What type of vending machine business do you intend to run?
The answer to the question, ‘Where can I put a vending machine?’ largely depends upon the type of vending business you intend to run.
If you are only interested in full-line vending, you will need a lot of persistence because the large footprint and contractual requirements involved makes this type of offer a harder sell.
There is little point in targeting small outlets with a full-line vending machine business. Instead, aim for busy public spaces or businesses with 40 or more employees. When installing in business premises, target an area that is often used by staff (break room, cafeteria, etc.)
Always visit your chosen locations in person, introduce yourself to the reception/front office and ask to speak to a decision-maker (manager or owner). If they are not available, politely ask when they will be free.
Create some high quality marketing collateral so when you do get to speak to a manager, you can leave it with them. Hard sell is not an effective way to close a full-line vending deal, so be courteous and patient.
Having said that, there are still plenty of options when it comes to looking for prime locations. For example, you could consider:
- Gyms/leisure centres
- Department stores
- Magistrate Courts
- Theme parks
- Universities/student unions
In terms of the law, you will need to apply for a free licence if you intend to sell food and drink, and you are responsible for siting your machines safely and ensuring they are well protected from pests.
Where can I put a vending machine with a small footprint?
A small machine such as a sweets tower doesn’t require the same paperwork or floor space which makes them much easier to place (and possibly upgrade later, once you’ve built rapport).
Consider smaller outlets such as hair salons, nail bars, independent shops and cafes. Places with walk-in customers are better than those which take bookings since there will be more people waiting around.
The power of networking
Many successful vending machine business owners source new locations via referrals. Once you’ve built up a good rapport with your existing customers, let them know about areas you’re interested in expanding into. Simply ask them, ‘Where can I put a vending machine in that area?’ You might end up with a helpful recommendation or even a contact name.
Consider a vending machine locator
If you’re really not getting a satisfactory answer to the question: ‘Where can I put a vending machine?’ consider outsourcing this part of the business to a third party.
Vending machine locators are people who find lucrative vending sites for a fee. Sometimes they charge very reasonable rates although you can’t always guarantee they will come up with the best locations.
How to make your vending machine stand out
While location is clearly an important factor in maximising vending machine sales, there is more you can do to attract buyers to your machines. For example, you can invest in high impact branding and install custom lighting or vibrant canopies.
Operandi modular vending surrounds are an industry favourite and Nebrak can customise them with your choice of branding and point-of-sale artwork. Or we could work with you to create a completely customised solution.
Whatever your display ideas, Nebrak offers a range of high quality solutions which can help bring them to fruition. Visit our vending furniture page to see some examples and find out more about us.