Posted on: June 7, 2022 | Land Owners
Many business owners want to increase the value of their vending machine business when they’re considering selling it, or making another big change. However, if you start increasing the value of your business early on, you won’t have to scramble at crunch time. Let’s take a look at a few ways to increase the value of your vending business, specifically. When it’s time to sell, take on a partner or make other big changes, you’ll feel confident in your operations.
11 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Vending Business
1. Refurbish Machines
Refurbishing a vending machine that is old or worn-out is one of the best ways to increase the value of your vending business. If the machine is broken, refurbishment will help you turn a minus on your balance sheet into a plus. If the machine has been losing sales because of its worn-out appearance or lacking functionality (such as a lack of a credit card reader), refurbishment can help bring sales back. Refurbishment can also help you gain new functionality on your machine, such as surveillance, digital monitoring, and more.
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2. Add a Machine
Adding a new vending machine will increase the value of your business by increasing your assets as well as your cash flow. Make sure you choose a location for your new machine thoughtfully. Look for a location that is likely to grow in value itself (we’ll discuss this in more detail later in the post). Also, consider the type of machine that might be best for the location. An ice machine is great for areas close to manufacturing plants and construction zones, while a coffee machine or snack machine might be ideal for office buildings or similar locations.
3. Increase Sales
Increasing sales is obviously a great way to increase the value of your vending business, or any business. The question, of course, is how can you do that? Post signs in nearby areas to attract customers who might not know about your machine. Use fliers and coupons to attract new customers. There are many creative ways to increase sales to your vending machine, but it requires planning and consistent effort.
4. Location Improvements
If you also own the location where your vending machine is located, improvements can help increase the value of multiple parts of your businesses. For example, if you own a car wash with an ice machine on the lot, making improvements to the exterior or lot can help to bring in more customers to both businesses, and create a more enjoyable visit overall.
If you have a rental agreement with another business owner, talk to them about improvements, especially if there are some issues keeping customers away, such as large potholes in the parking lot or low lighting creating an unsafe environment. Statements from customers or a small survey might provide some proof and help convince the business owner that improvements are good for both of you.
In some cases, you might have some say in what’s happening in the surrounding area, even if you don’t own the lot. Many cities will hold public meetings before making substantial changes to roads or granting approvals for large buildings, such as shopping malls or apartment complexes. Pay attention to local politics and make your voice heard when opportunities arise. If changes to the community will take passersby or traffic away from your vending machine, make a case for avoiding these changes.
5. Boost Awareness and Trust
Your business brand is an intangible asset; it has value, but you can’t see or touch it. Though vending machine owners leverage the brand value of the vending machine manufacturer as well as the products they sell, every vending business also has its own brand value. How customers perceive your brand influences its value. This includes how much customers trust your business, how aware they are of it, and positive associations they have with it.
Here are a few ways you can boost your vending business brand:
- Increase awareness: Visible marketing, such as signs, billboards, and flyers, as well as online marketing through social media, can all help you expand awareness of your machines.
- Increase trust: Talk with potential customers—people who have probably seen your machines, but not yet made a purchase—and ask them what might persuade them to make a purchase. Make changes accordingly and show that you’ve made changes in your marketing outreach
- Increase positivity: Keep your machine well-maintained and in full working order, so customers don’t get frustrated when they try to make a purchase. Consider ways you could make a positive impact on your community in your business’s name, so customers make positive associations with your brand. Ice House America, for example, has been active in hurricane relief response.
6. Good Maintenance
Keeping a regular maintenance schedule will help to keep your machine in full working order (and keep your customers happy!). Good maintenance will also help to prevent bigger, more expensive problems later on. When your machine’s exterior is clean and looks polished, customers are more likely to make a purchase. When your machine’s mechanical components are well-maintained, your machine will work better and last longer.
7. Diversify Your Customer Base
The most successful businesses have a diverse array of customers. This way, if buying behavior falls with one customer segment, it won’t be a serious problem for the overall business. For example, if the majority of your customers are factory workers and the factory closes, your business may be in trouble.
You can diversify your customer base by reaching out to many different people, considering different types of sales, and using many different types of vending machines. For example, you might have one snack vending machine in an office to appeal to office workers, a candy vending machine in a shopping mall to appeal to families, and an ice vending machine near a factory to appeal to factory workers.
8. Integrate Technology
Keeping up with technology is an important part of maintaining and increasing the value of your vending business. Integrating technology can help to improve security, organization, maintenance and more. You can use online applications to track and benchmark machine sales, use security cameras to monitor your machine for security, and use calendar apps to schedule maintenance, and more.
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9. Organize Your Data
If you can’t accurately assess your sales, revenue, profit margins, and other essential business metrics, and see how they’re changing year over year, it will be difficult to get an accurate valuation of your company. With organized data and record-keeping, you can see which machines need attention and you can also show an accurate history of how your sales have improved over the years.
10. Streamline Your Operations
Streamlined operations are more attractive to a potential business buyer, and this can help to increase the value of your vending business. This is another intangible asset that can be difficult to put an exact price on. However, consider this; if you were choosing between a business that was clearly organized with a streamlined method for maintaining the business, or one that was unclear, with a lot of guesswork involved, which would you be more inclined to purchase? Even if the latter business was ultimately more valuable, it might be difficult to tell.
You can streamline your operations by making clear schedules. This might include a clear and well-organized weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance schedule, clear methods for tracking sales, and well-organized marketing or advertising plans.
11. Solve Problems
Resolving issues that detract from your business can be just as valuable as making improvements. Consider your business from a buyer’s perspective, or ask a friend to take a critical look. What concerns might they have? Notable concerns might include maintenance issues, outdated machines, or machines that are losing sales. Solve these issues first, so you can move forward from a strong starting position.
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