It is exciting to make the decision to generate a passive stream of income to achieve your goal of obtaining financial freedom. We know you are ready to hit the ground running immediately. But before we can do that, every successful entrepreneur has a business plan prepared. To assist you to formulate your ice and water vending business plan, this blog was written with informative guidelines and recommendations.
Additional Costs To Keep in Mind
There are more expenses than just buying your ice and water vending machine. Everest Ice & Water Vending requests a $700 Service and Maintenance Contract. There is also Annual License fees most ice vending companies require that costs at least $200. Depending on your specific location you chose, you may have to pay around $500 for insurance. You should also set aside money for advertising and marketing materials such as banners and other promotional items.
Make sure to include these expenses in your budget for when you are ready to buy a machine, and every year when you need to renew your licenses and insurance.
Finding a Location
There are endless opportunities for an ice vending machine to be successfully placed. Some of these locations include convenience stores, storage facilities, gas stations, car washes, strip malls, retail and grocery stores, RV and camping areas, vacation condominiums and resorts, sports complexes and parks, parking lots, route to beach or fishing/marina locations, and so much more. You can be creative in this approach! Do you live in a small town with a family-owned drive-in movie theater that your entire neighborhood goes to every night? Communicate with the family and propose the idea of placing your machine on their property. The opportunity in this market is unlimited.
There are some factors to keep in mind when considering a location such as, how well known is the location in the town/city. Accessibility is also an important factor to consider. You want a strong traffic flow but you still need customers to be able to enter and exit easily and conveniently. If the machine is on display that can be seen clearly from afar will be greatly advantageous.
You need to prepare a pitch to convince the property’s owner to let you place your ice vending machine on their grounds. First, you need to decide if you will be offering the business owner a flat month rent, or if you will be offering a percentage of the monthly sales from the machine as compensation. A percentage of monthly sales usually range from 10-20%. It is important to discuss and figure out which method is the most equitable for both parties.
Make sure to tell the property owner that using your machine instead of their current ice vendor will increase more traffic to their store. Because of how visible the vending machine is with its color, size, and graphic art, it will attract customers to the store. The store manager and their employees will not have to worry about the machine at all because you will have access to a software that effectively monitors the machine in real-time. In many cases, it allows you to remedy any issues with the machine while the customer is still at the machine, providing excellent customer service.
Figuring out Pricing
The best way to figure out how to price your ice is by surveying and researching the general pricing of the area from competitors and large discount merchants such as Walmart. You want your prices to be appreciably less than your competitors yet, high enough to make a fair profit.
Marketing to Consumers
At this point, your order will be placed. While waiting for your machine to be delivered, you can start marketing. You can put up banners that say something along the lines of “THE NEW Everest Ice & Water Vending MACHINE IS COMING!” to get people anticipating the machine before it gets there. Then, once the machine is placed, you can switch out those banners for permanent ones. You can reach out to local news outlets to get your story covered and published in the local paper.
A fun idea is to plan a “Grand Opening” once the machine is placed and operable. You can give out “Free Vend” coupons, which are available through Everest Ice & Water Vending, which can be used (and re-used) in the machine-like cash, to get a free bag of ice. You may even hand out, or periodically draw from a hat, “Everest Ice & Water Vending” themed items or T-Shirts.
Establish yourself online through social media like Facebook and Instagram, and on google maps for when people search for “ice near me” your machine can pop up. It doesn’t take an experienced social media manager to create your online presence. All you need is a phone to take and post pictures.
With a business plan like this, you can maximize your machine’s sales capacity and use the profits to expand your ice vending machine empire by purchasing more machines. Use this interactive ROI calculator to view an estimation of profits you could be making by operating an ice vending business.