Starting a Vending Machine Business: 5 Tips for Success


The founding of a vending machine company is an excellent option for those seeking supplementary income. Yet there’s a lot more to this venture than just purchasing vending machines and setting them up everywhere.

There are several factors to consider when starting a vending machine business, including what products to sell, where to put the machines, how much to invest, and how much to make on each sale. To make sure your vending machine business is successful, there are several intermediate measures you need to take.

Below, you will find out what you need to launch a profitable vending machine company.

Create a Business Plan for Securing Financing

Besides organizing your goals, a vending machine business plan is a document that can be used to get financing for your company.

A vending machine business has a relatively low barrier to entry, but you’ll still need a few thousand to get started. Alternative financing solutions exist if you don’t want to use your savings or don’t have enough money.

Determine how much money will be needed to buy the machines and their contents. Consider additional expenses such as the price of trucks to move heavy equipment, if they are necessary. 

The next step is to determine whether or not you need a short-term loan or a loan to finance the equipment. Short-term loans are simpler to get but typically come with higher interest rates and a shorter repayment time than their long-term counterparts. However, equipment finance loans employ the equipment itself as collateral and have a set interest rate.

Choose the Vending Machines

The days of rusted machines that only accepted cash and seemed to have expired goods inside have long since passed. You may now choose from a wide variety of alternatives.

  • Food and beverage vending machines.  If you want to buy two or more machines and position them in various places, you may want to consider stocking different things in each, based on traffic in the region.
  • Bulk vending machines. Toys, rubber balls, lollipops, and other similar goods are sold in bulk vending machines. As these items are often operated by hand, they are also the least expensive because of lower operating costs.
  • Specialty vending machines. Specialty vending machines are new-age devices that provide premium goods that are distinct from standard commodities. It’s possible to distribute just about anything, from frozen treats to hot coffee.

No matter what kind of vending machine you decide to put in place, making sure that its contents appeal to your intended demographic should be your first focus.

Research Good Machine Locations

The placement of your vending machines is almost as crucial as the goods themselves. The success of your vending machine company depends on its location. Perform in-depth research and analysis of your intended audience. Which kind of customers often shop there, and what do they need?

If you were to put a food and drink vending machine next to a gym, you’d want to stock it with nutritious options like protein bars, electrolyte-infused beverages, and pre-mixed smoothies. Alternatively, it makes more sense to sell fabric softener and detergent pods in a dedicated vending machine at a laundromat.

Complete Your Business Structure

Your company structure decision will have legal and tax repercussions. The time and money needed to be in good standing with the state will change as a result. When registering a company, you may choose sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.

If you form an LLC, S Corporation, or C Corporation, you may be required to designate a registered agent who will serve as your company’s point of contact with the business.

Improve the Effectiveness of Your Vending Machine Company

It is reasonable to expect financial success after you have your vending machine company up and running. But you still have some things to accomplish. Profit maximization should now be your primary objective. The following two are some potential solutions:

  • Improve your inventory management. Many vending machines will need you to manually monitor your inventory. This means that if you have several identical devices, you should look into purchasing inventory management software.
  • Improve customer service: Providing excellent customer service is a great approach to set yourself apart from the competition. Making sure everything is in working order and that the machines are easy to operate and well supplied falls under this category.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the ins and outs of starting a vending machine company. Investigate potential products and locations to purchase or lease equipment first. Once you have your business up and running, you can transfer your attention to improving its efficiency and expanding your revenue stream. You’ll be able to quit your day job and retire comfortably rather quickly.