Before you undertake any venture, it is wise to do initial planning. How are you going to run your business? Write a business plan. Think through all of the potential problems with running the business. Understand that you are fully responsible for the outcome of the business.
Remember the rule of cause and effect: If I do this, then what happens? And what does that cause? And what does that cause? Think at least 4 or 5 steps into the future, keeping a long-term perspective on you business.
Attainable, measurable goals are key
Develop business goals that are long-term, clearly defined and measurable. Divide your business into its components and create short term goals for each section. Be methodical. The time you invest in planning is far less expensive than the cost of engaging in a failed business.
Know your customers – and your prospects
Invest time in developing a marketing plan. Marketing is the entire process of selling product, from demographic research (who will buy), what they will buy (product selection), where they will buy (commercial location, street corner, school), to how they will they buy (cash, credit, check), and why they will buy (price, selection, color). A sale is the process of taking money and delivering product; marketing determines what you will sell.
In the vending machine business, management has to make these critical decisions. What will you sell, what kind of machines will you use, where do you set pricing, where will you sell? Our market is broken into two groups, each having different concerns. We have the account market – focusing on where to place machines – and the end user market, determining who will spend money and what will they buy. This article will discuss the account market, and the account sales process.
Plan for the unforeseeable
As much as we enjoy planning out sales, it’s also important to consider the impact that problems, issues and catastrophes could have on the business, things like:
- Equipment destruction
- Pricing decisions
- Placement fees and bad placements
Like any business, vending machine operations can be enjoyable and profitable – provided you do your homework ahead of time.