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Vending Business Information, Issue #060 -- My first two weeks in my new start up business.
October 14, 2012

My First Two Weeks In My New Start Up Business

A week and a day ago I turned in my resignation as the Iowa area manager for one of the larger vending companies in America. Three years before that I sold my full line vending company to my employer. 14 years of listening to customers complain and threaten to throw me out if I didn't do what they wanted was enough.

Before going into the full line vending business I was a snack box operator for 10 years. I'm back in the snack box business and enjoying setting up new accounts. My goal at this time is to have 4 routes with 60 accounts on each route.

I will run a route one day then the next day I will count the money and fill the boxes for the next days route. This will have me coming back to each account every 8 working days which allows them to eat enough product to make it worth my while. I'm charging $1.25 per item which makes me the highest price snack box operator in Eastern Iowa.

I started two of the routes this week with 10 boxes placed on each. Next week I will start 2 more routes with 10 boxes on each route. Friday I will start bringing the first boxes back with money in them. When I hit 240 accounts in a few weeks then it will be time to decide if I want to keep growing or not.

Some people think I'm crazy leaving my job with the vending company. I've always told my wife at my funeral I want the song played I Did It My way by Frank Sinatra.

Day Three

I went out Monday and placed 10 more boxes. Started after my workout out at the gym. 6:30 is a bit to early but I had my first box placed minutes before 8:00 am. Went about an hour without a sale after placing the first box then hit 3 in a row.

I had some nice visits with some of the new accounts and with some that didn't take a box. I was done placing the 10 boxes shortly before noon. I'm enjoying my work once again. I have 30 accounts now. Today I will be in the warehouse filling boxes and getting ready for Wednesday and Friday which are the 2 sales days left in this week.

Thanks to all of you that have had encourging words. If your new at this business block off a section of town and work every door it pays dividend when you do. Don't worry about going an hour or even 2 without a sale as things always even out in the end. Watch what works as your selling and use the things that work over and over again.

The Fourth Day

Wednesday was the start of my 4th and final route for the time being. It started out like a dream I had 2 new accounts before 8:00am and by 10:30 I had 9 new accounts. Only 1 more to go and it took me till 11:30 to place the last box.

I had a nice visit with the last account I placed and I didn't get headed for home til 12:10pm. I now have 40 accounts and will go back to the first boxes I placed Friday the 12th. These first 10 boxes I placed will have been out for 8 working days. This is enough time to have a good return on them.

Thursday (today) was the last paycheck from my previous employer and Friday is the first day money starts coming in from my new routes. I started planning in Febuary for this day. I think it was Hannable on the TV show (help me with the name of the show) that said its nice when a plan comes together.

The Fifth Day

I took off Friday with 20 boxes, 10 to service the 10 existing customers and 10 for new accounts. I had 2 new accounts early. As I was running the existing accounts one told me they had changed their mind and wanted me to take my box out. They had 2 boxes from a competitor and they only charge $1.00 per item.

Now to stay even with my goals I needed to place 11 boxes. As my day progessed I had 2 of my existing accounts that where closed. I have not counted the money yet but it looks as though 2 of the 8 boxes I brought back didn't do much. The other 6 look normal to heavy use.

I do think I'm getting some resistance to the $1.25 price but still think it will pan out to be a good move.

I placed 11 new accounts but still had 2 full boxes because of missing 2 accounts and it was about 1:30pm. I decided to use the 2 boxes and went looking for more new accounts. At about 2:30 I had picked up a couple more accounts and now I have 52 accounts on my 4 routes.

I'm having a good time walking into so many businesses. Every morning at the YMCA gym there is a gentleman that comes in shortly after my wife and I get there. Until Friday I had no idea who he was. I walked into the Sterzings Potato Chips factory office and there he was. He and a freind bought the company a couple years ago.

He come over and listened to my presentation and said no he wasn't interested. We talked for a while and I passed a message on that a piano performer in Jamaica had asked me to give a freind of his that had married into the Sterzing family over 30 years ago.

It is truly a small world with many enjoyable people in it. Every day that goes by reconfirms that leaving my former employer was the right move for me.

Summary

For those of you that are just starting a snack box business this is probably something you have all ready experienced. For those of you thinking about starting a snack box business this is what you can expect to see if there is competion in your area.

There are many places that are untouched and if you are in one of those areas you can expect an easier time of placing boxes.

Dennis

Honor Snack Box Forum

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