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Hello ! How to get to the next level ?


BroskiVending

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Hey Guys,

 

I am a partner in a vending business that was started in 2012. We started with 6 beverage snack machines. Now we have 37. How can we polish the business model, so that it is ready for sustained growth. We are working on getting a commercial credit line with the bank. We are still discussing which route management software may be the best. Besides that we are still a bottle neck. For example we want to be able to acquire bigger locations, but cannot do so. Without a credit line. Any suggestions ? guidelines ?

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Welcome to the forums!  This is a great place to get and give advice based on your experience and needs. 

 

You probably don't need a credit line if you can provide a down payment on your financing.  Depending on who's new equipment you're buying, you can get financing from Firestone Financial and if you like USI stuff, they have their own in-house financing arm.  With Firestone you can expect to put 20% down on your first contract and then it should be 10% down on subsequent contracts.  The standard length is 3 years.  This is based on my experience with them in the late 1990's.  I was a small vendor like you when I got three big breaks in three years.  I grew exponentially from 1990 to 1993 adding one full route each of those years.  It's not as easy to do that today with fewer accounts even existing now after our depression, but with a good marketing plan and a good concept of what types of accounts you wish to add you should still be able to get some good growth.  Play to the weaknesses of your competition and focus on service first, prices second, and commissions never unless you have to.  Keep in mind that new machines are like new cars, they precipitously drop in value and unless an account demands new machines, and will give you a 3 year contract, you can easily use refurbished machines and save a lot of money.

 

You say you have 37 soda machines and that is exactly how we recommend new vendors begin.  Now that you understand soda vending you need to expand into snacks, if you haven't already.  Your own locations are the first you should consider for snacks and then you move on from there.  Managing the snacks will be another learning curve but it will teach you even more of an understanding of the types of accounts that snacks do well in and the relationship between unit sales of soda vs. snacks. 

 

As far as route management software goes, you should begin with defining what your goals of using it will be.  What do you want out of it on an immediate basis and as future expansion of it's use.  There are way too many software packages out there so after you define your needs and wants, you can look at the features each of them offers.  Take into consideration packages that will allow the integration of credit card readers and their ability to send the DEX data from machines to reports.  Think about pre-kitting and predictive just-in-time service intervals, and maybe micro markets if you think you might expand in that way.

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