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Writing a business plan?

Vending machines are no longer used to dispose of snacks. From frozen foods to stationery items, you name it and there might be a vending machine selling that product.

And if you want a business that requires less time and is profitable, then a vending machine business might be your thing. It also allows you to get creative with products and packaging.

All you need is a product idea, a little bit of research, and a vending machine business plan to help you get started. Here we’ll give you an insight into the vending machine industry and a few tips to help you set up your business better.

Before you start writing your business plan for your Vending Machine Business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of Food, Beverage & Restaurant Business Plans templates.

Our sample Vending Machine Business Plan can help you with writing a well-rounded business plan for your business. It can act as a guide and prevent you from getting stuck in a certain section for too long.

Industry Overview

The global vending machine industry stood at a market value of 30.30 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years too.

Vending machines are super convenient and accessible. Hence, their popularity is increasing amongst the working class who always have less time on their hands and want to grab a quick snack or any other merchandise.

Also, as the vending machines require much less space compared to traditional convenience stores they are perfect for offices and other commercial settings. Also, the cashless ways of paying grow vending machines are bound to get more popular as they make such transactions easier.

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Things to Consider Before Writing a Vending Machine Business Plan

Pick your niche

As there are so many options to choose from, it is essential to pick a range of products that you want to sell through your vending machine. You can pick a niche based on a combination of factors including your interests, your area of expertise, and the profitability of the niche. Deciding your niche beforehand comes in handy while doing your research and picking a location as well as getting an idea about your target audience.

Select a good location

A good location is another important factor that influences the success of your business. A vending machine needs to be placed strategically in a way that is accessible and convenient to use for people in a hurry. Also, most of the purchases from a vending machine are impulse buying decisions. You should keep that in mind while deciding a location for your vending machine so the location works in your favor.

Figure out good packaging and storage techniques

Good packaging that makes things easy to pick and carry on the go is one of the best things about a vending machine. Hence, good packaging can make your machine popular and good storage ensures that the items don’t get damaged. Hence, preventing unnecessary losses to your business.

Figure out security measures

Although there are a lot of good things about a vending machine, unfortunately, it is also prone to theft and damage. But taking proper security measures can help you avoid these hassles as much as possible. Hence, figuring out the security requirements before getting started is essential.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

With people returning to work post the COVID-19 pandemic and contactless services still being in vogue a vending machine business can be an exceptionally profitable one if done right.

Not just that vending machines are easy to use, but they come with a variety of product niches and help you avoid the hassle of showing product after product to customers, who’ll have every option displayed right in front of them with a vending machine.

And though refilling a vending machine and protecting it from theft and vandalism might seem like a boring job, a vending machine business is much more than that.

From vending machines that offer products ranging from granola bars to office supplies to the ones that take orders from apps through artificial intelligence, the vending machine business has gone through a massive change over the decades.

But, one more interesting fact is that there are over 5 million vending machines in the US alone, and if you want to last in such a competitive market you need a proper business plan. So, read on to find out how to write a vending machine business plan.

Why do You Need a Vending Machine Business Plan?

Before we discuss how to write a business plan, it is only fair to tell you about its advantages first. A vending machine business plan will help you decide your product niche, and the location where you can find your targeted customer, it helps you manage your finances, devise a marketing and pricing strategy, and run the operations of your business smoothly.

It also helps you design your brand image, decide on the scale of expansion and become more cost-effective as a business. Thus, a well-written business plan can serve a variety of purposes and help the different facets of your business is flourishing.

This brings us to the central topic of this blog, how to write a vending machine business plan.

How to Write a Vending Machine Business Plan?

Even though you can write a business plan from scratch yourself it is always a good idea to get a little expert help before you start writing one. You can either use a pre-designed template or an online business plan software.

For, writing a good plan always remember, that a plan should be clear, realistic, and customizable. It should not be a dead letter, but a living document that grows with the industry.

Here are a few sections that you can include in your business plan to make it a well-rounded one.

Vending Machine Business Plan Outline

This is the standard business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Executive Summary
    • Mission statement
    • Vision Statement
    • Customer Focus
    • Success Factors
    • Financial Summary
      • 3 Year profit forecast
  • Company Summary
    • History
    • Startup Summary
      • Startup cost
  • Products and services
  • Market Analysis
    • Industry Analysis
    • Market Trends
    • Market Segmentation
      • Working Community
      • Residential Community
      • Passers-by
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Strategy & Implementations
    • Advertising Strategy
    • Pricing Strategy
  • Financial Plan
    • Important Assumptions
    • Brake-even Analysis
    • Projected Profit and Loss
      • Profit Yearly
      • Gross Margin Yearly
    • Projected Cash Flow
    • Projected Balance Sheet
    • Business Ratios

What to Include in a Vending Machine Business Plan?

Although your vending machine business plan would keep growing alongside your business there are certain key areas that you must include in your business plan.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary section sums up your vision, business idea, and strategy. It consists of a summary of all the sections of your business. It is important to write a good executive summary, especially if you are expecting to get funded.

As a vending machine business, you should include your range of products and target audience, preferable locations, financial summary, and pricing strategy in your executive summary.

2. Company Summary

In this section you will summarise all that your company stands for:


  • Your target audience, whether they are kids, students, working professionals, or tourists.
  • Your niche, if it is beverages, packaged food, health food, stationery, or some other products.
  • Your preferred location( select this as per your target audience)

All in all this section defines what your company is.

3. Competitive Analysis

In this section, you should include everything you can find about your direct and indirect competitors. You should note down points that are working for them, strategies that have led to their failure, and what makes you stand out from your competition. Apart from that, you should also see if you are standing out in a positive or negative light.

4. SWOT Analysis

SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analysis is an analytical framework generally used to evaluate any business’ competitive position in the market.

While conducting a SWOT analysis, it is important to initially focus on the market’s threats and opportunities. This will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of how your business’s strengths and weaknesses relate to market opportunities and threats.

Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis prepared for a vending machine business using Upmetrics:

SWOT analysis for vending machine business

5. Financial Plan

A financial plan is essential for the success of a vending machine business plan. It helps you decide whether you need funding or not, which are the most viable options for being funded, how much should you spend initially, when your business is ready for an expansion, etc. Therefore, a financial plan is exceptionally helpful and should be included in your business plan.

To create automatic financials for your own business plan, we recommend Upmetrics. Create your own business plan.

Download a sample vending machine business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free vending machine business plan pdf to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your vending machine business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

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Write your business plan with Upmetrics

A business plan software like Upmetrics is the best way to draft your business plan. This incredible tool comes with step-by-step instructions, customizable templates, and 400+ sample business plans to help you get started.

So, whether starting a new vending machine business or planning to grow an existing one, Upmetrics is the tool you need to create a business plan.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!

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About the Author


Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more


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