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My first 60 days (or 2/3 of a quarterly report <grin>)


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My story begins on July 20th after my daughter’s birthday extravaganza. I will admit to going overboard, especially since she was only turning 3 and probably won’t remember much, if anything, about the event. I reflected on my financial situation and realized I needed a 2nd job, but knowing how the current job market is and always having had an entrepreneurial spirit, I came to the conclusion that I needed to get off my duff and start building my own business for my own success (which is not only measured monetarily but also by personal satisfaction.) But what???

I started searching online for an idea. Everything I found was one kind or another biz-op and maybe I would have fallen for one but they cost too much :P so when I found bulk vending and learned how you can start with less than nothing, I kept researching it and getting excited.

I am not one to rush into anything first and ask questions later. That’s probably a good quality. At least, I believe it is. So I began to gather all the information that I could find on the subject. On August 1, I found and after reading of the experiences of others, I knew I had found something I could truly do. So I went to work planning…

One of the first things I did was to establish a budget for myself. Every business venture starts out in the red, and this one is no different. I determined I could justify spending up to $100 each month out of my current income to get my business up and running without having a negative impact on my family. Well, there was the daily lattes that had to go! LOL

I launched on August 10. I truly feel that by acting in a professional manner and presenting myself professionally, my new venture will be a cut above the average small bulk vending business, so it took a couple of weeks of constant tweaking before I was satisfied with what I had so far. I am continuing to build on it, but invite you to drop by and share your feedback by dropping me a line at With the website design in place, I was able to work out a design for business cards and labels to identify my company as owner and contact for the machines, but didn’t yet have the money to purchase those.

I bought my first machines on August 16, from an ad I found on Craigslist. This was  not the best buying decision I ever made, but worth the lesson in my mind. They were a pair of 8-head U-Turns with some cracked canisters, scratched and different colors, oh and no keys. So I set about buying new locks, teaching myself how to strip, paint, and rebuild the machines. I also decided that because of the cracked canisters and my limited startup funds, I would turn these machines into 4-head machines. After all, at this point I had NO locations, let alone locations that would warrant an 8-head machine.

My wife and I started role-playing with each other, practicing our spiels for approaching business owners about hosting machines. By August 28 I was starting to doubt that I will be able to self- locate any time soon. That is a skill I feel I’ll need to hone, although I feel strong in the other necessary skills for this type of business: organization, entrepreneurial drive, mechanical skills, and money-management.

Wanting to record my experiences and perhaps even help others, on August 30 I launched a blog at

Feeling ready to really start getting into the game, on September 6 I posted my first ads on Craigslist, one recruiting locators, one looking to purchase existing routes, and another looking for locations to host machines. I’ve made minor adjustments to the ads this week, but so far I haven’t had any really worthwhile response to them.

I finally ordered the business cards and labels on September 9. Now I feel “official”.

September 14 was a day I’ll always remember. I placed my first machine! Got that monkey off my back! What a feeling!!!  ;D

This brings us to today, September 17. Tonight I am reflecting on my first 60 days in business. It’s been a very slow start, but a start nonetheless, and proof that you CAN start a business with little or no money out of pocket. Wish me luck going forward!

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Wow. If I could give a respect point for this I would. Steve, I'd like to see this post made a sticky somewhere for "Newbies - read this". There is so much good info here, everyone new to vending should read it.

Jacob, I'd love to see your blog entries duplicated here if it isn't too much trouble for you.

Thanks for sharing!


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