Vending Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Vending Franchises.
Vending franchises UK present ideal starting points for franchisees looking to run a business on a budget. Here’s what you need to know before buying a vending franchise UK.
At franchise4u, we get dozens of enquiries every week from would-be franchisees. These include anything and everything franchising – from raising money to buy a franchise to selling a franchise profitably. Among these, one question stands out almost inevitably – What’s the best and cheapest way to get into a franchise business?
As is the case with most franchising topics, there are no straightforward and universal answers here. However, if you’re on a tight budget and you don’t really have any experience of managing a business, buying a vending franchise UK can be an option worth considering seriously.
In this post, we’ll discuss why vending machine businesses carry a lot more weight than meets the eye, how much it costs to buy a vending franchise UK and what potential risks there are to such investments.
Buying A Vending Franchise UK? Invest Some Time In Learning About The Industry!
Our series of franchising blogs covers nearly every major franchising industry and sector in the UK. If you have been following this series, you’d know that we always encourage would-be franchisees to educate themselves about the industry they want to operate in.
In case of vending machine franchises UK, this can be a challenging task, simply because there’s little information available that can help us gauge the size of the industry, average profitability and market penetration. So, we’ll do our best to draw actionable conclusions by analysing some interesting industry trends.
Looking Eastward – How Japan’s Vending Industry Is An Exemplary Study For UK Businesses
Before we get around to discussing how the market and the industry shape up for a typical vending franchise UK, let’s take a quick detour to the Japanese vending machine industry.
Vending machines are, quite literally, everywhere in Japan – from airports and train stations to public restrooms and libraries. For the 127 million strong Japanese population, there are close to 6 million vending machines in operation. In other words, there’s nearly one vending machine for every 25 citizens – the highest ratio of such kind in the world.
Vending machine franchises UK have a lot of heart to take from this fact. Vending machines are already projected by many experts as the next mainstream retail disruptor – one that’s all set to make redundant many of our shopping and consumption habits.
The State Of The UK Vending Industry
The history of the UK vending industry is as old as the very concept of automated vending – after all it was in London that the first ever coin operated vending machine was installed. Despite the huge potential for growth, one cannot afford to miss the fact that the UK vending industry is still among the largest of its kind in the world.
Here are some relevant numbers in this regard:
- The UK vending industry generates annual turnover in excess of £1.6 bn.
- Over 6 billion products – across categories and brands – are dispensed each year by vending machines installed across the UK.
- There are approximately 360,000 vending machines in operation.
- In other words, there’s 1 vending machine for every 140 UK residents. When we compare this ratio to the 1:25 ratio posed by the Japanese vending industry, the huge room for growth, innovation and franchising becomes apparent.
- The UK vending industry is thought to employ 15,000 people.
- Britons love getting their daily fix of tea and coffee from vending machines. Each year, vending machines across the UK dispense 2 million cups of tea and 8 million cups of coffee.
These numbers adequately convey the fact that running a vending machine franchise UK ensures that you won’t be swimming against market currents. In 2017 alone, the UK vending machine businesses imported vending machines worth close to £70 mn. Despite a slight drop from the previous year, this shows that more and more businesses are looking to expand their vending operations.
As a vending franchise UK, this might well be the biggest positive to take from this discussion.
Why UK Vending Machine Franchises Are Good Entry Points
A typical vending franchise UK combines multiple reasons in a unique mix that no other franchise business can offer. Here are some points that make UK vending franchises great entry points for franchisees:
1. The Entry Costs Aren’t Prohibitive.
Vending machine franchises UK make for some of the most affordable franchise opportunities out there. Considering the fact that you don’t have to shell out thousands of pounds (and raise matching finance) just to pay for franchise fees is a fact franchisees cannot underestimate.
2. Running A Vending Franchise UK Is Relatively Easier.
Most franchisors – across industries and sectors – assert that you don’t need to possess any industry experience to get started. At the same time, it’s a well-known fact that franchisors prefer to work with franchisees who can bring on board some prior experience in business management and sales.
As far as vending franchises UK go, this isn’t the case. Running a vending machine business is a relatively easier task, even for rookies. Here’s more about what it takes to ensure that the franchisor chooses you.
3. The Scalability Is Usually Linear.
Businesses with exponential scalability usually turn into giant corporations. Vending machine franchises don’t have this luxury because their scalability is linear – the more machines you have, the more business you get. There are no other ways of growing.
This, however, is best considered as an advantage, and not a handicap. For franchisees, linear scalability means a simpler, easier way of managing things, without worrying too much about marketing or pricing.
4. You Don’t Need To Work Five Days A Week.
This is another advantage of running a vending machine franchise UK.
Routine business operations include sourcing items, restocking/maintaining machines and collecting sales proceeds. Additionally, you’ll need to spend a few hours every week making phone calls or meeting people in order to finalise new locations. That’s pretty much all about it. It’s possible to take good care of your vending machine business by investing no more than a few hours every week.
5. Vending Machines Franchises UK Can Be Run From Your Home.
Running home-based franchises saves franchisees a great deal of money. UK vending franchises are just about the best candidates for this.
Most franchise units operate 5-10 vending machines. The inventory required for these can be easily stored in your garage. You can also hire third-party stockists (if the franchisor allows) to deliver inventory on an as-needed basis.
How Much Does A Vending Franchise UK Cost?
Buying a vending franchise UK will never require you to raise third party finance or put all of your savings on the line.
Our survey indicates that a typical vending machine franchise UK requires franchisees to invest less than £5,000 in minimum initial investment. Considering the deposits for locations and inventory, it’s possible to get your vending machine business off the ground with a working capital of £10,000.
How To Find Lucrative Locations For Your Vending Machine Franchise UK?
While discussing retail franchises UK, we mentioned that much of the success of such businesses is directly proportional to how good a location they operate from is.
This hold even truer for vending machine franchises UK. If you set up your vending machine in a location that receives high footfall, you can afford to take profits for granted.
The question is – what makes a good vending location?
Here are some factors to consider:
- The location you finalise has to be a public place frequented by your target demographic. If you’re setting up a vending machine for soft toys, make sure you set it up in a large mall that many families visit regularly. A vending machine for tea and coffee works fabulously well in a busy business district or at a train station.
- It has to be affordable. This is where your business plan kicks in. There’s no point of spending a ton of money on rent for a machine that generates only a fraction in return.
- The visibility needs to be high. Corner spots, entry/exit spots and proximity to benches/seating arrangements make for great vending locations.
Top Vending Machine Franchises UK
We have rounded up some of the most popular vending franchises UK here to give our readers a good idea of the costs and features:
- Minimum Initial Investment: £2,995 (plus VAT)
- USP: Leading tower franchise in Europe
- Over 300 franchise units in operation
- Ideal home-based franchising opportunity
- Low entry cost
- No recurring fees
- 2-year guarantee on new equipment
- Maintenance and technical support
- Extensive network of locations and vendors
- Full training provided
- Minimum Initial Investment: £1,666 (plus VAT)
- USP: Confectionary vending
- Get started on a budget
- Can be run from home
- Complete management and maintenance support
- Full training on offer
- Minimum Initial Investment: £9,950 (plus VAT)
- USP: Sweets vending
- Reputable brand name
- Full training provided
- Initial stock
- State of the art vending machines
- Customised stationary and admin support
- Minimum Initial Investment: £2,250 (plus VAT)
- USP: UK’s leading vending machine business
- Very low entry costs
- 5-year warranty on all new machines
- Technical and admin support
- Full training
- Agreed-on sites
- Free delivery
UK Vending Franchises – The Takeaways
- Vending machine franchises UK are perfect for you if you are looking for an investment opportunity that’s light on capital and doesn’t require your full attention.
- You can run a vending franchise UK from you home – even part time.
- Most franchisees can get started without external funding.
- Get your business up and running within a week.
- Choose your locations carefully.