The vending business is attractive to many entrepreneurs because it creates a mostly passive income. You gain the freedom to do the things you love while the machine works for you. But really, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Creating a profitable vending machine business requires a lot of thought and work, especially when identifying a good location.
When looking for ideal vending machine locations, you’ll want to consider not only the location but also your target customers. Are you targeting school-going children or adults checking in and out of the gym? Whichever your target market, ensure that you go for a spot with significant foot traffic.
Steps to Finding the Best Vending Machine Locations
1. Do Some Preliminary Research
Identify potential spots and get a feel of the most common traffic in that area. What kind of products could go well with that location? Are there other options available such as a convenience store or another vending machine?
2. Identify What You’ll Be Vending
Depending on the locations you’ve identified, you’ll want to identify the type of products you’ll be selling. Some of the things to consider include the product’s cost, shelf life, and profit margins.
3. Choose The A Location That Is A Good Fit For Your Business
From the already identified potential spots and the possible product(s) that most appeals to your target market, you can now go for the location that will be the best fit. Some of the qualities to look out for in an ideal spot are:
- High traffic: An area with high foot traffic such as train stations, airports, shopping malls, schools, event centers, and government buildings are suitable for a vending business.
- A spot with no existing vending machines and other competing companies
- An area where people have to wait or line up for services is also an excellent option for vending machine businesses. These include repair shops, medical centers, salons, public libraries, and even hospitals.
4. Draft A Proposal And Approach The Property Or Business Owner
Once you’ve identified your most qualified spots, you’ll want to prepare a proposal outlining how the vending machine will be a game-changer in that location.
Even if your preferred location has an already existing vending machine, you can find something different to offer that the property owner may like. You can also identify how you can out-compete other existing vending businesses by providing superior services and offerings.
Remember: Value proposition = location acquisition
When pitching your business to the property or business owner, be sure to outline how your business will also add value to their business. For instance, placing a vending machine in or around a hotel or motel can help keep their customers refreshed throughout their stay without needing to drive or walk so far away for refreshments.
Best Vending Machine Locations That You Should Consider
Are you looking for a great vending machine location but are unsure if you’ve found the right spot? Here are a few popular options to install a vending machine:
1. Apartment Communities
An apartment complex with popular amenities such as a pool, laundry room, gym, party room, or a clubhouse is an ideal location for a wide variety of snack and food vending machines. These areas have a flurry of activities and are usually highly trafficked by the members of that community.
2. Hotels and Motels
Look for motels and hotels that don’t have micro-markets and request to install a vending machine on their lobby or side entrances.
Gyms are a great option to vend healthy products such as shakes, protein bars, and sports drinks.
4. Manufacturing facilities with lots of employees
Due to the consistent flow in these facilities, you can pitch to vend cold drinks and snacks to the hundreds of people working in the facility.
5. Schools, community colleges and universities
Schools have tremendous foot traffic that you can leverage to sell healthy, child-friendly beverages, snacks, and meals.
6. Auto Shops
This is one of the low-key areas that is mostly ignored. Yet, auto shops have hundreds of customers who have to wait to have their cars fixed. Having a vending machine nearby can be a great reprieve and make the wait more tolerable.
7. Hospitals and medical facilities
Hospitals and other health facilities have traffic flowing throughout the day and night. Having a vending machine that offers meals, beverages, and snack choices not only generates you passive income but also provides a convenient solution to visitors, patients, and health personnel working in the hospital.
Other excellent vending machine locations include:
- Skateboard Shops
- Grocery stores
- Golf Course Lounge
- Assisted living center
Putting It All Together
The success of a vending machine majorly depends on its location. Identifying and getting a fit-for-business location will place you ahead of the curve, help you generate significant passive income and allow you to scale up over time.
Once you’ve identified a good location for your business, ensure that you also choose vending products that fit well with your target customers. Most importantly, don’t forget to offer exceptional customer service to help differentiate you from other vending businesses and carve out a loyal market for yourself.