“In just a few weeks, I got 3 new locations.”

Although I already started my own business, I was struggling to land new accounts and wanted to learn how to improve my knowledge and vending services. After completing Bootcamp, I followed the steps in the course, set up Google ads, and started getting calls. Within a few weeks, I started seeing results. I even secured three new sites and had to go and buy more machines.

The rest is history!

If I had to do it all over, I would ask for advice from a pro sooner. I discovered pricing structures and learned not to price my items too high. Don’t give up. Success is closer than you think.

Malcolm Freeman
PC Vending LLC

Course completed

The Vending Bootcamp

Adam Hill

64 students 4h 44m

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The Vending Bootcamp

“I was turning down business in just two months.”

Case Study: How I Grew My Vending Business Part-Time While Working a Full-Time Job

(From 0 to Turning Down Business in 2 Months)

One of the great things about a vending business is the flexibility you’ll get in this industry. While you can quickly grow a vending company into a full-time business, it can also easily be run as a side-hustle to earn extra income. 

That was Steven’s plan when he started his vending business. He’s taken a slow and steady approach to launching his company and it’s already paying off. Within two months of taking the UpFlip Vending Bootcamp, he’s not only landed his most desirable account, but is actually turning down locations. 

The vending business is Steven’s retirement plan, so he’s in no rush to scale it. As he says: 

“I’m just taking it one machine at a time, one account at a time. I’m going slow with it because I don’t want to dump a lot of money into this yet.”

Since he still works his full-time job at nights, taking this more measured approach to growth is a smart move. He’s also bootstrapping his business, investing only his own money rather than taking out loans or financing, to make sure he’s staying accountable to himself about what he spends. 

Let’s take a closer look at how Steven launched his business and the steps he’s taking to set himself up for long-term success. 

Steven’s Slow-and-Steady Startup Strategy

Steven knew he wanted to start a vending business before enrolling in the Vending Bootcamp. In fact, he’d already set up his LLC, so he was ready to hit the ground running with what he learned. 

The reason he took the course was to get some direction on what to do next. Primarily, he was looking for advice on:

  • Where to find leads
  • How to choose the right locations using the 30-30 rule and Prospect Pyramid
  • How to approach businesses that already have vending machines

He took that knowledge from the course and built it into his own personal 5-step plan for success: 

  1. Buy new, high-quality machines
  2. Identify your differentiating factor
  3. Create professional marketing materials to give potential accounts
  4. Make in-person sales calls
  5. Know when to say no

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these steps and how Steven took them. 

How Steven Landed His First Account Step-By-Step

Step 1: Buy high-quality machines. 

Steven knew he wanted to pay out-of-pocket for his equipment instead of taking a financing option. His reasoning:

“When you pay out-of-pocket, you take more caution with how you spend your money. When you finance something, you’re not really seeing the dollar amount that you spend.”

Since he also knew he didn’t plan to scale right away, he decided to invest in two new machines that he knew he could count on. 

Why did he buy new vending machines instead of  used or refurbished machines? 

“I went brand new because I didn’t want to inherit somebody else’s problems.”

He bought a new Vendo 821 soda machine with some cosmetic damage at an auction for $800. Even after making the needed repairs, his total investment was only $1,500, nearly $3,000 off the price of a new machine without cosmetic damage. 

For the snack machine, he went with a brand-new SEAGA Envision 4. That had a slightly higher price tag, but the investment is paying off. Both machines are already in his first location and bringing in revenue for his business. 

Step 2: Identify your differentiator. 

In Steven’s area, there are a lot of warehouses, retirement homes, and other potentially profitable vending locations. Many of them already have vending through a large, national company, but he knew from taking Adam’s course that this wasn’t a deal-breaker:

“A lot of places already have machines but also, they’re not happy with their vendors. These big companies only show up maybe twice a month and they don’t give their clients what they want. They want somebody that they can contact right away, and somebody that’s willing to be flexible with them.”

That was where Steven knew his company could win the day. The account he landed wanted someone who could fill their machines weekly and would respond quickly if they ever had a problem. Steven secured the account because he was able to meet those needs. 

His advice for using customer service as your differentiator: 

“Just show consideration for them, that’s what they like. They like somebody that’s sincere and dedicated.”

Step 3: Leave professional marketing materials with desirable accounts.

Once Steven purchased his machines, he was ready to land his first account. Steven designed and printed flyers to leave with business locations. He also gave accounts free branded pens and notebooks. 

The total cost of all of the marketing materials was around $175, which is very reasonable. The expense almost immediately paid for itself after placing his first machines. 

Steven knew he only had two machines, and wasn’t trying to get a ton of people to respond right away. He distributed flyers slowly: 

“Every two weeks, I pass out at least 10 flyers. If I didn’t hear anything back, I would go and pass out another 15.”

Every time he handed out the flyers, he also left the freebie pen and notebook. This approach saved time and money.

Step 4: Make in-person sales calls to potential locations.

Steven had his eye on one particular location that he thought would be perfect for his machines, a newly constructed warehouse with 24-hour shifts for its employees. 

He looked up the director’s contact information online and reached out via email, but got a reply that they weren’t interested in new vending at the moment. 

But Steven wasn’t ready to give up that easily: 

“I didn’t want to be a pain in the butt and keep trying to email them, so I went a different direction by going in and actually handing out my flyer. I just didn’t give up because I really wanted it and knew it was ideal.”

The in-person approach proved the better way to go: 

“After I dropped it off, they called me probably within the next two hours.”

Steven took some advice from Adam’s course when he made these sales calls, too. 

He put on a suit and tie to make sure he looked professional. His attire, informational flyer, and branded marketing materials showed that he was someone the warehouse staff was comfortable doing business with.

Step 5: Know when to say no.

Along with the warehouse where he has his machines currently, a few other locations have reached out to Steven and shown interest in his vending services. 

One of these interested accounts only wanted a snack machine, and only had a team of about 50 people that would be using it. They also wanted him to lower his prices and sign a contract. All of these were red flags that he probably wouldn’t make very much money if he moved into that location. 

Another potential location is more promising. They’re a carpet cleaning company with a team of over 100 employees who had a contract with a large vending service that they’re not happy with. Even so, Steven turned them down:

“I just don’t have the money to get other machines and I don’t want to get myself in a hole.”

He plans to get another machine in January, though. When that happens, he has an account already lined up that he can reach out to and start generating revenue right away. 

This is Steven’s main advice for people who are just getting started with a part-time vending business:

“It’s going to be there, so just take your time. You don’t want to rush into something then find out that it’s not what you want, or find yourself financially in a hole buying machines or a location that aren’t going to make you any money. Make sure the location that you get is going to be worth it.”

Taking Your First Step to Success

Steven’s slow-and-steady approach is working well for him. He’s only been in his first location for a few weeks and is already earning a revenue of around $150 a week from it. He’s also still putting aside personal funds to purchase new machines. His plan moving forward:

“In January I’ll probably get another SEAGA machine and a refurbished soda machine, and that would be my next account. That’s how I’m building: get new machines every year. It’s going to be a slow process for me. For some people, they can probably buy 20 or 50 machines at a time, but I can’t.”

And the truth is—you don’t need to! Laying this solid foundation will allow Steven to grow his business over time so that it’s generating real revenue when he needs it after his retirement. 

The bottom line is that there are many ways to start a vending business, and success will look different for everyone. Knowing what you want from your business is the first step to starting it the right way. 

Are you ready to take the first step to launch your business?

 The Vending Bootcamp can give you the knowledge and tools you need to build it the right way—even if, like Steven, you plan to take things one account at a time. 

Steven C.

UpFlip Academy Member

The Vending Bootcamp

“In 6 months, I landed a corporate location!”

Case Study: My Simple Strategy for Securing Accounts as a New Vending Business

Reginald Richardson, Select Vending Services

Many vending entrepreneurs find booking their first vending machine accounts to be their biggest challenge

After all, you won’t make any money if you don’t have anywhere to put your machines. When you can’t bring in revenue, that keeps you from marketing to reach the customers you need to grow—and it may feel like you’re stuck in a downward spiral.

Reginald Richardson owned a bulk candy business back in 2008, so he knew that landing clients would be his first hurdle to overcome when he decided to open a snack and soda vending business in 2023. That was one of the main reasons he enrolled in the Vending Bootcamp.

In April of 2023, Reginald prepared to start a vending machine business. He took the Vending Bootcamp course as part of this initial learning. By July, he was ready to start marketing and finding locations. He quickly secured 3 small accounts with 2 machines each. This foundation let him start bringing in revenue while he refined his sales strategy.

Reginald landed his first high-value account in September 2023.  A corporate location needed 15 machines and he was ready to provide them.

How did Reginald leap from low-value to high-value locations so quickly? 

Get ready to find out!

Finding the “Easy Button”

Reginald’s goal when he signed up for the vending business blueprint course: 

“I have business experience and I’ve owned a franchise before. I know the easy button is the best way to go.”

He integrated the concepts Adam teaches in the course with his existing knowledge of his local business landscape to create a recipe for success.

The most valuable takeaways from the vending business blueprint included:

  • The door-to-door sales script and sales kit: Worksheets shared in the course
  • The 30-30 rule: Choose locations for the route that are within 30 minutes or 30 miles of the business’ home base
  • The prospect pyramid: Sort potential locations into categories based on their foot traffic and likely revenue potential

Reginald’s Strategy Step-by-Step

Reginald used this foundational knowledge and adapted it to suit his skills and location. The strategy that he developed was simple:

  1. Establish a professional web presence early.
  2. Identify a territory with a high number of high-value accounts.
  3. Prepare a sales packet.
  4. Hone his sales skills with door-to-door calls at locations just outside his 30-30 area
  5. Follow-up consistently with high value accounts

By putting his own spin on the techniques he learned in the Vending Blueprint, Reginald has 21 machines in place, just a few months after starting his business. 

Step 1: Set up a professional website.

Most people today go straight to the internet to research a company before they decide whether to give them business. 

A B2B service-based business like vending machines uses a website like a virtual storefront, giving potential customers a place to check out your services and the value you offer.

A website sends the signal to potential customers that you’re a legitimate and serious business. Secure a domain name that matches the name of your business. When you do this, you’ll also get the ability to set up an email address from that domain, rather than a general email provider like Yahoo or Gmail.

As Reginald says:

“The website is huge. People take you seriously when you get your website and send emails from the address that goes with your business. John Doe at Yahoo or Hotmail just doesn’t look good, especially when you’re trying to get into bigger locations.”

A website also gives you another way to generate leads, and the accounts that come in through your website are often easier to land. You don’t need to convince them that they need vending services because they came to your site looking for help.That’s less selling you have to do.

Reginald discovered another benefit of getting leads from the website: 

“I noticed that when people find you on the web, you don’t get the commission question because they’re looking for your business. Versus when I go knocking on doors, the commission question usually comes up.”

That means you make more profit from website leads than going door-to-door..

A professional website doesn’t need to be elaborate or complicated. The most important parts are:

  1. An explanation of the services you provide
  2. An easy way for people to contact you. 

Use a drag-and-drop editor like Wordpress, Squarespace, or Wix. The templates are a  cost-effective option for founders without coding and design skills.

Hiring a dedicated web professional, though, can be an advantage if you have the budget. Reginald hired an SEO expert to oversee his website and that has driven more traffic to his page than he would have gotten running the site on his own.

Step 2: Identify potential high-traffic locations.

Coming from a background in bulk candy vending gave Reginald a head start on a snack and drink vending business in some ways, but it also meant he had to unlearn some of the things he thought he knew.

Most importantly, he had to redefine his idea of what made a great vending location. As he says, 

“When I had bubble gum machines it was different. The barber shop and stuff was the place to be before with my machines. A lot of places that were on my list I scratched off because they would have been not profitable based on the foot traffic.”

Targeting the right locations makes a world of difference in the profitability of a vending business, and Reginald learned that lesson early. 

He reassessed his local area based on the Prospect Pyramid from Adam’s course. Thanks to that knowledge, he strategically established his home base in an area with lots of warehouses, as well as locations like hotels that are potentially high-value accounts.

One strategy Reginald used to assess the area was a Google Maps parking lot assessment. As he says, 

“You’d be surprised how many locations you’ll find using the parking lot test. Just look at how many spaces they have. So if there aren’t cars in the spots in the one shot on Google that’s okay, but if the business only has 20 spaces, they don’t get a lot of traffic.”

After he identified potential high-value locations with the parking lot test, Reginald did additional research by visiting each location. He suggests taking a tour of the site out of uniform before you go in to make the first sales call. Pay attention to the environment and take notes on anything you notice or conversations you have. 

When you come back for the official sales call, you can reference these notes to give the conversation a personal touch.

Step 3: Prepare a sales packet.

When you’re doing door-to-door sales calls in vending, the goal normally isn’t to close a new account on the spot. 

Often, you’ll start off speaking to a receptionist or other gatekeeper who doesn’t have decision-making authority. The aim for this initial visit is simply to get your foot in the door by letting the company know about the services you offer.

Providing a sales packet to the locations you visit is a great way to introduce the company to your services. Reginald bought folders and personalized them by putting a branded sticker on the cover. His logic:

 “If you leave a business card then they can just throw that in the trash or it can get lost on the desk, so I left them a folder.”

He’d prepare these folders in advance with all of the information accounts may need to answer common questions or overcome common objections. His sales packet includes:

  • A brochure with information about his company and their philosophy
  • A price list
  • A list with pictures of the snacks and drinks his machines sell
  •  A sample contract or proposal

Another tip that he took from Adam’s vending course:

Bring a couple of free items to leave behind with the folder. 

This builds goodwill and makes it more likely your company will stand out in the account’s mind after your initial sales call.

Step 4: Practice and build confidence with smaller accounts just outside your target area.

Reginald was new to door-to-door sales calls before opening his vending business. The Vending Business Blueprint course gave him some strategies and a basic script to start from, but he knew he would need real world practice before he felt confident with his sales approach.

Reginald also knew: You only get one chance to make a first impression. You don’t want to waste the chance to book high-value accounts in your target area before refining your sales pitch.

Reginald’s solution was to practice his first few sales calls just outside his target area. Instead of using the 30-30 rule for vending locations that Adam suggests in the Vending Blueprint, Reginald identified potential accounts within 40 minutes or 40 miles of his home base because:

“I used these locations as guinea pigs to hone my craft, because you have nothing to lose. You don’t really want to stumble and make mistakes. Find out what works and what doesn’t work when you have less pressure. I relate it to football. You start in Pee Wee League before you go to the NFL.”

Of course, there’s still the chance that you’ll end up landing some of these accounts, so you don’t want to go too far out of your target area. Reginald’s approach of adding 10 miles or 10 minutes to your ideal range keeps things in a manageable distance.

Once you’ve secured more accounts that are within your target area, you can always sell these distant locations to other vending businesses.

Reginald practiced his sales pitch often. He went to 10 locations every weekday when he was starting out. His theory was that the more places he talked to, the higher his odds that one would say yes.

Once Reginald got his feet wet with locations just outside his target service area, his next step was to approach smaller accounts in his 30-30 range.

The last step was building up to the high-value accounts within his range that were his ultimate goal. Since he’d already taken the time to refine his sales pitch and grow his brand, he increased his odds of success with these highly desirable, high-value locations.

Step 5: Proactively follow-up with strong leads.

As previously mentioned: You shouldn’t expect to close a high-value vending account the first time you talk to them. A proactive follow-up strategy is necessary to land top-tier locations.

As Reginald says, 

“It’s just like Adam said in the class. ‘The first time you go, you’re not trying to sell—you just let them know you’re here, and have a conversation. Then get contact information and, the main thing, follow up.”

The sales packet does some of this work for you, increasing the odds that the account will reach out to you after the initial introduction. 

That doesn’t mean you just want to sit back and wait for the calls to come. A targeted email campaign is an effective follow-up strategy that keeps your company on the radar of potential future accounts without being annoyingly intrusive.

One last thing to keep in mind: the goal is to land the right accounts, not just as many accounts as possible. As Reginald says,

"Not every deal is a good deal. It's ok to say NO."

It might feel like a loss to turn down an account that you’ve diligently worked to follow up with, but there are times that cutting your losses early is the best move. He remembers one particular account that wanted a very high commission:

“I just told him it wasn’t going to work. Ironically, he called me back a few weeks later and he went down some, still not where I wanted but at least I know I got them on the line. When they want too high of a commission, it’s going to be a nickel-and-dime situation. Once you get the machine in, it’s always going to be something. So just use your judgment.”

Remember that the follow-up process is a two-way street. It’s not always obvious from the start when an account is a good match, and when it isn’t. Building your business doesn’t mean saying “yes” to every lead that reaches out to you. Choose the right accounts to build a better foundation and higher profitability in the future.

Now You Try It!

One of the great things about the vending industry is that anyone can succeed. It doesn’t cost a ton to get started and you don’t need any special skills or knowledge to do it.

All it really takes is a commitment to putting in the work. Reginald’s parting advice for other vending entrepreneurs is to rise above the fear of rejection when going for accounts. As he says:

“Just accept that you’re going to get nos and you’re going to get rejection. That’s part of the process. But if you’re going to five places a day, five days a week, somebody’s going to say yes. You just have to get up and don’t worry about the nos. Start in a place that you don’t really want to be at anyway, then once you get good, go to the big league.”

Are you ready to put this advice in action? Sign up for the Vending Bootcamp to learn all of these strategies Reginald put to use growing his new business!

Reginald Richardson

Select Vending Services

The Vending Bootcamp

“Just one tip made all the difference in my business.”

From the course, I learned who to contact in a location. That itself made all the difference in my business.

I was pretty much just starting out when I enrolled in the Vending Bootcamp program. I joined the course because I’m super passionate about passive income. Vending Bootcamp gave me the chance to learn from an industry expert who is where I want to be. This course did a great job of that! I really appreciate the live calls on Tuesdays. Getting to talk to a pro directly is easily my favorite part!

I learned tips about how to locate the right person to land a location; I stopped looking for the owner or manager. After I learned how to identify and find the right people, it was much easier follow up! In just two months, I saw the difference right away.

Never give up! Stay consistent. Keep following up. Make more, consistent in-person contacts than over the phone. Reach out to other vendors who sell or refurbish machines to build good connections to get the right machines to enhance your profit margin. It will help a lot!

Riley Davenport

JackBox Vending LLC

Riley Davenport

JackBox Vending LLC

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