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Just another rant


AngryChris

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So I have made enough capital investments in the past few months to put me in a financial situation in which I don't need to work another job.  I currently run the business full-time (hours vary for obvious reasons), but I do not work myself to death.  I currently have weekends off which is AWESOME (but I feel so lost because I don't know what to do with all of this free time).  I usually end up working on some equipment out of my garage or I make a run to pick up some product.  All of these things are good but here is my rant.

 

Although I am plagued with loan payments and debt to finance my business, I do sort-of barely make enough to pay the bills and live.  The problem is that this is based off of having NO income withheld for taxes.  Upon doing a little research, even though I really don't plan on netting more than $18,000 in profits this fiscal year, my tax burden appears to be approximately 28% of those profits.  This means that I could easily owe about $5,000 in taxes next April!  This is absolutely frustrating because it takes SO much time to get all of this organized.

 

My major problem is that I have been so behind with upgrades, minor repairs, and other business work that I still haven't managed to get everything on a proper schedule.  I will be grossing about $1,400/week from my full-line vending as soon as I finalize some accounts.  I'm very familiar with how much a route can yield in a week and I had a route that EASILY grossed $10,000/week before I went into business for myself.  I have been plagued with various vehicle trouble (mostly things like brakes, tires, normal wear and tear that all came simultaneously).

 

I finally got my step-van fixed up and I am going to load it up tonight most-likely while I work on some basic routes.  I need to get everything on a REGULAR schedule but it's difficult.  Sometimes I look back and I say "How did I get so much product delivered so fast 4 years ago?"  I just don't know how I did it.  One factor was that I never had to make MULTIPLE runs to Sam's Club or the grocery store every day just to load up on product.  Being able to load up the step-van with a TON of product is a catch-22.  On one hand, I will have enough product to get everything done quickly.  On the other hand, I will have to incur a big expense upfront to buy this product.

 

I guess, in the long run, I will save a lot of time.  I probably won't save any money because this vehicle doesn't do very well on fuel (13 MPG on a vehicle that was designed on a pickup chassis).  However, I am sure I can get my entire business done in 2 business days if I do things properly.  This will leave me 2 other business days for some various other equipment and one business day for anything.  Hopefully the consolidation will work out and I will be back on track but I just wish MORE people in the world understood how difficult it is to run your own business.  Why do they think that being a business owner means you are rich and you have NO boss?  I have more money taken from me in the form of taxes AND I have HUNDREDS or even THOUSANDS of bosses out there!  That's right!  I can be fired over and over again in a single day if I don't do my job!


P.S.  I am also considering having orders delivered to me to save time.  The problem is that I save a LOT of money (10-30% depending on the product) by buying the bulk of my product from Sam's Club.  I have checked Costco's website online but they don't seem to advertise vending products (or I just can't navigate their site to find it).  I think I am going to stick with my original plan:  Fill up my vehicle in the early morning at Sams once or twice each week as to avoid the large crowds and be ready for the rest of the day.

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So I have made enough capital investments in the past few months to put me in a financial situation in which I don't need to work another job.  I currently run the business full-time (hours vary for obvious reasons), but I do not work myself to death.  I currently have weekends off which is AWESOME (but I feel so lost because I don't know what to do with all of this free time).  I usually end up working on some equipment out of my garage or I make a run to pick up some product.  All of these things are good but here is my rant.

 

Although I am plagued with loan payments and debt to finance my business, I do sort-of barely make enough to pay the bills and live.  The problem is that this is based off of having NO income withheld for taxes.  Upon doing a little research, even though I really don't plan on netting more than $18,000 in profits this fiscal year, my tax burden appears to be approximately 28% of those profits.  This means that I could easily owe about $5,000 in taxes next April!  This is absolutely frustrating because it takes SO much time to get all of this organized.

 

My major problem is that I have been so behind with upgrades, minor repairs, and other business work that I still haven't managed to get everything on a proper schedule.  I will be grossing about $1,400/week from my full-line vending as soon as I finalize some accounts.  I'm very familiar with how much a route can yield in a week and I had a route that EASILY grossed $10,000/week before I went into business for myself.  I have been plagued with various vehicle trouble (mostly things like brakes, tires, normal wear and tear that all came simultaneously).

 

I finally got my step-van fixed up and I am going to load it up tonight most-likely while I work on some basic routes.  I need to get everything on a REGULAR schedule but it's difficult.  Sometimes I look back and I say "How did I get so much product delivered so fast 4 years ago?"  I just don't know how I did it.  One factor was that I never had to make MULTIPLE runs to Sam's Club or the grocery store every day just to load up on product.  Being able to load up the step-van with a TON of product is a catch-22.  On one hand, I will have enough product to get everything done quickly.  On the other hand, I will have to incur a big expense upfront to buy this product.

 

I guess, in the long run, I will save a lot of time.  I probably won't save any money because this vehicle doesn't do very well on fuel (13 MPG on a vehicle that was designed on a pickup chassis).  However, I am sure I can get my entire business done in 2 business days if I do things properly.  This will leave me 2 other business days for some various other equipment and one business day for anything.  Hopefully the consolidation will work out and I will be back on track but I just wish MORE people in the world understood how difficult it is to run your own business.  Why do they think that being a business owner means you are rich and you have NO boss?  I have more money taken from me in the form of taxes AND I have HUNDREDS or even THOUSANDS of bosses out there!  That's right!  I can be fired over and over again in a single day if I don't do my job!

P.S.  I am also considering having orders delivered to me to save time.  The problem is that I save a LOT of money (10-30% depending on the product) by buying the bulk of my product from Sam's Club.  I have checked Costco's website online but they don't seem to advertise vending products (or I just can't navigate their site to find it).  I think I am going to stick with my original plan:  Fill up my vehicle in the early morning at Sams once or twice each week as to avoid the large crowds and be ready for the rest of the day.

 

I still buy from Sam's. You need to get yourself organized and get the tax situation taken care of or it'll bite you in the golpher.

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Costco Business Centers cater towards restaurants and vending.....they are distinctly different then the regular Costco's.  See if you have one in your area and they will deliver as long as the warehouse is in a area zoned for businesses.

 

....and get your tax situation on the straight and narrow.  Uncle Sam does not have a sense of humor when it comes to taxes.

 

Travis

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Angry, do you take advantage of Sam's Click n Pull? I use it frequently. Vistar delivers most of my stuff but there are still things I have to get at Sam's and then there is stuff that is just flat out cheaper. If I can save .05 a unit by buying at Sam's that's too significant to not do. There are some that are just .01 or .02 difference that I will buy either place but with Vistar I'm not out the cash right away. 

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I find my Sam's is a joke for the vendors here in Lafayette,LA. way to many variety mix and no variety in the single box chips, I've pleaded to the manager to change the type of chips to different types and flavors, I'm beating my head against a brick wall. Same ole regular chips month after month. His eyes opened big time when I finally told him what I've been spending at Vistar to get a better variety of chips and not at his store.

 

Maybe just maybe he will do some thing with his vending section.

 

Sorry for stealing Angrychris thread but that is my rant.

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I find my Sam's is a joke for the vendors here in Lafayette,LA. way to many variety mix and no variety in the single box chips, I've pleaded to the manager to change the type of chips to different types and flavors, I'm beating my head against a brick wall. Same ole regular chips month after month. His eyes opened big time when I finally told him what I've been spending at Vistar to get a better variety of chips and not at his store.

Maybe just maybe he will do some thing with his vending section.

Sorry for stealing Angrychris thread but that is my rant.

I spoke with the manager at the SAMs I go to. He said Frito Lay makes the decisions on what goes into the slots SAMs provide to them. They just reset the selections in my club...and I'm none too happy. I sell about 5 cases of regular Ruffles each month. Now my club doesn't have them and I have to make a special trip just to get Ruffles.
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I spoke with the manager at the SAMs I go to. He said Frito Lay makes the decisions on what goes into the slots SAMs provide to them. They just reset the selections in my club...and I'm none too happy. I sell about 5 cases of regular Ruffles each month. Now my club doesn't have them and I have to make a special trip just to get Ruffles.

I wish he would have told me that.

 

I guess I will be sending Frito-lay emails questioning them on their selections at Sam's!

 

Thanks Golfdogs

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I can well understand the frustration some of you have with Sam's chips.  I have an outlet that sells chips in case lots LSS for 38 cents a pack (2 cents less than the Costco Business Center which is a joke price wise - not worth the trip).  I do buy some chips at Sam's in the variety packs but you really have to eagle eye the expire dates.  I have considered buying multiple boxes of Famous Amos, Sugar Wafers and Knotts Raspberry Cookies as they have a long shelf life and I'm always running low on them but with the pastries, Big Texas etc. I have to stop a Sam's twice a week anyway so there seems to be no getting around it and it does eat a bunch of time.  The one thing I would like to find  is a distributor that would deliver 100 cases of soda at 25 cents a pop - this is where I spend most of my pickup time.

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I can well understand the frustration some of you have with Sam's chips.  I have an outlet that sells chips in case lots LSS for 38 cents a pack (2 cents less than the Costco Business Center which is a joke price wise - not worth the trip).  I do buy some chips at Sam's in the variety packs but you really have to eagle eye the expire dates.  I have considered buying multiple boxes of Famous Amos, Sugar Wafers and Knotts Raspberry Cookies as they have a long shelf life and I'm always running low on them but with the pastries, Big Texas etc. I have to stop a Sam's twice a week anyway so there seems to be no getting around it and it does eat a bunch of time.  The one thing I would like to find  is a distributor that would deliver 100 cases of soda at 25 cents a pop - this is where I spend most of my pickup time.

 

Yeah I generally check all of the dates on the chips.  Like I stated earlier, I have seen them with 2 weeks left and the guy JUST stocked those!  I don't know how that happens at all.

 

I am currently hitting almost all of my accounts on a weekly basis.  The thing is that I could probably hit almost every account I have biweekly if I filled them up properly.  I could literally work about 50 hours one week and about 20 hours the next week if I could afford the extra investment on double-stocking every machine I have.

 

As for the soda... I don't know what you can do about that.  I think you would be hard-pressed to find ANY distributor to regularly sell you ANY quantity of cans for 25 cents per unit.  I think Sam's Club is the best option for that with the click-and-pull while hitting your local grocery store is the cheaper option but more time consuming/frustrating with smaller carts and longer check-out waits.

 

P.S.  I have found that Vistar seems to sell pastries cheaper than my local Sam's Club but I think I can order them frozen as well.  This is very useful because I could order them in larger bulk quantities (I think there are roughly 60 per case) and keep them in a chest freezer until I am ready to sell them.  THEN I could use a date-stamping gun to put an expiration date on them in order to keep better track.  Other than the pastries, virtually everything at Vistar is significantly more expensive but significantly more convenient (having your entire shipment delivered is quite convenient.  I am just not ready to have those kinds of quantities delivered nor do I have a freezer.

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For those that chase drinks down at the stores; if you have a way to load/haul quantities, I suggest you get to know your store managers and they will pull your drinks and have you ready to pay for them and load. You might even take a run at getting to know your bev company merchandisers because they may do this as well and they already know the store managers. It makes it much easier when I can pull around back of a store and load three pallets rather than loading shopping carts. I would try this even if I were getting smaller quantities but enough that it was more hassle otherwise. These stores do do quantity buy ins and the reps almost always want the numbers since they are often paid a commission.  

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Chris I agee with Mission, (I know that scares the hell out of mission)

Get organized, I hit sams about every other day mainly because I do not want chips sitting in my warehouse with the clock ticking.

If you go early I can get in my local sams buy about $500 worth of stuff and be checked out and loading it on the truck in about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Also the tax thing will eventually bite you. I am lucky, I married a CPA, But you need one or you will get creamed.

My wife says thats what usually makes small businesses close or go under is not paying taxes  

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When you come back out of the rabbit hole I'd love to get a update on how things are going in Wonderland. ....

Okay Mr. Wonderland - I just caught Sam's selling Coke for 24+ cents a can and loaded my SUV up.  I just wish I could get that dropped on my front door - it's the time that's the killer in chasing these sales.

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Chris I agee with Mission, (I know that scares the hell out of mission)

Get organized, I hit sams about every other day mainly because I do not want chips sitting in my warehouse with the clock ticking.

If you go early I can get in my local sams buy about $500 worth of stuff and be checked out and loading it on the truck in about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Also the tax thing will eventually bite you. I am lucky, I married a CPA, But you need one or you will get creamed.

My wife says thats what usually makes small businesses close or go under is not paying taxes  

 

I am going to hit Sam's early.  I would only have to go twice each week as well.  I used to do this in the past but it didn't make sense until I got my other vehicle fixed.  There's no way I could fit $500 worth of product in my car unless it was all candy.  Now I could probably squeeze $1,000 worth of product in my step van without too much of a problem.

 

Trust me, I won't go out of business for NOT paying taxes.  I will go out of business for PAYING taxes.  Historically, my business has barely made much profit.  The income withheld from my other jobs covered any taxes owed from the business so I never had to worry about withholding from the business.  This year the taxable profit could be pushing $16,000+ and I had calculated about a 28% tax burden on those profits.  With that said, my tax preparer told me to wait until May to come in and set up some kind of withholding so I wouldn't get sticker shock next year.  I am going to try to get this resolved.

 

In the mean time, I have a plan.  I am going to take 75% of my accounts and move them to bi-weekly schedules.  I will probably work 40-50 hours every other week while working 20-30 hours on the off-weeks.  If necessary, I will also work a part-time job this year to help pay down some debt.  I have three loans set to be paid off between October and March.  The extra income would help to also pay down some other debt.  In the end, I won't be working myself to death but I will be able to continue to expand while also paying the bills.  Hopefully a second job will withhold enough income to reduce much of that tax burden.

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Wendi and I have always worked together but one of us has always had a full time job. That changed last October. After suffering through one of the worst winters in resent memory we are really getting rolling. We are withdrawing from the far reaches of our bulk routes an adding density closer to home. We also have lost all "fear" of the large full line accounts. We have operated five wide machines in weekly accounts and are now going after accounts that would need daily service. We decided there was nothing to be afraid of now that we have more time to service these accounts. 

 

I am not sure we are tackling the tax issue correctly but what we have done is pay our selves 1000.00 a week (500.00 each) the money comes out of our business account. We deposit 750.00 in our personal checking and 250.00 in personal savings for taxes. We are getting ready to pickup or taxes from last year and will ask about paying quarterly.

 

It seams everyone else is shopping more and stocking less. I find myself doing the opposite. We are adding custom built shelves and maximizing space to stock more items. We have the advantage of bulk routes that take us by 4 different Sam's clubs. We hit one a week and also order from Vistar monthly. I hope with increased volume we can hit out 50 case minimum every two weeks in the near future. 

 

I find reading general operation threads like this are always helpful giving me a look through a different lens. I always learn something. 

 

Mike

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Okay Mr. Wonderland - I just caught Sam's selling Coke for 24+ cents a can and loaded my SUV up.  I just wish I could get that dropped on my front door - it's the time that's the killer in chasing these sales.

Correct moondog

 

I went to Sam's today and picked up twenty cases of coke at that price! 

 

Good deal since I was there.

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Wendi and I have always worked together but one of us has always had a full time job. That changed last October. After suffering through one of the worst winters in resent memory we are really getting rolling. We are withdrawing from the far reaches of our bulk routes an adding density closer to home. We also have lost all "fear" of the large full line accounts. We have operated five wide machines in weekly accounts and are now going after accounts that would need daily service. We decided there was nothing to be afraid of now that we have more time to service these accounts. 

 

I am not sure we are tackling the tax issue correctly but what we have done is pay our selves 1000.00 a week (500.00 each) the money comes out of our business account. We deposit 750.00 in our personal checking and 250.00 in personal savings for taxes. We are getting ready to pickup or taxes from last year and will ask about paying quarterly.

 

It seams everyone else is shopping more and stocking less. I find myself doing the opposite. We are adding custom built shelves and maximizing space to stock more items. We have the advantage of bulk routes that take us by 4 different Sam's clubs. We hit one a week and also order from Vistar monthly. I hope with increased volume we can hit out 50 case minimum every two weeks in the near future. 

 

I find reading general operation threads like this are always helpful giving me a look through a different lens. I always learn something. 

 

Mike

You are correct Mike.  Next to premium accounts, time is the holy grail of vending that many seem to forget.  If you are standing in front of a machine you know will vend "X" amount of product prior to expiration, just fill the sucker up and save yourself some time - you'll end up buying the same amount of product anyway.

Correct moondog

 

I went to Sam's today and picked up twenty cases of coke at that price! 

 

Good deal since I was there.

Costco was at 8 bucks for a 32 pack yesterday, 5 case max unfortunately - can't afford to make a separate trip to save 10 bucks.

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SAMs has 28 packs of coke products for 24.9 cents per can. Ordering a pallet full for pickup Monday. Pepsi products are $1 off starting the 26th. Up to 99 cases. I'll be ordering a couple of pallets of Mountain Dew!

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