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🤯 Whoa! LoL prepare for some brain picking vendusa! LoL 😁😜

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7 hours ago, VendUSA said:

Been at it 19 years full time.  Started with Vendstars, quickly learned that's not the long term answer.  Have since gravitated primarily toward Oak & Northwestern with some racks, tattoo & beaver.  Never have never will pay a locator.  I've been 'lurking' here on and off for years b4 jumping in.  Won't tell you my #s but it more than feeds my family.  I'm certainly still learning but feel free to ask anything.  Love the flexibility, freedom & autonomy.

I'm always curious when people talk about large routes like this, why not just do full line? 

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Those are pretty good points. I'd love to do vending full time, but I'd miss the vacation time and medical benefits. At your size, how many miles is your route?

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How many employees do you have and how do you pay them??  Dailey/per stop/salary???

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5 hours ago, AMD Snacks said:

I'm always curious when people talk about large routes like this, why not just do full line? 

The biggest reason for me is how often locations must be visited. Many of our locations are visited every 60 days some more some less. That equates to much less employees, I found out quickly on my last business that managing employees is the worst part of owning a business. Don’t get me wrong there are good ones out there but 9 out of 10 will underperform, lie, steal, piss of clients, not show for work, etc. 1 person can run a 700+ location bulk business through a couple states. They would be running their butt off depending on concentration and almost defeats the purpose of getting into this business but would make a lot of money. 

I don’t run full line but I could only imagine the amount of drivers you would need for 500+ locations with how frequently they need filled. 

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4 hours ago, AMD Snacks said:

Those are pretty good points. I'd love to do vending full time, but I'd miss the vacation time and medical benefits. At your size, how many miles is your route?

You have a point with medical for sure seems like the system gets more and more jacked up and increases 30-50% every year. In terms of vacation I have never had as much free time in my life as I do now. I am positive VendUSA is larger than me but thought I would jump in to the thread and give some insight too. 

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13 hours ago, Bulk32 said:

 

I don’t run full line but I could only imagine the amount of drivers you would need for 500+ locations with how frequently they need filled. 

Yeah but that's why I originally asked, because I always figured full line isn't as much a numbers game. I figure 200 full line accounts is the same as 1000 bulk vending. I could be wrong. There's a guy selling a route (could be bogus) for 160k says he takes home 80k a year and he only works 2 days a week doing full line. Now like I said he could be lying, but that's the picture I always get. And I figure if you're running around servicing a bulk machine everyday, you could be doing a soda machine everyday. The whole reason I do bulk vending is that it's not often for me. Twice a month or three times and I can cover my whole route. 

But VendUSA made some good points, I guess even if you're out there often, it's easier to do bulk than full line. 

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Bulk is much more flexible than full line. Depending on your focus customers are easier to deal with also. Employee issues are the same except with bulk there is less training and technical knowledge needed.

Employees are always the biggest PIA in any business. As already stated there are some good ones but even after diligent selection when hiring you seldom get one good one for every ten you hire.

But if you are serious about business employees are a necessity. When you get to full time, vending is my livelihood state, you also get to the place that if you fall ill, have an accident, family health or other issues, you are in a bad place. So employees are necessary to continue the business of providing you with income if you are not able to.

I don't know if my experience is like anyone else's. As I grew I hit plateaus were things were at a standstill income wise. An employee costs money. So when you hire your first you take a big hit on your personal income until you can build out the business. Guess what, you are working really hard again! And so on as you build. So it really comes down to your goals. If you place income over everything then don't hire anyone and hope you don't get sick. If you place time to enjoy life over income then employees are a must.

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3 hours ago, musser said:

Bulk is much more flexible than full line. Depending on your focus customers are easier to deal with also. Employee issues are the same except with bulk there is less training and technical knowledge needed.

Employees are always the biggest PIA in any business. As already stated there are some good ones but even after diligent selection when hiring you seldom get one good one for every ten you hire.

But if you are serious about business employees are a necessity. When you get to full time, vending is my livelihood state, you also get to the place that if you fall ill, have an accident, family health or other issues, you are in a bad place. So employees are necessary to continue the business of providing you with income if you are not able to.

I don't know if my experience is like anyone else's. As I grew I hit plateaus were things were at a standstill income wise. An employee costs money. So when you hire your first you take a big hit on your personal income until you can build out the business. Guess what, you are working really hard again! And so on as you build. So it really comes down to your goals. If you place income over everything then don't hire anyone and hope you don't get sick. If you place time to enjoy life over income then employees are a must.

Being positive and proactive, in a all cash business(mostly nowadays with cc introduced), what measures have you or anyone else have taken to prevent skimming, stealing and your employees becoming entrepreneurs themselves and trying to steal your locations from you?

I am in bulk I have a few routes with 80 locations, looking to get into soda. I like slow tempered growth. Seems to me, once I have 20 soda locations and get my bulk route up to 300 +, I could hire an employee to work part time, servicing and collecting the money. I guess the route would have to be established and I would know what the average take is, per location, but what about new locations? I just cant seem to wrap my head around this one. I am up for suggestions.  

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4 hours ago, petersvending said:

Being positive and proactive, in a all cash business(mostly nowadays with cc introduced), what measures have you or anyone else have taken to prevent skimming, stealing and your employees becoming entrepreneurs themselves and trying to steal your locations from you?

I am in bulk I have a few routes with 80 locations, looking to get into soda. I like slow tempered growth. Seems to me, once I have 20 soda locations and get my bulk route up to 300 +, I could hire an employee to work part time, servicing and collecting the money. I guess the route would have to be established and I would know what the average take is, per location, but what about new locations? I just cant seem to wrap my head around this one. I am up for suggestions.  

Very few employees have the mindset or the drive to be in business for themselves. That said bulk machines come cheap enough that every new hire I would bring on will sign a noncompete. They are hit or miss on enforceability but I work hard enough that I won’t train someone to possibly take my clients. I have existing employees from when I bought the business that are not under an agreement but that is just what comes with it. 

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Just thinking back on a couple of things that happened over the years during ride-alongs. I hopped in with a driver on an over night one morning, He acted awful nervous, We got to the end of the block and around the corner his girl friend was waiting with a suit case We went by, I said hey that's your girl friend. He said yea. Went a little  further and he said, she doesn't have a way home he has the car keys. I told him, well we better go back to the shop so you can get the keys to her, He said okay. When we got back to the shop I asked for his keys, cards, Id and told him he was done. I had another route up in Northern Iowa that I always booked rooms at a Casino in the winter (off season) great rooms at $49 a night. I was training a woman and she was doing really well, fast, thorough, good with customers. Anyway we stopped for the night had supper ( really good and inexpensive buffet) I told her I was going to go over to the casino for a bit. I said hey youre off the clock, see you in the morning. She said, maybe Ill go to and put a couple of quarters in the slots. No big deal. Well after about fifteen minutes she came up to me, put her arm around me and sad " some guy was hitting on me, I told him you were my boy friend" etc etc. I told her well that was probably a bad idea and I should just head upstairs (alone). We got rid of her by the end of the week.

Which reminds me, one way to catch someone taking people along. Even if they pay for the extra person out of pocket, the receipt from the restaurant usually has the number in the party on it.

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41 minutes ago, musser said:

I run every new route until I have it "developed". So I know pretty much what it will do, the problem locations and most important the time it takes to do. The biggest thing employees "steal" is time.  I know they don't think of it that way but foot dragging, long lunches, general laziness really are theft of the wages you pay. I do surprise ride-alongs. I don't say I am going with someone until they show up for work and I just jump in the truck with them. I don't do any "work" unless an unexpected repair or some other issue because I want to see how the timing goes through the day as we go along the route. I do use the ride to reconnect with locations however. While the driver is doing the work I spend time visiting with owners, managers, staff, ask how we are doing, any problems, are they getting refunds etc. I really like to go on the over night routes because that is where you can be easily abused.  Since I book the hotel stays ( I get discounts, points. etc) I also am sure to visit with hotel staff. You would be surprised what you find out. Business owners and management staff know what you are doing, appreciate the visits and will share a lot with you. I also have company credit cards and gas cards. transactions are time stamped you know! If you are really concerned you can put a GPS tracker on your vehicles. They wont necessarily help you in the case of an accident (the vehicle back box does that), but you can get real time data for speed, stops, duration of stops. You, know just in case someone tries to set a land speed record between locations so they can take a long lunch or go shopping.

I never stop for lunch when I am training. Now if the employee acts like they are going to pass out from hunger I will say swing by a drive through grab something and I will drive while you eat. Training I am all go go go. I never take cash out of a bag to pay for anything. Not even a coffee. I have company cards for meals, I take cash out of my pocket for incidentals like a snack or drink. Remember you set the bar by which your employees will perform.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. In a major time theft situation with an employee myself which will be rectified soon. There was quite a bit to learn of the operation that I bought which was ran fully absentee for years and also had some unfortunate events with a separate business so I wasn’t able to get out and optimize or collect on routes for a few months. Well recently I had to run two routes that take this employee two weeks. I knew that I was going to be much faster but a situation came up that I only had 3 days to get his two weeks of routes done...............TOOK ME A DAY AND A HALF FOR TWO WEEKS THAT I PAY HIM FOR!!!!

This driver does many overnights as well. Long story short, since the drivers have ran this company for years they have set their own bar. From the feet dragging of this employee the cost of his employment that was recently calculated is over $80k  which has been going on for years with previous ownership (can’t say I’m not happy about it since the sales price was shredded impart by this with a fairly low cash flow number compared to sales). Anyways after the situation is rectified the company will be well off and it will be a good investment. It is almost a guarantee that you will not find the employee you are looking for even if it appears you found them. 

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Fascinating discussion. 

I am looking at venturing into this area myself next year with my business potentially tripling overnight. I already have my father helping and am looking at my father in law also helping. Sometimes family members are very helpful and reliable in growth situations. 

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Yea inherited employees are often inherited problems. But as you have noted you are going to do quite well eliminating the problems!

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1 hour ago, nepavend said:

Fascinating discussion. 

I am looking at venturing into this area myself next year with my business potentially tripling overnight. I already have my father helping and am looking at my father in law also helping. Sometimes family members are very helpful and reliable in growth situations. 

They are usually the most trusted. I have never went that direction with any business thus far and probably never will. I can’t imagine needing to fire a relative if they were having trouble keeping up with the pace I wanted or worse. I don’t know if I have ever received more unasked for advice than this statement “never work with family”. Not trying to poor water on the thought I am sure it has worked in thousands of companies. 

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Well... All I know is, my moms side of the family, and her parents, both were raised on farms, family ran farms. My grandma and grandpa both had like 13-16 brothers and sisters each, who all had a share of the farm to run. It seemed like if they needed another hand on the farm, they had another kid lol. My mom only had 3 siblings though, but their “farm work” fazed out as they got older and went to college and military etc, farm got sold, and family moved to Arizona from Illinois.

My dads side of the family came from New York, he was an only child, and they moved to California. My grandpa (Papa) started a business building and maintaining gas stations all over Los Angeles. My dad ended up working for him and managing one of the branch offices, (they grew to 3 branches, LA, Burbank, and Ventura Co.)

My Papa was a Army MP in Germany in WWll, my dad was in the Air Force in Vietnam. With that said, my dad was pretty use to his dad giving orders, and how frutile it was to argue. Usually the only part of the conversation I ever heard was the final words of “just do it damn it, handle it!” 

Now considering I was taking phone calls and messages (like a secretary) for my dads branch during the summers, since I was in the 5th grade, and paging my dad to give him the messages, I can say I have been raised in with the “family business” scenario. 

However, the “bosses” have always been the parents. Not the other way around.

I really don’t see it lasting to

long if the “kids” are the bosses, and the parnets (or in laws) are employees. I could be wrong, and there are probably family businesses out there that it does work for, I just wouldn’t bank on it lasting as long.

With all that being said, my plans for my business has been from the get-go, to recruit my little minions when they are old enough to take on a few machines.

My kids are six months apart in ages, which means they will be pretty much getting their drivers licenses at about the same time. That’s 3 cars, 3 insurance policies, and if they are anything like me, 3 times the amount of speeding tickets. 😳

My plan is to put each one in charge of 3 or 4 machines each. For them to run as their business. How well they run their business will determine what car they’ll be able to afford to get and afford other related expenses etc. 

Plus! they’ll learn first hand what it takes to run their own business whether it’s running machines or something else. 😁

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good plan Cat6.  I am the "kid" in this case and have already been doing this for 11+ years, and my in laws would be the workers, and they are cattle farmers wouldn't you know. LOL

My father already has been working a portion of the route near his house since he retired and has a blast and does a pretty good job.  I come in to do upgrades and locate new accounts.  I am hoping to slowly work them in if the business is aquired since almost half of it would be in their home area.  Of course it would be different than my father's situation was but the goal is the same:

I have to assess locations, streamline bad products and bad locations, add locations in larger towns or add density if possible, and relocate machines that are pulled out to better and more efficient areas to keep averages up,

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