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Using a Vending Machine: Follow 5 Simple Rules for Success

The concept of healthy vending is not new, but success in business is. Most sales people always think that selling healthy products will fail because they are doing it the wrong way. In order to be successful in the health care business, it is necessary to follow these 5 simple rules.

#1 Health systems should stand out

It is impossible to distinguish yourself as a food supplier if you operate machines that look like traditional food products. If your machine doesn’t stand out in the crowd and shout “I’m different!” you will not attract healthy consumers. Healthy consumers will not bother to look in the traditional vending machine because they know that there is nothing for sale they will eat. If your machine doesn’t look new, clean, and hi-tech, the health care people you’re targeting won’t give your machine a second look. Spending money on a new high-tech vending machine, it will cost a little more to get up and running but it’s the only way you can succeed.

#2 Don’t combine healthy snacks/drinks with junk food

Hungry people have no self-control. Hungry people may walk up to the vending machine wanting to eat a bag of pita chips, but when they get there and see a Twix bar staring them in the face their stomach gets the best of them . There is a reason that billions of dollars are spent each year on the food industry, it works! Television commercials have led us to believe that these products make us happy. 15 minutes after the candy or chips are gone, customers have regrets, and healthy products are still your machine. Mixing junk food with healthy food will keep your eyes healthy. Let them separate for great success!

#3 Marketing Health Is About Knowledge

Just like a traditional health food store, it’s all about creating a higher quality, better experience for your customers. Think of your machine as an “automated health food store” instead of a vending machine. Think outside the box when creating your mix and don’t be afraid to experiment with products that haven’t traditionally been sold. Think about your customers’ needs and wants and create a plan to provide these.

Example #1 If your machine is in the gym, think about the people in the gym and their needs: workout towels, water bottles, Mp3 players, protein drinks, Nike+ products, tablet back, etc. All of these items can and will be sold to people in the gym.

Example #2 If you are sitting in the hospital, you will hear one of two ways; whether you are sick or you worry about being sick because you are surrounded by sick people. What to sell to people who are sick or worried about illness? Try putting an anti-bacterial and anti-bacterial solution in your machine. Think about what products will provide value to your customers, and then offer those products!

#4 Find the Right Location

Health Vending Machines will not be complete everywhere, so do not place your machine in a place that has been completed. A children’s play area that already has a candy machine is an example of a high traffic area that may not be a good place for a vending machine. Children armed with quarters may not be convinced to make healthy choices when they are surrounded by machines that dispense candy and toys. Some good places for health food stores include schools, gyms, health care companies, and hospitals. The key is to put your machine in high traffic areas with health conscious people. Use common sense and identify your customers. Your local dive bar might not be a great place to push your snacks and drinks!

#5 Develop Creative Healthy Vending Solutions

Because health is something that will improve everything in your life, be sure to create plans to encourage people to make good choices. It has been proven time and time again, healthy employees are more productive and cost less to insure than unhealthy employees, so convince your company business to help promote healthy products to increase. This can be part of an overall health plan that integrates healthy vending machines with nutrition seminars and yoga workouts. The sky is the limit, any health plan you can develop as an operator will help your voice to the top spot. If you plan to put the machines on campus, consider offering a youth business program that allows students to run the machines themselves. This is the best of both worlds, healthy students and learning how to do business, and as a business owner you benefit from the school contract. Creativity makes money!

Follow these simple rules and you’ll be on your way to success in the health food business!

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