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How Much Does a Vending Machine Cost?
Vending machines are convenient dispensers of snacks, beverages, lottery tickets and other items. Having one in your place of business doesn’t cost you, as the consumer makes the purchases and the machine’s owner stocks the products. If you want to buy one, how much does a vending machine cost?
Vending Machine Prices
Vending machines prices begin at around $3,000.00 and go up from there. Prices depend on how sophisticated the machine is and the size. A simple candy and gum dispenser, a bottled or canned beverage machine or a packaged snack machine will vary in price differential. Vending machines that have to maintain a certain temperature for frozen foods or hot beverages will typically cost more — and require more maintenance.
Find locations for your vending machines. Place them in high traffic areas for the biggest volume. This takes some convincing on your part to find businesses willing to store vending machines at the workplace. In return, the business owner doesn’t have to maintain the machine while providing a food or beverage option for customers and employees. The more vending machines you have, the more profit and more work keeping them stocked and in good order.
Decide what products you want to have your machines. Healthy vending machines are popular in schools and gyms with items like fresh fruit cups, granola bars, sports drinks and flavored waters. Common vending machines stock packaged chips, candy bars and other snacks. You may also consider carrying toys and small stuffed animals for places frequented by families. Other vending machine options include gift cards and non-food essential items for travelers, such as laundry supplies and toiletries.
You’ll need to figure out how to price your items to make a profit without charging more than the consumer will pay. It can take up to a year to recover your expenses the first year. This all depends on how many machines you purchase and how much traffic the machines get. One that gets used often will turn a quicker profit than one that rests in the back of a warehouse where no one sees it.
As you weigh your options and costs with vending machines, consider the travel time and maintenance required. This takes up your time and your gas money. If the vending machine breaks and you aren’t able to fix it yourself, you’ll need to factor in repair bills. Cleaning the machines is something you can do or you can hire that out if you have the extra funds.
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Vending Machine Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 3,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their vending machine businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a vending machine business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Vending Machine Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your vending machine as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Source of Funding for Vending Machines
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a vending machine business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a vending machine business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a vending machine business.
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Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of vending machine business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a vending machine business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of vending machine businesses.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the vending machine industry. Discuss the type of vending machine business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Food and snacks : this type of vending machine business typically offers pre-packaged snacks such as chips, cookies, etc., as well as perishable products such as sandwiches, ice cream, and fruit
- Beverages : this type of vending machine can be for hot drinks (coffee, cocoa), or cold (soft drinks, water)
- Candy : this type of vending machine is stocked exclusively with candy and gum
- Other products : this could be healthy food options (granola, fruit, hummus, etc.), or consumer products such as electronics, movies, condoms, souvenirs, etc.
In addition to explaining the type of vending machine you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new machine locations, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the vending machine business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the vending machine industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards selling advertising on vending machines, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for varying ad types and sizes.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your vending machine business plan:
- How big is the vending machine business (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your vending machine. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The following are examples of customer segments: hotels, office buildings, correctional facilities, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of vending machine you operate. Clearly correctional facilities would want different pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than office buildings.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve (both the end customers (who purchase items in your vending machines) and the decision-makers (who approve your desire to place a vending machine in their facility).
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other vending machines.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes convenience stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants that offer quick food. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who purchases convenience items uses a vending machine every day.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other vending machine businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be vending machines located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What products do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior products?
- Will you provide products that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to purchase your products?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of vending machine business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to snack machines, will you offer machines that sell items such as coffee or other consumer products?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your vending machine. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your vending machine located inside a heavily trafficked office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers.
Promotions : the final part of your vending machine marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Making your vending machine clean and visually appealing to attract passing customers
- Focusing on machine design and technology for a better user experience
- Placing vending machines in strategic locations
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your vending machine such as procuring products, delivering and restocking, keeping the machines clean, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to place your 10th machine, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the vending machine business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in vending machines and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 50 customers per day or 100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your vending machine business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a vending machine:
- Cost of equipment like vending machines, refrigerated delivery trucks, etc.
- Cost of maintaining an adequate amount of inventory
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Vending Machine Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your vending machine business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the vending machine business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful vending machine business.
Download Our Vending Machine Business Plan PDF
You can download our vending machine business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
Vending Machine Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my vending machine business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Vending Machine Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Vending Machine Business Plan.
Where Can I Download a Vending Machine Business Plan PDF?
You can download our vending machine business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success. Click here to see how a Growthink business plan consultant can create your business plan for you.
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How to write the business plan for a vending machine company
Are you looking to start a vending machine business or grow an existing one? Writing a business plan is essential for success in this competitive industry.
A well-crafted business plan can help you identify potential opportunities and challenges, establish realistic goals and objectives, and secure financing from investors or lenders.
This guide provides an in-depth look at how to write a comprehensive business plan for your vending machine company.
We cover why it's important to have one, what information you need to include, the components of the plan itself, as well as some useful tools that will make writing your business plan easier.
So, let's get started!
In this guide:
Why write a business plan for a vending machine company?
Information needed to create a business plan for a vending machine company, how do i build a financial forecast for a vending machine company, the written part of a vending machine business plan, what tool should i use to write my vending machine business plan.
There are several reasons to write a vending machine business plan. Below, we cover some of the most important ones!
To draw up a roadmap
Writing a business plan for a vending machine company is an important step for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.
A well-crafted business plan will help you identify and set objectives that are achievable over the next 3 to 5 years.
For existing businesses, writing a comprehensive business plan can be beneficial in evaluating current operations and planning to ensure continued success.
Not only does it provide direction and help focus on short-term goals, but it also helps you anticipate future challenges and opportunities so you can adjust accordingly.
To compare financial performance
It also enables you to regularly compare your financial performance against what was initially planned and adjust future financial forecasts accordingly.
This way, you can continually assess whether business finances are headed in the right direction and make adjustments as needed to stay on track with achieving long-term goals.
To raise financing from investors or banks
When looking for financing from an equity investor or a bank to start or grow a vending machine company, it is essential to have a comprehensive business plan.
This document will provide lenders with key information about your company and its prospects for growth and profitability.
The plan should demonstrate that investing in your vending machine business is likely to generate a good return on investment. Lenders will use your financial forecast to calculate metrics and ratios.
It should include details of how you intend to drive sales, manage expenses, manage cash flow and build value over time.
An effective business plan can be the difference between success and failure when seeking funds from investors.
Now that we understand why it is important to write a business plan for a vending machine company, let's look at the information needed to create such a plan.
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Writing a vending machine business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.
In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your plan!
Carrying out market research for a vending machine company
Carrying out market research is an important step before writing a business plan for a vending machine company.
Market research helps identify potential customers, understand their needs and preferences, and accurately forecast revenues.
It can also provide valuable insights into the competitive landscape that will enable you to develop strategies for success.
By carrying out market research, you'll be able to create a realistic financial forecast which is essential when trying to raise financing from investors or banks.
Developing the marketing plan for a vending machine company
Developing an appropriate sales & marketing plan, and budget, for your vending machine company is crucial before writing a business plan.
This will ensure that you have a clear go to market strategy in place, and that you allocate sufficient resources to hit your sales target when you incorporate these numbers in your financial forecast.
The staffing and equipment needs of a vending machine company
When writing a business plan for a vending machine company, it is important to include a thorough recruitment plan and investment strategy.
To do this effectively, you will need to think how the business will operate from a practical point of view. Where will you buy or manufacture the vending machines? How will they be delivered to customers? Who will service them? Etc.
This helps to ensure that you can realistically plan for the cash outflows required to hire personnel and purchase necessary equipment.
After gathering the necessary information to create a business plan for a vending machine company, the next step is to create your financial forecast.
A vending machine financial forecast has three key statements to it: the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow forecast. It also has a source and uses a table that details startup costs and expenses.
In the following sections, we explain each one in more detail.
The projected P&L statement
The projected P&L statement of a vending machine business shows how much income it will generate and how profitable it will be in the future.
The projected balance sheet of your vending machine company
A vending machine balance sheet is one of the most important financial documents because it reveals the current financial position of a business.
It is a statement that shows the assets, liabilities, and equity of the company at a specific point in time.
- Assets, such as cash are owned by the vending machine company and can provide future economic benefits.
- On the other hand, liabilities represent debts and other obligations the company has to pay in the future.
- Equity includes capital contributions from owners and retained earnings, which is the profit the company has accumulated since its inception.
The balance sheet is used to assess the financial position of your vending machine company.
It helps to gauge the company’s ability to pay its current liabilities, such as accounts payable and other short-term debts by calculating key metrics such as the current ratio or quick ratio. And to assess its borrowing capacity.
The projected cash flow statement
A projected cash flow statement is a helpful tool for a vending machine company. It shows how much cash the company expects to generate or consume each month, as well as how much cash it will have left in the bank at any given time.
This helps the company plan ahead and budget its outflows so that it can make sure it has enough cash.
Knowing this information helps you decide when to invest and purchase more vending machines, or when to seek financing to avoid cash shortfalls.
The initial financing plan
An initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a helpful tool which shows how you will finance the creation (or expansion) of your vending machine business.
Now that we have discussed the financial forecast of our vending machine company business plan, let's look at the content of the written part of the plan, which provides the context needed to interpret the figures of your forecast.
The written part of a vending machine business plan has seven key sections.
From drafting an executive summary to presenting your financials, let's have a look at each of them!
1. The executive summary
The executive summary of a vending machine company business plan should provide a comprehensive overview of the company's operations, objectives, and strategies.
It should start with a concise description of the business, including its history, growth prospects and competitive advantages.
The market overview should then outline the size, scope and outlook of the vending machine industry, plus any key trends that could affect the business.
Following this, the summary should include a brief overview of key financial information, such as projected revenue and profits, capital requirements, and sources of funding.
2. The presentation of the company
The presentation of a vending machine company's business plan should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of the company.
The structure and ownership part provides an overview of the legal structure, key stakeholders, and any partners or investors. It is important to clearly define each partner's stake in the business.
The location part should give an overview of where the company is implanted and what serviceable area it targets.
The management team should be given special attention in a vending machine business plan. This section should provide an overview of each member of the management team, including their background and experience.
It is also important to emphasize any past successes that the members of the management team have achieved, as this will help potential investors understand why they should trust in their leadership.
3. The products and services section
When writing the products and services section of your vending machine business plan, you should list all of the items that you will offer to customers.
This will depend of whether you are a manufacturer of vending machines or an operator.
If you are an operator, this will includes both food and beverage options as well as any other services or features that may be available to vending machine customers.
Most vending machines store soft drinks, crisps, chocolate and confectionery but yours doesn't have to!
You need to explain how your product offerings differ from those already in the market, so investors can understand why it is worth investing in your business.
If you are a manufacturer you will need to detail the key features of your machines.
4. The market analysis
When presenting the conclusion of your market analysis in a business plan, you need to include key aspects such as demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and regulation.
Demographics and segmentation are essential factors to consider when analyzing the potential success of a vending machine company. Knowing who your target customers are, how much they can afford to pay and their product preferences can help inform decisions about where to place machines or what type of products should be sold inside them.
Additionally, understanding which segments make up the overall customer base can also be beneficial when crafting marketing campaigns that reach those specific groups.
Knowing who the competition is will also help you shape your strategy for gaining market share. Additionally, researching any existing barriers to entry in the vending machine industry can provide invaluable information on the competitive landscape.
Be sure to also detail any applicable regulations or laws related to the vending machine industry because financier will want to check that your business is compliant with them.
By including these key aspects of your market analysis in your business plan, you can provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the market conditions in which you operate.
5. The strategy section
A vending machine company should include an effective strategy section in their business plan that outlines pricing, sales & marketing approaches, milestones, risks and mitigants.
When creating a pricing strategy for your vending machines, you should consider the cost of producing machines and the cost of contents inside to help establish competitive prices.
When developing a marketing plan, you should consider where and how to advertise your product to reach the target customers.
The strategy section should also include milestones that can be used as markers of success along the way. Your aim might be to reach your break-even level of output within 6 months of launching the business or entering a new market, for example.
Finally, any potential risks associated with starting the business should be addressed along with specific mitigants for each risk identified.
6. The operations section
The operations section of a vending machine company business plan should detail the staffing team, roles of staff members, and recruitment plan.
The recruitment plan should include information such as the method of advertisement, the expected response rate, and the selection standards that prospective candidates need to meet.
It is also important to specify how many people are needed in each role and the qualifications they need to have.
In addition, the operations section of a vending machine company business plan should include details about the key assets and intellectual property that the business needs to operate.
This could include items such as software, hardware, or even trademarks and patents.
It is important to make sure that these assets are fully protected and that any legal documents are in place before the business starts operating.
Also, list the suppliers that you plan to work with to fill the contents of the vending machine and purchase or manufacture the machine itself. Mention why you chose to work with those suppliers (past relationships with them for example).
7. The presentation of the financial plan
This is where you will present the financial forecast that we talked about earlier in this guide.
Now that you have a better understanding of what should be included in your vending machine business plan, it’s time to look at the solutions that can help you create one.
In this section, we will be reviewing several solutions for creating a business plan for a vending machine company, including using Word and Excel, hiring a consultant to write the plan, and utilizing online business planning software.
Create your vending machine company's business plan using Word or Excel
Using Microsoft Word or Excel to create a business plan for a vending machine company has its pros and cons.
On the one hand, using Word and Excel are cost-effective options as they are widely available and familiar to many business owners.
However, it can take a significant time to create a financial forecast accurately, making it a tedious process. This is because modelling will be spread across hundreds of rows and multiple tabs.
And it is hard not to make mistakes unless you have significant experience in financial modelling.
You'll also need to format the document (on Word) once you are done.
Hire a consultant to write your vending machine company's business plan
Outsourcing the vending machine company business plan to a consultant or accountant can be advantageous and disadvantageous in equal measure.
On the plus side, consultants are used to writing business plans, while accountants have the financial acumen to create accurate financial forecasts without errors.
This can be invaluable in ensuring that investors and banks are presented with a comprehensive and accurate business plan.
However, outsourcing a vending machine company's business plan comes with its own set of drawbacks.
Accountants lack industry expertise to accurately forecast sales figures. Additionally, hiring consultants or accountants will be expensive, and there may be extra costs associated with any updates or modifications that need to be made.
Use an online business plan software for your vending machine company's business plan
Another alternative is to use online business plan software. There are several advantages in doing so.
- You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
- You can be inspired by already-written business plan templates and examples
- You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you
- You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
- You can easily compare your forecast against your accounting data to make sure you are on track to deliver your plan, or make adjustments if needed
If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here .
We hope that this article has helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for your vending machine company. Do not hesitate to contact us if you still have questions!
Also on The Business Plan Shop
- Practical example of a business plan outline
- How investors analyse business plans
- How to do a market analysis for a business plan
Know someone in the vending machine industry? Share this article with them!
Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd
Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.
Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.
Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.
Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.
Published on 20 Jan 2023 , last update on 27 Jun 2023 , as per our editorial standards .
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Vending Machine Business Plan: The Ultimate Guide
- 3 months ago
You’ve looked into the steps of starting a vending machine business, but you haven’t developed business plans. We’ll help you create a vending machine business plan.
Adam Hill has owned and operated Hill Vending since 2014, when he bought a $120 vending route. Now he’s making over $600K in annual sales. He’ll share vending machine tips so you know how to estimate vending machine profits and other costs.
We’ll explain everything you need to know to communicate your business plan. These vending machine business links will send you directly to the section of the blog you want to read:
What Is a Vending Machine Business Plan?
Why you need a vending business plan, how to buy vending machines, vending machine business plan template, executive summary, company analysis, vending machine industry analysis, customer analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, management team, income statement, balance sheets, cash flow statement, how much are vending machines, how to start a vending machine business, how much does a vending machine make, what do i need to start a vending machine business, write your vending machine business plan.
A vending machine business plan provides a snapshot of where your business is, where it’s going, and how you will achieve the business goals over the next three to 10 years.
Vending business plans will include market research on the vending machine industry, local vending machine associations, a marketing plan, an operations plan, and a financial plan to provide a clear path of how you expect your vending machine company to make money and grow.
Your chances of starting a successful vending machine business double by writing and following a vending machine business plan. Plus, companies that follow their business plans grow nearly 30% faster and get more funding than those without a business plan.
Make sure to update your vending machine business plan annually as your company grows and achieves its goals.
The main ways to buy a vending machine business are personal savings, credit cards, private loans from the current business owner, bank loans, and angel investors.
One of the top ways to get into the vending machine industry is to buy an existing vending machine business. Business owners will often agree to owner financing, where you pay 0-20% down and then pay off the remainder over one to five years.
Banks will want to review your vending machine business plan and decide whether they believe you can accomplish the goals you’ve included. More specifically, a loan officer will want to see a professional vending machine business plan to verify that your financial assumptions are reasonable.
Another way to fund a vending machine business is by taking a loan or equity deal from angel investors. An angel investor is just a wealthy individual who helps people start businesses in exchange for a share of the profits.
Learn more about buying a vending machine .
You’ll want a business plan template for your vending machine business. Download our free vending machine business plan template below.
You’ll also get our How to Start a Vending Machine Business PDF.
Check out our other business plan templates for more resources or watch our interview with a business owner who started one of the fastest growing franchises in North America to learn how he writes a business plan.
What Should I Include in a Vending Machine Startup Business Plan?
A business plan for a vending machine company should include:
- Competitor Analysis
- Vending Machine Marketing Plan
- Vending Machine Operations Plan
- Vending Machine Financial Plan
Keep reading to learn what vending machine operators should include in their business plans. We’ll also provide examples of what key parts of a vending machine business plan might look like.
Vending machine operators should start their business plan with an executive summary. All an executive summary does is summarize what the rest of the document is about.
The executive summary should be under a page long and should include a sentence or two about each section so that people can get the main points quickly.
This section of your vending machine business plan should include:
- An introduction to your company
- Your company’s mission and values
- The vending machine services you’ll offer
- Your competitive advantage
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the vending machine business. Your research will help you understand the market, improve your strategy to utilize market trends, and prove to readers you know what you’re talking about.
Your vending machine business plan should answer the following questions about the vending industry:
- How much do vending machines make a month? (Both as an industry and per machine)
- How much of the industry revenue is in the local market? Use the industry revenue multiplied by your location divided by the U.S. population.
- Is the market growing or shrinking?
- Who are the market leaders in the industry?
- Who are the primary vending machine manufacturers and suppliers of products?
- What vending machine business trends will impact the industry?
- What is the vending industry’s 5-10 year growth forecast?
I suggest using the IBIS World report we linked to earlier because it includes all the information about the U.S. vending machine market. You may need to purchase a local plan as well.
Industry Analysis Example
The vending machine industry makes $10 billion per year across 17,739 vending operators in the U.S. That means they make an average of $563,729 per year.
The average monthly revenue of a vending machine is approximately $2,000, which means a company needs 24 machines to earn the average across the industry.
The Las Vegas vending machine business market is approximately $69,343,972.03, and there are 99 vending machine operators , which means each vending machine operator is making approximately $140K per year more than the national average.
The market is expected to slightly decline in revenue, but companies that capitalize on existing trends like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and specialized vending machines are able to see growth by creating new markets in high-traffic areas.
According to ThomasNet , the major vending machine equipment manufacturers and suppliers are:
Adam suggested two manufacturers of vending machines he prefers to use.
In addition, snack foods and drinks are available from stores like:
- Coke distributors
- Pepsi distributors
- Other distributors
Your vending machine business plan should describe the target market you will be providing vending.
Your target market will impact the pricing and product options you carry. Make sure to understand the demographics of the customers in each type of facility you serve. You won’t want to offer the same vending machine products in a gas station as you would a cardiac wing in a hospital.
Analyze customer demographics. You’ll want to discuss the age, gender, location, and income levels of decision-makers, their customers, and where you want to place your vending machines .
You’ll also want to include psychographic profiles, meaning the details of your customers’ wants and needs. You wouldn’t want to offer all candy and soda in a yoga studio vending machine because the students will probably want water and healthier snack choices.
Your vending machine business plan should include a competitive analysis that shows your understanding of the direct and indirect competitors you will be competing with for your target customers.
Direct competitors are limited to vending machine operators in the local area, while indirect competitors are any type of business where your target customers can get the same products.
A vending machine business will have indirect competitors, including grocery stores, convenience stores, delivery apps, pharmacies, and fast food restaurants.
Not mentioning these vending machine competitors may show lenders that you don’t realize there are other places where someone can buy the same products even when in a rush.
You want to describe in greater detail the other vending machine businesses you’ll compete with. Your direct competitors will be other vending machine locations within a mile of your machine.
Create an analysis of each local vending machine company that answers the following:
- What locations does each business serve?
- What items do they sell in the vending machines?
- How do they price each item?
- What are the machine owners’ competitive advantages?
- What opportunities do they leave open?
After you’ve done this, you should be able to answer questions like:
- How can I provide superior products?
- What products can I offer that competitors do not?
- How can I create an excellent customer service culture?
- Can I beat their pricing?
Finding ways to provide better customer service at a similar or lower cost will provide a competitive advantage. Just make sure the pricing is correct for your vending machine business to be successful.
Have you ever heard of the 4Ps of marketing?
Every vending machine business should include them in its marketing plan.
This section of your vending machine business plan should remind the reader what type of vending machine business you are. Make sure to be specific about the products you’ll be offering in your vending machines. You’ll want to keep the product list consistent across vending machines.
You should have already analyzed how other vending machine businesses sell their products. Now it’s time to create your pricing guide. Adam suggests pricing the products at twice what you pay for them.
If you buy a 12-pack of soda from Sam’s Club for $12.99, then your vending machine company should be selling each can for $2.25 if the market will allow it. At the very least, factor in 50 cents profit per item.
Where will you be placing your vending machines? Document every location, the types of vending machines at the location, and how often you’ll need to check it.
You should also explain why each location is a good spot for a vending machine in your vending machine business plan. Learn more about vending machine placement .
The promotion section of a vending machine marketing plan documents how you will help people find your vending machine company and the locations where you have placed a vending machine.
Some promotional methods you might use for a vending machine company include:
- A vending machine website
- Adding your branding to your vehicle
- Creating brochures for business owners
- Focusing on vending machine experience and user experience (UX)
- Keeping your vending machines clean and branding them to help people recognize your brand
- Placing vending machines in strategic locations
- Providing maps that show where your vending machine business is located
- Sharing cool features of your vending machines on social media
You could also create a course to help other people learn how to start a vending machine business. That’s one of the ways that Adam has built upon his vending machine business. Check out our free vending machine training .
An operations plan is part of your vending machine business plan that explains your daily operations. Your operations plan should include two sections:
- Long-term goals
- Processes for operational excellence
What milestones do you want to achieve in your vending machine company?
Your long-term goals might include the number of machines you want by a certain date, when you want to hire employees, and how much revenue you want within five years.
Make sure to add these details to your vending machine business plan.
Processes for Your Vending Machine Business
Your processes are the steps you will take during the day to keep your vending machine business running smoothly. Your main tasks will include:
- Buy vending machine products
- Store vending machine products
- Deliver machines
- Restock vending machines
- Clean vending machines
- Buy new vending machines
- Secure contracts for vending machine placement
- Buy vending machine routes
- Provide customer service
You should also include your management team and business structure in your vending machine business plan. Planning for a team shows that you have thought through starting a vending machine business and realize that you can’t do everything.
While vending machine businesses are typically able to be run by a single person, that doesn’t mean you won’t need help from other professionals including:
- Vending Machine Repair Person
- Sales and Marketing
Hiring people to manage portions of the company you don’t understand will make starting a vending machine business much easier. Emphasize how your leadership team is going to make you more successful by touting their past experience.
Direct experience in the vending machine business is best, but if your team has experience in other areas that are related, it works well, too. An advisory board familiar with vending machines is also an option.
When you own vending machine business assets, you need a financial plan. Your financial plan should cover one to five years from your vending machine business starting.
Three financial statements should be included with your business plan:
- Income statement
- Balance sheet
- Cash flow statement
A Profit and Loss statement, P&L, or income statement shows your revenues and expenses to show how much money you made or lost.
You’ll have to make some assumptions when you create an income statement. Vending machine owners will need to make and document assumptions that answer the following:
- How many products will you serve?
- What will inflation be?
- How much will revenue grow each year? How?
Example Vending Machines Income Statement
Let’s assume the following:
- We bought 10 vending machines for $20,000 with $0 down and one year to pay $25K.
- Revenue is $2K/month per machine .
- Gross margins are 50% .
- Taxes are 20% .
- Marketing costs $1,000 annually .
Note: EBITDA = Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization
Balance sheets are used to compare your assets and liabilities. Your balance sheet will show five sections:
- Current Assets: Cash and items that can be turned into cash within a year, including accounts receivable, inventory, prepaid expenses, and marketable securities.
- Long-Term Assets: Items that cannot be sold fast, like land, patents, brands, trademarks, goodwill, and vending machine equipment.
- Current Liabilities: Any debt due within a year, including accounts payable, debt financing, payroll, rent, utilities, and other accrued expenses.
- Long-Term Liabilities: Any debts that last longer than a year, including bonds payable, deferred taxes, leases, loans, and pensions
- Shareholder Equity: Shares, reserves, and retained earnings are all parts of owners’ equity
Effectively, you are aiming to balance the equation:
Current Assets + Long Term Assets = Current Liabilities + Long-Term Liabilities + Shareholder Equity
Learn more about balance sheets .
Your cash flow statement shows how much money you need in your business bank account to cover startup costs and operating expenses until you are fully self-sustaining.
Your cash flow statement adjusts the net income to add:
- Decreases in accounts payable
- Increases in taxes payable
- Increases in accounts receivable
Then you’ll want to subtract the cost of any inventory to get the cash from operations. You’ll also want line items for any investment or financing you need for the following items:
- Cost of equipment like vending machines, refrigerated delivery trucks, etc.
- Cost of maintaining an adequate amount of inventory
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
The final part of your vending machine business plan should be an appendix that includes all the supporting documentation for your business plan. You’ll want to include tables, links, and citations so that anyone reviewing your vending machine business plan can verify your facts.
For the sake of brevity, in this Example Appendix, I am only including the formula I used for the Las Vegas Vending Machine Industry calculation.
Vending Machine Business FAQs
Buying a vending machine will cost anywhere from $100 for a small candy vending machine to a few thousand dollars for new and used drink or snack machines. The custom vending machine cost can reach $20,000.
Starting a vending machine business requires:
- Establishing if the vending machine business will be profitable
- Creating financial projections
- Writing a vending machine business plan
- Forming your vending machine business
- Buying a vending machine
- Getting products to fill your vending machine
- Finding a location for your vending machine
- Storing vending machine products
- Maintaining vending machines
- Restocking and collecting money from your vending machine investment
According to Adam, most vending machines make around $2,000 per month if they are in good locations.
Market research may show that other vending machines can have even better results, but use $2,000 a month per machine in financial projections for your business plan unless you can document that your machines will have better returns.
Of the $2,000, approximately 30% should be profits or wages.
The vending machine business model normally requires a:
- Vending machine
- Business license and LLC
- Location for the vending machine
- Way to handle refunds
Whether you decide to offer ice cream vending machines, coffee vending machines, or bulk vending machines, a vending machines business plan will help you make the most out of your new venture.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download your free business plan.
What will be your vending machines business model?
Brandon Boushy started his company after years of working in customer service, engineering, and project management. After receiving his MBA, he turned his diverse skills into a business helping other small business owners find resources and strategies that further their business objectives. He focuses on assisting businesses with their marketing, communication, and research needs.
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Vending Machine Business Plan
Vending machines are no longer used to dispose of snacks. From frozen foods to stationery items, you name it and there might be a vending machine selling that product.
And if you want a business that requires less time and is profitable, then a vending machine business might be your thing. It also allows you to get creative with products and packaging.
All you need is a product idea, a little bit of research, and a vending machine business plan to help you get started. Here we’ll give you an insight into the vending machine industry and a few tips to help you set up your business better.
Before you start writing your business plan for your Vending Machine Business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of Food, Beverage & Restaurant Business Plans templates .
Our sample Vending Machine Business Plan can help you with writing a well-rounded business plan for your business. It can act as a guide and prevent you from getting stuck in a certain section for too long.
The global vending machine industry stood at a market value of 30.30 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years too.
Vending machines are super convenient and accessible. Hence, their popularity is increasing amongst the working class who always have less time on their hands and want to grab a quick snack or any other merchandise.
Also, as the vending machines require much less space compared to traditional convenience stores they are perfect for offices and other commercial settings. Also, the cashless ways of paying grow vending machines are bound to get more popular as they make such transactions easier.
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Things to Consider Before Writing a Vending Machine Business Plan
Pick your niche, select a good location, figure out good packaging and storage techniques, figure out security measures, chalking out your business plan.
With people returning to work post the COVID-19 pandemic and contactless services still being in vogue a vending machine business can be an exceptionally profitable one if done right.
Not just that vending machines are easy to use, but they come with a variety of product niches and help you avoid the hassle of showing product after product to customers, who’ll have every option displayed right in front of them with a vending machine.
And though refilling a vending machine and protecting it from theft and vandalism might seem like a boring job, a vending machine business is much more than that.
From vending machines that offer products ranging from granola bars to office supplies to the ones that take orders from apps through artificial intelligence, the vending machine business has gone through a massive change over the decades.
But, one more interesting fact is that there are over 5 million vending machines in the US alone, and if you want to last in such a competitive market you need a proper business plan. So, read on to find out how to write a vending machine business plan.
Why do You Need a Vending Machine Business Plan?
Before we discuss how to write a business plan , it is only fair to tell you about its advantages first. A vending machine business plan will help you decide your product niche, and the location where you can find your targeted customer, it helps you manage your finances, devise a marketing and pricing strategy, and run the operations of your business smoothly.
It also helps you design your brand image, decide on the scale of expansion and become more cost-effective as a business. Thus, a well-written business plan can serve a variety of purposes and help the different facets of your business is flourishing.
This brings us to the central topic of this blog, how to write a vending machine business plan.
How to Write a Vending Machine Business Plan?
Even though you can write a business plan from scratch yourself it is always a good idea to get a little expert help before you start writing one. You can either use a pre-designed template or an online business plan software.
For, writing a good plan always remember, that a plan should be clear, realistic, and customizable. It should not be a dead letter, but a living document that grows with the industry.
Here are a few sections that you can include in your business plan to make it a well-rounded one.
Vending Machine Business Plan Outline
This is the standard business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Mission statement
- Vision Statement
- Customer Focus
- Success Factors
- Financial Summary
- 3 Year profit forecast
- Startup cost
- Products and services
- Market Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Trends
- Working Community
- Residential Community
- SWOT Analysis
- Advertising Strategy
- Pricing Strategy
- Financial Plan
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
What to Include in a Vending Machine Business Plan?
Although your vending machine business plan would keep growing alongside your business there are certain key areas that you must include in your business plan.
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary section sums up your vision, business idea, and strategy. It consists of a summary of all the sections of your business. It is important to write a good executive summary, especially if you are expecting to get funded.
As a vending machine business, you should include your range of products and target audience, preferable locations, financial summary, and pricing strategy in your executive summary.
2. Company Summary
In this section you will summarise all that your company stands for:
- Your target audience, whether they are kids, students, working professionals, or tourists.
- Your niche, if it is beverages, packaged food, health food, stationery, or some other products.
- Your preferred location( select this as per your target audience)
All in all this section defines what your company is.
3. Competitive Analysis
In this section, you should include everything you can find about your direct and indirect competitors. You should note down points that are working for them, strategies that have led to their failure, and what makes you stand out from your competition. Apart from that, you should also see if you are standing out in a positive or negative light.
4. SWOT Analysis
SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis is an analytical framework generally used to evaluate any business’ competitive position in the market.
While conducting a SWOT analysis , it is important to initially focus on the market’s threats and opportunities. This will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of how your business’s strengths and weaknesses relate to market opportunities and threats.
Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis prepared for a vending machine business using Upmetrics:
5. Financial Plan
A financial plan is essential for the success of a vending machine business plan. It helps you decide whether you need funding or not, which are the most viable options for being funded, how much should you spend initially, when your business is ready for an expansion, etc. Therefore, a financial plan is exceptionally helpful and should be included in your business plan.
Download a sample vending machine business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free vending machine business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your vending machine business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
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So, whether starting a new vending machine business or planning to grow an existing one, Upmetrics is the tool you need to create a business plan.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!
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Frequently asked questions, what is the easiest way to write your vending machine business plan.
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any vending machine business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .
How do I write a good market analysis in a vending machine business plan?
Market analysis is one of the key components of your business plan that requires deep research and a thorough understanding of your industry.
We can categorize the process of writing a good market analysis section into the following steps:
- Stating the objective of your market analysis—e.g., investor funding.
- Industry study—market size, growth potential, market trends, etc.
- Identifying target market—based on user behavior and demographics.
- Analyzing direct and indirect competitors.
- Calculating market share—understanding TAM, SAM, and SOM.
- Knowing regulations and restrictions
- Organizing data and writing the first draft.
Writing a marketing analysis section can be overwhelming, but using ChatGPT for market research can make things easier.
How detailed should the financial projections be in my vending machine business plan?
The level of detail of the financial projections of your vending machine business may vary considering various business aspects like direct and indirect competition, pricing, and operational efficiency. However, your financial projections must be comprehensive enough to demonstrate a complete view of your financial performance.
Generally, the statements included in a business plan offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
What's the importance of a marketing strategy in a vending machine business plan?
Marketing strategy is a key component of your vending machine business plan. Whether it is about achieving certain business goals or helping your investors understand your plan to maximize their return on investment—an impactful marketing strategy is the way to do it!
Here are a few pointers to help you understand the importance of having an impactful marketing strategy:
- It provides your business an edge over your competitors.
- It helps investors better understand your business and growth potential.
- It helps you develop products with the best profit potential.
- It helps you set accurate pricing for your products or services.
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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Vending Services Business Plan
Start your own vending services business plan
Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.
Introduction Chef Vending, LLC is a family start-up business that specializes in importing vending machines and commercial food & beverage equipment from Spain. We will penetrate the vending industry with innovative, first to market, high quality vending machines. We will establish our own vending routes in the Southern and Central Florida region. We also plan to participate in the $321 billion food & beverage industry by supplying high-quality innovative equipment. With the establishment of one strategic alliance with a national brand name in either of our vending lines, we expect to easily exceed our financial forecasts.
The Company Chef Vending’s mission is to be the leader in introducing innovative, quality vending machines and restaurant equipment to the market. Through close customer contact and excellent relationships, we will meet the needs of our customers wherever we can.
Chef Vending, LLC, is a privately-held Florida corporation and maintains an office and a small warehouse in a mixed-use area of North Miami Beach, Florida.
Three of the four investors in the company have full operational responsibility. Mauricio Ordonez and Javier Palmera, the co-founders, have both entrepreneurial and industry experience. Charles Mulligan brings operational management and financial skills to the operation.
The Products Chef Vending will have two product lines, each for the various markets it serves. Our vending products line will include our unique Sandwich Express machine, our Fresh Orange Juice machine and our Multi-line Dispenser. Our restaurant equipment products will be toasters, espresso makers, and fresh juice squeezers.
Most of our products, such as Sandwich Express are innovative machines that have functions and advantages not found in today’s common vending machines, thus providing Chef Vending a competitive advantage over more established competitors.
We plan to aggressively enhance our existing line in the future. Our immediate plans are to include a larger model of Sandwich Express that will offer a greater variety of sandwiches, and a more diverse product line, such as pizza. Other products are in the exploratory phase.
We are also pursuing supplier relationships with large nationally-branded juice and sandwich manufacturers, to customize our machines to their products. This would enable Chef Vending to supply machines to national companies and allow them to brand the machines with their product lines.
The Market Revenue from U.S. vending consumable merchandise was $24.5 billion last year, an increase of 4.9% over the previous year, according to the Automatic Merchandiser magazine’s latest State of the Vending Industry Report. Small companies, with sales of less than $1 million, accounted for 5.8% of the market and had projected sales of $1.35 billion. Three quarters of all vending operators are classified in the small category.
Within the industry, snacks and cold beverages are the largest product segments and these two categories are the driving force of the industry. The food category grew at a rate of 7% last year, according to the Automatic Merchandiser. Cold storage machines grew at an even more impressive 42% last ylear, with this growth coming at the expense of shelf-stable products.
According to the National Restaurant Association, revenues from restaurants are expected to reach $321 billion. This is a large and healthy industry in our economy, and suppliers to this industry are expected to benefit from this growth.
All of this indicates that a fast moving, innovative company that can introduce enhanced products to vending machine/restaurant equipment customers stand to gain significant market share in a relatively short time span.
Chef Vending will market its machines to three distinct market segments including; distributors, branded sandwich and juice manufacturers, and end users. For our restaurant equipment business we will focus on restaurants and hotels and equipment supply companies.
Financial Considerations The company has an initial start-up cost of approximately $157,000 of which $125,000 will come from a ten year SBA loan. Short-term borrowing will provide us with an additional $2,500 and the rest will be provided by investment capital.
We project our monthly break even will by roughly $93,000 or 27 vending units. The attractiveness of our innovative vending machines and restaurant equipment will provide us with a sales level far above this break-even point. We expect to generate $500,000 of net profit on $2.8 million worth of sales in the first year.
Chef Vending’s objectives in our first year of operation are:
- Achieve $500,000 in sales in our restaurant equipment line.
For the following two years our growth objectives are:
- Grow revenues by 25% in our directly operated vending machines.
Chef Vending’s mission is to be the leader in introducing innovative, quality vending machines and restaurant equipment to the market. Through close customer contact and excellent relationships, we will meet the needs of our customers wherever we can. Chef Vending will secure sufficient profits from free cash flow from operations, to sustain its stability and finance future growth. We will add value to our community by maintaining a friendly, familial work environment.
1.3 Keys to Success
As a start-up company, new to the industry, and introducing new products, we must be focused and work hard to create acceptance for ourselves and our products within the marketplace. The keys to our success are:
- Our customers and keeping them happy.
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How to create a vending machine business plan
- Nirit Braun
Starting a business , especially in the vending machine sector, demands careful planning. While promising, the vending machine sector is not without its challenges. Therefore, it's important to adopt a thoughtful and well-structured approach to maximize your chances of success.
In this article, we'll talk about the the intricacies of creating a business plan tailored specifically to the vending machine business. From conducting comprehensive market research to crafting a strategic financial outlook, this guide with cover all the basic steps to developing a strong, future-proof business plan.
Ready to kick off your vending machine business? Build a website with Wix today.
Why create a vending machine business plan? Main benefits to consider
A vending machine business plan is a strategic document that can help you raise money for your business , crystallize your vision and set realistic goals. A business plan for this type of business typically includes sections addressing market research, competitive analysis, marketing strategies, operational logistics, financial projections and risk management. By addressing each of these element, a vending machine business plan can help with:
Resources planning: Crafting a business plan requires you to conduct thorough research. It forces you to develop a comprehensive understanding of the resources, supplies and staff needed to establish your vending machine business. By outlining the equipment, inventory and personnel required upfront, you can more accurately estimate startup costs and ongoing operational expenses.
Strategic roadmap: A detailed business plan helps you set achievable goals, establish milestones and better gauge progress. Moreover, the plan can highlight potential challenges and propose solutions, providing a proactive approach to navigating obstacles and uncertainties.
Competitive edge: Creating a business plan will require you to dig deep into customer demographics, consumer preferences and market trends—which you'll then want to use to inform your product strategy or other business decisions. Moreover, you'll find yourself analyzing competitors' strengths and weaknesses to pinpoint your brand's differentiators.
Risk mitigation: A well-structured business plan includes detailed financial projections that outline expected revenues, expenses and profitability over a specified period. These projections can help you understand the financial feasibility of your new business and make informed decisions. Furthermore, by identifying potential risks and outlining risk management strategies, you can safeguard your business against unforeseen challenges.
So, what are the essential elements of a business plan? Here are several to keep in mind as you work through your own plan.
Business and domain names
Market analysis and research
Marketing and advertising plan
01. Executive summary
Your executive summary is a concise overview of your entire vending machine business plan. It serves as an introduction that encapsulates the key points of your plan, providing readers with a quick understanding of your business concept, objectives, strategies and projected outcomes. While it appears at the beginning of the plan, it is often written after the rest of the plan is complete to ensure all crucial details are included.
Writing a clear executive summary for a vending machine business involves distilling the most essential information while maintaining clarity and enthusiasm. It should cover the following aspects:
Briefly introduce your vending machine business, explaining what products you will offer, your target market and the unique value you bring to the industry.
Outline your short-term and long-term business goals. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
Mention your key strategies for achieving your goals. This could include market penetration, product diversification or innovative technology utilization.
Highlight what sets your vending machine business apart from competitors. This could be a unique product offering, advanced technology, exceptional customer service or strategic locations.
Provide a brief overview of your financial projections, including revenue estimates, expenses and profitability forecasts.
Introduce key members of your team and their relevant expertise.
Indicate how much capital you are seeking or have secured and how you plan to use it.
Executive summary example:
"VendoTech Ventures aims to revolutionize the vending machine industry by offering a diverse range of healthy and innovative snacks tailored to the on-the-go lifestyle. Our SMART objectives include achieving a 15% market share within the first two years, expanding our product line to include beverages and establishing a network of 100 high-traffic vending locations. Our competitive edge lies in our AI-powered machine selection system and partnerships with local health-conscious suppliers. We seek an initial investment of $500,000 to fund product development, machine deployment and marketing initiatives. Our team boasts combined expertise in technology, food science and business management, ensuring successful execution. With a projected revenue of $800,000 and a 30% profit margin by Year 3, VendoTech Ventures is poised to become a leader in vending machine innovation."
02. Business and domain names
Before you register your business , you need to figure out what to name the business . Your company name should reflect your brand's identity and resonate with your target audience. It's the first impression customers and investors will have of your business. Similarly, your domain name is your digital address and a critical aspect of your online presence.
Consider using a business name generator to brainstorm ideas for your company name. Aim for a name that's memorable, easy to spell and evokes a positive impression related to your vending machine business.
Your domain name should reflect your small business's name or core offerings. This ensures consistency and makes it easier for customers to find you online. Keep it concise and avoid using complex words or special characters that can lead to confusion. If possible, include relevant keywords in your domain name to improve search engine optimization (SEO) and make your business more discoverable online. Verify that your chosen domain name is available by checking domain registration platforms. Aim for a .com domain, as it's the most recognized and commonly used extension.
03. Market analysis and research
The market analysis and research section of your business plan provides insights into the competitive landscape and consumer behavior. This data is essential for crafting a well-informed business strategy.
Start by defining your target audience based on demographics, psychographics and behavioral factors. Understand their preferences and needs. At the same time, evaluate your competitors' strengths, weaknesses, pricing strategies and market positioning. Identify gaps in the market that your vending machine business can fill.
Conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to gain a holistic view of your business's internal and external factors. Research industry trends, technological advancements and emerging consumer preferences. This information will help you stay ahead of the curve.
04. Operations plan
The operations plan in your vending machine business plan outlines the practical aspects of running your business efficiently. It covers aspects such as your location, premises, equipment and staffing needs.
Location : Detail how you'll identify high-traffic locations for your vending machines. Consider factors like foot traffic, target demographics and proximity to competitors.
Equipment : Specify the types of vending machines you'll use, including their features and capabilities.
Staffing : Determine the number of staff members required to manage inventory, restocking, maintenance and customer inquiries.
Example of an operations plan
"Location selection will be guided by thorough demographic analysis and foot traffic assessment. Our initial focus will be on office complexes and university campuses, where our target audience of busy professionals and students is likely to frequent. Our vending machines, equipped with state-of-the-art touchscreens and cashless payment systems, will offer an array of healthy snack options. We'll employ a dedicated team of two technicians for regular machine maintenance, ensuring optimal functionality and product availability."
05. Marketing and advertising plan
The marketing and advertising plan elucidates how you'll promote your vending machine business to attract customers and build brand awareness. You’ll need to define your marketing channels, such as your business website , social media, content marketing, email campaigns and partnerships.
Then detail your specific marketing campaigns designed to resonate with your target audience and drive engagement. Describe how you'll use these campaigns and strategies to establish your brand identity through consistent messaging and visual elements. You’ll need to develop a suite of brand assets to use in your marketing as well, starting with a company logo. You can use Wix’s free logo maker to get a professional logo in minutes.
Example of a marketing strategy for a business plan
"Our marketing strategy includes a combination of online and offline channels. We'll leverage social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to showcase our diverse snack offerings and engage with our audience through interactive posts and contests. Additionally, we'll collaborate with local gyms and wellness events to position our brand as a champion of healthy snacking. Our 'Snack Smart, Live Better' campaign will emphasize the nutritional benefits of our products and the convenience they offer."
06. Financial plan
The financial plan section of your business plan outlines the financial aspects of your vending machine business, including startup costs, revenue projections and funding sources.
Detail the expenses required to launch your vending machine business, covering equipment, inventory, location setup, legal fees and marketing. Then provide an estimate of your projected revenue based on sales volume, pricing and market potential. Make sure to always list ongoing expenses, such as restocking, maintenance, rent (if applicable) and staffing costs.
You’ll need to indicate how you plan to fund your business initially, whether through personal savings, loans, investments or grants. Finish by outlining when you expect your business to become profitable based on your projected financials.
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Vending Machine Business Plan Template
Vending machine business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your vending machine business plan.
We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their vending machine companies.
Below is a template to help you create each section of your Vending Machine business plan.
Healthy Snacks Vending is a startup vending machine company based in the city of Buckeye, Arizona, a growing Phoenix suburb. The company is founded by Chris Garcia, a recent University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales. Now that Chris has obtained his degree, he is equipped with the skills and know-how to start his new company, Healthy Snacks Vending. Chris is confident that his ability to effectively communicate the value of his company and network with proprietors will ensure his new vending machine business will be a profitable venture.
As its name implies, Healthy Snacks Vending will stock healthy options in its vending machines. Chris will target several proprietors in a new commercial development that has just been built in a growing area of town. New developments include an array of corporate offices, a high school, a hospital, and several retail establishments.
The following are some of the healthy snack products that Healthy Snacks Vending will carry:
- Bottled Water
- Fruit Juice
- Fresh Fruit
- Granola Bars
- Cereal Bars
- Nuts and Seeds
Healthy Snacks Vending will target all proprietors in the new Buckeye commercial development. It will target the owners of the commercial buildings as well as the school and the hospital. Healthy Snacks Vending’s end-users will be people in the area looking for a healthy alternative to traditional vending machine options (e.g., soda, candy, and chips).
Healthy Snacks Vending will be owned and operated by Chris Garcia. Chris is a University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales. Chris has most recently been working as a manager in a local convenience store while pursuing his degree. He has over ten years of experience in the retail industry, working his way up from a sales associate to manager in the first two years. Chris is confident that his skills in management, communications, marketing, and sales will help him establish himself as a successful vending machine owner/operator. Chris will handle all marketing and sales for the company as well as manage the relationships and contracts with business proprietors, source and purchase the vending machines, and continually seek out opportunities for new locations to place vending machines.
Chris has recruited fellow University of Arizona graduate, Stephen Smith, to manage the vending machine inventory. Stephen has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is skilled in purchasing, budgeting, and controlling inventory. Chris relies on Stephen’s ability to source the most cost effective healthy snack products as well as his ability to ensure there is the right amount and mix of products available to ensure profitability.
Healthy Snacks Vending will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- First-mover advantage in this new Buckeye development. There are currently no other vending machines in or near these recently built establishments.
- Healthy snack options will be offered, giving people a healthier option over typical vending machine snacks.
- Healthy Snacks Vending is investing in new vending machines that will take multiple forms of payment including credit cards, debit cards, and contactless payment options to give people more flexibility in the way they can pay.
Healthy Snacks Vending is seeking $100,000 in debt financing to launch its vending machine business. The funding will be dedicated towards purchasing the initial vending machines and inventory. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll, sales, and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Vending machines: $50,000
- Inventory: $10,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, sales, and marketing): $30,000
- Working capital: $10,000
Who is healthy snacks vending .
Healthy Snacks Vending is a startup vending machine company based in the city of Buckeye, Arizona. The company is founded by Chris Garcia, a recent University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales. Chris is confident that his ability to effectively communicate the value of his company and network with proprietors will ensure his new vending machine business will be a profitable venture.
Healthy Snacks Vending will stock healthy options in its vending machines. Chris will target all proprietors in a new commercial development that has just been built in a growing area of town. New establishments include an array of corporate offices, a high school, a hospital, and several retail stores.
Healthy Snacks Vending History
Healthy Snacks Vending is a new vending machines business that will be owned and operated by Chris Garcia. Chris is a University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales. Chris has most recently been working as a manager in a local convenience store while pursuing his degree. He has over ten years of experience in the retail industry, working his way up from a sales associate to manager in the first two years. Chris is confident that his skills in management, communications, marketing, and sales will help him establish himself as a successful vending machine owner/operator.
Since incorporation, Healthy Snacks Vending has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered Healthy Snacks Vending, LLC to transact business in the state of Arizona.
- Reached out to multiple proprietors in the area to initiate the process of negotiating contracts to put vending machines in their buildings.
- Has secured contracts with two proprietors.
- Recruited Stephen Smith to be the Inventory Manager and Kim Miller to be the Accountant.
Healthy Snacks Vending Services
The following are some of the healthy snacks that Healthy Snacks Vending will provide:
The U.S. Vending Machine Operators industry is a $8.9B market in 2022 and is expected to increase by 3.5% this year. Rising per capita disposable income and increased consumer spending have helped drive industry growth.
The primary challenge for industry operators is high competition. If there are multiple vending machines in a small area, a company’s ability to differentiate its products, pricing, or payment options will be the key to success.
Changes in consumer behavior have posed a challenge for many industry operators. A growing number of consumers are seeking healthier snack choices. For this reason, vending machines that offer junk food items are seeing less revenue than those offering healthy alternatives. Additionally, less consumers are carrying cash, while a growing number prefer contactless payment options. New vending machines that take card and contactless forms of payment are likely to bring in more revenue for industry operators than cash-based machines.
Demographic profile of target market.
Healthy Snacks Vending will target proprietors in a new commercial development that has just been built in Buckeye, Arizona. Establishments in the area include an array of corporate offices, a high school, a hospital, and several retail stores.
Healthy Snacks Vending’s end-users will be people in the area looking for a healthy alternative to traditional vending machine options (e.g., soda, candy, and chips).
The precise demographics for Buckeye, Arizona are:
Healthy Snacks Vending will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Proprietors of businesses in the area
- Staff and visitors of corporate offices, the hospital, and retail establishments
- Students, teachers, and administration staff at the school
Direct and indirect competitors.
Healthy Snacks Vending will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Snack Food Vending, LLC
Snack Food Vending, LLC is an established vending machine company that operates in Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding areas. Snack Food Vending, LLC provides a wide variety of snack options in vending machines throughout the region. Most of Snack Food Vending, LLC’s vending machines are located in busy retail locations, schools, and hotels. This vending machine company stocks traditional snacks and healthy snacks. Snacks include soda, water, candy, chips, apples, granola bars, gum, tea, fruit cups, and energy drinks. Most of Snack Food Vending, LLC’s machines have been in service for several years and are cash-based machines.
SNACKS! Vending is a Phoenix-based vending machine company that stocks healthy snack food options including applesauce, sandwiches, tea, water, crackers, and fresh fruit. SNACKS! Vending machines are primarily placed in areas around downtown Phoenix including hospitals, office parks, and shopping malls. SNACKS! Vending has established itself as the reliable source for healthy snack options in the city.
Healthy Eating Vending Machine Co.
Healthy Eating Vending Machines Co. offers a wide variety of healthy snacks for patrons on-the-go. Snacks include fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, sandwiches, juice, tea, water, and sunflower seeds. Healthy Eating Vending Machine Co. is a fairly new establishment with just a handful of machines placed in a few commercial locations in Buckeye, Arizona. This vending machine company offers premium healthy snacks at relatively higher prices than competitors.
Healthy Snacks Vending will be able to offer the following advantages over its competition:
- All Healthy Snack Vending machines will be the newest models, with multiple payment options including credit, debit, and contactless payment choices.
- Healthy Snack Vending will offer patrons a wide range of affordable, healthy alternatives to traditional junk food available in most vending machines.
- Healthy Snacks Vending will target all proprietors in the new commercial development in Buckeye, Arizona enabling the company to have the first vending machines placed in these buildings.
Brand & value proposition.
Healthy Snacks Vending will offer the unique value proposition to its customers:
- The only vending machines offering affordable, healthy snacks in the area.
- Multiple forms of payment accepted including credit, debit, and contactless pay for flexibility in payment options.
- Moderate pricing that is on par or slightly less than the competition.
The promotions strategy for Healthy Snacks Vending is as follows:
Word of Mouth/Referrals
Chris Garcia will leverage his effective communication and word of mouth marketing skills to create interest among local proprietors to get his vending machines placed in their buildings. He has already obtained commitments from two such proprietors who will spread the word to others.
Professional Associations and Networking
Healthy Snacks Vending will become a member of the local vending association and participate in industry events to network and build relationships with other industry professionals in the area.
Healthy Snacks Vending will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in local magazines, newspapers, and direct mailers targeting local business owners that could benefit from putting a vending machine with healthy snacks in their establishments.
Website/Social Media Marketing
Healthy Snacks Vending will create and maintain an informative website that will list the products that Healthy Snacks Vending is able to provide and the locations of its vending machines. The website will also list their contact information for proprietors that may be interested in putting a Healthy Snacks Vending machine in their establishment.
In addition to the website, Healthy Snacks Vending will maintain an active social media presence on multiple channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok to promote its business.
The pricing of Healthy Snacks Vending will be moderate and on par or slightly below that of competitors to ensure Healthy Snacks Vending won’t be overlooked as being too expensive if other vending machine operators place their machines nearby.
The following will be the operations plan for Healthy Snacks Vending.
- Chris Garcia will be the Owner and Marketing Director of the company. He will oversee all marketing and sales efforts as well as manage all contracts and client relations. Chris has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
- Stephen Smith – Inventory Manager who will source, purchase, and stock all vending machine inventory.
- Kim Miller – Accountant/Bookkeeper who will provide all client accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting for the company.
Healthy Snacks Vending will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.
7/1/2022 – Finalize contracts with two initial proprietors to place vending machines in their establishments.
7/15/2022 – Finalize personnel employment contracts for Stephen and Kim.
8/1/2022 – Purchase initial vending machines for the first two locations.
8/15/2022 – Install vending machines in the first two locations.
8/22/2022 – Source products and stock the vending machines.
Healthy Snacks Vending will be owned and operated by Chris Garcia. Chris is a University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales. Chris has most recently been working as a manager in a local convenience store while pursuing his degree. He has over ten years of experience in the retail industry, working his way up from a sales associate to manager in the first two years. Chris is confident that his skills in management, communications, marketing, and sales will help him establish himself as a successful vending machine owner/operator. Chris will handle all marketing and sales for the company as well as manage the relationships and contracts with business proprietors, source and purchase the vending machines, and continually seek out opportunities for new locations for his vending machines.
Chris has recruited fellow University of Arizona graduate, Stephen Smith, to manage the vending machine inventory. Stephen has a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and is skilled in sourcing and budgeting. Chris relies on Stephen’s ability to source the most cost effective healthy snack products and ensure there is the right amount and mix of products available to increase profitability.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue driver for Healthy Snacks Vending is the payment received for each product purchased from one of its vending machines. Prices will range from $1.00-$5.00 per healthy snack item.
The cost drivers will be the fees paid to proprietors. Each proprietor contract will have its own fee schedule. However, in general, Healthy Snacks Vending will pay between 5%-15% of its revenue per vending machine to the proprietor. The expenses will be the payroll cost, vending machine maintenance cost, and marketing materials.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
- Inventory: $10,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, sales, and marketing): $30,000
- Working capital: $10,000
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Number of Vending Machines in Operation: 10
- Total Average Revenue from All Machines Per Month: $5,000
- Average Fees Paid to Proprietors Per Year: $6,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, vending machine business plan faqs, what is a vending machine business plan.
A vending machine business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your vending machine business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your vending machine business plan using our Vending Machine Business Plan Template here .
What are the Main Types of Vending Machines?
There are a number of different kinds of vending machines, some examples include: Candy Vending Machines, Snack Vending Machines, Ice Cream Vending Machines, Beverage Vending Machines, Coffee Vending Machines, Specialty Vending Machines, Custom Vending Machines, and Bulk Vending Machines.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Vending Machine Business Plan?
Vending Machines are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.
What are the Steps To Start a Vending Machine Business?
Starting a vending machine business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Vending Machine Business Plan – The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed vending machine business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure – It’s important to select an appropriate legal entity for your vending machine business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your vending machine business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Vending Machine Business – Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your vending machine business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options – It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your vending machine business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location – Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees – There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Vending Machine Equipment & Supplies – In order to start your vending machine business, you’ll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business – Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your vending machine business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful vending machine business:
- How to Start a Vending Machine Business
Where can I get a Vending Machine Business Plan PDF?
You can download our example vending machine business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Vending Machine Business Plan Template
Whether you want to start your own vending machine business or expand an existing one, you need a business plan. the following vending machine business plan template lets you know what elements you need to include in a successful vending machine business plan., fill the form to download business plan templates.
To ensure your vending machine business success in this highly competitive market, you need a properly structured vending machine business plan. With over 12 years of experience in business plan writing , we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs create business plans to start and grow their vending machine businesses. Using the following vending machine business plan template, you can put together an effective business plan.
Things to Know Before Writing a Vending Machine Business Plan?
Vending machine operators provide and service automated machines that sell snacks, soft drinks, cigarettes, newspapers, and other products.
In the five years to 2023, the Vending Machine Operators industry has experienced slight growth. Although there have been challenges, increased per capita disposable income and consumer spending have supported industry revenue during the period.
Thus,acording to IBIS-World over the five years to 2022, industry revenue is expected to increase by an annualized 0.8% to $10.2 billion, including an increase of 3.8% in 2022 alone.
Among the major products and services in this industry are
- Hot beverages
- Cold beverages
- Frozen products
- Food and snacks
- Other products
- Healthy item
Key Success Factors for Vending Machine Business
Despite the challenges of the Vending Machine industry, We have identified five factors that can help you boost profitability, efficiency, and ultimately success.
- Having exclusive rights to sell a particular popular product: If an operator can secure the sole right to sell a particular popular product at a particular location, demand is likely to be high.
- Transferable cost increases: Any cost increases from suppliers need to be passed on to consumers since profit makes up a small percentage of revenue. Customers generally accept small price increases for a well-stocked, reliable machine in a good location.
- Scale economies: Businesses that service and control many machines gain economies of scale by purchasing bulk products, which lowers their maintenance costs per unit.
- Scope economy: Companies with a wide variety of products in their vending machines are more likely to attract customers.
- Close proximity to key markets: Operators who are able to place vending machines close to many potential customers will likely generate more revenue.
- Easily accessible for clients: A vending machine that is conveniently located for customers will likely receive a higher volume of traffic and usage.
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What is a Vending Machine Business Plan?
A business plan for a vending machine business is a written document that sets your company’s financial goals and discusses how you’ll reach them.
A solid, comprehensive plan will serve as a road map for the next three to five years of the vending machine business. Any bank or investor you approach will require a vending machine business plan, so putting one together will be critical to securing funding.
In short, writing a business plan can help you succeed if you’re thinking of starting a vending machine business or pitching to investors or venture capitalists.
Why You Need a Vending Machine Business Plan
A business plan gives a picture of your vending machine as it currently stands and outlines your growth strategy for the following five years. It describes your company’s aims and plan for achieving them. Market research is also included to back up your goals.
A solid, detailed plan gives you a clear path to follow, forces you to examine the viability of a vending machine business idea, and may help you better understand your company’s finances and competition.
Vending machine business owners who have a business plan grow 30% faster than those who don’t, and 71% of fast-growing businesses have one.
A vending machine business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Funding Sources for Vending Machine Business
Here are some possible funding options for your vending machine business:
Entrepreneurs who wish to enter into the vending machine business might benefit greatly from short-term business financing. Lenders will normally consider your personal or company credit, the latter of which may need you to already be a business owner before entering into vending machines.
These criteria may restrict businesses without prior vending machine expertise from obtaining short-term loans. However, if you qualify, short-term business loans are a wonderful fit for this line of company.
Because vending machines classify as equipment, equipment financing may be a viable option for you to get capital for your business. The terms of these loans are determined by the worth of your equipment, which serves as collateral for the loan in the event that you default on your payments.
Personal and Business Credit Cards
Considering how inexpensive it is to acquire new or old vending machines compared to starting other types of small companies, using credit cards to fund your business is a viable option. Look into some of the best business credit cards for establishing a business to determine whether this is a viable option for you.
Looking to Build Credit for Your Vending Machine Business?
Build your business credit quickly with an easy approval net 30 account from Wise Business Plans. Or check out the top 10 net 30 vendors to find the best one for you to help build your business credit .
How to Write a Vending Machine Business Plan
To write a vending machine plan, you don’t need to be an expert. Our step-by-step guide will show you how to write a vending machine business plan, or you can just download our proven sample business plan pdf to get a better idea.
Vending Machine Business Plan PDF and Word
Download our vending machine business plan in PDF and Word here.
The executive summary is the most important part of the document since it outlines the whole business plan. Despite the fact that it appears first in the plan, write the executive summary last so you may condense key concepts from the other nine parts.
It’s a part that catches the investor’s eye and provides key information about your company’s overview and upcoming short- and long-term goals.
Tell them what kind of vending machine business you have and what stage you’re in; for example, are you a startup, do you have a vending business company that you want to expand, or do you have a lot of vending machine businesses?
Finally, an executive summary should provide investors with a preview of what they may expect from the rest of your document.
- Provide a high-level overview of the vending machine industry
- The name, location, and mission of your vending machine company
- A description of your vending machine business, including management, advisors, and a brief history
- Discuss the type of vending machine business you are operating, Give an overview of your target customers., and how your company differs from competitors in the industry
- Create a marketing plan that describes your company’s marketing strategies, sales, and partnership plans.
- And give an overview of your financial plan
Check out these executive summary examples to help you write a perfect one for your vending machine business plan.
Free: Executive Summary Examples
An executive summary is the most important part of your business plan, and it need not be challenging to write. This is why we have put together some awesome free Executive Summary examples for you.
- Company summary: Your company analysis will describe the type of vending machine business you are running and its future goals. The type of vending machine you might be focused on ( Groceries, Drinks, Snacks, Children’s toys, Beauty products and cosmetics, Fruits, Vegetables, Handkerchiefs, Towels, Flowers, etc)
- Company history: When and why did you start your vending machine business?
- What milestones have you achieved so far? Milestones might include sales goals achieved, new machine installations, and so on.
- Legal structure and ownership: Do you have S-Corp status? Is it an LLC ? A sole proprietorship ? Describe your legal structure.
- Mission statement: An overview of your vending machine company’s guiding principles. Learn how to write a perfect mission statement .
You need to include an overview of the vending machine in the industry analysis you performed before sitting down to write your vending machine business plan.
While this research may appear to be unnecessary, it helps you to build strategies that maximize business opportunities while lowering or avoiding the identified risk.
Furthermore, market research can improve your strategy, especially if it identifies market trends. For example, if there is a trend toward selling advertising on vending machines, make sure your strategy includes a variety of ad formats and sizes.
The third purpose for conducting market research is to demonstrate to readers that you are an industry expert.
Industry analysis can be presented as a 8-step process when written as part of a company’s business plan.
- Give a quick overview of the vending machine industry. Define the vending machine business in terms of size (in dollars), historical background, service region, and products.
- Examine previous trends and growth patterns in the vending machine industry.
- Identify the market’s major competitors.
- Age, gender, and general lifestyle of the targeted market
- Determine the factors that have an impact on the vending machine industry. These might include government regulatory rules and other businesses’ competitive activities.
- Using research data, the industry forecast expected growth over the next five to ten years. Predictions should be made for both the long and short term.
- Describe how your vending machine business intends to position itself in the industry. Concentrate on how your vending machine business can benefit from opportunities highlighted in the industry.
Free: Business Plan Examples
Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.
The first condition for a vending machine business is to identify its target customers clearly. Customers can be categorized into the following segments: Households, office buildings, Business People, Sports Men and Women, Students, Children, Adults, Tourists hotels,, correctional facilities, etc.
The customer analysis section is an important part of any vending machine business plan since it evaluates the consumer segments that your company serves. It identifies target customers, determines what those customers want, and then explains how the product will meet those requirements.
Customer analysis may be divided into two parts: psychosocial profiles (why your vending machine suits a customer’s lifestyle) and demographic profiles (descriptions of a customer’s demographic qualities).
With regards to demographics, include information about: When moving residential, the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of your customers. When targeting businesses, describe what kind of business, size, and location your target customers are.
The psychological profiles of your target clients reveal their wants and needs. The better you understand and identify these demands, the better your chances of attracting and retaining customers will be.
It is necessary to do a competitor analysis. Because you may use their data to define your goals, marketing plans, tactics, new product lines, pricing, and more.
4 Use competitor analysis to:
- Identify the strength and weakness of your vending machine business competition.
- Search for opportunities to distinguish your vending machine company from competitors.
- For setting your product’s price.
The first step in competitive analysis is to determine who your direct and indirect competitors are.
The direct competition consists of other vending machine businesses that offer essentially the same services or to the same people as you do.
Your indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors.
This includes grocery stores, pharmacies, and quick-service restaurants.
Once you’ve identified the competition, concentrate on the direct, head-to-head competitors, since they are the most threatening to your vending machine business— but keep an eye on the indirect competition as well, just in case.
Provide an overview of each direct competitor’s business and detail their strengths and weaknesses.
You will be able to position yourself competitively in the market if you perform proper competition research. Perform a SWOT Analysis to learn your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages in the following areas:
- Prices – Are they offer lower prices or more costly than you and other competitors, what value do buyers get for that price?
- Quality – Are they offer premium products, the perceived worth in the eyes of the customers
- Customer service – How they respond to their consumers, whether they treat them poorly or well, and the degrees of satisfaction customers show
- Reputation — The sum of everything mentioned above: their credibility, how loved the brand is, and the loyalty of their customers
The final section of your competitive analysis should include a list of your areas of competitive advantage. for example: Are you going to offer excellent customer service culture, highly competitive prices, reliable and easy to use payment option or Will you provide superior products?
Consider how you will outperform your competitors and include them in this portion of your vending machine business plan.
Free: SWOT Analysis Examples
Take advantage of our free SWOT analysis examples. Make your business future-proof by identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats using this free SWOT Analysis Template.
Creating a marketing plan for a vending machine involves identifying the target demographic and finding products that suit their preferences.
As part of your marketing plan for a vending machine company, you should include:
Pricing and Product Strategy
Your vending machine business must offer products that are different from those of your competitors. Research what your competitors offer and how they price their vending machine products. Unique products identifies your vending machine business as the place to go for unique services and differentiates it from others.
Placing and Promotions
The position of your vending machine is referred to as place. Record your location and explain how it will affect your success. Is your vending machine, for example, in a high-traffic office building or gym? Discuss how your site may deliver a continuous stream of consumers.
Promoting your vending machine business is the final part of your marketing plan. In this step, you document how you will drive customers to purchase your vending machine business. A few marketing methods you could consider are:
- Give vending machines a unique look, so that they are easily identifiable to customers.
- Advertise on blogs and forums, as well as on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to get the word out,
- Creating an online presence (listing all of the vending machines) using a basic website
- Join local vending machine associations for information on industry trends
- Offer discounts to customers on special days
- Advertise in local newspapers, TV and radio stations
- Listing the vending machine business in the yellow pages
- Use word-of-mouth marketing (referrals)
You should also think about your vending machine company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which should explain why clients should choose you over other vending machine businesses. Ensure that your USP is reflected in your marketing.
Pro Tips: Learn how to create a marketing plan in a business plan by pros!
While the previous sections of your vending machine business plan described your goals, your operations plan discusses how you will achieve them.
An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it’s also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.
Your operations plan in a business plan should be divided into two individual parts, as seen below.
Daily short-term processes include all the tasks involved in operating your vending machine, including purchasing products, delivering and restocking, keeping the machines clean, etc.
Long-term goals are milestones you hope to reach. It may be the date when you expect to place your 5th vending machine or when you hope to reach $X in sales. Another example would be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or start a new location.
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When writing a vending machine business plan, the management section in a business plan ‘ outlines your management team, staff, resources, and how your business ownership is structured.
This part may be easily organized by dividing it into the following points:
Internal Management Team
External Management Resources
This section outlines your vending machine business’s legal structure. If your company is a sole proprietorship , it may simply be one phrase. It might be longer if your company is a partnership or a corporation . You should make it a point to clarify who owns what part of the business.
This section should not only outline who is on your management team but also how each person’s skill set and experiences will contribute to the growth of your vending machine business. Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct expertise in the vending machine business. If this is the case, highlight your experience and skills.
Think of these external management resources as your internal management team’s backup. Consider forming an advisory board if your team is lacking expertise and experience with vending machine business.
An advisory board would consist of 3 to 7 people who would serve as mentors to your vending machine company. They would assist in answering queries and providing strategic direction.
If necessary, search for advisory board members with expertise running vending machine.
Describe all of your company’s external professional advisers, such as accountants, bankers, attorneys, IT experts, business consultants, and/or business coaches.
The final topic to consider in the management area of your vending machine business plan is your human resource needs.
In your financial plan of a business plan , you should present a 5-year financial statement broken down monthly or quarterly for the first year, and then annually. Financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.
A profit and loss statement is more commonly called an income statement. It shows your revenue and subtracts your expenses to determine whether you were profitable or not.
As you develop your income statement, you need to develop assumptions. Will you serve 70 customers per day or 150? Will sales grow by 3% or 15% per year? Your choice of assumptions will greatly impact your business’s financial forecasts. Conduct as much research as possible in order to ground your assumptions in reality.
Want to learn how to make an income statement? Download our free income statement templates to make a stunning one for you.
Free: Income Statement Template
Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free income statement templates.
While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities.
The balance sheet shows your vending machine business’s net value at a specific point in time. It categorizes all of your company’s financial data into three categories:
- Assets: Tangible goods with the monetary worth that the company owns.
- Liabilities: Debt owing to a company’s creditor.
- Equity: The net difference when the total liabilities are subtracted from the total assets.
The equation that expresses the relationship between these financial data elements is Assets = Liabilities + Equity.
Create a pro forma balance sheet for your vending machine business plan that highlights the information in the income statement and cash flow projections. A balance sheet is normally prepared once a year by a company.
Balance sheets indicate your assets and liabilities, and while they contain a lot of information, they are simplified to highlight the most important things you need to know.
For example, spending $15,000 to build out your vending machine business will not result in instant revenues. Rather, it is an asset that should help you earn money for many years to come.
Similarly, if a bank sends you a check for $5,000, you do not have to pay it back right now. Rather, that is a liability that you will repay over time.
Want to learn how to make an balance sheet? Download our free balance sheet templates to make a beautiful balance sheet template .
Cash Flow Statement:
Your cash flow statement will help you determine how much money you need to start or grow your vending machine business. In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a vending machine business:
- Fees for registering a business
- Equipment costs, such as vending machines, refrigerated delivery trucks, etc.
- Costs associated with sufficient inventory management
- Business insurance costs
- Costs of obtaining licenses and permits as well as accounting services (software, P.O.S. machines, and other software)
- Insurance coverage (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property casualty) at a total premium
- Operational costs for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, bills, etc.)
- Start-up inventory costs
Free: Balance Sheet Template
Create a financial statement for your business by downloading our free balance sheet templates.
List any additional material you cannot include elsewhere, such as resumes from key employees, licenses, equipment leases, permits, patents, receipts, bank statements, contracts, and personal and business credit histories.
Attach your full financial projections along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling in the appendix.
Bonus Tip : Find out what to include in a business plan appendix when writing a vending machine business plan.
Summary of the Vending Machine Business Plan
A vending machine business plan is a worthwhile investment. As long as you follow the template above, you will become an expert in no time. By following the template, you will understand the vending machine business, your competition, and your customers. The plan will help you understand the steps necessary to launch and grow your vending machine business.
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Vending Machine Business Plan Guide + Example
July 6, 2023
Welcome to our definitive guide on crafting a robust vending machine business plan, complete with a real-world example to get your entrepreneurial gears turning! Vending machines are silent salespeople that work around the clock, presenting a lucrative business opportunity that often requires minimal upkeep. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of developing a comprehensive strategy, covering key considerations such as location analysis, product selection, and financial planning.
After talking to customers who purchased our vending machine financial projection template , we realized that many customers also needed a business plan to be able to present to a potential funder, so I decided to take a deeper dive on the topic.
Here is what I plan to cover in this article:
- Why write a business plan for a vending machine business?
- What to include in a vending machine business plan?
- Vending machine business plan outline
How to determine what type of vending machine to buy?
- How to find a good location for a vending machine?
- How to find a high foot traffic area for a vending machine?
- How to create financial projections for a vending machine?
Example Vending Machine Business Plan
Vending machine business plan faqs.
With that as a plan, let’s dive in!
Why write a business plan for a vending machine business?
If there was ever a simple business that didn’t require a strategic business plan it would be a vending machine business right? You just have to buy a machine, fill it with candy, place it in a high foot traffic location and watch the money roll in right? What is there to plan?
If that is your attitude I actually don’t think you are too terribly far off, BUT the real reason to write a business plan for a vending machine startup is because your potential investors or lenders have asked you for projections and a business plan. If that is the case, then you really just have to get it done right?
What to include in a vending machine business plan?
I think a vending machine business plan can really be quite simple. Below you will find the outline from our free vending machine business plan template .
Vending Machine Business Plan Outline
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Marketing and Sales Strategy
- Operations and Management
- Financial Plan
There are at least 10 types of vending machines that you could choose from. There is also the question of whether you should decide on a location first or decide on a type of vending machine first and then find the right location for that machine. We are going to take a look at the process for finding the right machine to buy first.
The best choice for you depends on your budget, target market, location, and your personal preferences. Here are some steps to guide you in making the right decision:
- Define Your Budget: The first step is to determine how much you're willing to invest in this business. Vending machines come in a range of prices, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Your budget will dictate whether you start with used or new machines, as well as the number and type of machines you can afford.
- Understand Your Target Market: Understanding your customers is key. Conduct a market research to find out what products are in high demand in your desired locations. Are you targeting office workers who'd appreciate a quick snack or drink? Students who might need stationery or school supplies? Understanding the needs and wants of your prospective customers will guide you on the type of vending machine to invest in.
- Analyze Location: The success of your vending machine business largely depends on where your machines are located. If you're planning to place your machine in a gym or health center, a vending machine selling healthy snacks or drinks would be ideal. For a location with lots of kids, a toy or candy machine could work well.
- Maintenance and Operation: Certain types of vending machines require more maintenance and restocking than others. Consider how much time and effort you can invest in the maintenance of your vending machines. Some machines, like those selling perishable goods, require more frequent restocking and cleaning.
- Supplier Relationships: Your choice might also depend on the suppliers you have access to. If you have a good relationship with a supplier of a certain product, it might be profitable to focus on that type of vending machine.
- Profitability: Lastly, analyze the profitability of each type of vending machine you're considering. Some machines may cost more but have a higher profit margin, while others may be cheaper but have lower returns. Look at both the initial cost of the machine and the potential ongoing income it can generate.
Now that we have decided on a type of machine, we need to find a good location.
How to find a good location for a vending machine?
The location of your vending machine plays a critical role in determining the success of your business. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to find a promising location:
- Identify High Traffic Areas: A good vending machine location is somewhere with high foot traffic. Look for places where people gather or pass by frequently. These could include shopping malls, office buildings, universities, airports, hotels, and busy street corners. However, remember that high traffic doesn't always mean high sales, as it depends on the needs and preferences of the people frequenting that area.
- Understand Your Target Market: Knowing who your target customer is will help you choose the right location. If you're targeting office workers, you might want to place your vending machines in or near commercial buildings. If students are your target market, universities and colleges would be ideal.
- Consider Location Compatibility: The type of products you plan to sell should align with the location. For instance, a vending machine selling protein bars and healthy drinks will likely perform well in or near gyms and health clubs. Likewise, a machine selling toys or school supplies might do well in a family-friendly mall or near a school.
- Research Existing Vending Machines: Analyze the performance of existing vending machines in potential locations. Are they doing well? If so, similar products might succeed in that location. But be cautious about placing a similar machine too close, as it might lead to fierce competition.
- Negotiate with Property Owners: Once you've found a potential spot, approach the property owner or manager to discuss installing your vending machine. Some might charge a flat fee, while others may ask for a percentage of the profits. Be ready to discuss why your vending machine would benefit their location, whether it's by providing a service to their customers or staff or offering them a share of the profits.
- Review Legal and Zoning Requirements: Be sure to understand any legal or zoning requirements for vending machines in your chosen location. Some cities may have restrictions on where machines can be placed, so you'll need to check this out in advance.
Finding the right location takes time, research, and sometimes a bit of trial and error. But with careful planning and consideration, you can find a location that's a great fit for your vending machine business.
How to find a high foot traffic area for a vending machine?
It can be difficult to find potential high foot traffic areas for your vending machine. We have a foot traffic report that will allow you to select an address and receive a foot traffic estimate for that specific location. As an example, I looked up an office building that I used to work at and can see it has roughly 18,000 visitors per month.
These reports can be incredibly helpful in identifying potential target locations for your first vending machine.
How to Create Financial Projections for a Bar Business Plan
Just like in any industry, the vending machine business has its unique factors that impact financial projections, such as location selection, product assortment, and consumer foot traffic. Utilizing a vending machine financial projection template can simplify the process and boost your confidence. Creating accurate financial projections goes beyond showcasing your vending machine's ability to generate sales; it's about illustrating the financial path to profitability and the realization of your business goals. To develop precise projections, consider the following key steps:
- Estimate startup costs for your vending machine business, including machine acquisition or leasing, product inventory, installation, permits, and initial marketing efforts.
- Forecast revenue based on projected sales volume, product pricing, average transaction value, and anticipated foot traffic or demand in chosen locations.
- Project costs related to product sourcing, machine maintenance and repair, and restocking expenses.
- Estimate operating expenses like machine rental or location fees, utilities, insurance premiums, marketing, and administrative costs.
- Calculate the capital needed to launch and sustain your vending machine business, covering initial expenses and providing working capital for continued growth and operations.
While financial projections are a critical component of your vending machine business plan, seek guidance from experienced professionals in the industry. Adapt your projections based on real-world insights, leverage industry resources, and stay informed about market trends, consumer preferences, and emerging vending technologies to ensure your financial plan aligns with your goals and positions your business for long-term success.
Below, you will discover the content of our vending machine business plan. For your convenience, you can access and edit this vending machine business plan template in Google Doc format by downloading it from this link. Additionally, we have provided a helpful video walkthrough to guide you in customizing the business plan to suit your unique vending machine concept.
Table of Contents
1. executive summary.
1.1 Organization Overview
1.3. Mission Statement
2. Organization Description
2.1. Organization History
2.2. Legal Structure
2.3. Unique Value Proposition
2.4. Target Beneficiaries
3. Market Analysis
3.1. industry overview.
3.2. Collaborator and Competitor Identification
3.3. Target Beneficiaries
Key Point 1
4. Marketing and Fundraising
4.1. Strategic Plan
4.2. Program or Service Offerings:
4.4. Distribution Channels
4.5. Promotions and Fundraising
Key Point 2
5. Organizational Structure and Management
5.1. Organization’s Facility & Location
5.2. Staffing Plan and Volunteer Management
5.3. Governance, Financial Management, and Accountability
Key Point 3
6. financial plan.
6.1. Startup Costs
6.3. Expense Projections
6.4. profit and loss statement, 6.5. cash flow projections, 6.6. break-even analysis, 7. appendix.
7.1. Supporting Documents
7.2. Glossary of Term
7.3. References and Resources
Key Point 5
1.1. company overview.
Briefly introduce the company's background, products or services, and target market.
- Example: FitFuel is a leading provider of convenient and nutritious snack options in Nashville, Tennessee. Our vending machines offer a wide range of healthier alternatives, including granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and low-sugar beverages, to individuals seeking wholesome and satisfying on-the-go snacks.
Outlines the company's short-term and long-term goals.
- Example: Establish a strong presence in key locations throughout Nashville, securing partnerships with high-traffic areas like office buildings, gyms, schools, and community centers.
- Example: Long-term: Expand operations to neighboring cities and regions, introducing FitFuel as a recognized and trusted brand in the healthy snacking industry
1.3. Mission Statement
Describes the company's purpose and core values.
- Example: At FitFuel, our mission is to make nutritious snacks easily accessible to individuals in Nashville, empowering them to make healthier choices in their busy lives. We are committed to promoting wellness, providing exceptional customer experiences, and supporting our local community's health and well-being.
1.4. Keys to Success
Highlights the factors that will contribute to the company's growth and success.
- Example: Our success hinges on offering a diverse range of high-quality, healthier snacks to accommodate diverse dietary needs, strategically placing vending machines in high-traffic areas for maximum convenience.
2. Company Description
2.1. company history.
Provides context on the company's background and founding story.
- Example: FitFuel was founded by Jo McClain, an entrepreneur passionate about promoting healthy snacking options. Inspired by personal wellness journeys, Jo established FitFuel in Nashville, Tennessee, to offer a range of nutritious snacks to health-conscious individuals seeking convenient and nourishing choices.
2.2. Legal Structure
Describes the company's legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation).
- Example: FitFuel operates as a sole proprietorship, with Jo McClain as the owner and responsible for the business's operations and management.
2.3. Unique Selling Proposition
Emphasizes the company's competitive advantage or unique offerings.
- Example: FitFuel sets itself apart by providing a diverse selection of high-quality, healthier snack options that cater to various dietary needs and preferences. With an emphasis on granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and low-sugar beverages, FitFuel offers a convenient and satisfying snacking experience that supports a healthy lifestyle.
2.4. Target Market
Defines the company's ideal customer base.
- Example: FitFuel caters to busy professionals, fitness enthusiasts, students, and anyone seeking wholesome on-the-go snacking options that align with their dietary goals.
Presents a general overview of the industry, its trends, and growth potential.
- Example: The healthy vending machine industry is experiencing significant growth, driven by the increasing demand for healthier snack options and a growing emphasis on wellness and nutrition.
3.2. Competitor Analysis
Evaluates the company's direct and indirect competitors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
- Example: Direct competitors: Nourish-N-Go: Known for their wide variety of organic and gluten-free snacks, Nourish-N-Go has established a strong presence in the healthy vending machine market.
- Example: Indirect competitors: Traditional Vending Machines: While not solely focused on healthy snacks, traditional vending machines still pose a competitive challenge by offering a broader range of convenience snacks.
3.3. Target Market Analysis
Explores the company's target customers, demographics, preferences, and pain points.
- Example: FitFuel's target market comprises health-conscious individuals in Nashville, Tennessee, who prioritize nutritious snacking options. This includes fitness enthusiasts, working professionals, students, and individuals actively seeking healthier alternatives.
3.4. Market Opportunities
Identifies potential opportunities for the company to grow within the market.
- Example: FitFuel has several growth opportunities in the healthy vending machine market, including expanding into high-traffic locations, partnering with local health and wellness initiatives, leveraging technology for personalized recommendations, and establishing strategic alliances with local snack manufacturers and suppliers.
- Example 1: Conduct a survey or order a market research report of potential locations to determine the foot traffic and identify high-traffic areas for placing FitFuel vending machines. (e.g., Location A records 500 people passing by every hour during lunchtime, indicating a prime spot for a vending machine)
- Example 2: Contacting every gym in the area to determine if they have or would be open to having one of our vending machines. Compile that list.
- Example 3: Analyze the demand for healthier snack options in the target market by surveying employees in office buildings and educational institutions. (e.g., 80% of surveyed employees express a preference for healthier snacks and beverages in vending machines)
4. Marketing and Sales Strategy
4.1. product or service offerings: .
Describes the company's products or services in detail.
- Example: FitFuel offers a diverse range of healthy snack options, including granola bars, nuts, dried fruits, and low-sugar beverages. Our products are carefully selected to cater to various dietary needs and preferences, providing customers with convenient and nutritious on-the-go options
4.2. Pricing Strategy
Outlines the company's approach to pricing its products or services.
- Example: FitFuel adopts a competitive pricing strategy that reflects the value and quality of our healthier snack offerings. Our pricing is designed to be affordable and accessible to a wide range of customers, encouraging regular purchases and promoting healthier snacking habits.
4.3. Sales Strategy
Explains how the company plans to generate sales and build customer relationships.
- Example: FitFuel's sales strategy focuses on establishing strong partnerships with local businesses, gyms, and wellness initiatives to expand our customer reach. Additionally, we prioritize customer satisfaction by maintaining a well-stocked inventory of fresh and enticing snack options.
Describes the methods through which the company will deliver its products or services to customers.
- Example: In addition to placing our vending machines in high-traffic areas such as office buildings, gyms, and educational institutions, we also partner with local retailers and wellness centers to make our products easily accessible to a broader audience.
4.5. Promotions and Advertising
Details the company's promotional efforts and advertising strategies.
- Example: FitFuel employs a targeted marketing approach that includes social media campaigns, and collaborations with influencers in the health and wellness space. We also implement promotional offers, and strategic partnerships to incentivize customer engagement and attract new clientele to our healthier snack options.
- Example 1: Partner with local fitness centers, gyms, and wellness events to offer promotional discounts on FitFuel vending machine products, attracting health-conscious customers. (e.g., 200 customers redeem promotional discounts within the first month)
- Example 2: Create a list of local gyms that have agreed or opted into housing one of our vending machines.
- Example 3: Perform a pilot test at a few gyms by selling or giving away the snacks and drinks at a display using the honor system or manning the booth yourself and take note of gym member feedback on the snacks themselves and if they’d like to have a vending machine on site
5. Operations and Management
5.1. vending machine placement:.
Involves identifying suitable locations and securing contracts for the strategic placement of vending machines
- Example: FitFuel will strategically acquire and place vending machines in high-traffic areas such as office buildings, gyms, universities, and shopping centers. We will negotiate agreements with property owners to secure prime locations that offer maximum visibility and convenience for our target customers.
5.2. Inventory Management and Restocking:
Refers to the systems used to monitor and replenish product inventory
- Example: FitFuel will utilize an advanced inventory management system that tracks product levels in real-time and generates automated alerts for restocking. We will establish strong partnerships with trusted suppliers to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality, healthier snack options.
5.3. Maintenance and Service:
Highlights inspections, repairs, and cleaning to maintain vending machine functionality
- Example: FitFuel will prioritize the maintenance and upkeep of our vending machines to ensure uninterrupted service. We will implement a proactive maintenance schedule, conducting regular inspections and cleaning to maintain cleanliness and functionality.
- Example: The FitFuel's founding team, led by Jo McClain comprises nutritionists, health professionals, and business experts who collectively possess extensive knowledge of the vending machine industry, nutrition, and customer preferences. This expertise enables FitFuel to curate and offer the most suitable and appealing healthy snack options for its customers.
5.4. Technology Integration and Data Analysis:
Describe the technology and systems that will be utilized to streamline operations and enhance efficiency.
- Example: FitFuel will integrate cutting-edge technology into our vending machines, offering cashless payment options, touch-screen interfaces, and remote monitoring capabilities. This will enhance the customer experience and provide valuable insights into machine performance and product popularity.
All of the unique Vending Machine projections you see here were generated using ProjectionHub’s Vending Machine Financial Projection Template . Use PH20BP to enjoy a 20% discount on the template.
6.1. Startup Costs
Provide a detailed breakdown of the total startup costs requirements, and where you plan for those funds to come from. You will also want to break down how the startup costs will be used including working capital to cover losses before the business breaks even.
- Example: Creating a solid financial plan is crucial, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the success of FitFuel. We have already raised $75,000 through a personal investment from the owner and we are working with a financial institution to secure a business loan of around $50,000 to $100,000 for working capital and to purchase a truck. By combining these funding sources, we are confident in our ability to meet the startup cost requirements and establish a strong foundation for FitFuel.
6.2. Revenue Projections
Provides an estimate of the company's future revenue based on market research and assumptions.
- Example: FitFuel projects $500,000+ in revenue in year 3 and break –even during year 2. The company anticipates steady growth in revenue over the initial five-year period.
Estimates the company's future expenses, including fixed and variable costs.
- Example: FitFuels expenses include property lease, accounting, advertising, maintenance, utilities, and fuel costs.
Summarizes the company's revenue, expenses, and net income over a specific period.
- Example: FitFuel expects to achieve profitability within the first two years of operation.
Outlines the company's projected cash inflows and outflows.
- Example: FitFuel’s cash flow projections account for seasonal fluctuations in sales and expenses.
Determines the point at which the company's revenue equals its expenses.
- Example: FitFuel anticipates reaching its break-even point early in year 2 of operation.
Watch how to create financial projections for your Vending Machine Business
Key Point 4
- Example 1: Research industry benchmarks for vending machine businesses to estimate projected revenues, expenses, and profit margins. (e.g., The average annual revenue per vending machine in the industry is $10,000, aligning with FitFuel's projected revenue)
- Example 2: Consider factors such as machine maintenance costs, product spoilage, and product demand fluctuations to create a comprehensive financial projection. (e.g., Accounting for a 10% annual maintenance cost and a 5% spoilage rate in the financial projections)
7.1. Supporting Documents
Includes any relevant documentation that supports the information presented in the business plan, such as resumes, financial projections, market research data, and permits or licenses.
7.2. Glossary of Term
Provides definitions for industry-specific terms used throughout the business plan to ensure reader comprehension.
7.3. References and Resources
Lists any sources or resources referenced during the preparation of the business plan, including industry reports, market research data, and relevant publications.
- Example: As the owner and entrepreneur behind FitFuel, Jo McClain has invested a significant amount of personal capital into the business, demonstrating a strong commitment and dedication to its success. By leveraging personal resources and assuming financial risk, Jo showcases a vested interest in the growth and profitability of FitFuel.
How do I start a vending machine business?
To start a vending machine business, identify profitable locations, choose the right vending machine types and products, secure necessary permits and licenses, find reliable suppliers, establish agreements with location owners, monitor inventory and sales, and market your vending business.
What types of products can I sell in vending machines?
Vending machines can sell a variety of products depending on the target market and location. Options can include snacks, beverages (soda, coffee), healthy food options, convenience items, personal care products, electronics, or even specialized products like toys or pet supplies.
How can I find suitable locations for my vending machines?
Finding suitable locations for vending machines involves identifying high-traffic areas such as office buildings, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and recreational areas. Consider approaching location owners or working with vending machine placement companies to secure locations.
How can I optimize sales and profits in my vending machine business?
To optimize sales and profits, ensure your vending machines are well-stocked and regularly serviced, regularly analyze sales data to understand popular products and adjust inventory accordingly, price products competitively, consider upselling or cross-selling strategies, and provide excellent customer service.
What are the maintenance requirements for vending machines?
Vending machines require regular maintenance, including restocking products, cleaning and sanitizing, performing routine maintenance on the machine's mechanisms, troubleshooting and repairing any malfunctions, and ensuring proper cash handling and accounting procedures.
About the Author
Adam is the Co-founder of ProjectionHub which helps entrepreneurs create financial projections for potential investors, lenders and internal business planning. Since 2012, over 50,000 entrepreneurs from around the world have used ProjectionHub to help create financial projections.
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5 Steps to Start a Vending Machine Business: Expert Advice and Startup Help
The vending machine business can be profitable in a fairly short period with the right plan and products. In the US alone, vending machines brought in over $36 billion in 2020 and are expected to hit over $146 billion a year by 2027. Hospitals, schools, office buildings, and shopping malls are just a few popular sites for food and beverage machines. Convenience food is extremely popular in places like bus stations, airports, and hotels too.
You can make money from vending machines wherever there’s a lot of foot traffic. If you have enough funding to buy more than one machine, that’s great! But if resources are limited, you can still save the profits from one machine to buy additional machines down the road. The important thing is to do your research, make a business plan, offer the right products, and build trust with clients.
Find out how to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation for your new venture with our step-by-step guide and links to start a vending business. For over 20 years, MyCompanyWorks has helped vending startups across the US. Read on for pro tips and start forming your company at the end of our guide.
How to Start a Vending Machine Business
How to get into the vending business, vending machine locations, 1. choose a name and business type for your vending machine business, 2. write a business plan, 3. employers must apply for a federal tax id, 4. open a separate business banking account, 5. find a shop, warehouse, or office space, 6. apply for local and state licenses and permits, 7. start business insurance policies, 8. set up business accounting and keep files organized, 9. interview and hire employees, 10. promote your vending machines, start a vending machine business in any state.
Starting a vending business can be a great way to break into self-employment. It’s easy enough to manage as a side hustle or build into a full-time business. You only need one vending machine to start and you can buy additional machines with profits, so the business can quickly start to pay for itself. So you have the idea, now where to begin?
Before you spend a dime or sign any contracts, you’ll want to do some research on profitability, market, and which types of vending machines are the best investment. You’ll also need to contact your state’s business division for the exact requirements in your area.
How much money do vending machines make?
Vending machines are a great source of revenue for any business. The average cost of a vending machine is about $3,000 to $5,000. This would include the machine itself, the shelving unit, and all other necessary equipment like a refrigerator or freezer for cold drinks. The average cost of maintaining and stocking a vending machine can run up to a few thousand dollars a year.
Maintenance includes things like fixing broken parts or replacing light bulbs. The profit margin on most vending machines is around 50%. This means that out of every dollar you spend on your goods in a vending machine, half the money is profit.
Starting a vending business
Owning a vending machine is just part of your business. Before you spend any money, the following items need to be considered.
- Develop a vending machine business plan. If you have cash, you may not need a business plan, but it also serves as a tool to track progress and forecast future sales.
- Research the market. You’re probably not going to make a bunch of money on a toy machine in a senior community, so it’s important to know which products sell best to various demographics. Example: If you’re pitching your machines to medical offices, you can offer products like fruit snacks and peanut butter crackers to a pediatrician, and skincare products to a dermatologist.
- Develop a contract. Contracts can be customized for each client, but working from a template will help to make sure all the important legal stuff is included, like terms, payment, site location, etc. Handshakes don’t hold up in court, so it’s always best to put your agreement in writing and have clients sign the contract. Make sure to give your client a signed copy.
- Practice your sales pitch, make a list of potential clients, and reach out! It may take some time to perfect your sales pitch, but you can start by learning your product. Any good salesperson knows his or her products inside and out so questions can be answered quickly and you can hopefully seal the deal on the spot. Product knowledge is critical for every business.
- Set up a service schedule. Since you own the machine(s), you’re responsible for stocking products, fixing broken parts, and keeping your machines clean. Fully-stocked dispensers that are clean and maintained sell more than machines that are just left to sit. The best way to keep machines performing well is to visit them regularly. You’ll have to decide how often to check your machines based on product shelf life, how quickly product is selling, and the age of the machines. You may be able to manage a monthly route, but some machines may need more frequent checkups.
A vending machine can be placed in all sorts of locations, but there are some that are better than others. The best placement is in high traffic areas, so bus stations, airports, hotels, and grocery stores are just a few options to start making money. People who travel often need to eat on the go and may not have time to go into a restaurant or convenience store. Machines with snacks and drinks are very profitable when they’re set up near travelers.
IMPORTANT: You must have permission from site owners to set a vending machine on their property. A signed contract will help prevent confusion and conflicts over machine locations.
Vending business tips
- Study the market to help you decide what type and where to set up vending machines. You want to make sure you’re offering the right products to the right people. It’s important to know things like age groups, average income, and even daily foot traffic to choose the best site locations.
- Chart progress – and mistakes. A vending machine business plan and some other helpful tools will give you a realistic picture of your business. Use them to track everything from ideas to financial projections. Noting what hasn’t worked will help you to A: not repeat the mistake, and B: tweak your strategy toward success.
- Develop a regular schedule to service your machines. Vending machines can be serviced without much notice, but you have a better chance of keeping your site locations if you get to know your customers. And if you’re good to the site owners, they’ll look out for your machines and make sure they’re not being robbed or vandalized. Checking in often also means you’ll be able to rotate products and keep things fresh between visits. The only way you’re really going to know if your machines are secure, functioning, and clean is to visit your machines regularly and often. If your machines accept cash, they’ll need to be emptied. Clean vending machines make more money, so take cleaning rags, glass cleaner, and paper towels on your service trips. Vending machines also get stuck and break down, so make sure you have the right tools with you to make any minor adjustments or repairs.
- Keep an eye on market trends. Check out TV commercials and social media to see what’s new and popular, then find out if you can add those products to your machines. For instance, eco-friendly and natural products are gaining popularity, so you might be able to stock products with these features to appeal to a growing audience.
- If you hire employees, make sure to spend enough time training them properly. If you do have employees, identify at least one who can manage the business in your absence. Investing time and money on training will ensure that your business is being represented well and reduces turnover, which also reduces costs for constant training. Training should be conducted when employees start so that they can familiarize themselves with working processes.
- Pay attention to the numbers. If you’re not great with accounting, hire an experienced bookkeeper or accountant to manage your books and taxes. Simple accounting software is easy to set up and run if you want to manage your own books. Whatever you do, make sure to keep books current and accurate to prevent late fees, penalties, and interest. Keeping your books up-to-date and filing your taxes on time can save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. MyCompanyWorks Premium™ automatically files annual reports and monitors business compliance . Check out our blog for more information on starting and managing a business .
Name your company
Keep the following in mind when naming your company: the name should reflect what you do and should also be easy to remember. Choose a name that describes the nature of your business. A name like “Ace’s Vending Machines” tells clients exactly what you’re selling. Try out names on your friends. Ask them if possible names communicate your message clearly. If they didn’t know you, would they be able to identify your products or services?
The right vending business entity – LLC, Corporation, or DBA
The most common business type for startups is the Limited Liability Company or LLC. A vending business LLC would be a good fit for most small businesses, but if you’re not sure which business type to start, an accountant or lawyer can discuss options and help you decide.
- LLC : One of the most popular business structures for startups is an LLC, which helps keep taxes low and ownership flexible. With an LLC, you don’t file a “business” tax return each year. Instead, you report business profits and expenses on your personal tax filings.
- Corporation : The Corporation entity type is usually only necessary for larger companies or businesses with complex models. Qualifying corporations can file for Subchapter S – or “Small Business” status with the IRS, so you’re still taxed as an individual. In our experience, the Corporation structure can be overkill for a small company, so be sure to contact an attorney or accountant before forming a Corporation.
- DBA : DBA stands for “Doing Business As” and is a type of business registration that you can use instead of registering a separate company. A DBA isn’t a separate entity like an LLC or Corporation, so you’ll have to use your social security number for tax and legal purposes.
TIP: Consider forming an LLC or Corporation to protect your personal assets from tax liens and lawsuits.
Does a vending company need a business plan?
The short answer – is yes. A business plan is a piece of the puzzle to let investors know your idea and give them the assurance that you can generate profits. It also helps you find an investor who shares your vision. To get financing, you will need a business plan that spells out your goals and how your business is going to meet them.
The original business plan may change over time, but it’s easier to write an effective plan at the beginning of the business. This is where business plan templates can come in handy, as they’re designed to be customizable and flexible enough to fit the needs of your company. Check out our Business Planning Resources for help and more information.
What is included in a good business plan?
Every good business plan includes an executive summary that includes your company’s mission statement and a description of your company and the benefits you offer. Include more specific details, such as pricing and marketing strategies, in the other sections of the plan. The marketing strategy should detail how you will promote your services to potential clients, while the financial portion explains startup and ongoing costs, expenses, and revenues. A business plan is invaluable for organizing and tracking your goals, improving your methods, and collecting the tools and resources you will need for achieving your objective.
Business plan categories
- Executive summary including company description, mission statement, and benefits
- Pricing and marketing strategies
- High-traffic markets and proposed locations if possible
- A list of products, like snacks, drinks, sundries, etc.
- Financial projections for the first year
Find funding for startup and maintenance costs
NOTE: Investors may want you to find a location – Step 5 – to estimate build-out and rent costs before you apply for funding, but you can write a basic plan that can be updated for each application.
Initial costs for a vending company can be fairly low compared to other businesses. Top-notch machines can run around $10,000, but you can save a lot of money on refurbished machines. If you’re willing to start with used equipment, you could register and open your business for around $2,500, depending on your state’s fees and requirements. If you’re leasing space, you’ll also have to pay for utility connections and any inspections required by your county. See costs to register an LLC or Corporation in your state here .
- Personal savings, home equity, and retirement accounts are great places to look for funding. You’re borrowing from yourself, so there isn’t as much risk involved as when you’re dealing with other people’s money.
- If you have supportive family and friends, you could draw up a loan agreement to borrow money from them. The Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances says family and friends lend about $89 billion each year in the US . 38% of small business startups borrowed funding from friends and family. Write a realistic payment agreement that gives family and friends an incentive to loan you money. You can use things like interest, free product, or maybe even free vending machine placement if they have business locations. Debt.org has a great article on the right time to borrow money from family and friends.
- Angel investors are usually wealthy individuals who offer working capital in exchange for a percentage of your business. Angel.co is probably the most popular angel investor portal, but sites like Gust and Funded.com also list great funding opportunities.
- Crowdfunding is easy to operate and can generate startup cash quickly. Kickstarter , SeedInvest , and IFundWomen have a simple account setup and helpful tips to increase the success of your fundraising campaign.
TIP: A solid business plan should include revenue and expense projections to determine how much funding you’ll need. Fundraising doesn’t have to be just for startup costs. Many small businesses apply for funding for expansion and may do so more than once. A creditworthy business is what impresses investors, so make sure bills, payroll, taxes, and business fees are all processed on time.
Related Helpful Resources Write Your Small Business Plan Now | Should I Start an LLC, Corporation, or DBA? | Build Business Credit Online
A unique Federal Tax ID, or Employer ID Number, is assigned to each US business that employs workers. The EIN is used in conjunction with the company’s name and address to identify the company. You can apply for a Tax ID on the IRS website you have a Social Security Number. International business owners may have to provide additional verification requirements.
TIP: Add an EIN application to your business startup order, and we’ll do the rest.
What are the benefits of having an EIN?
An EIN is one of the first things you should apply for if you want to open a business bank account, hire employees, and register to pay taxes. If your business is registered as a ‘’Doing Business As’’, or DBA this won’t be necessary unless you hire staff. If you don’t have an EIN, your personal social security number will be required in place of the EIN. To keep personal and business matters completely separate, we suggest that all businesses should register for an EIN.
All business payments and deposits should be run through a business bank account. When you have established solid payment history, you can also apply for credit cards in the business name. We have partnered with several business banks to make the process easy. You can also contact your personal bank or credit union to research their business options. There are many online business banks too.
Business requirements depend on a variety of factors, so it’s worth taking the time to interview a few before deciding which solution works best for your company.
If you have a garage, you might be able to start your operating your business at home. Check with local business authorities to be sure, but working out of your garage can save a lot of money. If you’re not able to run your business at home, contact a commercial real estate broker to locate a space that fits your budget and need. Check out our Vendor Network for commercial leasing brokers .
Businesses may not need to be licensed by the federal government but will have to obtain a state permit to set up and run vending machines. Search local and state websites for licensing requirements, or order a business license compliance package with your business formation order.
The price of vending machine insurance varies by region, with the average cost coming in between $300 – $1000. Common business insurance policies include Owner’s Policy, General Liability, and Workers’ Compensation, but there may be other required policies in your state. If you need help finding a business insurance agent, check out our partners Hiscox and netQuote . They offer free quotes and are happy to help you find the right business insurance for your company.
If you’re doing your own books, accounting software like Quickbooks Online is simple to set up and use. You can also hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant to do the work for you. Visit our Vendor Network for a list of recommended and qualified financial experts in your area.
For the small business owner, paperwork can often be a hassle. Everything from invoices, receipts, and bills to legal and business documents need to be organized and readily accessible. There are many ways to organize paperwork, from using cloud storage to the good ol’ paper filing cabinet. Start a system that’s easiest for you to manage. You’ll need to file paperwork in the following categories:
- Client files – information about a customer, including their name and contact details, invoices, and contracts.
- Employee files – All employee records, including job applications, W4 forms, annual reviews, disciplinary actions, etc.
- Vendor Files – Contact information, product catalogs, and contracts
- Legal Documents – Business formation paperwork, licenses, permits
- Tax Documents – All tax returns and IRS documents
IMPORTANT: All tax returns should be kept for at least 7 years after they are filed. Most other paperwork can be kept for 3 years.
You can skip this step if you’re starting out alone. Bookmark this page for when you’re ready to hire additional help.
Recruit your team
Posting jobs online is a good way to find both full-time and part-time employees. Some of the best platforms for this are Indeed , LinkedIn , and your local job advertisement sites. Keep these tips in mind before you post your job ads for the best results:
- Write an employee handbook and train technicians
Take the time to spell out your expectations in a company handbook. Things like proper conduct, uniforms, reviews, and policies and procedures should be clearly defined. You can save a lot of time and effort by using employee training templates to write your handbook .
- Write a job description for each position
Job descriptions should be clear and easy to understand. When you have a written job description, it’s an easy reference guide for both you and the employee. Each job description should include expected tasks to be performed. Will your technicians need to be able to lift heavy objects? Does your business run after regular business hours? What are the uniform requirements?
These items can be addressed in each job description, so there’s no question about expectations. List as many details as possible to clearly define employee roles and help potential candidates decide if the vending business is right for them.
TIP: Posting a clear job description in job ads will reduce unqualified applications and unnecessary interviews.
- Post job ads, interview qualified candidates, and start the hiring process
You may receive hundreds of resumés for one job opportunity. Be prepared to weed out those who don’t even have the skills required for the position. Indeed.com has free recruitment tips to help you find the right help for your business.
NOTE: On average, small businesses interview between 6 and 10 candidates to hire one employee.
Having a website is like posting a digital Yellow Pages ad. Since the internet is usually the first place someone looks for information, an active website can be used to share contact information, products, and policies.
Since you’ll be working directly with other businesses, research business-to-business (also called B2B) sales to find out how you can use email and social media marketing to reach qualified prospects.
Vending machine startups are a great idea for many entrepreneurs. Use our exclusive Startup Wizard to work through the step-by-step process to form your LLC, Corporation, or DBA in any state. The Startup Wizard is included free with every vending business startup package .
Starting a vending business can be a great way to make money. You’ll need to invest in tools, equipment, licenses, insurance, and recruiting before you start generating revenue. Sticking to a solid business plan will help you to track progress, fix what doesn’t work, and apply for funding with investors. Researching your local market will help you decide on what kinds of machines and products you want to carry.
Writing your business plan, developing a contract, practicing your sales pitch for new clients and investors, and working on a regular schedule to keep a good rapport with site owners are all important tasks for a profitable vending machine venture.
MyCompanyWorks can start your business startup order in as little as one business day. We offer a complete business package for vending machine owners. Startup wizard, all the forms, and help you’ll need to run your business available in one place. You can find lots of helpful articles and resources to run a successful company on our blog .
How Can We Help?
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Go to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for answers to common startup questions. Call or chat with our friendly support team to start your vending company today.
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