cc5By this point your business should be in full gear and rolling, and you can start considering your Next Step; Expanding, Building Up, and Making Profit. From startup to now, unless you already had the time, capital, or simply the persistence and plan to go for a full-blown business incursion from the get-go, it’s likely that the vending machine operation has been a part-time expenditure on the side of the rest of one’s life. But sooner or later we can consider going from part-time to full-time, from a small operation out of your house to a properly sizeable local business, from entrepreneurial spirit to driving a full-on profitable business concept.

This is when we start to really GROW the business, looking for new areaa, markets, even products and services. To do this, one will have to start scaling things properly and smoothly. No large business gets so extremely successful and profitable without having a lot of people and production to back it up, and here’s how and why to get it.

Want to learn more? Get tips on developing your vending machine’s business plan here. Learn how to build a vending route here.

Selling vs Scaling

As one grows and builds their locations, builds their ‘routes,’ they will sooner or later get to that certain tipping point  of having amassed a veritable selection of in-business machines under their belt. It is after this point that one’s business has taken hold, and they have a choice to make. Do you continue to grow it, adding more and more spots to grow the income, business breadth, and reach; or selling your machine route to another party for profit, from which you can then use it for some other business opportunity or to fund yourself for the NEXT round of building and placing your vending machines in new locations.

cc6Both options hold their ups and downs, the latter often being used by entrepreneurs with new tech ideas. In a sense it’s similar to rolling houses, spending money to get ‘makeover’ a certain area with your machines and then selling it for a nice little profit, only being able to get some money rolled back while it’s happening; in fact it’s required, the route needing to develop to a smooth and steady income flow before it has any chances of being a tempting buy. The great part about going this route is the ability to manage and run everything by yourself, with little to no need for any extra help as you find and put together a smaller number of locations over and over again. It also allows for a faster and more immediate profit bump.

Occ7n the other hand, in order to be able to sell the route for what you believe it to be worth, you then need to do a LOT of work and research to compile a pitch that proves to the local buyer that it’s worth their payment. Not to mention that, if handled well and properly, that potential profit which they’re getting out of it COULD have been yours.

For though it’s not immediate, the benefit to continuing with expansion while keeping all machines, again so long as it’s being done really well, is a much higher return in money over the long run. But as it gets bigger, there becomes more that needs investing; more machines to buy and handle, people that need hiring to keep track and manage over it all, you actually are turning into a company. The effort can certainly be rewarded, but it needs the effort to have a chance of happening.

The final choice is yours, depending on what your particular long-term hopes and goals are with this. If looking to sell, then that’s all there is to it; find a local buyer, show them the advantages (locations all close together and thus saving gas, strong customer interest, unique ideas, etc), sell and then go back to doing all the other things we’ve talked about in this book. But if you’d like to continue, then here are some things best left considering.

vending-machine-empireLocations Locations Locations, Yet Again

The importance of location has already been touched upon a few times, and there should be no need for reminder that one should ALWAYS be looking for new locations, especially if you’re the path to Selling solidly made routes after fixed periods. Seriously here though, this is a full requirement for a successful long-running vending business either way. One has to keep looking and searching with the same fervor as when they started, trying to get into new potentially profitable locations on a regular basis.

Obviously this is done to build profit and income sources for the year, but there’s an even larger, daunting reason why this habit is such a necessity. For at the end of the day the fact remains, no matter how tasty and popular your snacks, or how well your business and customer skills are polished, none of your machines will last forever. The time they spend in each location is definitively finite. There will always be some reason or time where it’ll be removed, whether it no longer (or never) does well with local crowds, trends change, the area proves too dangerous to keep there, or the building gets renovated/taken down. As for when this will be, it’s also just as ambiguous, lasting everywhere from 20+ years to 6 months.

Thus we need to keep looking, if anything to find locations that can REPLACE the ones we will no doubtly lose at some point in the future. Not to mention to increase the Market Awareness; for though you’ll want to start locally, sooner or later it shall seem like the number of ‘ideal options’ which you figured out so long ago are drying out, and the best place to look from there is BEYOND. And as you place and explore further and further, the more people in the know learn about your vending business and/or product. Doing this is easy, all one has to do is expand their circle, look for similar locations, and continue from there (the only issue sooner or later, as distance increases, is getting there, easily solved once employee and office growth is implemented, see below).

One can also look back into OLD locations that originally decided they didn’t want you in. After some time in the business, having proven your machine successful and very well liked by each location’s demographics, head back to an area owner/manager who previously said ‘no’ and show them the work that you’ve put into it. You never know, they could easily change their mind.

That’s not even considering the ability to implement your machines into once-thought-unprofitable locations due to the change in demographics, new businesses, or even new changes/improvements/diversification to your own product offerings (if you get into it, which we’ll discuss in a bit). A whole world of options can and will open up the longer your business remains in tact and in the market, all one has to do is look for and get to them.

cc8The Need of Hiring

The fact remains that the more the business expands, the more machines that get set up, more people to deal with, more product you need to make/get in, then the more you’ll need extra help and hands. You’ll only be able to continue going out and doing everything yourself for so long, but at some point things will need to get delegated so you actually have time to handle orders, organization, and future business management. Ultimately the tasks that you want to hand out to others and keep for yourself is up to you, but it’ll become really clear rather soon which tasks YOU need to keep hold of to ensure the successful running of the business to your interests.

At first, this will likely start with jobs based on instillation and building the machine (if not already contracted out), along with having one or two p