Welcome Fellow Candypreneur,
This page is meant for those who are relatively new to the bulk candy vending business. Starting a business is a lot of work and seems very overwhelming. Don’t worry that’s what this site is for. I will help you through the process of starting a bulk vending machine business. This page will give you a good starting point and road map as to what to do.
The first most critical part of setting off on this adventure is to make a decision that you will see this business through to success. There will be difficult times and a time when you want to quit that is exactly the time you need to find the motivation to double down. Failure is a choice, there is always a pivot or change you can make that can lead to success. This is the most important lesson I learned in my business building career. There will always be temporary defeat before you reach success. It seems as though that barrier is there to make sure only people with resolve will see success. You don’t fail until you give up, or give up trying to creatively overcome the obstacles. Can you commit to giving a business everything you have and push through the difficult times? Think this over carefully before you continue reading, it’s the most important decision you will make.
Okay you are reading on so I assume you have made your decision to start. Now the question is where? There are two major paths form here. This blog provides a lot of valuable insights into how to start and grow your business. Below I will outline the path and some key articles to read related to the path. Additional articles through out the site will fill in the gaps. The most detail and easiest to follow path is outlined in my ebook Candypreneur: Getting Started in the Hidden Industry of Bulk Candy Vending.
Before we move on to the nuts and bolts let’s get few other ideas in your head that will guide you to success.
You need goals both short and long term. Set long term goals, such as
but more importantly you also need short term goals such as
Measuring your success by the long term goals alone will cause you to burn out. So you need smaller goals that you can see happen as you go. Celebrate the little successes along the way and it will keep you motivated along the way. Here are a few mindset articles that are important in helping you head in the right direction.
The most common excuse for not starting is typically blamed on lack of resources. No money to start, or no time. These however are available if you put a priority on them. The most popular first obstacle for many is, how do you find the money to start your vending business? Depending on your current income level you may have to save for it. You will be buying a used machine so it should cost under $100. First option is to make sacrifices in your day to day life. Stop eating out. Downgrade or get rid of cable for a few months, or maybe even live off beans and rice for a while. If you are ready to make it happen you will find a way. Keep track of every expenditure of money for a while and carry a note card in your pocket that says “can I wait to buy this until after I get the candy machine?” and look at it with every purchase. When you start keeping track of your money habits it will show you where you can make the cuts to buy the machine.
Starting out you will want to get a 1 to 3 head vending machine. It will be cheaper to fill then the bigger ones. The one head machine is a great intro where you can buy just gumballs and make a decent income with minimal product expense. The three head will give you enough heads to test different candy performance. You can buy the machine used on ebay or craigslist. I would recommend a 1800 Vending, northwestern, beaver or vendstar machine as a starting point. Pick a metal machine it will last longer. For your starter candy I would do Peanut M&Ms, 1 inch Gumballs, and Mike and Ikes. Some people like to start with toys as toys won’t go stale, however picking the right one can be aa challenge. Whatever you start with don’t buy a ton of it right now. You need to test what works so the first products you buy may not be the best choices.
A good location should have a mix of high traffic, people hanging around for a while, Children, and hungry employees. Those are the secret to success. Pizza joints can be a really good place, as well as a video game store that have games available to try. For your first machine you will want something either close to home or close to work to make it convenient to service. Gas mileage factors into your profits.
Selling the location is an art form you will need to appeal to the owner’s self interests. How it will benefit their customers, employees and business. In the moment you will have to read the body language and portray confidence even if you want to wet yourself. It gets easier in time. Once you get a yes you are in business! If you have the cash you can also get a vending locator service to find you a location. Then all you need to do is show up. I recommend one below.
Give it at least 2 weeks before you check in on your first machine. Even farmers have to wait for their crops to grow. After that first two weeks go collect your earnings in 3 zip lock bags, one for each type of candy. See how much of the candy has been sold to make note what you will need to bring 2 weeks from then. You will want to track your income by candy type initially with spreadsheet program like Excel, google docs, or openoffice. After you grow a few more machines and can afford $10 a month I highly recommend using Vend Trak Software. It makes the financial side of your business easy to manage no matter your knowledge of money management.
From here you have a good starting point to getting going. I highly recommend you check out my Candypreneur ebook it provides a more complete road map with a lot of tips to help you along the way. Whatever path you take the most important thing is to just get started. You can learn along the way. Too much knowledge too quickly will make it more overwhelming then it really is. Take action, course correct as you go and keep taking action until you are successful. After that, set your sights on new goals and start taking action again.
I wish you luck fellow Candypreneur,