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Tips for New Operators

What is required to become a Vending Operator?


Almost everywhere you go, whether in South Africa or overseas, you are bound to see them: coin operated vending machines dispensing food, beverages, snacks, cigarettes, personal care items, chewing gum, etc. To some this looks like an easy way to make money. Why not let the machines do the work? All I'll have to do is fill them up and collect the money!

Well, like everything else in this world, it's not quite that easy.  Automatic Vending is a BUSINESS and like all other businesses, it needs a professional and business-like approach.

BEWARE of:

  • "Part Time Business" as we have all seen in the papers at one time or another. You know the kind of advertisement referred to....
  • “Work only 1 or 2 days a week in your spare time and make a fortune"
  • "Spare Time Income, No Selling".

Of course some ads set out in these terms are genuine opportunities, but some maybe not.
It's up to you to sort them out.
Some advertisers state that they are very selective in their appointment of "suitable applicants", can supply easy finance, etc...
Once again, it's up to you to decide which advertiser offers a genuine opportunity to improve your financial situation and which one only seeks to get your cash - one way or another.

As a general rule, no genuine company or individual will object to you making a few enquiries about them from VASA or other users of their product.

Before we go any further, ask yourself these questions.

  1. Are you willing to work long hours, day or night and at weekends, mostly on short notice, if required?
  2. Are you thorough?
  3. Can you handle money matters efficiently (both your own and others)
  4. Do you have or can you arrange credit at your bank?
  5. Can you organise yourself and stick to a schedule?
  6. Do you remain calm when things go wrong?
  7. Do you really want to be your own boss?
  8. Can you "handle people"?

If the answer to any of these questions is NO, don't go any further!.

Points to Consider

  • QUALITY OF SITE/LOCATION

    1. Critical to the profitability of the business.
    2. Who is/will be responsible for finding the sites?
    3. What happens if sites are unsatisfactory? Who pays the cost of the machine relocation?
    4. Be wary of inflated volume projections.
    5. Depending on products vended, most quality sites have already been taken by existing vending companies.

  • SUPPLY OF MACHINES

    1. Will the availability of machines be consistent?
    2. Should machines be leased or purchased?
    3. Can one supplier meet the demand?
    4. What technology is/will be available?
    5. How will this affect the business? (i.e. credit card or notes readers).
    6. Obtain quotes from different suppliers to gauge pricing parameters.

  • TRAINING

    1. Does supplier provide filling, general maintenance and clean training free of charge?
    2. How do I find sites, promote service, handle enquiries and/or complaints.

  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT

    1. Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?
    2. How complicated is the work? (i.e. electronics, mechanical, refrigeration).
    3. Is there a requirement for qualified technicians?
    4. Who pays for the technical support?
    5. What is the level of service required at sites? (i.e. 7 days per week 24 hours per day).
    6. What is the Warranty period?
    7. What is the expected operational life of the machine?

  • SUPPLY OF PRODUCT

    1. Will the availability of product be consistent?
    2. Obtain several quotes from suppliers where possible.

  • FINANCIAL INFORMATION

    1. Conduct a proper, full P & L on figures available.
    2. Check financial authenticity if possible.
    3. Consult accountant and legal expert before commitment.
    4. Vending can be a profitable cash-only business.
    5. Beware of inflated profit projections.

  • IN SUMMARY

    1. You may need to understand your equipment, products, market and customer to be successful. (Do your homework).
    2. Be wary of "Get Rich Quick" or "Work Part Time" offers. (Generally as in all businesses, you get back what you put in).
    3. Ask for proof and authenticity of any figures presented.
    4. Ensure continued supply of machines and product where ever possible.
    5. Ascertain quality of machine sites.
    6. Ascertain how technical support is serviced and at who's cost.


What is also important is Always Deal with a VASA member!

All VASA members subscribe to VASA’s Constitution, Customer Charter and Code of Ethics.

Click here to download the application form.

For any further questions please do not hesitate to contact VASA

Published in the interests of the Vending Industry of South Africa

 


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