselves when we have completed a task or made it through that very boring meeting! A trip to the vending machine brings just what you feel you deserve. Well done you! Have some choccy!
It’s like being given a prize!
There is also an element of interaction with vending machines that you don’t necessarily get in a shop. Buying something from a machine is more of a personal thing; there is direct interaction with the device, the selection of your product, inserting your money and watching your crisps or candy move forward when you press the buttons, topped off by the satisfaction of reaching in to retrieve your goodies from the chute. It is very much like being awarded a prize which can also heighten your enjoyment of eating it.