5 Best States to Start a Business

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has enlisted the states that are best for start a Business. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

People often consider the ‘whys’, ‘hows’, and ‘whats’ when they want to establish businesses. In addition to these, another major factor that should not be taken for granted is ‘where’. If you are an entrepreneur, you will have a more conducive atmosphere in some states than in others. As they launch their businesses, entrepreneurs need as much help as possible in the present economy.

However, there is no single method that you can use to gauge the business environment in any given state. Some of the factors that you may need to bear in mind include; the amount of required regulations, the present economic growth levels, and education levels of the workforce.

It is better to consider as many issues as would be practical. There are two detailed studies that measure attractive business atmosphere in 50 states by using entirely different methods: Small Business Survival Index conducted by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and Kauffman Foundation’s New State Economy Index.

 Taking both studies into consideration, the following is a list of the best states for entrepreneurs.


The New State Economy Index ranks the state second while the Small Business Survival Index ranks it fifth. It is a leading state as far as energy efficiency is concerned, where more sources of alternative energy are used. Its manufacturing sector is also very productive. The taxes in the state are also relatively low and it has no personal capital-gains or income taxes.


The state brings a rich blend of technological sophistication and a highly-educated workforce on one hand and low taxes for businesses and individuals on the other. Old dominion is also one of the fastest growing states.


This is among the states experiencing the fastest growth. The education level of the workforce is the third in the whole country. It is also in the first half of the states as far as capital gains, income, property taxes, and consumption are concerned.


This is an ideal state for establishing a business with an international reach. Its manufacturing sector is the most internationally-focused in the country, with export sales being $69,268 per worker. Another advantage is that it has the lowest workers’ compensation costs.


Despite the fact that the state is experiencing a housing crisis, it does not have individual income taxes and the unemployment and corporate taxes are relatively low. It also adapts well to technological trends.

Market conditions may change, but states with pro-business policies tend to be reliable.

How to Write a Pro Forma Income Statement for a Business Plan

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has discussed the way to write a Pro Forma Income Statement for a Business plan. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Whether an entrepreneur is starting a new business with his own funding or is looking to obtain outside financing through venture capital, an investment group or family, the income statement of a business plan is key. It is the single most important element because it feeds into the cash flow statement indicating to both the small business investor and the entrepreneur whether or not the business is viable. The small business pro forma income statements and financial statements must be inclusive of any and all expenses to maintain credibility.

Business Plan Template and Business Planning Software: Warning Label

If one is attempting to pull together a business plan and is weak in the accounting or financial areas, it sometimes is helpful use a template or to utilize business plan software. Often they are self explanatory and help a would-be business person construct a set of financial statements. That being said, it is important to state that the software is only a rough guide to help an entrepreneur develop a reasonable “looking” income statement.


All of the data will come from the entrepreneur and even estimates of cost, ratios and relationships among the elements of the financial statements, if suggested or supplied by the software or template should be taken with a grain of salt. In an income statement based upon a new business concept that is coming from the prospective businessman, a template is only a rough guide at best. One must keep this warning in mind. When in doubt contact a reputable public accountant or CPA.

Cash is King and Lives in the Pro Forma Financial Statements

The initial funding of the cash account is obviously derived from the investors, but care and feeding of the business is provided by business operations, namely the first line on the statement, Sales. When developing an income statement, care must be taken to honestly project reasonable sales. It certainly helps in the area of credibility, if the senior manager or sales team has already made sales related to the business opportunity. However, if the income statement is a pure projection of a business concept, then it must be based upon reasonable and conservative estimates.

If a business is so new or revolutionary, estimates based upon government numbers or other industry data must only be used as a secondary source. It is advisable then to go out and interview and survey potential customers and conduct primary market research to see their reactions to the prospective product or service that will be offered by the business in question. With survey data having been taken assembled, if required, a realistic projection of sales can be inserted into the income statement.

Product Cost, Gross Profit in the Pro Forma Financials

The next and most important line item will be the cost of goods sold (or services rendered). These can be assembled by calling prospective parts or product suppliers and obtaining cost estimates. It must be kept in mind that initially, because of the low purchase volumes expected in a new business, suppliers will not offer particularly attractive discounts. This must be factored in. If it is expected that sales volumes will increase, as they must, than better pricing will increase the gross profit line of the income statement.

Some of the other costs, after the cost of goods expenses should be listed in order of importance and may be entitled something like “Operational Expenses.” These might include:

  • Salaries
  • Rent
  • Production expenses/supplies (if applicable)
  • Vehicle expenses
  • Utilities
  • Advertising and marketing expenses
  • Depreciation, etc.

Other Non-variable Expenses

The next general area might be entitled “Other Expenses” and include office supplies, professional expenses, insurance, other salaries, outside services, ancillary taxes, licenses,bank interest, etc. The last and very important area of the income statement might include income taxes. They might entail both state and federal taxes, but must be estimated, if the firm has generated no income. If there is any return of capital to investors, it must follow the income tax section of the statement. Of course, if there are stockholder loans and depending upon how it is handled for tax purposes, it might be subtracted in this area.

With all of the expenses and income categorized and included, the P&L is complete. Obviously, it must be checked and rechecked to pass an investor’s “sanity check”. Even if an investor is not involved in the financing of the venture, development of the income statement should be considered a mandatory step before a businessperson enters out into the scary land of entrepreneurship.

How to Start a Magazine Business: Steps to Starting a Magazine Business

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about the steps following which one can start his/her Magazine Business. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Starting a magazine is not an exact science. No publisher follows the exact same steps from idea to launch, but there are some general tasks that need to be completed to get a magazine up and running.

Find the Magazine’s Niche

Every magazine starts out as a general concept. When this broad concept can be narrowed into a niche it’s chance of success increases. For example, a magazine about shopping is going to have an extremely large, diverse market and a lot of competition. A magazine on antique shopping in the Midwest, however, has a very distinct focus.

Find the Magazine’s Information Need

Magazines are sources of information. In order to have readers pick up a magazine and read it, they must know there is information they can use inside. Usually that information comes in the form of editorial content, although advertisements can also provide useful information for potential buyers. Planning relevant editorial content increases the likelihood that readers will pick up the magazine. When readers pick up the magazine they see the ads. Advertising response determines whether or not a publication receives repeat advertisers. Therefore, having relevant editorial greatly impacts the overall health of the publication.

Research the Market

A great idea with a good information need won’t get far without a good market. If only five people have a need for the type of information a magazine would provide, it would not be much of a magazine. Market research for new magazine launches should include total market size, the market’s spending power, and any changes in the market in the foreseeable future. For example, starting a magazine for housing industry professionals might not be a good idea when the housing market is down and shows no signs of rebounding soon.

Research the Competition

What similar magazines are currently available on the market? Examine what each publication brings to the table in terms of audience, editorial, and market share. Is there a unique angle they are missing? Is their content relevant to the market? Identify each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and compare them to the proposed magazine idea.

Write a Business Plan

If research shows the proposed magazine would fill an information need, has a niche within a profitable market, and that the competition is fairly low, it is time to put the magazine idea into writing. A magazine business plan serves as a means of obtaining financing but also helps get ideas down on paper. It serves as a future reference and helps the author sort out details of the magazine’s inception. The Small Business Administration has a great deal of business planning information on its website. The SBA also has local divisions of Small Business Development Centers that can help small business owners write business plans at no charge.

The business plan will detail all the steps how the magazine will work before and after the launch. It will cover such details as circulation, advertising rates, staffing, and marketing plans.

Obtain Funding

Most magazines take three years to become profitable. A good rule of thumb is to apply for enough financing to fund the company through its first year of business. Traditional business loans are obtained through a local bank for many smaller operations. A larger publication may require several investors or shareholders. Regardless of where the funding comes from, it is important that the business plan shows the funding party that the product has the ability to provide a good return on investment.

Prepare for Launch

Once funding is obtained, there are hundreds of details to be ironed out before the magazine launches. Marketing plans need to be implemented and basic marketing efforts should begin several months before the magazine’s release. Staff should be hired to sell advertising, assist with pre-launch marketing, and help with basic office operations. The sooner advertising can be sold, the better. A minimum of six months is recommended to sell advertising for the first issue of a new magazine. The potential advertiser will need ample time to process the concept, decide if it’s a good fit for their product or service, and determine if they want to take a chance on a new publication.

Launch the Magazine

When the first issue of a new magazine is finally wrapped up, it feels like the end of a long journey that’s taken several months or longer. While that is true, it is also when the work really begins. Once the magazine hits stores, the main office will hopefully be busy processing subscription orders and other customer needs. Advertising reps will hopefully be busy responding to potential advertising inquiries. Additionally, another issue is coming down the pipeline very quickly, whereas the first issue had several months’ planning behind it.

Go With the Flow

Although this is a very basic overview of launching a magazine, it is a good primer for the overall process. Once a magazine gets off the ground, the most important thing is to make plans and then make contingency plans. Most of the time, things will not go as planned so it’s important to be able to think on one’s feet, be creative, and continually evolve and guide the direction of the publication. If starting a magazine is a process, running a magazine is an ever-changing art form.

Grants for Women Starting a Business: Tips to Finding Women Business Owners Grants

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about the tips for finding Women Business owners grants. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Grants for business owners are wonderful resources, especially those grants that focus on women. They allow women to successfully launch and grow their businesses and pursue their dreams. Although not widely advertised, there are many grant opportunities available for women business owners and this article will help women find the grants, apply for them and know what to expect.

Look into the Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration or SBA can be a huge source of information and support for women business owners. They also offer grants and loans for women business owners as well as provide up to date information on what types of loans are available from the government for women business owners. The SBA has many, many local chapters so business women can check their local area or visit the SBA on the web at the SBA.

Contact Foundations and Organizations

A few other wonderful resources for women business owners are foundations and organizations that support women in business. There are many different ones and they’re located all over the United States. These kinds of foundations typically offer different kinds of grants and awards for women who are trying to start their own business or those who already have. A few of the most popular organizations and foundations are the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Business and Professional Women (BPW.)

Evaluate Internet Resources

There are a number of different ways women business owners can use the internet to search for grants related to women in business and one of the most important resources is Grants.gov. This website maintains a listing of government grants being offered and women can use the keyword search tool to search specifically for grants being offered to women business owners. Applications can be obtained here as well. Business.com is also a great resource that women should take advantage of.

Write a Business Plan

One thing women can do to help increase their chances of receiving a grant for business is create a business plan. A business plan outlines the objectives of the company, the mission, the target market, expected expenses and projected earnings among many other things. Even for women who have already started their business, a business plan can streamline their focus and help them improve their companies. It also serves very well as an addition to the grant application as grant review panels can learn more about the company and whether or not it is expected to succeed and how well it’s expected to do.

Design a Grant Proposal

Grant proposals can often be substituted for business plans, however in some cases they cannot. A grant proposal helps the review committee better understand the need for the grant as well as the business it will go to support. It will contain information on the benefits for all if a particular woman receives a grant, as well as the benefits for the community and surrounding areas. Grant proposals should be well written and easy to understand. For this purpose, many women hire professional writers to write the grant proposal.

By following the advice and information above, women can successfully find and apply for business grants that will help them launch their businesses and make them successful.

How to Decide if Selling on Etsy is Worth It: Making a Living Selling Art or Crafts Online Through Etsy.com

The following is a post from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about making the living easy by selling art and crafts in online market. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

It’s not uncommon to meet people who are convinced that running an online store is a piece of cake, and less work than a traditional job. While that may be true for a rare few online sellers, most successful merchants – especially those peddling art or crafts they create themselves – work harder and longer hours than other jobs might require. But for many of them the other benefits of being self-employed outweigh the extra work.

Etsy is a E-Commerce Website for Selling and Buying Handmade Items

While eBay used to be the main marketplace for sellers looking to distribute their items without setting up their own e-commerce site, much of their handmade and craft market has moved to Etsy.com. Launched in 2005, they describe their purpose on the website as “reconnect[ing] producer and consumer, and swing the pendulum back to a time when we bought our…shoes from the cobbler.”

Many of the sellers see an Etsy shop as a ticket to an easy self-employed income, and don’t realize that simply listing items on Etsy isn’t enough to sell them. While Etsy does offer a simplified listing system and a search system for buyers to search the whole site, there’s often so much competition that items sink to the bottom of a category and are never seen by prospective buyers.

Sellers intending to make a profit like a traditional business would produce must treat their store as a traditional business, says user Magickal Realism on the Successful Selling Tip List on Etsy Wiki. Promotion and advertising, fresh and interesting stock, and professional packaging are all parts of the success formula. Etsy sellers who treat their shop as a hobby can only expect to get hobby scaled returns on their efforts.

Etsy is New, Smaller than Other Venues, and Has Some Technical Issues

Etsy only launched a few years ago, and in many ways is still going through its growing pains phase. For example, the search function is still being redesigned. Finding a specific item, such as a red sweater, can be tricky for those unaware of the search tool’s issues, and may frustrate buyers when yarn, earrings, and purses all come up in that search.

The rules are still being tweaked, and while most attempts to make the site’s focus handmade items by an individual seller, some wholesalers and scammers still slip under the radar. The checkout process has also drawn criticism for most of Etsy’s existence – buyers must create an account before purchasing, and payment is handled off-site by services like PayPal. The payment integration isn’t complete, so many honest buyers end up thinking they’ve paid when the seller is still waiting for the money.

Etsy can be A Good Tool, But Those Determined to be Fully Self-Employed Should Diversify

Etsy has issues, but overall it is a good fit for many crafters or artists looking to sell their work directly to customers. Making a real income does require at least as much work as a traditional job, and often more. Serious entrepreneurs should also diversify their web presence – an Etsy shop is much more likely to produce real profit when it is part of a system that includes other e-commerce sites and a website run directly by the seller.

Low Start-up Cost Businesses

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about the that are low cost Business which any one can start by investing a small amount of capital. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

There are numerous would be entrepreneurs that are interested in starting their own small business, but so many are deterred by assuming that the start-up costs are crazy expensive. Well luckily there are plenty of ways to get a business off the ground and running without spending a fortune. So let’s look at a few possibilities that are currently available.

eBay Business

There are plenty of people out there that are making a sizable income off of random items laying around their homes or by selling stuff they find for cheap. Some people scour flea markets, yard sales, and thrift stores for diamonds in the rough. Valuable merchandise can often be found in these types of places and then resold on eBay for a substantial profit.


The costs of getting an operation such as this going are usually minimal. The only real expenses involved would be buying the items and then shipping them. Once you get a few product sold and learn the ropes, you can then use those profits to help grow your business and make even more money.

Errand Business

Another type of business that has been popping up more frequently is where someone runs errands, does the shopping, and performs other small tasks for people. Clients are usually busy professionals with demanding jobs, senior citizens, or people with limited mobility. Performing these job duties are usually pretty simple and hassle-free. The average per hour earnings typically range from $15 to $20, and the only necessary tools to get the business going are usually just a car and cell phone. Advertising can be done for a minimal amount of money and some options could be flyers, Craigslist ads, Facebook, or your own website.

Arts and Crafts

If you are a creative type of person and enjoy making arts or crafts, then starting your own small business based around them is another way to make money. The start-up costs will depend on how much it takes to produce each item, but they can usually be quite low if you shop smart. Thanks to the Internet there are also several ways to sell your stuff to a market of considerable size. Etsy is one of the more popular websites for arts and crafts, also you can sell locally on Craigslist or make your own website. In addition you could also sell at local craft shows and markets in your area.

These are just a few ideas, but if you think outside the box there are plenty of other avenues to take. Just remember that getting a small business started doesn’t mean that you have to broke in the process.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Starting a Business

The following is a post from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has discussed about the questions that one must ask his/her self before starting a Business. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Nevertheless, much of the US economy is fuelled by entrepreneurs willing to take risks. By most reports, the recession has “officially” ended. This may very well be an excellent time to start a new business. Carefully thinking through these ten questions can help mitigate the likelihood of you wishing you hadn’t.

  1. Why?

Is there really a need, demand or desire for your service or product? Market research is critical to answering this question. Surveys, community forums, focus groups, etc. should be conducted to gauge whether this is something that is likely to be supported or just a neat idea you have bouncing around in your head.


  1. Who is your market, target audience, or desired clientele?

It is critical that you have a thorough understanding of your customer base. No “niche” supports every business. Truly understanding the needs, interests, trends, expectations, level of discretionary income, etc. of your unique customer base is key.

  1. Who is your competition?

Competition doesn’t just come from a business offering the same or similar product. With limited discretionary income, many businesses are competing for customers. The putt-putt place and the movie theater are competitors, for example. Regarding the competition: are there opportunities for collaboration in terms of promotions, advertising, etc.? Understand how you are unique, different from the other guys.

  1. Realistically, how much start-up capital do you need?

Do you have enough reserve to support the company for six months while the business gets established? How soon will you be able to turn a profit? What are the hidden costs (undoubtedly there are some)?

  1. Do you have a reliable source for operating capital?

A dependable lender can be a small business’ best friend. When you experience a series of lean months do you have a creditor willing to front working capital to pay bills and make payroll or will you have to close the doors? Even if you don’t need a loan today, get cozy with your banker.

  1. What are your personnel needs?

Is this a one-person show or will you need to hire staff? Will your local market provide the kind of talent you want for your company? How are you going to train them? What specialized skills will they need? How will you instill loyalty, strong work ethic, commitment to your values, etc.?

  1. What is your marketing, communication, pr plan?

Getting the right message to the right audience is critical. How do you intend to spread your message and cut through the clutter on the airwaves, web, etc. How are you going to ensure consistency, authenticity in your branding, imaging, messaging?

  1. How do you make your business trend-proof?

Otherwise, you may very well be “so yesterday” in a couple years. How do you intend to position yourself ahead of the curve?

  1. Realistically, what is the effect of today’s economic downturn on your business plan?

There is reason to believe that the recession is, in fact, behind us and that better days are ahead. Still, we’ve just experienced the worst economy since the Great Depression and recovery will be slow. For some businesses, this presents a great opportunity; other businesses can expect to struggle for some time to come.

  1. Who do you know?

This might be the most important question to ask yourself. Make a list of anyone who has clout, influence, interest or can provide entrée to those who do (friends, family, colleagues, associates, acquaintances). Think of them as your advisory board. Get input. Nobody can do it on their own. Think pragmatically about your list and try to include an attorney, accountant, banker, marketing pro. Find mentors! And don’t be afraid to ask questions.

How Business Owners Can Work Less and Enjoy Life: Working Smart Not Hard, a Balanced Work-Life Reduces Stress

The following is a post from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has described some ways following which one can maintain work and enjoyment side by side. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Some managers and business owners work long hours without much reward. Fortunately, there are ways to succeed in business, at the same time enjoy the things that matter most in life – wonderful weekends, holidays with friends and family, pursue special hobbies, leisure, putter around the house, and do just about anything worthwhile.

Defeating the paper work monster is always a challenge, and worse, working longer hours, with unpaid overtime. Here are ideas to reduce time wasters and ways to create a business system working for a balanced work-life. Practicing any of them when applicable also reduces stress and restores harmony and well-being.

Practice Time Management

The average workaholic business owner or manager often uses 65 or more work hours in a week. This is not even taking into account the hours being away from family or to simply time to have that needed break. By practicing time management, the purpose is to reduce these long working hours by working smarter. It is all about managing time and setting priorities to maximise best abilities and skills in every task to be done.

Create a Job Manual for Business that is Workable

To be workable, this guide consists of instructions what-need-to-be-done and how-to-do-them instructions for the business. It should be a realistic, relevant and timely manual that includes job roles of the business team.

Be More Responsible

A business owner or manager trains his business team to do their job accordingly. An efficient and effective entrepreneur knows how to make other people work for him. If he steps out of his business for few hours a day, he could spend that time working on building other aspects of work activities like attending to customers and business planning. He knows and is clear what need to be done to save time from back-pedaling or unnecessary repetition of work from unclear job descriptions and responsibilities.

Delegate Workload

Having a work team sufficiently trained, a business owner’s team are able to take care of the business for him, while he takes care of the over-all business system and processes. For instance, non-essential tasks can be delegated to a staff member. It may sound simplistic but a task can be as simple as closing up the shop at the end of the day. Perhaps, a trusted senior team member can create the forthcoming staff roster. Similar tasks added up which can already be delegated, free up time, as well, build a feeling of trust, responsibility and staff competence at their jobs.

On reflection in working smart and not hard, there are twenty four hours a day for everyone, including a business owner and a manager, no more no less. The only time to have the time is to make that time.

Starting an Internet Business – the Real Story

The following is a post from Patrick G. Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about the steps to be followed for starting an Internet Business. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Like it or not, the influence of computers and the internet is everywhere. It’s become part of a world culture. The internet touches everything, from booking a reservation at a restaurant to buying tickets to a football game. Without the internet, businesses and individuals wouldn’t reach nearly as large of an audience as they do now.

Many entrepreneurs starting a small online business think they need to do it all themselves, without getting help from anyone. Others think they need to sacrifice their integrity to be successful in business. Still others leap into an internet business without the slightest bit of training or experience. That isn’t all bad. In business it is often better to do something than doing nothing.

Stories are Just Stories

Here’s an example: A young couple decides to start a small internet business. They sink their savings into a new computer and run up their credit card bills on the latest software and hosting solutions. They spend all their time working on the website and finding product suppliers. The website looks good because one of them has had some graphic design training and the other knows a little about HTML coding. After several months, they have the small business website up and running and decide to quit their day jobs, even though most of their income has been coming from those jobs.

After six months in business they discover their website isn’t getting very many visitors, and those few visitors aren’t buying anything. Working on the website isn’t fun anymore and their relationship is suffering from the strain. They call it quits, dissolving their online business.

This is just one of many stories about the negative aspects of going into business with friends or family. Stories of divorce, bad credit, bitterness, and disillusionment abound. This all too common scenario doesn’t have to end this way. The basic problem is that far too many beginning entrepreneurs start an online business with little or no business experience. They innocently rely on their computer design skills to get them by and make them rich and famous. Real life doesn’t work that way. Understanding design isn’t the same as understanding business.

The popular media doesn’t help. Most people get news about the internet from magazines, television, radio and the internet itself. They see news stories about someone selling tumbleweeds on eBay for hundreds of dollars, or people making millions selling advertising space on their websites. These are extremes, and create false expectations for beginning entrepreneurs.

There are stories about negative extremes, as well: famous “dot-coms” going broke and their owners succumbing to substance abuse or committing suicide. Others are sued for stealing money or running various scams from their basements.

It is the exceptions that are reported in the news, not the workings of the mainstream industry. If the story isn’t an exception, it’s not news. The danger is in thinking these stories are reporting the only ways to make money online or that by doing exactly the same thing someone else will get the exact same result.

Many Small Online Business Models

Far more small business opportunities exist on the internet than the media reports. Many entrepreneurs are making good money from their websites by relying on multiple income sources. They are either selling their own products or are using affiliate programs as income generators. Many others are using eBay to post auctions, all the while continuing to work at their day jobs. Like all small businesses, including offline ones, some internet businesses are failing. Entrepreneurs can enjoy making money with their part of the internet without enduring the constant pressure of doing exactly the same thing that the stories suggest.

What unifies internet entrepreneurs is their desire to make money doing what they love. Business skills are learned just like photography, writing, and HTML coding skills are. Online entrepreneurs don’t have to be born with an aptitude for business. It can be learned at any age. Exceptions notwithstanding, it’s the same way in other creative and technical fields. People do what they do because they are getting some kind of reward, not because the latest news story tells them that’s what they have to do.

Starting a Vending Machine Business

The following is a post from Patrick Mackaronis. Patrick is the Director of Business Development for New York City-based social network Brabble. In this post, Patrick has talked about the business of Vending machine. Patrick can be best reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

Starting a vending machine business is a very attractive venture. After all, people use vending machines to get snacks at a premium price, thankful for the convenience.

When starting a vending machine business, though, it is important to note some key factors to having a successful vending machine. These include a good location, not buying more than one can handle, and staying local.

Location is Very Important for Vending Machines

The vending machine business is not magic. The key to any good business is a good location. For example, one would not place a candy machine with chocolate bars where it is not temperature controlled.

Finding a prime location involves placing a vending machine where one should be. For example, a gym would be a very welcome place for a Gatorade machine. A store that doesn’t sell snacks would be a good place for turnkey gum or candy machine. And an office building would be a good place for a snack and drink machine.

When locations, are found it’s important not to do too much at first.


Start With 1-3 Vending Machines

Keeping a business small in the beginning is good because when mistakes are made, they’ll be small mistakes. For this reason, it’s good to start with 1-3 vending machines. The cost to keep them up will be small and any problems should be easy to handle.

This will also allow the servicing of these machines to be done on a regular basis without much hassle. After all, this will be a side business at first, and until a regular schedule is made with a proper system, smaller may be better.

Don’t Venture too far From Home

A great side business is done with ease. The best locations for vending machines is in between one’s home and work. If a person stops at a local bar and restaurant each day it won’t be much of a hassle to fill up the Mike ‘n Ike machine by the door at the same time.

For those who work out, working out will be even better as the money flows while picking up a few miles on the treadmill. Going outside of one’s normal work radius will be inconvenient, and a side business shouldn’t have unnecessary inconveniences.

Between a prime location, small start-up, and staying close to home, starting a vending machine business can be very exciting. Not only can it supplement one’s income, but it can grow into something much bigger.