When it comes to running a business, everyone wants to make money. It can be harder and harder to expand those profit margins at times, especially with the ever-increasing drain on costs that we are now seeing.
That is why many businesses are now looking for ways that they can add a side hustle to their business – an extra way to add some cash to their bank balance in addition to their primary function without taking up too much of their time.
One thing that many businesses are starting to find is that installing a vending machine or two on site can actually be a very profitable addition. These unassuming pieces of technology are working every hour that you do, and they are starting to rack up some noticeable benefits. In this article, we take a look at why they could be so effective for your business.
Once upon a time, a vending machine could offer you a can of fizzy drink, a bag of crisps and a bar of chocolate, but there are so many options available to you now. Refrigerated units can offer anything from sandwiches to yoghurts and healthy snacks, whilst hot drink vending machines allow you to offer barista style coffee on the go.
These machines give you the choice to add anything that suits your business model and image. The best bit is that you don’t have to stop at just one – you can choose from several types of units and have them side by side providing different options. Alternatively, dot them around your business to find the locations where they work best and capture the right attention.
You might have felt that offering food and drink in your establishment was prohibited by costs – after all, you would need kitchens, staff, and lots of space. The beauty of a vending machine is that it needs little more than a corner of a room and plug socket. You can then leave it to work and let it earn you money with a minimum of outlay from yourself.
The startup costs are relatively low, and once you see the profit you can make, it is then easy to scale up and add more machines. This could be for different areas of your business, or to be able to offer a wider variety of options side by side.
Your vending machine can also be working for you as long as you need it to. It can operate for 24 hours a day and has no issues with working Bank Holidays or weekends. This kind of passive income means that you can be earning extra money whenever your business is open without any kind of input from you.
Vending machines now come equipped with state-of-the-art technology to make them much more effective within your business. One of the biggest leaps forward has been the fact that they now come with contactless payment technology, so no one ever needs to worry about whether they have the right change. This not only increases the number of sales that you are likely to make, but also increases the spend of each individual, as they now won’t think twice about getting a quick snack to go with that drink that they fancied.
The connectivity on offer from these machines gives you increased levels of flexibility too. You will be able to change the prices of the items from wherever you are, meaning that you can increase profit levels on popular items or run offers to generate more attention if you need to.
Easy to run
No business owner wants their side hustle to take up too much of their time – after all, you want to concentrate on your day job. This is why vending machines end up being such a popular option. Once they have been installed, there is very little that you need to worry about.
The increase in technology that these machines now come with means that they can help you to monitor stick levels and make re-ordering a breeze. It is much easier to see what you need, and what you don’t, so that keeping them topped up is a quick and easy job.
Whether you buy or lease your vending machine, there are many packages available that include the maintenance, cleaning and even refilling of your machine, so you never actually have to touch it if you don’t want to. It can just sit in your corridors, foyers and communal areas, taking people’s cash and minding its own business.
Find your niche
As vending machines have diversified to such a great extent these days, it is possible to find one that fits nicely into the niche of your business. For example, if you run a gym, you may not want to be seen to be offering high fat and high sugar drinks and snacks, so opt for something that can dispense fresh fruit, energy drinks and protein bars instead.
A waiting room or reception area is a great spot for temptation, so offering something quick that can help to while away a little time or be accessible as people come and go will always be successful.
If your machine is located outside a building, where it is likely to be cold for a lot of the time, then a vending machine that serves hot drinks is likely to see a lot of traffic. Leisure centres that have a lot of children passing through them might benefit from stocking sweets, cakes and chocolate, with some more grown-up options next them for the accompanying parents that might be watching them swim, skate or dance for the afternoon.
Vending machines are now proving popular as more and more businesses are seeing how much they can earn from them. Those with high levels of footfall are starting to see that it is possible to earn thousands from these machines each month, and with minimal costs and very little input being required, it is now the ‘no brainer’ of side hustles.