You could hear the roar of the engines on the Daytona International Speedway as my friend NASCAR Superstar Benny Parsons and I were having lunch across the street. Trying to enjoy our meal was difficult to say the least as fans kept interrupting our conversation asking for autographs from Benny. However, Benny told me that it was a small price to pay for a past Daytona 500 winner, NASCAR series champion, a member of the NASCAR Hall Of Fame and one of the 50 best stock car race drivers in NASCAR history. Also a lead color commentator for ESPN racing broadcasts after retiring from racing.
His success clear, I asked him if there was any one thing he could attribute to his career in racing. His answer was that while a number of things go together to achieve that level of success, the one thing that stood out in his mind was what he called his success calendar.
A year of plans
I asked Benny to share what he meant by the term “success calendar,” and this is what he told me. In the fall of every year, his team laid out a series of goals that they wanted to achieve in the next year’s racing schedule. He said they had a large calendar with all of the months on it and they wrote down what and how they were going to attain those goals.
While this conversation we had was a number of years ago, it struck a chord in my mind that in both my personal life and business life, I needed to create my own success calendar. That brings me to this question, do you and your vending company have a well thought out yearly plan for where you want to go and how you are going to get there? Does your success calendar include the steps you need to implement that will assure you reach your goals?
Gain requires goals
My experience reveals that far too often vending company owners and managers are inundated with the problems and issues that occur on a daily basis. This makes them take their eyes off the ultimate goal of generating the highest revenue and profits from each location.
If your vending company does not have a success calendar I highly recommend that you go to an office supply store and purchase a large wall calendar and hang it on a wall where everyone in your organization can see it every day. I realize that some of you may be thinking, ‘we can do it on our computer.’ Yes you can, but then only those of your team members who have access to your computer are able to see it. Virtually every one on the team should be able to view where you are going as a company and how you are going to get there.
Not having a success calendar is like going on a road trip for the next business year and not having a map that shows where you are at every day, week and month of your journey. You would not go on an actual road trip for 12 months without having a guide or map. How would you see where you started from or how you are to arrive at your final destination?
Some of the things you need to include on your success calendar are sales goals at each location on a monthly basis and how you plan to attain those figures. Another important element is how many new vend products you are going to introduce each month or quarter. When I was driving a route truck and servicing our machines at numerous locations, I was constantly barraged by employees at those locations asking what new stuff we were putting in our machines. It is important to your end customer.
Basic sales data
With the vending management systems that are available today, there is a veritable plethora of data and information at the click of a button on your computer. This easily keeps you informed of what is selling and what is not selling, profit margins, percentages, etc. that will assist you in making decisions that directly affect your bottom line, allowing you to meet your goals.
What kind of seasonal promotions are you going to do that bring attention to your vending machines? When are you going to put Christmas garland on your vending machines, Fourth of July banners, St Patrick’s Day trim and other seasonal displays. These promos will all go on your success calendar.
Find out from your vend product suppliers when they are having sales promotions on various products you purchase from them on a regular basis. All vending product suppliers have promotions, sales, close out prices and quantity discount programs that you can incorporate into your success calendar. Ask food brokers, wholesale vend product suppliers, and whomever you purchase your products from when they are going to have sale prices on their merchandise and tell them you will put their products on sale in your machines when they do. Everyone wins in this scenario including your customers when they see your products on sale.
It has always puzzled me that department stores, gas stations, sporting goods stores, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, big box retailers, new car dealers and virtually all other businesses who offer goods to the public are constantly having sales, but the overwhelming number of vending companies never, never, never, have sales. If it works for industry giants, why will it not increase sales for vending operators?
All of the examples I have shared with you should be included when you are putting together your success calendar for everyone in your vending company to see every day. It will help make your team see and understand what it means to be included in how your vending business become a rip roaring success.
Get started today
I sincerely hope that if you do not currently have a success calendar for your vending company, that you will seriously consider creating one. It will definitely help you in the operation and success of your vending business. I 100 percent guarantee it will be a benefit to your vending company.