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Vending Business Information, Issue #068
November 22, 2015

Growing Your Business Through Innovation

Business as usual will destroy a company. Operators of vending, coffee service and snack box companies must keep an open mind and be analyzing new strategies all the time. Programs that have worked for a company are going to need updating so that a company doesn’t become stuck in a rut watching sales dwindle.

Constantly evolving is a practice that many successful operators have adopted and it is the thing that keeps them ahead of the competition. We are going to discuss three areas an operator should be looking to grow their business.

Innovate-By Looking At Your Customers Needs

Service is at the center of all vending, coffee service and snack box companies. Looking at your customers needs is a great way to improve your service it is a must in our business. You need to become an innovator leading the way if you are going to stay ahead of the competition.

Giving the customer what they want sounds so simple but it takes planning to pull it off in so many cases. Many of the larger vending companies have a set planagram for each of their machines. The coffee service and snack box operators are the same, in many cases they will offer the same items to their customers because it is the easy thing to do. The driver is not to vary from these planagrams. It makes life easy for the warehouse operator but does not always meet the needs of the customer.

This is an area that a smaller operator can set himself/herself apart from the large companies cookie cutter program that fits all their customers. Giving the customer a chance to customize their machines, coffee service or snack box can give a company the chance to grow that they are looking for.

Innovate-Looking At The Competition

When you or your sales staff are prospecting for new accounts a rejection if handled correctly can turn into an asset for your company. Many times after a person turns you down they will answer a few questions about your competition. Asking a few questions can lead to you being able to top the competition with a commitment to excel and this will always pay off with loyal customers.

If you have identified a weakness in your competition like maybe they don’t have set route days the customer can count on them being there. You can implement set days into your companies routes giving you a leg up on your competition. This can work two ways. An operator can look at his or her own company to see where the competition might exploit one of your own weaknesses. This leads to the 3rd and last way an operator can look to innovate.

Innovate-Look From Within

A competitive advantage is something that all companies are looking for. Many times a company that seems to have that advantage is a company that has employees that are working with a passion for what they are doing. It is that passion that drives employees to go the step above your competition and that is what makes loyal customers.

If you and your company seem to have lost that passion it is probably time to step back and remember the passion you had when starting your business. Once you find that passion again don’t be afraid to let your employees and your customers see it as you go forward. Just seeing you with that passion again will ignite the passion in your employees. It also gets customers excited about your company again.

Even small changes can lead to growth!

Remember whether business is good or bad it is easy to get complacent. Change will always involve uncertainties but without change your company will become stale and whither on the vine. As a operator you should always be looking to drive your company forward by looking at your customers wants, competing service offerings and most of all from within your own organization.

I would like you to meet Frost a good friend of mine that has agreed to do vending consulting for the many of you that have asked.

He has managed an 11 million dollar operation.

He has been the head of the Missouri vending association.

He has 30 years of experience in vending management, leadership, routes, training, planning, supervision, office, finance, sales and client relations.

For those of you that are established Frost also does Account and Route Profit Analysis. Visit our consulting page for more information.

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