Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is a Vending Business Right for You?

There are precious few ways today to bring in a second income while still having enough time to enjoy watching your children grow up. Restaurants, hotels, and stores-staples of the service industry, pay remarkably low wages while still expecting you to give up large chunks of your weekends and evenings and answer to a boss who may actually be younger than your kids. If this way of life isn’t exactly what you see as the “American Dream,” then maybe it’s time for you to consider the positives to be found in owning your own small business. For a ground-floor opportunity that requires a relatively small investment of time and money, vending could be just the answer you seek.
Rather than spending your free family time acquiescing to the demands of a zit-faced kid, your own small vending business could leave you with plenty of extra time, as well as enough capital to eventually expand your operations. Vending machines are everywhere - in employee break rooms, outside convenience stores and grocery stores, and even in schools. Just about anything today can be sold via a vending machine, and the vending machines in Japan have some of the most imaginative products in the world. The cash outlay is relatively minimal, you don’t need to attend to it 24/7, and it can provide a more stable, stress-free source of income than ringing up grocery purchases twenty hours per week. As long as you’re aware of the potential pitfalls you might run into, particularly if you’re starting out with just one or two machines, you might just be surprised how much you can make.
There are two ways that you can get started. One is to buy into a franchise, and the other is to go it alone with machines of your own. If you franchise, you’ll be leasing the machines and making payments to a central office, and you may have to use the product they send you. Of course, that also means that you won’t necessarily have to figure out how to service the machines if something goes wrong with them. Since they’re leased, you might be able to sign up under a deal that ensures that your machines will be regularly serviced and all you’ll have to do is stock them, find homes for them, and collect the cash.
Going it on your own presents its own unique challenges, though. Not only will you have to purchase the machines you’ll need, you’ll also have to scout out locations by yourself. Many times, this is easier said than done. That’s because large companies can often control entire territories that may include an entire industrial neighborhood, and the people who restock those machines are just employees, rather than independents.
There are some odd things that can be sold with vending machines, but all have proven to be relatively lucrative in their respective markets. The gold bar vending machine is one, and there are a number of umbrella vending machines in Japan, along with several of a more “adult” variety! In England, shoes can be bought from vending machines, and in bars and restaurants across America, it’s now possible to try your luck at catching a live Maine lobster in a vending machine. Reports indicate that these machines can net as much as $2,000 per week in some locations, a testament to the oft-stated opinion that these days, there really isn’t much you can’t buy out of a vending machine!

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