One of the simplest businesses to operate is a vending business, in which you place vending machines in various locations, and those machines sell your products 24 hours a day. You simply return periodically to re-fill your vending machines and collect the proceeds. However, there is one critical task to succeeding -- finding vending locations. While you could drive from store to store or restaurant to restaurant seeking locations, you'll save time and aggravation by simply calling potential locations and soliciting them by phone.
Find a charity or community program that will accept donations from you in exchange for the use of their name. Local school programs such as school bands or booster clubs are ideal, but there are also a number of charities which offer themselves as vending sponsors (see list in Resources). Supporting the local community or a national charity will give you an essential edge in securing locations for your vending machines.
Write a basic script to use for your cold calls. Begin the script with a friendly greeting and personal introduction. Then explain that you're supporting a charity (give the name) and would like to ask the location to help the charity by hosting one of your vending machines. Using a written script will help you avoid stammering nervously during your calls, and helps assure that each call you make is friendly and professional-sounding.
Look through your local telephone book's business listings or Yellow Pages to identify potential vending locations to call. Retail stores, restaurants, service stations, hair salons -- almost any business with public traffic is a good candidate for cold-calling.
Call each business to ask for their help. Ask to speak to the manager of the business, and then smile as you read through your script asking for the location. Be prepared to answer some basic questions, such as what the charity does, what percentage of the proceeds the charity receives and how big the vending machine is. If the manager agrees to host a vending machine, let her know that you'll deliver it in the next few days and thank her for her support.
Continue making cold calls until you've secured enough locations for all of your vending machines. Be aware that finding vending locations is a numbers game -- you will inevitably find "yes" locations as long as you're willing to keep calling new businesses after hearing "no."