4 reasons it makes sense to add ice vending to your business (and 3 reasons it doesn’t)
If you’re a small-business owner, you may be thinking of adding ice vending to the mix of products and services you provide to your customers. But, should you? Many small businesses, like Mom-and-Pop grocery stores, bustling marinas, car washes, campgrounds, landlords, and more can benefit greatly from ice vending. But it may not be right for every business. Here are some reasons ice vending makes sense, and some reasons it might not be the best choice for you.
WHEN ICE VENDING MAKES SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Your customers need ice – To put it very simply, ice vending machines are great additions to businesses in which customers can benefit from buying a bag of ice then and there. Think about marinas, where boaters are heading out for a day on the water. Campgrounds or RV parks where vacationers need to keep their food cold while getting back to nature. Another great location, liquor stores where customers are buying libations for the big game.
You get a lot of traffic – Whether you’re a grocery store or a marina or a gas station, ice vending machines produce the most revenue if you’ve already got good foot traffic. People are coming and going. Boaters heading out for a day on the water need to fill up their coolers with ice. The same goes for blue-collar workers on their way to work. Apartment complexes or campgrounds are also perfect locations.
You’re looking for revenue-generating ideas for your business – What business doesn’t need more income, right? Adding an ice vending machine to your business is an excellent source of revenue. Owners of grocery stores, gas stations and other types of businesses have razor-thin margins, and the income generated by an ice vending machine can really push the needle. We call it “passive income,” because there isn’t a lot of work involved on your end. The machine does much of the work for you, and you simply reap the benefits.
You want to provide greater customer service – No matter the type of business you’re running, ice vending adds an additional service you can offer your customers. They don’t need to make one more stop for the bag of ice they need. Better customer service leads to greater customer loyalty, retention, and traffic.
WHEN IT DOESN’T
You own a restaurant – Because many restaurants need ice daily to make drinks, you’d think an ice vending machine might be a perfect fit. We’ve found that it’s not. Far be it from us to turn away business, but if a restaurant is looking for an ice solution for their bar, a machine like ours that vends out ice at 10-pound intervals isn’t a good fit.
Your customers don’t need ice – If you own an antique store, chances are pretty good that your customers are hunting for antiques, not a bag of ice. This applies to restaurants, too. Restaurant customers don’t need a 10-pound bag of ice. They need a couple of cubes for their gin and tonic or diet soda.
Individuals who don’t have time for a business – Ice machine businesses are just that, businesses. Yes, it’s about as passive as income can get, but there is set-up work on the front end, especially if you’re not a business owner and you need to scout for locations. If you’re not willing to put in the work on the front end to ensure success, this business might not be for you.
Still, wondering if adding ice vending is a great fit for your business? Give us a call. We’re happy to help.