July 27, 2023

Hidden Realities of Ice Vending That TikTok Doesn’t Reveal

TikTok has become the newest popular channel for showcasing entrepreneurial ventures with passive income and side hustle content. As TikTok’s audience is currently dominated by younger people, ice vending business influencers are quickly drawing these people in. According to this report, 34% of Gen Z consumers obtain their financial advice from the TikTok platform. While 33% get it from YouTube and 24% of this group seek advice from actual financial professionals.

One emerging trend that has gained significant attention on the passive income side is the vending machine business. In fact, the hashtag #vendingmachinebusiness has 640.6 million views on TikTok, while #vendingmachine has over 3.5 billion views. Essentially, TikTok provides a glimpse into the exciting aspects of this industry, but several crucial factors are often overlooked. 

Here are the hidden realities of the vending machine business that TikTok influencers don’t usually bring to light:

Maintenance and Repairs

Ice vending machines are complex pieces of equipment that require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. TikTok may focus on the process of making ice and filling the vending machine. However, it often overlooks the technical challenges that can arise. From mechanical issues to electrical malfunctions, mechanical issues to electrical malfunctions, and understanding the maintenance requirements. 

Establish a relationship with a reliable technician or service provider who can quickly address operational disruptions.

Business Permits and Licenses

Obtaining permits and regulations is a critical aspect of running any business venture. However, many TikTok influencers promoting passive income opportunities with vending machines often neglect to mention. 

Depending on your location you may need business permits related to food handling, health checks, environmental regulations, etc. It’s always a great idea to research and understand the legal requirements of your area to avoid potential fines and secure your vending machine business. Obtaining an LLC is also a great way to stay protected while still having the flexibility and management of running your ice vending business.

Finding The Perfect Location

TikTok videos may present ice vending machines in idealistic settings, especially with locations. However, the reality is that finding the right location for your ice vending machine is based in your area. Which plays a crucial role in the success of your ice vending machine. Even if your content creator says one particular location works for them, that doesn’t always mean it will work for you.

Finding the right location involves careful research and considering factors like foot traffic, proximity to target customers (such as beachgoers or recreational areas), and the presence of competitors. The availability of reliable water lines and power connections is also essential. Thorough location planning is a fundamental step toward profitability.

Another thing that isn’t mentioned frequently on TikTok, is the preparation that goes behind the business pitch of your vending machine business with a location owner and how to negotiate a  deal that makes sense for you and your business.

Operational Challenges

Running an ice vending business involves more than just filling the machines. TikTok videos often focus on the process of bagging ice, but they don’t highlight some of the challenges that might pop up when operating an ice vending machine. 

For example, weather conditions like freezing outside temperatures or extreme heat can impact the way your machine operates efficiently. It’s best to winterize your machines for colder months and use a canopy for warmer months.

Once you understand the challenges that might arise while running your ice vending machine, you can take preventative measures and operate your business smoothly by ensuring consistent ice production demand, maintaining sanitary quality standards, and handling customer inquiries effectively.

While TikTok can provide inspiration and excitement for starting an ice vending business, it’s important to understand that the reality goes beyond the viral videos. TikTok often fails to address finding the perfect location placement based on your area, maintenance and repairs, permits and licenses, and operational challenges. 

By acknowledging these factors and dedicating time and effort to address them, you can build a strong foundation for a successful ice vending business. Remember that behind the viral moments lies the hard work and careful planning required for long-term profitability.

At Everest, we provide free educational resources to help you run a profitable ice vending business. Visit our blog or subscribe to our YouTube for limitless access to industry insights in the ice vending world. 

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