How to start a vending machine business?

The vending machine industry has continually grown and improved since 2012. Vending machine owners have a lot of chances as consumers’ lives become busier and they look for time- and convenience-saving solutions when travelling. Have you considered how to launch a vending machine company? Opportunities abound in the vending machine industry. To start, you must be aware of some things.

Why should you go for the vending machine business?

Low initial expenses:  Vending machines may typically be subsidized. You probably won’t require any additional equipment besides a computer, printers, and phone to handle your enterprise and a car to service your route.

Flexible timetable: You usually have the option to reload vending machines and earn payment at whatever time suits you.

Possibility to quickly switch out your product choices: Suppose you own a snacking machine and a particular Doritos flavor isn’t doing well. You can make the decision to swap out that product for one with a different flavor or a completely new food in a flash.

Controlled expansion: You can decide how fast your company should expand. While steadily expanding their retail business, several business owners continue to work their “day job.” When you’re prepared to grow, you have the option to add equipment to your course as time and resources permit.

Simplicity – Operating a vending company isn’t very difficult once you’ve signed contracts with commercial spaces and installed your equipment. You must perform routine maintenance on your machines to maintain them in good operating order, refill them as necessary, and accept cash from them.  Obviously, you’ll also have obligations like keeping track of your monetary operations, filing taxes, and dealing with any client-related difficulties.

How to start a vending machine business?

Whichever approach you select, you should speak with a lawyer about legal issues and a tax counselor or accountant about financial and tax issues. When launching a vending machine business, expenses can differ greatly. How you enter the market, the kinds (and quantity) of vending machines you utilize, and the goods you decide to sell will all have an effect on the amount you invest up front and over time.

Any benefit or knowledge you may have about vending machines is a terrific method to enter this specialized industry. For instance, if you’ve previously determined that a snack machine is needed nearby, get in touch with the owners of the properties you know and ask them if they’d be interested in installing vending machines there.

However, even if you don’t have any personal ties, you can still launch a vending machine company and profit from it. Here are the six steps for launching a business.

1. Think about your possibilities for vending machines.

While the majority of people might believe that vending machines just offer the usual selection of snacks and sodas, if you’ve considered how to begin a retail business, you probably already know that there are other possibilities. Vending machines fall into four general groups that we’ll list below. When deciding which machine’s goods will be the biggest hits with your target market, take into account all four categories.

Begin with one or two units with a particular market emphasis, no matter what type of machine you select. By doing this, you can slowly discover common stock- and location-specific trends and add more equipment in accordance with those patterns.

  • Drinks and food vending

The bulk of the market share in the United States is made up of drinks and food machines that sell snacks, drink, and candy, as per Vending Market Watch’s 2019 report. Beverages just make for about a 1/3 of vending revenues. You will not be disappointed with this tried-and-true method if you’re trying to figure out how to launch a business with vending machines

Some owners of vending machines opt to buy various kinds of machines for a single site, or they decide to install the same sort of machine at various places. Get your offerings more location-specific if you want to increase sales. For example, you can put protein shakes in the gym’s food and drink machine or put juices and granola bars in the vending machine at the school. When you hear of vending machines, you might picture drink and snacks, although there is a profit to be made by providing equally practical healthy options that customers are willing to pay for.

  • Mass vending

Establishing a mass vending machine business, sometimes referred to as vending with equipment that store jellybeans, decals, or whiffle balls, involves little startup money and less ongoing upkeep.  These normally low-maintenance machines may not be flashy, but the change does pile up. Your items have exceptionally minimal overhead costs. This inexpensive investment has the ability to generate a steady stream of passive income in the appropriate market, such as a college or adventure park. The majority of vending machines are complex machines that function without the use of energy or batteries, making their operation cheap or free. Nevertheless, as many sweets and toys vending machines are outdated, a secondhand machine can need some minor adjustments before it works.

  • Specialty vending

If you want to begin a vending machine business, you are not just confined to selling beverages and snacks. Large public spaces like stadiums, airports, and malls frequently include vending machines selling commodities like electronic goods, cosmetics, or other specialist items. These vending machines come in a variety of designs, some of which are distinguished as Automated Retail Machines while others employ the same technology as traditional vending equipment.

  • Optional franchising

If you’d like to establish your vending machine company but don’t want to build from zero, you might want to think about purchasing a franchise. As a franchisor, you will have access to additional training and assistance as well as the ability to operate inside a tried-and-true business model while setting up your vending operation. The amount of machines you want to buy will also be up to you. The franchisor will be entitled to a share of your profits, so keep that in mind when you operate a franchise.

2. Choose an appropriate place for your vending machine.

Although the sort of vending machine you pick is vital, the location of the unit is what will determine whether or not you make money from your vending machine company. For instance, a high-end food and drink vending machine might not succeed in a strip mall with plenty of eateries, but it might succeed in an industrial park. Consider the places where you’ve previously purchased things from a vending machine in addition to the hours when customers are most likely to buy a drink, snack, or other products. There’s a good probability that you had a restricted number of restaurant options, that you were pressed for time, or that you were waiting elsewhere.

Securing your place is the next action. A successful salesperson could feel at ease making a cold call to an estate or company owner or approaching them in reality. Smaller businesses may benefit from this strategy, particularly if you are a regular customer or the owner is someone you already know. Visit the Chamber of Commerce in your community as another option. They can provide you with information about significant local businesses, which may help you come up with some prospective site suggestions. A multi-business office park or other establishments with a lot of foot traffic, such as those, are ideal locations for your vending machine.

If you do have certain venues in mind, get in touch with the owners or try to find the manager’s details. You may learn more about local needs and make more informed decisions about your vending machine and brand preferences by discussing geographic requirements with potential partners.

3. Know the rules, legislation, and compliance for vending in your state.

Vending machine laws vary from one state to another and apply differently to various varieties of machines. Find out how your state regulates vendors by contacting your regional Chamber of Commerce or researching your state’s small scale business regulations online before beginning a vending machine business and approaching potential location owners. Additionally, if you install a vending machine in a busy location, it might need to adhere to ADA compliance guidelines, so it’s a wise idea to bare accessibility in mind while making your selection.

4. Become familiar with the commission standards and create a proprietor contract.

You must make a payment to the owner of the business that supplies the space and electricity needed to run your vending machine before keeping the money earned from it. Typically, you’ll give the landlord 10% to 25% of the money you make through your vending machine business. Regardless of whether you intend to have an exclusive relationship with a location, you should still draught a contract with the owner that outlines the parameters of your agreement with the owner, your agreed remuneration amount, and the duration of the deal.

Include clauses that address contract violations as well. It’s a good idea to incorporate objectives and duties for maintaining and replenishing your vending machines, protecting them from vandalism or theft, and planning for the potential of losing money. Always have a lawyer review the agreement before you sign it.

5. Locate your vending machine.

Without a machine, it is impossible to launch a vending machine business. Fortunately, locating your vending machine may be done with a quick internet search. Search both regional and international providers to get a sense of the various vending machine choices and cost ranges available. When examining the prices of vending machines, you should also take inventory costs into account.

But keep in mind that these extras might get pricey, so try not to become too tempted by them. Select the vending machine which better suits your desired product line and current financial capabilities.

6. Put supplies in your vending machine.

As soon as you set foot on a vending machine, your machine startup is already underway. The next step is to supply it with supplies. The choice of products is a great way to increase sales. Consider local, site-specific needs before stocking products based on general food and beverages trends. Avoid over-ordering inventory at first and change your offerings in response to demand to be secure.

Drink sales will account for the majority of your vending machine sales revenues if you decide to offer integrated services for food and beverages. It’s important to think about what your site can sustain in terms of more expensive specialized foods and drinks as the rising demand for refreshments moves beyond soda to include coffee, flavored water, and healthy drinks such as coconut water.

7. Examine your choices for financing

Vending machine enterprises can be started for a lot less money than most other new enterprises, some of which might cost tens of millions of dollars to launch.

A couple thousand bucks is still not exactly chump dough. If you require a loan to buy your vending machine, take into account these two possibilities:

  • Short-term loans

Your best option may be to obtain a short-term loan to fund your vending machine if you are an established business owner with a solid financial record.

Like typical term loans, short-term loans are made as one lump sum deposit into your company’s local bank, and you have a certain period of time to repay the loan plus the interest. Short-term loans have far shorter repayment periods than their long-term counterparts—typically 18 months or less—as you might expect from their name. Additionally, interest rates for short-term loans are a little higher. However, short-term loans are typically simpler to apply for than long-term loans.

  • Lending for equipment

To launch a profitable retail business, you don’t necessary need to have a lot of cash on hand. However, you might aim for an equipment finance loan if you require a little assistance. The worth of your machinery serves as security in the event that you are unable to make your loan payments, and the conditions of these loans are based on that value.


You are entirely capable of launching a vending machine company and profiting from it only with a few dollars to invest, a vehicle, and perseverance. So, what are you waiting for? Get on to the track of witnessing your business flourish.