Ever wonder why gas stations offer such a random variety of products? What other business allows you to play the lottery while buying a beer?
What gas station owners understand is the power of the upsell. Customers enter their business for one product, and leave with several other useful products in hand.
ATMs offer this option to just about any business. The key to making a solid profit with an ATM investment is knowing how to shop.
Check out these 7 tips to choosing an ATM.
Honor Thy Brand
The most important step in choosing an ATM for your business is understanding how to protect your brand. If you’re not a convenience store, customers might not expect to see a large ATM machine in the store.
Your ATM’s style and size should enhance and not distract customers from what you primarily sell. For example, a clothing boutique might choose an ATM machine style that matches the decor and color scheme of the shop.
This keeps the machine from being an eyesore while customers shop. You also want to include ATM machines in places that are out of the flow of traffic.
Your main business isn’t providing ATM machines. Place your ATM machine according to the type of products you sell.
If you sell high end products, place the ATM machine near the back where customers won’t see it right away. You can mention it as a bonus when you hear customers looking for a cash solution.
In businesses where customers are in and out, place the ATM next to the door.
Honor Thy Budget
An ATM machine is a costly venture that will require regular maintenance. It’s important to set a comprehensive budget for how much you want to spend each year inclusive of maintenance.
You have no guarantee of how much you’ll earn the first year of owning the machine. Make sure you soften any losses by setting a firm amount to spend and sticking to it.
It might be tough to find a buyer right away if you find you don’t like owning an ATM after all.
Honor Thy Research
Luxury is options. You’ll feel far more empowered when shopping for an ATM if you’re aware of multiple supplier options.
Make a list of the top ATM suppliers that’s easy for you to do business with. This means skipping any international or out of state suppliers that only do business locally.
Honor Thy Profit
The key to making money with ATM machines is understanding fees. You charge ATM users a fee each time they use your machine.
These surcharge fees work much better when you’re aware of your state’s laws on ATM fees. Make sure you’re not competing with your store’s other payment options.
It’s much easier for a customer to use a credit card for most transactions. But these transactions come at a cost to you.
Redirect customers with cash incentives. Make sure the incentives make sense for the product they’re buying.
For example, some gas stations offer a lower price per gallon for cash customers than they do for credit card customers. You might also offer a credit card purchase minimum to deter customers from using cards for small purchases.
Purchases that are too small can leave you owing more in fees than you make in profit.
Honor Thy Terms
When it comes to choosing an ATM supplier, reading is fundamental. Your sales price could be awesome but if the terms don’t work, it won’t matter.
Read through the contract thoroughly so you know the terms and conditions of the sale. Once you’ve read through once, read through again.
Account for every paragraph including return policies, delivery and setup information. The software and hardware companies won’t always be the same especially with refurbished machines.
Make sure you understand whether you’re dealing with a third party supplier or the manufacturer. The manufacturer will have a lot more rules and stipulations on the ATM’s use.
But the trade off is having service and installation support that might not come from a supplier that sells a variety of brands.
Know Thy Purchase Options
Who says buying an ATM outright is your only way to a profitable ATM business? You can lease or rent machines at a fraction of the cost it takes to buy.
This might provide a more affordable long term solution for businesses with high overhead. Leasing can mean gaining access to the newest technology you might not otherwise be able to afford.
Know Thy Safety
ATM safety isn’t something to skimp on. Used models with outdated software are easier for thieves to hack.
There are professional level thieves waiting in the wings for a gap in security on ATM machines. Don’t make yourself an easy target by buying used models that don’t have the right security software installed.
Place your ATM in a well lit area where customers can feel safe withdrawing cash. While your business isn’t liable for theft at the ATM, customers won’t return if their safety is at risk when trying to withdraw cash.
Most business owners place ATMs near front entrances, checkout counters or in the back of a store in clear view of the front counter.
Choosing an ATM You Can Rely On
Choosing an ATM can be a very profitable move for certain types of businesses. Convenience stores, grocery stores and entertainment vendors can see lots of profit with ATM machines.
But other businesses can supplement their income using ATMs if they plan correctly. They key is managing the expense of the ATM by having a clear budget and understanding the terms before signing a deal.
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