How to Start a Vending Business in the UK

vendor on stadium

Retail stores, airports, cinemas, movies theaters, schools, supermarkets, arcades, recreation centers and office buildings have one thing in common: They provide an ideal environment for running a vending business! Whether you want to sell products using a mobile or stationary automatic vending machine, chances of making decent profits are high. According to the Automatic Vending Association, the UK’s vending industry sells about 6 billion items annually.

So, how do you start a vending business? Read on to find out.

1. Identify Your Products

The products you choose to sell can make a huge difference as to how successful your business becomes. You should identify products that can easily fly off the shelves or vending machines. Among the products you could sell include food products, soft drinks, domestic electronic equipment, works of art or newspapers. It is also possible to sell many related products.

2. Identify Your Market

It is essential to identify your market based on the products you wish to sell. For example, aspiring vendors looking to sell snacks should focus areas frequented by adults and college students, such as sporting events and exhibitions. If you are planning to start an automatic vending business, you should also decide on the most appropriate locations. Search for regions that attract lots of customers. For instance, areas such as car dealerships, salons, hospital waiting areas and auto repair shops can be the best options. You can also consider large office complexes that do not have any vending machines.

3. Nurture Your Skills

The next step to start a vending business is to identify whether you possess a good sense of business, along with the right skills. Do you have the ability to ability to stay abreast of dynamics in the local and national vending industry? Having a good sense of business also means you can easily spot opportunities and grab them. Focus on mastering customer-service, interpersonal, communication and math skills.

4. Find a Supplier

A reliable supplier is key to success in the vending industry. Imagine how unprofitable it can be to run out of stock when the business is beginning to gain a solid customer base! The supplier depends on the products you want to sell. If you will be selling food products, you can look for a wholesaler. Some vendors also produce the items they sell, such as flowers and art items. If you belong to this category, also ensure your supply is reliable.

4. Obtain a Street Vending License

Although vendors in the UK are generally required to obtain a business license, the requirements for obtaining it may vary in various local councils. While many councils provide a street trading license, others provide a peddler’s certificate. Regardless of this, you must pay a licensing or certification fee.

5. Procure Vending Machines

Which type of vending business do you want to run? If you want to go mobile, you should purchase a mobile vending machine that suits your financial ability. Vending machines range from small to bulky and mechanical to electronic. Automatic vending machines are also available. For more information on vending machines, visit Vendtrade and Intelligent Vending.

6. Grow Your Business

After getting started and gaining some experience, it is important to look for opportunities to expand your business. You can purchase more machines and hire workers to make the sales, and make bids to organizations that offer supply contracts to vendors.

Finally, keep your products clean and fresh (food products), and renew your business license to avoid fines. Maintain a regular work schedule, too.

As your customer base grows, so will your business! To your success!