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Picture28If you’re looking into vending as a business opportunity, you are quite rightly going to ask this question. Will it give you what you Picture1want 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…

Practicality:

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.

Personality:

Picture34Do 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!

Financially:

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!