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waves of loosing locations


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Losing locations is never an easy thing to predict, it also depends whether it is because the business closes, goes up for sale, or there are obvious signs of the business going under.

Usually a lot of people are more likely to close up shop at the end of the year to get one last holiday season push before they close, it also is a natural thing to end something along with the end of the calendar year.

I myself have either pulled or lost 31 stops this month out of 205.  15% of my locations lost, at first this seems like a lot but I look at it in perspective.  Fortunately, I only have machines that are MIA right now in about 7 of those.  Many of the others I pulled out myself due to poor performance, or the owners kicked me out when I was going in there to take them out anyways.  So I didn't lose many prime spots, I think I lost three, one was a new spot with a rack I never serviced (out on location barely 2 months and closed), one was a black barbershop in a higher risk area I serviced once for $75 and they wanted their own machine, and one was a single Eagle cabinet doing $55 per service on average and disappeared or may have been stolen, but it is also in a higher risk area so I knew that was a possibility all along.

In total I have pulled 14 bad spots, I had another 12 that closed/up for sale, and the remainder are either kicked out, stolen, or MIA.

The positive side to this is three spots want racks, and they are all good spots, so I can spend more time servicing good accounts for more revenue than worrying about $10 or less spots that close, kick out, go MIA, etc.

My thoughts and method for pulling/relocating spots is in another thread, some people agree and disagree with it, and I certainly go against the grain of "keeping your machines out on location at all costs."  I have two garage bays at my disposal and your situation may be much different.  My method is to reduce time/effort spent on poor performers and use those pulled machines either while i am servicing or otherwise to upgrade good spots.  When my partner and I go on another locating blitz like we did over the summer and in October when we did 42 locations in 10 days, we will put out new spots and try to reduce the number of bad performers.  That is why I want to reduce the number of machines that go MIA so I can reuse/recycle as many as possible to better locations and try new locations too. 

I believe the opportunity cost of not trying for a better location with a machine performing poorly and at risk of being MIA/stolen/lost far outweighs the feeling of having a machine in the garage.

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Joe's right, you are lots more likely this time of year for businesses to be closing up. It may be the economy is more severe where you are at too.

One thing I do when I lose an account I REALLY want to keep is to offer them a commission to keep the machine there. Sometimes any extra money coming in means a lot to a business owner (sometimes not). Regardless, I've saved a few account this way and made it a win-win.

To me, I've noticed extreme cycles relating to this subject of losing accounts. It comes in waves then not much for a long period of time. I bet you'll find things will level out in the near future.

Be encouraged!


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Joe I like your point about not keeping a machine on location at all costs. The time and gas it takes to go get less than $10 can be a greater loss. I had a location when I first started that was doing .50-.75/month yes cents not dollars. It was serveral miles from it's nearest machine. I was still trying to get all my machines out so I let it sit. I went back one day with the intention of pulling it. They were out of business! I spent way too much time and energy in trying to save the machine. I did but it was ridiculous.

I find if I have a few machines in the garage that need new homes I seem to find the time and locations to get them back on route. If they are not in the gargage I think,"hey all my machines are out I don't have any locating to do." Therefore some of the poor locations continue to bring my average down. This was real evident when I figured my average pull/month/machine at the end of my first year.

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