Vending Machine Business Record Keeping Basics

Keeping good records of the status of each of your vending machines when you service them is both a critical and very easy practice. Even for those who strongly dislike record keeping and struggle with the practice, the process is not overly taxing. The benefits, after all, far outweigh the small inconvenience that it presents. After all, by keeping records, you will be able to see how you are doing over time so you will know exactly which machines are offering the best performance, how many of what product is being sold, and what profits you can anticipate in the weeks and months to come.

As a business owner, this is information that you need. With even the most basic record keeping, you will have a much more thorough understanding of your business and how it is doing from one machine to the next. This allows you to continue what you are doing right with some machines, and consider the relocation of other machines that just aren’t performing as they should be.

That being said, you will also greatly appreciate your efforts to keep accurate records when tax time comes around. Nothing is more painful than trying to scrounge together exact numbers from records that are either sketchy or non-existent.

The two kinds of records that you will want to consistently maintain within your vending machine business are a basic ledger and a report of all of the locations on your route. The basic ledger is essentially your general bookkeeping. It should document all of the income and expenses totaled from all of the locations on your route. You can do this on paper, but it is much easier and faster if you use a simple bookkeeping program on your computer. If you save all of your receipts and keep a good route report, you will be able to update your ledger quickly and easily each time you complete a service route.

While on your service route, you should keep a record of the status of all of your machines at each location. Each machine should have its own page where you take notes from each servicing. This way, you will be able to flip to the page for any given machine to observe its performance including expenses, income, the placement of products, and the popularity of each of the products.

When your business is still small enough for you to do all of the routes yourself, you will be responsible for all of the record keeping for both the ledger and the route. However, once your business gets large enough that you need to hire someone to run some or all of your routes for you, you will need to make sure that that individual is also keeping the detailed, accurate records that you need to make all the difference in understanding the success of your business.

The same thing goes if you wish to hire a bookkeeper to keep track of all of the income, expenses, and other data collected by the people running your service routes for you. The trick is to make sure that these records never fall behind, that they are always complete, and that they are always accurate.

Do not forget to actually use the information that you have collected. Keeping records is only a practical process when you examine and analyze the data that has been collected. Keep a close eye on the performance of each of your machines so that you always know where attention is needed.

History of Vending Machine

What is a vending machine? The definition of vending quoted from

To sell by means of a vending machine.

While definition of vending machine quoted from Wikipedia is:

A vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise when a customer deposits money, validated by a currency detector, sufficient to purchase the desired item (as opposed to a shop, where the presence of personnel is required for every purchase).

Usually, the machine may consist of a big rectangular-shaped box, standing up, that has a place to insert coins or bills into the machine. Merchandise to sell is placed in the vending machine and when a customer inserts adequate money and select the item he or she wants, the vending machine will automatically release the item through a special hole that is found at the lower part of the machine.

Do you know the history of vending machine? Vending machine has a long history and let’s learn about it:

  • 215 BC, the ancient Greeks invented an urn and placed it in an Egyptian temple, which dispensed a certain amount of holy water. It was considered as the first vending machine.
  • Early of 1880s, the first coin operated vending machines were invented in London. They were postcards vending machines.
  • Richard Carlisle invented books vending machine.
  • Coin acceptor mechanisms that distinguish genuine coins from fake has made vending machines become more popular.
  • The first vending machine in United States was located on the subway platforms in New York City. It was invented by The Thomas Adams Company, dispensed Tutti Frutti gum.
  • Pulver Manufacturing Company introduced the first animated gum vending machines in 1897.
  • Gumball vending machines and round candy gumball vending machines was firstly introduced in 1907.
  • Early of 1900s, co-operated bars and cafes broke out like crazy in France and Germany.
  • Horn & Hadart (1902 – 1962) was a completely coin-operated restaurant in Philadelphia.
  • Variety products were offered since: cigarettes, stamps, postcards, candy, gumball, etc.
  • 1926, William Rowe from America invented a cigarette-vending machine.
  • 1965, canned soft drinks vending machines were invented.
  • 1981, the “talking” vending machines were invented.
  • Up to date, vending machines has come in different shapes and sizes, dispenses various products.

Read more: History of vending machine

Coffee Vending Machine – How to Make Them Successful Business Ideas

A coffee vending machine is seen as an idea to generate business at places visited by huge number of people every day. But without employing effective strategies, you might run into loss with a vending machine.

The demand for these machines is at rise at the places like shopping malls, airports, offices and party venues. In order to make desired profit out of a coffee vending machine, you should learn the strategies that work in this direction. Here are some tips to guide you.

Choose Right Type of Machine

Learn about different models offered by the coffee vending machine manufacturers and choose the best one meeting your requirements. Here are some guidelines:

  • Choose a machine that dispenses more than one cup size. This will help the customers to choose among the options.
  • One out of the standing, tabletop, freestanding and wall mounting coffee vending machines should be chosen on the basis of space available for installation.
  • Automatic pod coffee machine is a good option, as it offers automatic dispensing of used pod in thrash box and add-ons like a leak detector.
  • A refurbished coffee vending machine can be purchased to save on investment, but only after thorough inspection.

Choose the Right Venue

A coffee vending machine is of no use at places with coffee shops and snack bars. At the same time, isolated areas that are not visited by a good number of people are not suitable for installing these machines. Survey around and prepare a list of places where these machines have the chance to generate good business.

Renting or Buying

Obtaining a this machine on rent is definitely a cheaper option than buying it, but for the short-term. In case the business idea works, you might end up paying unnecessary rent every month. Buying a machine is one-time investment and you enjoy the profit made by it for the whole life.

Handle the Currency Issue

An issue faced by such machines is to handle the foreign currencies. Choose a vending machine that accepts a particular currency type, so that the lower value foreign currencies are not used to obtain coffee. The foreign currency with same shape and size as that of the currency accepted by the machine should be recognized and rejected by the machine.

Repair and Replacement

To be successful in the coffee machine business, you have to regularly inspect the condition of these machines. Getting the machine repaired and its damaged parts replaced should help you improve the business profits. It is a good idea to buy a machine that has its parts easily available in the market. For example, a metal vending machine is better than a plastic one in this regard. Also, purchase it from reliable automatic coffee machine suppliers who offer guarantee on their products.

Fixing the Profit Percent

You might need to share the profit with the owner of the venue where you install the coffee machine. Or you might have to pay the franchise fees if you have purchased the franchise of a popular coffee brand. So, make sure to fix your share of profit wisely.

Coffee vending machines are among good alternatives to start a business, provided that you are able to work upon the tips mentioned above.

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