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STOP talking yourself into doing accounts!


RJT

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STOP talking yourself into doing accounts!!!

 

I watch threads all the time on here where people try their best in justifying doing marginal accounts.

 

I can do a combo machine and save money buying two machines.

I think I can add volume buy adding energy drinks, or some other higher margin items

I think I can get more volume by giving them better selection

I think I can get more volume by servicing them better.

I think I can do ok even though its low volume by servicing them once a month.

I think I can do more volume by adding a cold food, coffee, frozen, ice cream, ets, machine.

 

STOP IT!!!

 

You can not make dog accounts better with any of these tactics to the degree they are worth fooling with.

 

Here is the thing in a nut shell. In vending a drink only, snack only or drink-snack needs to be serviced every week or no less than once a week. The average money pull needs to be around $75 for a drink only, around $50 for snack only and around $150 to $200 for a drink snack account. Anything else is not worth fooling with and you are only wasting your time.

 

Sometimes the once a month account may make sense but most times it doesn’t. A Laundromat may work but even then it is a risk because if you are servicing once a month you run the risk of out of date product, service calls that are never called in and you never know about.  I even had this happen at a once a week account I have. I went to service it and a note was on the machine “out of service” and like $3 in the machine. I got no service call at all on the machine and it must had happen within hours after I left the week before. What happens if this was a once a month account?

 

 

Full line accounts with coffee, cold food, snack, drink, etc is a whole different animal that most on here are not doing so I will not go into detail about that but similar principles apply but the risk is much greater.

 

If you find yourself in a situation where you are making less than these numbers then find another account to replace it with.

 

Also keep in mind pricing is important. Doing these numbers and making little PROFIT yes I said PROFIT then you are still doing no good. At the end of the day you are buying candy bars for $0.50 and selling them for $1.00 with 20% paid back you are making little to no money after service and carrying cost.

 

Let the other people do these accounts and you concentrate on building a solid company that is PROFITABLE.

 

Remember my motto “If it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense.”

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WHOA, WHOA, WHOA

RJT in my opinion you have crossed a line here, Quit acting like you are giving people free advice when all you are trying to do is sell books and consulting services.

I have been in this buisness for 12 years and like most people on here I have accounts that average  500 to 600 a week and I have accounts that average 75 a week for a pop and snack.The bulk of my accounts average 90 to 110 a week. But if I can get 4 or 5 accounts within a two mile area of each other and they average 100 a week and I can service them in two to three hours whats the difference in that and if I have a big account with the same amount of equipment (cost wise) and does 500 a week. I will tell you the difference. Almost nobody is going after my 100 a week accounts and everybody is going after your 500 a week account. If I can get accounts that average 75 to a 100 a week for a pop and snack and it fits in geographically with what I am already doing then I say give me all you got. If you dont want them fine with me thats how I went from 5 pop machines to over 100 machines. I have accounts that have started out at 50 to 75 a week and now do over 300 a week because I stuck with them as they grew when everyone else said your wasting your time and none of the big guys wanted them, and now they aint gonna git em. They dont all turn out like that and there are some that you have to cut. But to tell people that if they are not grossing a certain amount that the customer is scum and is not worth serving is IMO just horseshit and also IMO borderline malpractice.

Every experience person on here knows that there is alot more to it than that. Such as overhead, location, pricing to just name a couple. 

Now that I have taken about hour to calm down after I read your post let me say this

 

You have struck a nerve and I am pissed, and basically I think you sir are full of golpher

 

I now apologize to everyone else out there for my french and please understand that I did not mean to offend anyone other than the person who wrote the piece of dribble that started this post.

 

Sincerely

The snack dude

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RJT in my opinion you have crossed a line here, Quit acting like you are giving people free advice when all you are trying to do is sell books and consulting services.

 

Sometimes posts have the opposite result.

Someone can lose more sales than they gain with posts like the one above.

It's happened around here before.

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I think that that if things fit geographically, and you can get equipment cheap, do it! I live in a hick town, and I have been working to place some machines close to each other they may only make $100 a week, but I am not spending thousands on machines. $400 a month for an hour a work isn't bad at all. If a person can get 3 or 4 of these types of accounts, it begins to make sense. Machines on craigslist go for cheap all the time. Plus, if the locations start small, who's to say that they won't grow in the next years? I just landed a gym that only has 150 members, but is growing 15-20 new members a month. This will eventually add up, while I look for larger accounts. Not all accounts can be 5 star. Especially in small towns. Was the first girl you banged a 10? Mine sure wasn't! 

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If you have a vending machine on site out of the garage and making a profit-that's good!

If you have introduced the idea of a third machine to a slow account-that's good

1) If I have a combo machine next door to a large account making money-that's good

2) Adding energy drinks to a menu is an INCREASE in profit-that's good

3) Increasing selections could increase sales-that's good!

4) You will get more sales if you increase service frequency-that's good!

5) Adding a coffee, frozen, cold food is an opportunity to increase sales, secure an account and make more money! that's good

6) You could make dog accounts better if you TRY-I post a request list, service the machine on a different day and or time to TRY and catch employees using the machines whom I would have  never  have seen if I was on the same old schedule! I also would ASK if there are any problems-that's good

 

Revenue per day, revenue per hour , revenue per block, revenue per machine-they can all be increased-sometimes it just takes TIME! that's good. Opportunity might be right in front of you-that's good

Small accounts turn into large accounts, large accounts turn into small accounts. These are challenges we all face. Vending machines are just coiled up with opportunity-that's great! I will take a dime any day and invest it back into my business-! that's awesome!

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WHOA, WHOA, WHOA

RJT in my opinion you have crossed a line here, Quit acting like you are giving people free advice when all you are trying to do is sell books and consulting services.

I have been in this buisness for 12 years and like most people on here I have accounts that average  500 to 600 a week and I have accounts that average 75 a week for a pop and snack.The bulk of my accounts average 90 to 110 a week. But if I can get 4 or 5 accounts within a two mile area of each other and they average 100 a week and I can service them in two to three hours whats the difference in that and if I have a big account with the same amount of equipment (cost wise) and does 500 a week. I will tell you the difference. Almost nobody is going after my 100 a week accounts and everybody is going after your 500 a week account. If I can get accounts that average 75 to a 100 a week for a pop and snack and it fits in geographically with what I am already doing then I say give me all you got. If you dont want them fine with me thats how I went from 5 pop machines to over 100 machines. I have accounts that have started out at 50 to 75 a week and now do over 300 a week because I stuck with them as they grew when everyone else said your wasting your time and none of the big guys wanted them, and now they aint gonna git em. They dont all turn out like that and there are some that you have to cut. But to tell people that if they are not grossing a certain amount that the customer is scum and is not worth serving is IMO just horseshit and also IMO borderline malpractice.

Every experience person on here knows that there is alot more to it than that. Such as overhead, location, pricing to just name a couple. 

Now that I have taken about hour to calm down after I read your post let me say this

 

You have struck a nerve and I am pissed, and basically I think you sir are full of golpher

 

I now apologize to everyone else out there for my french and please understand that I did not mean to offend anyone other than the person who wrote the piece of dribble that started this post.

 

Sincerely

The snack dude

 

Snackdude,

 

You call it like you see it. First off I get VERY little from this site as far as book sales and consulting. I have over 500 post (141 more than you) on this site and have participated off and on for a few years. I assure you my time spent posting and giving advice far out weighs any money I have made in book sales and consulting. I do it because I enjoy helping people. You can even ask some of my consulting clients they usually get waaaay more time than they pay for in the end because I enjoy seeing people be successful and end up helping them far greater many times than what they spent. Even after their time is up I usually call them or send them an email seeing how they are doing and how their business is doing. It never fails they always ask my advice on something and I give it to them and never charge or ask for more consulting time.

 

I guess all these other folks that sell parts, machines, etc are just here to sell parts, machines, etc? I don’t see it that way. Folks here spend a lot of time helping people for free and if they get a sale from it then great. My post was not to criticize any particular one person but I see people all the time make these mistakes and loose money. Matter of fact most of the experienced vendors on here constantly steer people away from doing similar things I said.

 

It would be like someone posting a similar post to mine that does machine repair, and parts sales about STOP buying junk machines and naming the ones not to buy. Some people could be offended and say that they have had great luck with combo machines, Sega, Planet Anatres, etc and that is what they can afford because they find them on CL very cheap. While experienced vendors would say you couldn’t give them to us for free. I wouldnt take it as they are just trying to sell their "wares" I would take it as solid advice from someone that knows.

 

 

If you will take the time to read my post again I said the “average” money pull. That means the average across all your accounts. Could that mean you have some accounts doing less than some? Yes, so that means you could have some doing less than the average I sated and some doing more to create the general average I spoke about. You never turn down accounts? We tell people all the time to not take certain accounts on here. So does that mean these accounts are "scum" as you like to say? No they just done make sense to do.

 

 

If you don’t agree with the advice that is fine but name calling and slamming someone personally is a little much. The fact is you don’t know me personally and to attack me saying the only reason I am here is to peddle books and consulting is pretty insulting.

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Let me give this scenario as a business model to maybe clear up something some people may have misunderstood from my original post.

 

Let’s say a person has only 10 accounts that break down like this.

 

They service a total of 13 machines at these ten total accounts because they let the bottlers do full service and get paid a commission. With all accounts being serviced once a week with maybe one or two they service EOW.

 

Account A: snack with a bottler asset doing average $110 a week in snack machine

Account B: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $100 a week in a snack machine

Account C: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $65.00 a week in a snack machine

Account D: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $55.00 a week in a snack machine

Account E: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $375 a week in 2 snack machines 1 drink with two other bottler assets on site.

Account F: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $45 a week in a snack machine

Account G: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $40 a week in a snack machine

Account H: snack with a bottler asset doing average of $55 a week in a snack machine

Account I: snack only doing average of $200 a week in 2 snack machine

Account J: snack only doing average of $60 a week in 1 snack machine

 

 

Total gross average before bottler asset commission is $1105.00 a week. Total average per machine is around $85 per week, per machine that you actually service.Total average commission from bottlers is $225 a week (keep in mind this is net money not gross)

 

If you factor in the bottler commission along with the average of each machine actually serviced it is jumps the average to $100 per account. Hard to get exacts because one is gross and another is net but I look at it as per account average. The bottler money is kinda like “free money” since you have no machine to buy, product to buy,service, repair, etc.

 

My point is, in this scenario you had machines performing much lower than others and not in the “average” in my original post if you take the info I gave on face value only. However the actual average is in the range of what I posted.  

 

13 accounts like this should be able to be serviced in a one day period. That is around $138 dollars an hour before bottler commissions.

 

So even with what looks like dog accounts on a route the average can still be in the range that I quoted as what I feel people should be operating in to be profitable and worth owning their own vending company.

 

It’s kinda like the the line we get from some of our customers “if you were cheaper you would sell more”. Yep, I sure would and I would work that much harder to make the same amount of money. IMO the same applies in the overall optimal vending operation model. Be smart and work less for the same amount of money someone else may work twice as hard making in the vending industry.

 

You could take this same situation and do away with the bottler assets and do them yourself and the average may not work out in your favor or it may even improve your average. No two situations are alike but in the end you need to set a goal for a certain average that makes sense.

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I think that that if things fit geographically, and you can get equipment cheap, do it! I live in a hick town, and I have been working to place some machines close to each other they may only make $100 a week, but I am not spending thousands on machines. $400 a month for an hour a work isn't bad at all. If a person can get 3 or 4 of these types of accounts, it begins to make sense. Machines on craigslist go for cheap all the time. Plus, if the locations start small, who's to say that they won't grow in the next years? I just landed a gym that only has 150 members, but is growing 15-20 new members a month. This will eventually add up, while I look for larger accounts. Not all accounts can be 5 star. Especially in small towns. Was the first girl you banged a 10? Mine sure wasn't! 

 

The way I look at this is vending in general does not make sense to do at all in certain geographical or even demographical areas. No different than opening a Sushi restaurant in the middle of BFE in the country where people eat corn bread and drink sweet tea. Or you could have the reverse of that with someone trying to open a "dinner" serving fried chicken, greens, and meatloaf in Beverly Hills. You want your business situated in the best possible geographical and demographical area to make it work. If you can’t accomplish that in a “hick town” then maybe invest your money in a hunting and fishing store or something that works better.  

 

 

People call me all the time from tiny towns that are a long drive to possible good accounts and I tell them to not get into the vending business. It just doesn’t make sense and they would be better suited to do something else or move to where it does make sense.

 

Using your girl analogy, if you hung out at a place where only ugly girls where then your chances of getting the 10 is slim and none.  If I hang out where the good looking gals are mu chances are much greater.  Move or start hanging in the places where the “10” are at and your chances go up greatly. J

 

Sure accounts can grow into something bigger and better but you need to have an idea going in if that is the case before you do business with them. There is a BIG difference in a gym with 100 members with possibly “room to grow” and a new manufacture moving into town with only 40 employees that say they are projecting to hire 200 more in the next two years. Which makes better sense to take? Which look like the safer bet?  Sure you could gamble on the gym but why? I would take the manufacturing account over the gym any day even though they have fewer employees.

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"Here is the thing in a nut shell. In vending a drink only, snack only or drink-snack needs to be serviced every week or no less than once a week. The average money pull needs to be around $75 for a drink only, around $50 for snack only and around $150 to $200 for a drink snack account. Anything else is not worth fooling with and you are only wasting your time."

 

"A copy of what you posted. you are talking about one account here, not an average of all accounts.

 

A perfect example of my point is just this past thursday I met with a small manufacturer who has 30 employees. I was given his name from an existing customer, In fact his company is one of the grew to gross over 300 a week companies that I talked about in my first post.

He asked if I would be interested? So I go meet with the guy. Turns out he is two doors down from an existing descent account and around the corner from another small account. I can stand at any one of those businesses and see the other two. I have an older pop and snack sitting in my warehouse that needs to find a home and these are machines that I would not place at a nicer bigger account. So I will place those machines next week and sell him coffee and extras to help out the account. 

Even if I only gross 50 dollars a week out of both machines combined starting out I can almost push my cart to his business from one of my other two. And I have hopefully gained a customer/friend who maybe knows some other small company that would like vending machines or he may know the plant manager at the big facility down the street that has 200 cars in the parking lot.....who knows. But I am not going to know that if I go in and tell the owner " well I am not going to gross 150 to 200 a week out of here so I am not going waste my time doing it" Or 6 months to a year from now I might have to pull the machines, again you wont know unless you try. Would I go out and mortgage the business by going into debt to buy machines or drive 20 miles out of my way for this account? Hell no. If I did not have two machines in my warehouse like some of the posts above I would be looking for used machines to buy or maybe calling my friends at coke or pepsi to give me a third party machine until I could come up with one of my own.

I would think as a consultant that you of all people would have known better than to make a blanket statement like that. I just gave you my complete business plan for the last 12 years and I did not charge you 14.99 to read it.

There is that better I did not attack you personally this time.

Just do not get upset if I know what snake oil looks like.

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Snake oil? Awful lot of experienced people on here including some moderators recommend my book pretty often to be snake oil.

 

I will give you credit for making a nice attempt to misdirect the discussion from your original point to snake oil.

Its an old trick, car dealers use it all the time, I think they teach that in political science classes or marketing 101. (same major)

 

I use to tell my kids when they were growing up

"Sometimes you just have to bet it all on a pair of fives"

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Why should I continue the debate with you? Looks to me you have made up your mind what you “think” about me.

You didn’t even address any of the other looong post I made explaining my thoughts so I didn’t see any reason to continue an intelligent conversation/debate with you at that point.

And yes saying you know what “snake oil looks like” it is the same as insulting me personally. Only difference it is just insinuated not implied.

If you look at the bottom left of my original post 4 people “liked” it so some folks see my points I was trying to make.

If it makes you happy to do those types of accounts then by all means have at it. I on the other hand would rather do and consult others to NOT do them and look for the better accounts from the start.

Being profitable is one thing because if you clear $5.00 and account after expenses that means you are profitable. However you will NEVER make a decent living in the vending industry. At that point you might as well work for “the man” and not have all the headaches associated with owning a business. To build a vending business to the point of making a reasonable living and to build it to the point of being able to sell or pass it along to your children for retirement one day you had better build your averages to the similar numbers I mentioned. If not you will play heck being able to be able to afford growth for machines, route drivers, warehouse, insurances, basic cash flow, etc. to make a decent living and be able to retire one day.

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When I consider opening any new account,  I look at it as a possible liabilty more than an asset.  I have to provide the equipment, keep it clean, working and stocked on a regular basis.  This all takes time but that's what I'm in business for.  If it doesn't pan out I have to shut it down or continue to waste my time maintaining it which takes more time, not to mention the moving expense.  For me it's all about maximizing your profit per hour.  I currently only have thirty machines operating at a gross of 6k a month.  It takes 10 days a month to service this route including the pick up of supplies.  I have a manufacturing facility with seven machines that's been slowly shrinking for years that I'm thinking of closing down.  It's doing $500 a month but takes an extra 2 days to service even with the low sales - basically while it is making some money, it's dragging down my average and eating up time that could be spent in better places.

 

I don't mean to ramble here, but I think the point of RJT's post was to encourage new vendors not to "build their houses on the sand" but instead wait for a good account to come along. For sure, this is easier said than done for new vendors who've been reading this forum and are hot to get started but this a patience game - most of the best accounts will already have vending services and most accounts for sale are somebodies' dregs that they don't want to waste their time on anymore.  Having been there, done that, I am building my business very slowly (2 good accounts a year) by looking for people who are retiring or just getting out.  My goal is to have 40 machines doing a gross margin of 10K a month (20K gross) - I might have to spend 12 days a month doing it but it's entirely possible with the right accounts.

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Big ups to everybody!

 

RJT, as usual your advice is right on the money. Snackdude, you too, also hit a home run. Chris in BC, you're spot on also. TKK, your advice is always awesome! And the same to just about everyone else. In other words, my fellow vendors, it's quite obvious that there are many, many different ways to running and operating a vending business. You witness it first hand every time you log on to this wonderful forum!

 

 I've been in the business since 1995 and have met a ton of vending operators, and i can assure you that no 2 vendors approach this business in exactly the same way! Everyone of them have their own unique approach & style that...(drum roll, please!!)...works for them! I have vending comrades who pull a trailer, comrades who use Sprinter vans, some who use pick ups with camper shells, mini vans, or just the family car. I know vendors who never buy any new equipment for their busniess, some who usually only buy new equipment for their business, and some who only use 3rd party soft drink machines. Some of my vending buddies will only set up accounts that do $150+, while  some will take whatever they can get, even $15 a week accounts. But guess what? It works for them. Our individual interpretation of what works for us in this business is usually not up for debate or criticism, but being the entrepreneurs that we are, we're always open to advice and strategies that will enhance our way of conducting business and ultimately increase our cash flow. That's probably the biggest motivating factor why we come to this forum everyday, to teach & be taught, to share our individual experiences and approach to this business which, more than likely, will impact others in a business building positive way.

  

But there are specific tenents of this business that we, as a collective lot, must incorporate in our business or else risk the spectre of being kicked to the curb: Our machines have to be working, clean, and kept stocked with fresh products. Watch the expiration dates. We need to be approachable, personable, professional, and have a nice warm smile for our patrons. There are other just as important variables that we need to adhere to, but let's save those for another post!

 

  

 

 

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I think that that if things fit geographically, and you can get equipment cheap, do it! I live in a hick town, and I have been working to place some machines close to each other they may only make $100 a week, but I am not spending thousands on machines. $400 a month for an hour a work isn't bad at all. If a person can get 3 or 4 of these types of accounts, it begins to make sense. Machines on craigslist go for cheap all the time. Plus, if the locations start small, who's to say that they won't grow in the next years? I just landed a gym that only has 150 members, but is growing 15-20 new members a month. This will eventually add up, while I look for larger accounts. Not all accounts can be 5 star. Especially in small towns. Was the first girl you banged a 10? Mine sure wasn't! 

Does a 10 at 2 count? ;D

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RJT, as usual your advice is right on the money. Snackdude, you too, also hit a home run. Chris in BC, you're spot on also. TKK, your advice is always awesome! And the same to just about everyone else. In other words, my fellow vendors, it's quite obvious that there are many, many different ways to running and operating a vending business. You witness it first hand every time you log on to this wonderful forum!

 

 I've been in the business since 1995 and have met a ton of vending operators, and i can assure you that no 2 vendors approach this business in exactly the same way!......But guess what? It works for them. Our individual interpretation of what works for us in this business is usually not up for debate or criticism, but being the entrepreneurs that we are, we're always open to advice and strategies that will enhance our way of conducting business and ultimately increase our cash flow. That's probably the biggest motivating factor why we come to this forum everyday, to teach & be taught, to share our individual experiences and approach to this business which, more than likely, will impact others in a business building positive way.

 

Great post.

 

Your explanation about the variety of ways you can run a vending business AND still be successful is exactly why posts like the OP are often met with such passionate opposition.

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Great post.

 

Your explanation about the variety of ways you can run a vending business AND still be successful is exactly why posts like the OP are often met with such passionate opposition.

 

People’s definition of “successful” can vary greatly. One person may be satisfied doing a few accounts that can be done in a few hours a week and clear $300 a week in his pocket. The next person is not satisfied until they are clearing $3000 a week in their pocket.  

 

Maybe my original post should have had a caveat to that effect. My thing is most people I deal with are wanting to get started in vending and their goal is to build a large vending company and sell it off  or be able to hand it down to another generation of family while drawing a salary for retirement.

 

I always ask their long term goal and usually that is their intended end result. Some may not start out with that exact plan but would like to have that as an option to them from the start. With that comes some foundation lying that can get you their in a certain time frame.

 

With that said, I didn’t mean to offend anyone with the post I just wanted to help people to stop making so many mistakes from the start by talking themselves into some of these low volume accounts. Hey, I am speaking from experience here I have seen them and if you apply the basic fundamentals of vending operations to the account even get creative you still cant make them perform any better. Simply some accounts are just not worth doing and each operator will have to decide what their threshold is for choosing which accounts they try and which they don’t.

 

I have seen larger companies turn down accounts that anyone of us on here would fall over ourselves to get. It simply didn’t fit their business model. I am VERY picky about what accounts I will even try, I turn them down every week because I have certain goals for my company and plan on sticking with that unless the market says I can not stick to that plan or I get out of vending all together.

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I enjoyed this topic at the beginning but come on guys... we are adults here.  I shouldn't be the one recommending that both of you (RJT and Snackdude) act like adults because I PREFER to act childish on a regular basis (except when I am doing business).  Seriously though.. I see both of your points, and Chocolate Bar W/Nuts pointed that out.  No one is 100% right nor 100% wrong here.

 

Let's all try to agree on one thing here.  The PRIMARY GOAL for any FOR-PROFIT business is to MAKE PROFITS!!!!  It doesn't matter if your profitt is $100,000 or $0.01.  Any profit is a good profit.  Now, if this were a question about being successful (based off of a subjective definition of successful), then RJT is right in his OWN OPINION of what needs to be done to be successful.  However, many of us live in areas where it's simply unreasonable to limit your business to accounts that only make $150-$200/week.  

 

Here in Dayton, you are lucky to find an account that does $150/week.  Large vendors will try to cut your throat in a heartbeat for those accounts.  I COULD pass up the smaller accounts if I wanted to, but I KNOW I can make a decent profit on an account that only does $50/week.  Why do I know that?  Because I know I can spend $1,000 on a decent snack machine and can machine and make close to 50% profit on that account which will pay for itself in about 1 year.  I mean, what can't be replaced on a single price can machine?  You could almost replace everything for about $500 with new or like-new parts that will last another 20 years.  They don't look that pretty but the big vendors don't compete with you so you can get away with charging a nice price for cans.

 

My point is this -- as a business person in nature, I don't care whether I make $50/week in profit on a decent account or $50/week in profit from 5 small accounts combined.  A profit is a profit.  There's no need to get heated over a difference of opinions, but I side with snackdude because it can be absolutely silly to pass up on an opportunity to earn a profit JUST because someone else does't deem the account to be successful enough for their standards.

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People’s definition of “successful” can vary greatly. One person may be satisfied doing a few accounts that can be done in a few hours a week and clear $300 a week in his pocket. The next person is not satisfied until they are clearing $3000 a week in their pocket.  

 

Maybe my original post should have had a caveat to that effect. My thing is most people I deal with are wanting to get started in vending and their goal is to build a large vending company and sell it off  or be able to hand it down to another generation of family while drawing a salary for retirement.

 

I always ask their long term goal and usually that is their intended end result. Some may not start out with that exact plan but would like to have that as an option to them from the start. With that comes some foundation lying that can get you their in a certain time frame.

 

With that said, I didn’t mean to offend anyone with the post I just wanted to help people to stop making so many mistakes from the start by talking themselves into some of these low volume accounts. Hey, I am speaking from experience here I have seen them and if you apply the basic fundamentals of vending operations to the account even get creative you still cant make them perform any better. Simply some accounts are just not worth doing and each operator will have to decide what their threshold is for choosing which accounts they try and which they don’t.

 

I have seen larger companies turn down accounts that anyone of us on here would fall over ourselves to get. It simply didn’t fit their business model. I am VERY picky about what accounts I will even try, I turn them down every week because I have certain goals for my company and plan on sticking with that unless the market says I can not stick to that plan or I get out of vending all together.

This should have been part of the first post. Then I would have said that I do not agree but if thats your plan and it makes you happy go for it. I read your post three times and then I told my wife (who works the vending with me) to read it without telling her what I thought and We both came away with the same opinion. And that is that any account with a pop/snack machines and it does not gross 150 to 200 a week its a dog and we are stupid for servicing them. And then I waited about an hour and read it again before I commented. The one thing that absolutely drives me crazy is when people tell other people that "if you dont do it my way you will fail" and it can be vending or anything else in the world and thats the way that both my wife and I took your post. I remember ten years ago when automated merchandiser was telling anyone that would listen that if they were not doing cashless in a year they would be out of business. we just started converting to cashless last year and we are still in business.

By the way this is not a slam but my wife and I and my three collage age kids all work our vending business and we own a home drive nice vehicles and paid a lot of tuition to put our kids though catholic schools so just to let you know we do all right. 

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The one thing I do not like about having just big accounts is the fear of loosing them. A guy I know has 65 machines, with 42 locations and grosses 9500 and my route did almost that with 13 locations 25 machines. He has that mentality as well, he has a location that makes $8 a week on snack and soda. He just adds like 20 Cokes every 2 weeks and like 20 chips. He still sees it profitable. Everyone has their views. For example I just got a call from a cement factory with 30 employees. I will definately try it. Would I go buy new machines? NO! right now im not as picky because I have 15-17 machines in my garage making 0 income taking up space! Be picky especially if your buying New machines.

Like I said the bad thing about having just great locations is fear. I fear getting kicked out or the place closes down and my income drops 1500. Where as the guy I know can lose 10 accounts and lose 1000 a month.

Rjt is talking in general. Its like saying, make profits! Well ofcourse...but we dont all live in places with tons of availability. I do. But a ton of huge competitors here. I focus on cogs more than volume for some reason.

I agree with both rjt and snack dude. It would be great to just have gravy accounts. There are many people that are happy w any profit. Like the dudes that do coin roll hunting lol. They buy 2000 of quarters to find silver quarters, then go return them again and order more. Imagine the time spent, gas, etc to find $5-$80 in profit plus selling them etc.

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I hope every vendor in this area reads this thread and believes that you can only make money if your accounts grosses on average $150 to $200 or more for a drink snack account. That would be awesome. I will take all the $100/week accounts that I can get as long as they are within my current operating area. The larger accounts are great, but I wouldnt turn the smaller but still solid ones down.

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This has been a good discussion so far, both sides make strong points. It all comes down to what you want to do with your business, a question I have asked of folks a number of times.

 

If you want to build a vending company that would fetch a premium value when it comes times to sell then you probably should be using RJT's aproach because for a larger multiple route organization you have to make this kind of revenue per stop to be profitable after factoring the cost to service.

 

If you plan to keep the business small with only yourself or maybe only a couple of employees then certainly your overhead is lower and so is your cost to service and having these smaller account in your portfolio, to some degree at least, makes sense.

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