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flintflash last won the day on October 18 2018

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About flintflash

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  • Vending Type
    Full Line
  • Vending Since
    1994

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  1. Nice solid week, my friend! Say, looks like you GREW a few accounts. Well done!
  2. Oh that's to be expected. You right on the mark with your process!
  3. Perfect! That's about what I figured. I was hoping it wasn't an all day thing for you. 👍
  4. You'll get to that 30 account mark soon, my friend! Hey, just curious, but how long are you out on the route each day? Keep up the AWESOME work buddy!
  5. A couple of issues with this option. 1. is the cost, but more importantly 2. the size. This box from Home Depot or Lowes does not look deep enough to hold your product. The candy bars are too tall and you can't close the lid. If you leave the lid open, then you are defeating the purpose of the plastic tray for mouse issues. Mehehe is correct. Purchase a plastic box to place your snack tray into for protection from mice. It's WAY cheaper and you shouldn't really need many. We also have accounts that will place boxes in refrigerators or in cabinets to protect them. In 2 months, mice won't be a real issue since they will go back outside once it warms. It's bizarre that this is an issue. I can HONESTLY say that in 25 years of being in the Honor Snack business, we have never had a customer EVER ask for something different than our box. You must be in some extreme upscale area like Beverly Hills or Hollywood or something that people would even have an issue with a cardboard box. Personally, I would avoid them. My experience has been that the "Picky-er" the customer, the less likely they will pay. That's just the trends that I have experienced. Best of luck to you!
  6. If this is what you want to pursue for your own Honor Snack business, good luck and God Bless. More power to ya'! But why don't you pursue your idea first and THEN share the excitement and results with the community. I don't want to see other small honor snack businesses fail, even though YOU are prepared to fail (which I understand is how we learn and move forward). Don't really understand THIS comparison. No one is claiming that ANYTHING is unsinkable (or the perfect solution). What I am explaining is that your idea is NOT new, it's been tried with no success. It would be more like Coca-Cola trying to reintroduce New Coke again, only hoping it didn't fail this time. I'm sure the "Experts" would say "Sorry, No. Been there, done that!" If your would like TRUE, HONEST, CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK, I would be more than happy to share. I could save you a TON of money and heartache regarding these two ideas. I would think that with your business education and experience, that you would see that the Card Reader idea would NEVER pan out. It just the simple rule of ROI, Return on Investment. An average Honor box will generate roughly $20 per service. Once shortage and inventory costs are figured, you may be looking at $9-10 GROSS Profit. Now, a card reader will run you between $250-300, PLUS a monthly service fee, let's say $8 (they can be anywhere from $5-12/month). You ALSO have the 3-4% of sales that you have to give the credit processing. An honor box simply could NOT sustain the expense. And all this BEFORE you even get to the real "nuts and bolts" expenses. Again, the BEAUTY of the Honor Snack industry is it's SIMPLISTIC service concept and it's LOW investment (no equipment). You see...I am running the everyday Luxury Steamliner and YOU are building the TITANIC. I am only trying to point out the 500 Icebergs that are in your way. More like " Ay Caramba!" But seriously, I would be happy to give feedback that will greatly help you and your Honor Snack business. Please feel free to message me any time. Just my 2 cents!
  7. Excellent weekly gross! I see you ran 5 days this week. Did you add a day, or just split up another day? You have been hovering strong at that 340 mark and your shortages have been GREAT! Keep up the FANTASTIC work, my friend!
  8. I'm just looking out for your best interest and that of my fellow forum members. I would hate to see you waste your money, time and effort on an idea that is not necessary nor is there a demand for it. Feel free to pursue it. I am just sharing my years of experience with you. You'll do what you want to do, but you asked for feedback. Just ask yourself if a wooden snack tray is going to make a huge impact on the 50 accounts that you service. If THAT is what you think your business needs to "move to the next level", You're probably not going to last long. I don't mean to be so blunt, but that's me being straight up and honest with you. If you're trying to make a quick buck off the folks on this forum, then I am here to be their voice of reason. Again, just my 2 cents.
  9. I like the enthusiasm, but realistically, a wooden honor box would be a waste of time. A wooden box will be much heavier, bulkier, more awkward to carry, clumsy to stack in your vehicle, and too expensive. The beauty of the Honor Snack business is the ability to service a GREAT number of small accounts with very little overhead. The idea of a wooden box would not be very cost effective for a start-up business. It also would not be profitable for YOU, because there would not be enough demand for it. You need to understand that for the average honor box start-up and/or veteran, replacing a cardboard box with a wooden box is not an earth-shattering concern for them. The primary focus should be on Placing New Accounts, Servicing your Existing Accounts on a Schedule, Working your Shortages, Rotating Inventory and Menus, Keeping your Expenses in Check. Buying 50 wooden boxes puts WAY TOO MUCH overhead costs on a small honor box business with very little return on investment. The best way to help small businesses is to be successful with your own honor snack business and then share that experience and wisdom with others. I have been in this industry for 25 years and have watched ideas for "improving" the honor system come and go. I've seen wooden honor boxes, plastic honor boxes, boxes with locks, boxes with mechs that open once money has been inserted, and ALL of them are gone. The cardboard box is just way more practical and cost effective for this industry. It is inexpensive, durable, and easy to handle and pack. Why "reinvent the wheel" only to make it heavier and more costly. Sink your energy and enthusiasm into your honor snack business and share the success stories. THAT will have a more positive impact on the industry. TRUST ME! Just my 2 cents.
  10. Numbers are still looking strong, Bryan!
  11. Have you been participating in the different manufacturer's rebate programs up to this point on your own? Hershey, Mars, Frito-Lay, General Mills, Kelloggs, etc.? USG basically manages THESE rebate programs for you and then take a percentage cut for administrative costs. They DO sometimes negotiate a little bit more lucrative program for their members (an extra percent rebate, or softer sales targets to hit), but YOU are still responsible to hit these program targets, typically based on a percentage of growth over last year. Some have conditions based on purchasing several SKU's or Core products, but each manufacturers rebate program is different. USG essentially tracks your progress on the rebate programs and pays you accordingly. MY issue with the USG rebates is that you receive them in one giant rebate check with little to NO breakdown information as to how you performed on each manufacturers program and how the rebate check was calculated. Getting that back-up info involves alot of "hoop jumping", in my opinion. I have always monitored my own rebate programs and know to the dollar what I should be receiving. That's me though (the "accountant" in me needs to track my numbers). I would suggest that you track your manufacturers rebate programs on your own for a year and see how they work (if you haven't been participating in them up to this point). Learn them, how they work and then make a decision. I'm not saying not to join USG, but the rebates are a BIG reason most join and most rebates are available to you as an independent vendor. USG has many other benefits, like the Purchase Power program (monthly buying specials on certain items) that, I think, Anacapa is referring to (or whatever they call it now). Talk to your Vistar rep about the different rebate programs. They should be able to point you to the Manufacturer's Rep or Broker in your area to sign up for them.
  12. AMEN, Brutha, AMEN!!! Yikes! I don't know why anyone would sell at the $1.25 price point and NOT include chocolate in their box. $1.50 may be a tough bit to swallow for the customer at this point. Be careful with that. What part of Minnesota are you from? Got to be a real challenge running routes with the weather you all have been having.
  13. I responded to this on the Honor Box thread instead of on this one. This is Bryan's thread that he shares his progress on and didn't want to clog it up with my ramblings...LOL.
  14. Interesting take. I've been in the industry for 25 years, and grown my honor snack business to multiple route drivers. While trying to hold the $1.00 price point is very convenient (trust me, we held it for 11 years now), I know that $1.25 is rapidly becoming the common price point. Candy prices are NOT going to hold at this price for long and everyone will need to adjust. A smart vendor will be proactive and anticipate the change, before they are forced to HAVE to change later on. With Nestle's candy division being sold to Ferrara, Mars and Hershey will have more incentive and comfort raising their prices. I've seen it a couple dozen times over my honor snack tenure. Any gross profit margin UNDER 45% in the honor snack business will ultimately result in slow failure. Also, I think you are missing a HUGE opportunity and sales potential by NOT running chips. Yes, they take up room in the box, but we have accounts that we have seperate "Chip Trays" for because chips can out sell candy at many locations, particularly blue collar. We sell almost as many bags of Bugles as we do Snicker bars. Your Sales volume would need to be 2.5 times mine to produce the same Gross Profit percentage. Next, my experience has shown that multiple price points don't work long term. Sure folks will abide by it at first, but eventually your customers will pay the LOWER price for everything in your box. Trust me, it is inevitable. When "pulling" an account (removing their box), you should ALWAYS talk to someone and let them know why. Why burn the bridge. You may be able to get that customer back some day. We ALWAYS leave notes to let the customer know what's going on with the box, so there are NO SURPRISES. People get upset when the box is all of a sudden removed and will more than likely never welcome you back. I enjoy reading about new folks in honor snacks and WANT to see everyone SUCCEED! It is good for our industry to have strong vendors. JUst my 2 cents.
  15. Hey Jerry! That is a very common and normal problem. Some chips tend to have more of an issue than others. There really is nothing that you can do about it. Try to avoid the cheaper brand chips, but really all chips will have the oil problem a bit. I replace my boxes on a regular basis to discard any that are extremely bad, but unfortunately it's going to be a continuous problem because cardboard will suck up the oil and show the stains. Most customers either understand this or don't notice (or care). Very rarely do I ever get a customer that has an issue with this. And the few that I do (we're talking a small handful), my drivers just make sure they give that customer a newer snack tray. Hope this helps.
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