Many look for ways to decrease their spending or increase the amount they make when money is tight. If you choose to go with the latter, you’re likely in the market for a side hustle that won’t take up much of your time while bringing in a solid income.
Many turn towards owning an ice vending machine or two. These machines make a good amount of money and require far less maintenance than regular vending machines. Here are some things about ice vending we think you should know before jumping into the business.
The Location You Choose is Critical
Let’s cover the most important topic of ice vending first. The location you choose for your machine will either make or break your new business. People want your ice machine to be convenient. No one wants to drive halfway across town to buy ice. Therefore, creating convenience means establishing your ice machine as close to residential zones or in areas people frequent as possible.
While this sounds easy in theory, the main challenge arises when there’s already some competition in your town. Some of the best locations might already have ice machines. That’s why you need to get creative. Try finding clever locations for your ice vending machines to maintain a competitive edge.
Water Vending is Also an Option
Even though the demand for ice is pretty high, there’s also a decently-sized market of consumers looking for water vending services. Fortunately, many ice vending machines can offer water vending as an add-on since these machines need fresh water to create the ice. Choosing this option is a great way to increase your potential sales without purchasing additional machines.
Requires Some Maintenance
Even if your ice vending machines don’t need the same maintenance requirements at the same frequency as snack and other vending machines, that doesn’t mean they’re completely self-reliant. You’ll need to check on each of your machines about once a week to ensure everything is up and running. This weekly maintenance becomes even more important if your machine takes cash since you’ll need to empty it.
Despite all of that, the work-to-profit ratio will still be in your favor. Managing these machines will take very little time out of your schedule, making it completely feasible to keep a full-time job while doing this on the side.
The Upfront Cost Will Be High
Finally, one crucial thing to know before getting into the ice vending business is that the upfront cost of buying one of these machines can be quite high. That means you’ll need to set aside some funds for your initial purchase. Also, be sure to read the fine print. Some companies will charge you a monthly fee to own the machine. Fortunately, not all ice vending machine providers require this payment.
In the end, you will see a healthy ROI for the initial cost of the machine. However, you must ensure you can afford it financially, especially if you’re looking into this side hustle to bolster your bank account.