Updated: Mar 20
The global vending machine market is predicted to have an annual growth rate of 9.4% from 2019 to 2025. If you play your cards right, you could create your own vending machine empire that can generate a passive income.
Explore this guide to learn how to launch a vending machine franchise. First off, you’ll learn why you should consider investing in this type of business. Afterward, we’ll cover the steps that you’ll need to take to conjure your idea and get your idea off the ground.
What Does It Mean to Own a Vending Machine Business?
This type of business involves renting or owning vending machines and stationing them in your chosen location. With this type of business, you can either stock what a franchise determines or any product of your choice if you’re the owner.
Moreover, you can go wild with the variety of products you sell. For example, there are vending machines that sell bags of lettuce and pizza.
Why Should You Start a Vending Machine Business?
A vending machine cost isn’t much. Used vending machines will go for between $1,200–$3,000 each whereas a new one could cost up to $10,000. Otherwise, the only other costs that will go into this business are administrative fees, taxes, and your vending machine space rental.
Moreover, you can easily scale this business while not investing much of your time in maintaining it.
How to Start a Vending Machine Business
Throughout this section, we will cover the basics of each step that you’ll need to take to launch your vending machine business. We’ll start by covering the basics like the type of research that you must perform to succeed and go over what types of purchases you’ll need to make.
Research Your Market
Figure out the goals for your business. What customers do you want to attract? What type of business entity will you operate under? Determine all of this information and more while researching your ideal customer and developing a business plan.
During this phase, you will also want to create a user persona. When creating this, you will want to figure out who your customer is, their pain points, what they’ll likely want, and what their route is.
Figure Out What Type of Vending Machines You Want
Do you need a soda vending machine? If not, you’ll need to think about what type of vending machine you’ll need for your business. When figuring out your ideal customer, you should have determined what they’ll need. Some vending machine ideas that you can steal from this guide include:
Face masks and hygienic products: individuals on the move may accidentally drop their masks or run out of hand sanitizer. If they were to run into your vending machine that sells these products, they could restock and stay safe.
Drink and snack vending machine: hot and cold beverages, snacks for babies, sweets, protein bars and more—you have endless options with consumables.
Tobacco products: you could sell cigarettes; however, we don’t recommend doing so due to fewer people smoking and the thin profit margins.
Electronic accessories: accessories to charge smartphones, earbuds, and other electronics that people could easily forget at home or accidentally lose.
Pick Vending Machine Software
Now that you understand what vending machines you’ll need and who you want to sell to, you’ll need software to manage your machines. When shopping for vending machine software, you will want to search for something that offers in-depth reporting, inventory management, and logistics streamlining.
Determine a Location for Your Vending Machines
One of the most important steps for creating a vending machine empire is figuring out where to put your vending machines. Otherwise, if they’re not in the right spot, potential customers will never notice them; hence, resulting in no sales.
First off, when selecting a location to install your vend machines, you will want to consider your competition. Are there other shops, restaurants, or nearby vendors? If so, your competitors could steal your competition.
Moreover, to select an optimal spot for your machines, you will want to consider whether your ideal customer will walk by your location. For instance, if you have a vending machine in a gym, you will want to vend protein bars.
Last, of all, you must ensure the area you’re stationing your vending machine has enough foot traffic to justify the fees that you’ll pay to maintain your machine.
Choose a Way to Enter the Market
You have various options to decide how you enter the market. If you want to trade time for a bit more upfront capital, you can purchase a franchise, which will come with an established brand, standard operating procedures, and everything else a business could need.
However, if you prefer putting time into building a brand, you could start a new vending machine business and have full control of the brand. Or, you could purchase an existing business and rebuild it.
Get Your Vending Machines
Once you’ve figured everything out, register your business and purchase your machines. Afterward, station your machines, stock them, and set up your vending machine software.
Once you finish these steps, make adjustments to your business plan when needed and remain up-to-date with your niche to potentially find new products you could stock.
Take the Next Step Toward Creating a Vending Machine Franchise
While you may have to perform a fair amount of research to surpass your competitors, opening vending machine franchise isn’t as difficult to set up. As with other business ventures, most of your work will go into researching optimal products to sell and an ideal location to leave your vend machine.
If you’re looking for a unique vending machine franchise to invest in, consider BabyVend. Our machines vend snacks for infants and toddlers. Products that would be otherwise difficult for parents to find when they’re on the move.