Everyone needs affordable, fresh ice and clean, filtered water – but they can’t buy it from you if your spot is unnoticeable, inaccessible, or unusable. So what are some of the warning signs a location might give you problems?
1. The water quality is bad.
The incoming water supply to your ice vending machine is incredibly important. If the supply is unpotable, it will not be safe to consume. Furthermore, well water or other sources that have increased hardness, alkalinity, chlorine, and more will be rough on your filtration system, needing more frequent maintenance and replacing of filters.
There are a ton of variables that can contribute to local water quality, so the best way to know is to test the water first with a water test kit. Here are the main level ranges you’re looking for:
- Hardness: less than 85 ppm
- pH between 6.80-7.40
- Alkalinity: less than 150 ppm
- Chlorides: 80 ppm
- Chlorine: less than 0.05 ppm
- TDS: 70-200 ppm
- Iron: less than 0.25 ppm
2. The machine won’t fit.
It may sound simple, but sometimes the biggest obstacle is the machine itself. There are many ice vending machines that are so large, they’re practically their own building – and that comes with an entirely different set of permits, regulations, and requirements.
Plus, if you go with an ice and water vending machine that uses reverse osmosis filtration, you will need to ensure the location has a proper drain for the three to four gallons of water the machine dumps down the drain for each gallon it treats.
An Everest machine not only recycles water with Cold Fusion energy recovery, drastically reducing runoff, but it also has the smallest footprint of any equipment in its class! At 20 square feet, many more options become available for your vending machine location. This helps with many location problems.
3. Poor visibility from the road.
If people can’t see your ice vending machine easily from the main roads, they won’t know it’s there. This will generate less traffic and result in a slower return on your investment – plus you may end up having to spend additional time, money, and energy on marketing your machine.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – what catches your eye as you drive around the area? High-traffic areas with lower speed limits, multiple entry and exit points, space for larger vehicles, and nearby complementary businesses are all signs of a great location for visibility and access.
4. The location is too far from home.
Ice vending is a great way to earn passive income on your own schedule. With the right machine, you will only need to perform minimal maintenance – but this is still a business, and it will need your attention and support to succeed.
For example: if your machine accepts cash and coin, you should plan on making the trip to collect once or twice a week depending on how much traffic you get. That trip would be far more tedious if your machine was hours away, costing you extra time – not to mention fuel.
It’s also important to ensure you can diagnose and service your machine in the rare cases there are any breakdowns or maintenance issues – and the closer you are to the location, the less downtime your machine will see.
5. …Or it’s too far from anything.
There may be a location that you think would perform really well due to seasons or special events. However, just as you don’t want to be too far away from your machine, you don’t want your machine to be too far away from a basic phone network signal. That would lead to many location problems.
If your machine can’t connect to the network, you won’t just miss out on remote monitoring capabilities – it will complicate service assistance and maintenance. MOST importantly, it could put your credit card reader offline – and that means missing out on profits and disappointing potential customers.
As you scout locations, don’t forget to check the strength of the signal with a tester to avoid potential complications in the future.
There are many factors that go into having a successful ice and water vending business. When it comes to the location, there is a lot to consider. Starting by avoiding these five challenge points will ensure you’re on the right track to passive income and financial freedom.