Posted on: January 18, 2022 |

One of the many advantages of owning your own vending business is the independence and autonomy it affords. You have the ability to manage and make decisions for your business by yourself. However, at some point you may struggle to take on all these tasks yourself. How do you know when it’s time to hire an employee for your vending business? Here are a few things that can help you decide.

When Should You Hire an Employee for Your Vending Business?

Help with Maintenance and Stocking

Vending machines are relatively low-maintenance compared to many other businesses. However, any time a machine is out-of-order or out-of-stock means losing money, so it’s important to stay on top of maintenance and stocking. If you’re spending more time on maintenance and restocking items than you’d like, this can be a good reason to hire an employee to help you.

Maybe you have a large number of vending machines and you’re simply having trouble keeping them all well-maintained and fully stocked. If you frequently find that you just don’t have enough time to do maintenance, and your machines are going out-of-order and staying that way for long periods, it’s a good sign that it’s time to hire an employee. Or, if you’re managing maintenance and stocking without trouble, but you’d simply like more free time, an employee can help you find the right balance.

Ready to Retire or Sell

If you’re thinking about retiring from the vending business or selling your investment, this can also be a good time to hire an employee. However, you’re not hiring this person just to help out with business management tasks; you’re hiring someone who wants to take over the business and needs to learn how to manage it.

Maybe you’re considering leaving the business to a family member, or you’re looking for an entrepreneurial person who is ready to buy. Either way, be sure you are clear about what you’re looking for and your timeline for retiring or selling. This way, you and your employee—and soon-to-be-buyer—will be on the same page.

Ready to Expand

If you’ve already seen success with one to three machines, you may be considering expanding. This might mean adding the same type of machine that you already have, or diversifying with a different type of vending machine. At this point, it’s a good time to make an assessment of your day-to-day tasks and how you see your life in the future. Do you have time to manage another machine? If your day is already pretty full, expanding might work better with the help of an employee.

As you’re making this consideration, think about all of the aspects of running your business. This includes essential activities like maintenance and stocking, but also things like scheduling repairs, making signage, advertising and getting new customers, traveling to your location when needed, and more.

In some cases, your potential employee might also be a potential partner. You might share the expense of a new machine with a trusted friend, family member, or another business owner, and show them how to manage the machine as well. Be sure to agree on a clear business plan and partnership documents beforehand to avoid confusion or disputes later on.

You’re Active in Multiple Locations

Finding the right location for a vending business is imperative. Sometimes, the best locations may be a bit farther away from your home. Or, if you’re adding new machines, the best locations might be farther away from your existing machines. In this case, it can be helpful to hire an employee to help manage your vending machines in other cities.

Map out your current vending locations and where you usually spend your time, and see how much travel time a new location would add. Consider how often you would need to visit to perform routine maintenance. Also, consider trips you might have to make for emergency shut-downs or repairs. Are your new locations close enough that you can still manage them with the new travel time? Or does it make more sense to save this time and hire a local employee?

Looking for New Skills

The world of business, marketing and sales are always changing. Maybe you’ve noticed ways that you could increase revenue to your business or make your business more efficient, but you’re not sure it’s worth the time it will take to learn new techniques or technology. In this case, a new employee can also provide new skills that will help you expand your business.

Maybe you’ve considered upgrading your machines with new features, using social media as an advertising tool, or upgrading the look of your signs, but you’re not sure about how to get started. To help you maintain and use new features on your machines, you might look for an employee who has some experience in electrical maintenance. If you’d like to start using social media, you might look for someone with relevant online marketing experience. Or, if you hope to upgrade your signage, you might look for a potential employee with some digital design expertise.

Cost vs Benefits

If you’re considering hiring an employee for your vending business, the best way to go about it is through a cost and benefit analysis. Consider how much you’ll have to pay your employee, and how many hours you expect to put in. You’ll also need to spend some time training them and answering questions they may have. On the benefits side, consider how many hours of your own day you’ll get back, and how much revenue you might add by expanding your business with new machines or new skills. Try to be as specific as possible. If the benefits outweigh the costs, it’s probably a good time to hire an employee for your vending business.