Vending Business December Slow Season The problem with December is cash flow. During the holidays people are getting ready for Christmas and are a little tighter with their money. Another problem is competition with food in the break room. Here are two saving strategies and one income strategy:
Saving strategy 1
Vending Business December Slow Season You know your sales are going to be off in December so save some money up over the year.
Saving strategy 2
Vending Business December Slow season If you have a slow account consider waiting until December to pick up the money from that account.
Go after accounts that are very busy during the holiday season like the travel industry and retail. If you land a good size department store account, you will likely find that December will really pick up in a magnitude of one to two times as much business as normal. You don’t need a lot of those kinds of accounts to get you through the holiday season. Retail accounts typically don’t do much during the rest of the year, but can be nice for 6-8 weeks of the year. This just happens to be the opposite of how most of the traditional and industrial accounts perform during the year.
So get yourself some retail or travel industry accounts. Share any tips or ideas you have discovered in the comments below.
Tom Shivers: Hi. I’m Tom with the Vending Business Show, here again with Larry Towner, Vending Business consultant. Today, we’re talking about Vending Business December Slow Season vending opportunities, especially in a slow season like December. Thanks for being here, Larry.
Larry Towner,: It’s good to be here, Tom. We decided we would do this show because, for lack of a better word, the problems with December have to do with cash flow, right? In your world, Tom, do you have cash flow problems in December?
Tom Shivers: Sometimes.
Larry Towner,: Yeah, usually it’s an excess of cash going out and no cash coming in.
Tom Shivers: Yeah.
Larry Towner,: Essentially, in the vending business, that’s really where the problem comes from. The problem in the vending business is that during the holidays, there’s a couple of things at play. One of them is that people’s money is tight. They’re getting ready for Christmas and they’ve got the families coming in. They’re planning a big meal and all this kind of stuff, so people are a little tighter with their money. Most vending is considered disposable income. It’s kind of excess money, so money gets tight that way.
Larry Towner,: The other problem with December is that we have a lot of competition from Grandma’s cakes and pies, and everything gets put out on the break-room tables. We’re just gonna present a couple of strategies, I guess, on how to deal with the cash flow issues that come in the vending business during December.
Larry Towner,: One of them is … and the simplest one to do is just basically set some money aside for December. It’s a strategy. It’s kind of a savings strategy. I’m gonna present two saving strategies and one income strategy. The one way to do it is just set some money back. You know your sales are gonna be off because for most vendors, your sales are gonna be off. We just don’t have the kinds of accounts that do well in December, from traditional vending standpoint. Save some money. Put it away.
Larry Towner,: I came up with a savings strategy. I did it by accident, actually. I had a very, very slow account. I just never picked the money up in that account. It was so slow that I … It was a single-drink machine. I would go to the account and I’d put a case of drinks in about once a month, so I just never really picked up the money. One day, I went to pick the money up and it happened to be towards the end of November. I took just a big old wad of bills out of that machine and I said to myself, “Huh. You know, I think next year we’re just not gonna pick up the money until December, when we actually need it.” Sure enough, it really carried us over through the next year because what happened was, you’re putting the drinks in and they would come out of inventory, but they came out of inventory kind of slow through the whole year. Then you ended up with this big chunk of change that you had at the end of the year. It worked out really well and you didn’t really miss it from the standpoint of your accounts. Your inventory was a little screwed-up, but not really all that much. It’s just another savings strategy.
Larry Towner,: One other thing that we used to do a lot of is we would actually go after accounts that were very busy during the holiday season. You might ask, “What are those accounts?” Tom, ask me what are those accounts?
Tom Shivers: Hey, Larry.
Larry Towner,: Yes?
Tom Shivers: What are those accounts?
Larry Towner,: There you go. There’s two things that come to mind here, too, as well. One is, we were doing a show with the Association for the Blind … a show very much like this. We had a round table discussion that we were doing with them. The blind guys all do vending, also. We were doing these things with one of the State Associations for the Blind. They told me, they go, “We’re talking about how December’s so slow.” They’re all like, “Hey, wait a minute. December’s our busiest month of the year.” I’m going, like, “Really?” They go, “Yeah.” I go, “So what gives? Tell me what makes December so busy for you?” They all go, “We have rest areas. We have all the rest areas on the highways.” I thought that was really, really interesting because, of course, during the holiday season, people are traveling. They stop at the rest areas. They get drinks, snacks, sodas, coffee, all that stuff. Those guys are just jamming during the holidays.
Larry Towner,: Even before that … and I thought that was interesting. Maybe something in the travel industry is a potential account that gets busy during the holidays. The other thing that traditionally always gets busy during the holidays is retail. The regular retail shops are drawing in tons and tons of people. If you get a good stand-alone retail shop, say, a good-sized department store or something like that, December can really pick up. I’m talking about in a magnitude of one to two times as much business as they do normally. You don’t need a lot of those accounts to carry you through the time, ’cause your vending doesn’t stop, of course. It just slows down, so go out and get yourself some retail stuff.
Larry Towner,: I will say this on the retail stuff. It doesn’t do very much for the rest of the year in general. You’ve got about a six to eight week period where it really does something, but it happens to be exactly opposite of what all your traditional industrial accounts do.
Larry Towner,: Those are a couple of strategies that we had discussed about working during the December doldrums. If you guys have any ideas, please don’t hesitate to send us some emails, because we love to learn this kind of stuff and we’ll do whatever we need to … We’ll add that into these shows coming up in the future or something. Tom, what else do we have?
Tom Shivers: Yeah, absolutely. Just right below there, put a comment about what your experience is for December and any questions, and be glad to respond to those. We’ll be continuing on with these vending opportunities, vending business opportunities, in future shows, so subscribe.
Tom Shivers: You’re been watching Vending Business December Slow season at the Vending Business Show, a publication of A & M Equipment SalesOther Vending Blogs at the Vending Business Show Vending Business Opportunities: Buyer Beware