Vending machines are the favorite local business. Aside from being an ever so easy business, vending machines have outperform other investments (like stocks,bonds, real estate) in times of recession. Vending machines are also simple to set up, and as a cash business, they pay for themselves immediately. With all of these advantages and features, most new vending operators wonder just how much competition is there for this lucrative enterprise. After all, as a 45 billion industry, it wouldn’t be unexpected if the vending business was over saturated.
The first thing you must do, is truly confirm your beliefs. If you do think your area is not suited for a vending business, do not base your claim purely on your own judgement. Remember that much like restaurants that close and open everyday across the world, vending machine businesses do so too. To find out whether your location is truly too competitive for the business you will have to either personally drive around your area and get a good idea of whether or not the area has room for more vending machines or simply look up you area’s biggest vending companies and check the locations they own.
Once you have conducted a proper analysis of your area, you should of reached two conclusions; your area is either crowed or is not. If you reached the first conclusion, do not panic so fast you could still have a chance. If the area you want happens to have a lot of potential, chances are these are will be taken already by either someone who thought of a vending business before you or resourceful businessmen. Getting a piece of these areas is hardly ever easy for a new vending operator,however there are two alternatives that give you a good fighting chance.
Your primary alternative is directly buying vending locations (also known as route) in the area you want. A vending route is a location with a vending machine on it. Buying routes saves you the time and trouble of purchasing vending machines as well as finding the location. By buying routes within the area you want, you are basically buying a percentage of this market. Buying vending locations is the best way of getting into the area you want without having to compete with other vending operators for space. This method however has two disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that routes are usually costly, as you are buying a vending machine as well as the rights to the location. And the second disadvantage is that if you are inexperienced in dealing Owner-to-owner, you run the risk of being scammed.
A second alternative is exploring nearby areas or finding newly opened venues. Although this alternative can be “fuel-expensive”, if you are willing or planning to move from your living location, it might be worth the trouble. This method might be a bit more risky considering you are giving up a potential area and hoping to find a new one. Aside from this, you can also “dig deep” in your area and find those recently opened schools, parks, malls, etc; if you are willing to put in the work you may find really valuable locations before your competitors.
If you live in the United States or other nation, remember that half of the yearly revenue of the vending machine industry comes from Japan! The only real “saturated” vending machine location; aside from Japan, if you look deep enough, you should find locations in your area that which are “vending machine ready”.