Do I really need a website for my vending machine business?

need a website

Need a website?  Most small business owners who sell products online already know that they need a website in order to compete for potential customers. Having a web presence is a boon for people who are looking to tap into that ever-growing online market.

For businesses that don’t sell products online, the question of whether or not to have an online presence may not be quite as clear. Some people are intimidated by the idea of creating a website. Website design can be complicated, and some owners are nervous about investing in a custom website.

Regardless of the industry, your business is sure to suffer without a website. Whether you have an established business or you are just getting started, it is essential to have an up-to-date website. This will help take your business to the next level. 

Why You Need a Website

Creating a website for your business is the best possible way to create a presence for yourself. In today’s climate, when people want to learn about you, the first thing they look for is an online presence. Think about it, the last time someone handed you their business card, what did you do? You went to their website. But why did you go there? Whether or not you realized it, you wanted to get a feel for them. You wanted to judge their trustworthiness, and see if you really wanted to do business with them.

The same is true of the people to whom you give your business card. By now, consumers (and that includes the people you’re looking to do business with) expect companies to have an online presence which includes both a website and some social media, and if they see that you don’t have those things? You’ll be viewed as far less professional, this is another reason why you need a website.

A Good Website vs. a Great Website

So, now that you know why you need a website, you should also take the time to learn a little bit about web design, and what makes the difference between a pretty good website and a great one.

Effective digital marketing aims to help people find your website. If people find your website before the website of competitors, it becomes a passive steam for leads and possible income. While there are many sites that will offer free or low-cost website services, these are not necessarily the best choice for your business. Whereas you may pay less up front, the result will be a less user-friendly website. If your competitor’s website is more user-friendly or better designed than your own, you may end up losing business. Additionally, if any website issues arise, there is no provided team to help and you will end up paying more money to an external source.

A good web design firm will be able to handle all of your requests. They’ll build a visually pleasing website that will both engage customers quickly and project a sense of reliability. Your site should be user-friendly so customers or clients can find all the necessary information, while also fulfilling best search engine optimization practices. These practices change regularly, as Google updates its algorithm, so a good company will also help you with ongoing changes over time. Many companies will also help you build a strong social media presence. Keeping your social media presence active and lively is vital in today’s competitive business world.

Conclusion

In short, do you need a website? You certainly do. Curious about where to start? Go with someone you know and trust. If you love your supplier’s sites, ask them who they work with. You might just find out that getting a great website and building up your online presence is a lot easier than you thought.

5 ways small vending machines can bring in big profits. 

Small vending machines are a great option if space is limited!
Small vending machines can make big money!

When people think of vending machines, they often think of large, hulking machines that hold dozens of snacks and take up lots of space. However, many vending machine operators have discovered that smaller, wall mounted snack machines can offer a great way to improve your bottom line. Here are 5 ways considering small vending machines may be useful to your business.

1) Small vending machines, big choices!

Small machines aren’t just for snacks and candy. Smaller vending machines offer the opportunity to sell beverages, snacks, prepared food choices, and more.

2) Up to date payment options.

Smaller vending machines don’t have to stick with coin-operated payment options. They can now also take bills, and even credit cards, giving your customers more flexibility.

3)Saving energy

Some businesses are hesitant to host a vending machine because of concerns about energy consumption. Small vending machines, however, are more energy efficient and tend to be more attractive to retail centers.

4)Saving Space

Another issue which may cause businesses to be hesitant to host your machines is the square footage they take up. Mini vending machine options and wall mounted machines in particular, eliminate this issue.

5)Flexibility

While smaller machine brings to mind gumball and candy machines, today’s small and even mini vending machines are incredibly flexible. They can sell everything from cheap vending machine fare, such as typical snacks and candies, to full-service options that can make espresso, or serve up prepared foods and drinks. There are even machines that serve soft ice cream options.

The fact is that a business based on bulk mini vending machines can make as much, or even more than larger, bulkier machines, and their small size and flexibility in food offerings mean great opportunities to make money in almost any setting!

One of our favorite small vending machines is the AMS Slim Gem Snack Machine. With 24 selections available and weighing only about 500 pounds, it is a great choice for small spaces or to start your blossoming enterprise!

New Vending Machines - A&M Equipment

Vending Machine License: Is It Something You Need?

Vending Machine Licenses are an important element of your business
Vending Machine Licenses are an important element of keeping your business above board.

When considering starting a vending machine business, many people fail to consider the vending machine license one must obtain for their business. The truth is most states require vending machine route operators to obtain both a business license and the permits.

There are several mandatory licenses to operate a vending machine business, including a machine license and a sales tax receipt certificate. Depending upon the items you wish to place inside the machines, there may be additional licenses. Soda and snacks, candy, milk products, and tobacco all have different regulations and local ordinances may vary from the state ordinances. Failure to comply with these can mean revocation of your license. 

Vending machine sales are eligible for tax in the same fashion as food items in more traditional stores. If an item would be exempt when sold in a store, the same would be true for a vending machine. However, if it is eligible to taxes in a brick and mortar store, it will also be eligible for tax in your machines. The only exceptions from this rule are:

Hot beverages sold from a vending machine are always exempt. Certain items that are taxable when sold by food stores are exempt when sold from a vending machine for $1.50 or less. When you file your sales tax returns you’ll need to separate the number of sales you made from the sales tax you collected.

Before Obtaining Your Vending Machine License

Consider the location where you will be placing your machines. If they will be in schools, regulations may be different than if you are placing them in commercial areas.

To run your business legally it is important to not only know your local regulations. Adhere to them carefully, ensuring your business is above board and reproach.

To learn more about the vending machines available to you, visit our website: https://www.amequipmentsales.com/

FDA Requirements for Vending Machines: What You Need to Know

FDA Logo Black Large
FDA regulations on vending machines aren’t too difficult, but you need to ensure your company is abiding by the law!

Whether you’ve had your vending machine business for a long time, or you’re just starting out, there are some FDA requirements on vending machines that you should know about.

The Food and Drug Administration, to tackle the obesity epidemic, has created food labeling requirements for all foods sold from vending machines.

Because Americans eat about one-third of their calories away from home, the FDA has created these calorie labeling requirements for vending food items. Food labeling has become more popular in all venues, from restaurants putting calorie counts on their menus to companies redesigning their cans and box packaging to more prominently display nutrition information.

Vending machine labeling requirements mean that vending machine operators who own or operate 20 or more vending machines, have the duty to disclose calorie information for the food sold from those vending machines, subject to certain exemptions. The compliance date for these changes went into effect on December 1, 2016.

Most packaged food items have calories posted on the back, but for vending machines with glass fronts, the calorie declaration that is now often part of package design on the front of packaged food is acceptable, rather than having to post signage on the actual machine. If the foods you stock do NOT have calorie information on the front of the package, then you must adhere to the following policies:

Calorie declarations must be clear and conspicuous and placed prominently and may be placed on a sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine, so long as the sign is in close proximity to the article of food or selection button.

Calorie declarations for total calories present in the packaged food are not informative for gum, mints, and roll candy because consumers typically do not consume the entire packaged product at one time. In order to consider this issue further, FDA is extending the compliance date to July 26, 2018, for gums, mints, and roll candy sold from glass- front machines in packages that are too small to bear FOP labeling. In the interim, FDA encourages vending machine operators to provide calorie information for such products through a sign in close proximity to the gums, mints, and roll candy inside the vending machine.

Visit our website to see our catalog of machines: https://www.amequipmentsales.com/

FDA website: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm515022.htm

How to Start a Snack Machine Business

A reliable machine can provide a reliable source of income!
Not all snack machines are the same, be sure your machine is reliable!

More than Just Snack Machines

If you are new to or thinking about getting in the snack machine business, we should first let you know that the vending machine business covers much more than simply snacks! With drinks, combo drink-snack machines, and school supplies, there isn’t anything that can’t be sold in a vending machine! With the knowledge that there are now endless possibilities available to you, here are some questions to consider:

Are you ready to be your own boss?

Many of us dream of being our own boss. Picking your own hours, choosing who you work with, and the length of your commute is all liberating. The advantages also come with plenty of responsibilities, so be sure you are ready to shoulder the work that comes with being the boss.

Are you motivated?

Starting your own vending machine business means no more 9-5 schedule. You must be willing to stay until the work gets done! Some days will require the entirety of your day, while other days pass in the blink of an eye. One of the best parts of working with vending machines is that many times they can conform to your schedule. Depending on the location, vending machines generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and could be serviced at any point in the day!

If you have the motivation and desire the freedom that comes with being your own boss; we recommend contacting NAMA (the National Automatic Merchandising Association.) They have collected a series of invaluable resources that will provide you with the information needed to make sure your company hits the ground running! Call (312) 346-0370 to contact NAMA or visit their website: www.vending.org.

Food For Thought:

Pick the Right Brand of Vending Machine

Not all vending machines are the same. Steady income of your business is dependent upon minimizing the downtown and maximizing the sales for your individual machines, and a lesser machine is simply going to make your life harder. Because the type and quality of vending machines vary so greatly, we recommend taking a look at NAMA-certified vending machines or calling a local vending company (click here for a list of vendors by state)

Watch Out for “Biz-Op” Scammers

Some companies will sell a route with inferior machines claiming a stake in a franchise that exists only in name. After you have committed your time and money, the company will have stolen your money and ran!

If you find a passion for owning and operating your own vending machines, you can stay in the business for life! Set your schedule every week and above all take pride in being your own boss!

Visit our website: https://www.amequipmentsales.com/ to see the machines we have available or email info@amequipmentsales.com for more information!

School Vending Machines Have A Healthy Option

school vending machines - Healthy eating

Schools are cracking down on unhealthy snacks, but that doesn’t mean school vending machines are out of the picture.

As of July 1st, 2014, schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are required to adhere to the USDA standard called “Smart Snacks In School (SSIS)”.

The SSIS program aims to improve the health of school children across the nation. Founded on evidence-based research and practicality, it encourages schools to sell healthy foods that are aligned with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines suggest the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy options—while limiting calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.

In short, healthier foods are in, junk food is out.

43 Percent of elementary schools, 74 percent of middle schools, and 98 percent of high schools offer vending machines to their students.

In the past, most school vending machines have been loaded up with sugary candy, salty snacks, and beverages that completely lack any nutritional value—adding fuel to the fire of the obesity epidemic that affects children (and adults) across the country. As a result of this, and the new legislation, many schools have decided to completely ban junk food everywhere, while others have decided to focus their attention on the contents of their vending machines.

Thanks to these regulations the vending machine industry has become more creative with their offerings, and more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, smart snacks, and healthy beverage options are offered.

Instead of stocking school with apple pies, cheese crackers, and nacho chips, options like sunflower seeds, baked chips, and low-fat popcorn are now seen as far better ways to fulfill those midday munchies. Soda is also a big no-no in schools, as the sugar and calories are seen as prime targets in anti-obesity efforts. Smarter beverage options can include bottled water, seltzer and flavored water, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, fat-free milk, or other low-calorie drinks.

Healthy snacking options are now available from almost every distributor and allow your vending machines to be a source of nutritious snack and beverage options, instead of an endless stream of empty calories. If you’re looking to change your vending machine business over from junk food to smart snacking there are tons of options out there; just take a look! And if you’re looking to start your own vending machine business give A&M Equipment Sales a call, we’re here to help!

 

Take Over A Vending Route Or Start Your Own?

choosing a vending route

Although it is possible to start a vending machine business from scratch, many entrepreneurs look for an existing vending route or vending business for sale. The option to take over an established company is much simpler than doing everything yourself.  Also, a geographic area may already be well-stocked with vending machines and service companies, so there is no room left for another one. Competition is sometimes fierce when it comes to getting the best locations in the vending industry, but with hard work and determination, all challenges can be resolved.

Buying  a Full Line Vending Machine Business or Vending Route

One of the best reasons to purchase an established vending machine business or vending route is the immediate source of income it provides. If you start from nothing, it may take a considerable amount of time to establish a route and develop relationships that can leave you to make a profit.
Despite the fact that there are various conceivable advantages to purchasing out a full line vending machine business. There are a lot of things to ask before you sign proprietorship papers or pay any cash.
Having a current individual or expert association with the present proprietor of the vending machine business you can help. Research about their business achievement, the routes they have and relationships with the business owners ought to be done well before you considerably think about making an offer on the business. This kinship likewise causes you to know whether the individual is straightforward and dependable and whether they keep the Vending machines in decent shape.
What happens if you don’t have the foggiest idea what happens if you don’t have the foggiest idea about a man who needs to offer a vending machine business? How would you discover one to purchase?  By perusing the means laid out underneath, you can without much of a stretch to recognize and find a fruitful business to purchase out.

1 – Find out why the current owners want to sell the business.

There are both excellent and terrible motivations to sell a vending machine organization. Ever so often you will come across, a few people that will be misleading and try to unload a failing business, but with a bit of investigation, it can potentially save you a massive headache.

2 – Ask about the current vending route and research locations for possible problems.

An honest vending machine business owner should be happy to let you ride along on the vending route to examine both the vending machine operation itself and the professional relationships he has with the site managers. Another option is to receive a location list and contact information for the people that sign the vending agreements. You can then visit each to check out the machines’ condition, number and time of the vending transactions and any information the people there can share about favorite products or service.
3 – Give all vending machines a thorough inspection.
A full inspection of all the machines that the vending business has for sale is necessary to understand what you are getting for your money and to make sure everything is operational to realize a profit. If any of the machines look unsightly, worn out or have many “Sold Out” labels, the location may be undesirable or the machine itself may be too old to attract sales. These are just some of the red flags that indicate neglect or for maintenance by the existing owner. It can also lead to negative impressions by the location staff and accounts that may close or failed to make money. Contacting whoever agreed to have the vending machine there can help you determine their opinions and whether they welcome the continuation of service.
4 – Examine 3 to 5 years’ worth of tax statements and profit sheets.
Examination of the tax returns and accounting profit sheets for at least 3 to 5 years is essential to determine whether the vending business operates in the black and can, therefore, make you money if you buy it. If you are not experienced at owning a vending business, this paperwork can also help you understand operation costs and company structure. Other financial information is important to know: commission percentages to location owners, total revenue, profit percentages over cost and any assets, including the machines themselves, that are held by the company. Comparing the profit sheets and inventory reports with your prior information about sales at different locations should give you an honest look at the situation.
5 – Go over the current contracts.
A vending machine business or vending route is only as good as the contract held with location owners or managers. Examine all existing contracts to see which are most lucrative and which may need to be re-signed if you purchase the company. Also, be aware of any “Change in Control” clauses in the contracts that allow a location owner to cancel the contracts if vending company changes hands. This is especially important as you want continuous profit from the start of your new ownership.
Some vending companies do not own the machines they use, but instead, rent them from third-party sources. These leases must continue if the company is sold to you, the new owner.
6 – Contact the Better Business Bureau to check for complaints or other issues.
Check for any existing or repetitive complaints or negative complaints at the Better Business Bureau website that pertain to the vending machine business you might buy. Searching for any problems with this tool is completely free.
7 – Research public court records for past, pending or current legal trouble.
Purchasing a vending machine business can cost a lot of money, and should not be undertaken without due diligence of any potential legal trouble it had in the past. Contact local and state clerks to access public records that pertain to the particular company. Look for judgments, liens and any past or present litigation processes that have been filed. If you go on to purchase the vending machine company anyway, you will become liable for any legal damages determined from these court proceedings. If you want to make a profit with an honest company, starting out with a troubled one is a bad idea.
8 – Be sure to get a “Clearance Letter” for the company prior to purchase.
Many states will issue a “Clearance Letter” outlining any current or former taxes that have not yet been paid by the vending machine business you are considering for acquisition. Vending products do require sales tax payments in many places, and these must be remitted to the state government as necessary. This letter will give you a clear impression not only about how much sales tax usually does every month or quarter but also whether any outstanding taxes may affect your bottom line when you buy the company.
9 – Understand company value and stick to your budget.
After you have completed all the previously mentioned research and due diligence, it should be easier to decide if the vending machine business or vending route in question will be a profitable venture for you or not. If you do decide to go ahead with making an offer and potentially buying out the machines and routes, you need to know how much the company is worth altogether. Paying too much can be just as much of a mistake as buying the wrong business to begin with.
Your best bet is to hire a lawyer who specializes in business acquisition and has some knowledge or experience dealing with vending businesses in particular. Professional accountant may also help to go over paperwork and determine value. If you would rather not employ outside help and figure out everything on your own, it might be a better idea to start by purchasing a smaller business with only one or two dozen vending machines already placed at active locations. I have developed an application to give you a generalized view of how much a particular vending machine business is worth. Simply type the financial data into the appropriate spots and run the app to get an indication of how much a business will cost and how much you should offer.
Making a first offer on a business purchase should always start at least 10 to 15% below your budget in order to leave room for negotiation. Always keep your maximum dollar amount in mind so you do not pay too much for a company or spend more money than you have access to. The negotiations should be carried out honestly and in good faith so both parties are satisfied with the end result.
10 – Include transition help from the older owner in part of the purchase.

Vending Route Conclusion

Although many companies sales hand the reins over to the new owner immediately after money is paid and paperwork is signed, it is a good idea to negotiate a transitional period with the sale. This means that the current owner would assist with all transition tasks for a period of a few weeks or even one month. This not only allows people new to the vending industry to learn the ropes from a seasoned professional, but also allows even experienced vendors to learn more about the particular route and contracts in place. This time can include route optimization, machine maintenance assistance or education and introduction to key location managers and customers.
These 10 tips for finding and purchasing a quality vending machine business to buy do not cover everything an entrepreneurship know. However, it provides plenty of valuable information about how to get the best value for your money and how to identify and take over a business that will be successful immediately and in the future.

Bizarre Vending Machines

 

 Bizarre Vending Machines


Bizarre Vending Machines  Candy and soda vending machines are common; you see them everywhere, but did you know there’s a whole world of machines out there vending all kinds of unique offerings that you may have never seen before?


  1. Bizarre Vending Machines in New York City, Los Angeles, and Dallas have baked up some sidewalk cupcake ATMs, where you can purchase a decadent dessert with your credit card.

 

  1. Bizarre Vending Machines In Philadelphia, you’ll find vending machines that sport locks of real human hair, which ladies can use for enhancement and elongation.

 

  1. Looking for clear and radiant skin while on the go? There’s a Proactive acne treatment products vending machine in—where else—Hollywood, California.

 

  1. Bizarre Vending Machines in Pennsylvania’s Shippensburg University and California’s Pomona College sport vending machines that carry Plan B medication (aka the morning-after pill).

 

  1. Bizarre Vending Machines In Los Angeles, a hot-and-ready burrito machine offers Chorizo Sausage, Roasted Potato, Uncured Bacon, Free-Range Chicken, or Shredded Beef flavors.

 

  1. Go green with this machine: The “Swap-o-matic” Bizzare Vending Machine in Brooklyn lets you trade in your used goods for something new, with no monetary transaction.

 

  1. In Beverly Hills those with a refined pallet and a fat wallet can visit neighborhood mall bizarre vending machines that serve gourmet caviar, escargot, and truffles.

 

  1. In Cedar Creek, Texas, you can indulge in a baked pecan pie from Berdoll Pecan Farm, served from a vending machine right outside its retail store.

 

  1. At the end of a long night, aching ladies in California and Las Vegas can stop by a vending machine to buy a pair of comfortable but stylish ballet flats.

 

Have you seen any of these machines while on your travels? Let us know in the comments! Have an idea for a vending machine-based business that just can’t fail? Then hit up http://www.amequipmentsales.com/ and they’ll tell you how you can get started on your very own vending machine empire!

Vending Machines: How to Strike a Deal with an Establishment


Vending Machines: How to Strike a Deal with an Establishment


Vending Machines generate $20 billion to $30 billion annually. Getting an establishment to agree to host your machine can be very profitable. A vending machine’s financial success is tied to its location. The more people visit an establishment, the greater your chances of sales.

Look for locations with lots of employees or pedestrian traffic, such as colleges, auto shops and factories. Stay at least a few blocks away from coffee shops, grocery stores, and bakeries.

 

Push the Right Buttons

Contact the business owner or the property manager of the building or business where you want to install your machine. Introduce yourself as the owner of a vending machine business in the area and illustrate why a vending machine would be a great fit for the establishment. Explain that a vending machine is beneficial to customers, employers, and employees—especially in that they can access lunch, drinks, and snacks without leaving the building. It can also boost morale and productivity.

 

Come to Terms

Some businesses may agree to a vending machine only on the condition that they receive a percentage of the net sales. If there is no competition, negotiate a commission of up to 10%.  Or, to help to determine the rate, research the local market to find out what other vending machine companies pay.

 

Be Prepared

Expect to answer the business owner’s questions about how much power the machine uses; how it works, runs, and is installed; how, when, how often and by whom it will be monitored, restocked and serviced; and how commission is tracked and payment is sent. Offer to keep the machine stocked with the items that are most popular according to your records.

 

Seal the Deal

Create a document that details the terms and conditions to which you and the owner of the establishment agree. Review it with him or her a final time before you both sign it.

 

The vending machine industry can be a lucrative one. If you secure a suitable location that attracts a steady stream of people and keeps the machines fully functioning and stocked with the items customers enjoy most, you can definitely make some serious coin.

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink machine

Graphic Vs Live Display drink Machine

Untitled 6 - Graphic Vs Live Display Drink machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine Beginning a snack or drink live display vending machines business venture is an exciting and potentially beneficial prospect, but also one that is filled with uncertainty and risk. Whether you are starting your own vending business or forming a partnership, research the pros and cons that most relate to the business. Learning the facts helps you be realistic about your business’s chances of survival. According to the Small Business Administration, seven out of 10 new companies will last at least two years, but only a quarter of those will have the longevity to last 15 or more years. The information below should help you better understand graphics machines and live display.

Graphics Vending Machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine If you want your vending machine to stand out, what can you do? A vending machine is a remarkably familiar sight. To keep navigating customers to your business, amongst this vast sea of different options, you must keep your vending machine looking as sharp and presentable as possible. One of the most effective approaches you can take to make your vending machine POP is to purchase different wraps to place on the outside of your machine. These are typically made of vinyl and come in a boundless variety of designs and prices. Vendor’s Exchange and graphicsthatpop.com (GTP) are two companies that sell graphics for vending machines. GTP also sells pre-cut graphics panels. These panels offer the added advantage of hiding any unsightly blemishes on your machine, such as scratches, dents, chipped paint, etc. You may also check with your local print shop to investigate different adhesive vinyl wraps that may be available in your community. Vinyl wraps aren’t only for driving attention to your vending machine. They also add a layer of protection to your machine. Wraps can protect it from damaging bumps and scratches. If your wrap gets worn or damaged, they are relatively easy to remove. You can then replace the wrap with a new one that you’ve designed or that better fits your location.

Live Display Drink Machine

Graphic Vs Live Display Drink Machine Live display vending machines offer a great compromise between traditional drink vending machines and the glass front bottled drop style of machine. Like the glass front, the live display machine helps convert sales by displaying an actual product for your customers to see when they make a selection. The live display can give you an edge when placing in a new account. Let’s say you are taking over an account that was run by someone who would buy unreliable machines and one of the problems was that the machine never worked. Now if you go and place a similar machine with a front sign it will put off some customers who dealt with the same machine in the past. The live display will attract new customers help increase sales in your location. This is a proven method for increasing sales.Live display vending machines also offer some versatility in product, with the capability to vend 12 oz cans, 20 oz bottles and several other sizes.

While a new business venture can be invigorating, it is also a tiring pursuit. The hours you set for yourself may grow exponentially as you try to get the company off the ground. While your old job may have had a 40-hour work week, small business owners can work approximately 52 hours a week, according to the 2005 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. These numbers can increase around the time of your opening. You’ll also need to purchase insurance and other benefits that were likely provided or subsidized by your former employer. Giving up those benefits can be costly. Don’t underestimate the difficulty that comes with having to wear many hats. While you may have been performing one or a few job duties at your old job, when you open a business, you will need to have the ability to complete any needed task, including hiring and firing employees, arranging contracts and relationships with vendors, and performing less glamorous jobs, like cleaning.