When it comes to starting a vending machine business these days you will be competing against numerous other players to get your machines into the best locations. One great way to convince ‘decision makers’ to allow you to place your vending machines on their premises is to associate your company with a charity. This can often allow you to make greater profits than if you were to give them a commission and it allows you to do some good in the community as well.
Let’s take a look at how your business can benefit by working with vending machine charity programs. Starting a vending machine business with a charity partner may just give you the edge that you need to win over ‘decision makers’.
Starting a Vending Machine Business with a Charity Partner
It is quite common for vending business operators to partner with charities. This makes your service more marketable and can help you to win locations and improve sales. If the donations are coming directly from your vending business then they are also tax deductible.
Of course you will still be running a business and are allowed to profit. Only a share of your profits will be going to a charitable organization.
It is not hard to find charities to work with these days and some of them actively market themselves to vending machine operators. Some reputable charities will let you officially represent them for as little as a few dollars per machine, per month.
How Much Goes to Charity?
The key to leveraging the charity approach is to give the ‘decision maker’ the impression that having your machine at their location will really make a difference and raise a decent amount of money. In reality though the donation that you are giving from the machine that is on their premises will most probably be quite small.
Vending machine charity is a win-win situation for everyone involved but to make your business model work it is best to make people feel like they are giving a lot when in fact they are giving just a little.
Most ‘decision makers’ will be skeptical until they see official documentation. Once they realize that you are a legitimate representative they will sometimes want to know exactly how much of your profits are going to the charity in question.
There are many ways of calculating the contribution that your business will give to your charity partner. It is common to donate a fixed rate per machine or to pay a percentage of machine takings. A fair percentage to give to charity and still maintain profitability for your business would be around 10% to 15%.
Many vendors come out and state clearly to clients that they give a percentage of machine takings to charity if this is indeed the case. However a contribution of just a small percentage can sound stingy to some people so there are ways to make your contribution sound more impressive.
A better way is to let ‘decision makers’ know your ‘total contribution’ to the charity that your business is associated with. You can say that over the last year you have given over $5000 to the charity in question. In some cases you will be able to get a letter that backs up your statement. If you haven’t been in business long you can always say that your goal is to give $5000 to the charity in the next year and to achieve that you need to place a certain number of machines.
The fact is that each location won’t be contributing much to the charity after you allow for your costs and your profit. If you allow the ‘decision maker’ to do a mental calculation of the small amount that their location will be contributing you may be giving them an excuse to back out of the deal. Rather you should highlight the fact that their contribution along with all your other locations adds up to a considerable donation every month or year.
Other Tips for Vending in the Name of Charity
You should carry official charity paperwork at all times as well as wear their badges if they have them. When you hand over information about your machines you should also give prospects a brochure from your charity. Some venders also go as far as including the charity that they work with in their vending business name.
Be sure to not misrepresent yourself. If questioned on the subject you should make it clear that you are only working with the charitable organization and are not directly hired by them.
Choose a cause that you are genuinely interested in and concerned about and then you will be able to talk freely on the topic and your passion will be more likely to come across in the conversation. Choose a local charity if there is something that is appropriate as people are likely to be more concerned about supporting local causes.
Once you have secured a location, make sure that you place the charity’s stickers or other branding on your machines in a way that can enhance sales without obscuring the machines vending face.
Many vendors have done extremely well by working with charities. If you go about vending machine charity correctly and with integrity you will find it easier to win locations and thus your vending business will be more profitable. Starting a vending machine business by working closely with charities can be a win win situation for everyone involved if you go about it the right way.