5 Tips On Building a Successful Side Hustle From a 35-Year-Old Entrepreneur
Five Tips For a Successful Side Hustle
Marcus Gram, the founder and owner of Joyner Vending, made over $500,000 in sales from his vending machine business in 2022. Five years ago, he lived in New York and made $17 an hour in a managerial position. As per CNBC Make It, Gram started his "side hustle" in 2018 with $10,000 of his savings. He used the money to pay for a snack machine, a beverage machine, two credit card readers, food, drinks and delivery fees. While in the first year, he made only $5,000, in 2021, his sales hit the $300,000 mark and reached up to $500,000 the following year.
Here are five business tips on building a successful business, shared by Gram.
1. Embrace new types of clients
Gram, 35, advises that businesses should explore new avenues and take on clients in fields outside their comfort zone. He shares with CNBC that his company mostly worked with schools in the past, but they recently started providing services to offices as well. This majorly affected their bottom line. The employees were offered products at a discounted price on the vending machine which guaranteed them thousands of dollars in monthly sales.
2. Become easy to find online
According to Gram, good online visibility helped his business get more exposure to potential clients and leads who were interested in working with them. He spent $2,000 to update his company’s website, which included changing the layout and investing in search engine optimization. With this, the company saw an uptick in leads with roughly five new businesses approaching them for business. Their clients were able to learn more about their services like, flexibility in fulfilling their stock, maintenance issue response within 24 hours, and QR codes on the machines which allow people to get refunds quickly in case they lost money, all of which helped them stand out.
3. As the business expands, hire more people
Gram says that his business, which he started on his own, expanded so quickly that he had to fly out to other states to re-stock machines. He says that in 2022, his company started working with offices in different states. These offices are open 24/7, with anywhere from 400 to 700 employees. Thus some of these machines needed restocking every week and one account needed restocking twice a day. Thus, to avoid flying to different states, he established stable staffing and hired 10 staff members for better management.
4. Learn from your mistakes
Gram shares that his company had one misstep, where they placed a ton of machines in two colleges in Pennsylvania, thinking it would be a great opportunity. However, after spending about $90,000 on 20 new machines, card readers, products, and staffing, it turned out to be a bad investment. They had to remove the machines five months later, as it would have taken five years for them to break even. Thus, he advises to not be afraid of accepting mistakes and to move quickly so that the investment can be used for better options.
5. Aim higher and give back
Gram has set a goal of $1 million in sales for 2023, which he says is a long shot, but he believes one should always aim higher. He also says that one of his top priorities for this year was obtaining vending locations for each of his employees to help them start their own vending machine business. He also wants to help his mother with her vending machine which he gifted her in the hometown of Rochester, New York.
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