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Starting An ATM Business or Teller Machine; Part One
Is An ATM Business For Me?
Starting an ATM business is not for the weak of heart or for a lazy individual. It requires hard work before purchasing your first machine and after the machine has been placed. If you are looking into purchasing an ATM as a get rich fast scheme, look somewhere else. You will not get rich quick. An ATM business has great potential but it requires multiple machines in multiple locations. You must have a reliable vehicle, an aggressive sales personality and be extremely aware of your surroundings at all times.
The ROI, return on investment, is very good. Within one year, you will have earned two times the money it would take to start the business. That is a ROI of roughly 200% in one year. Let's get started on the details.
Find A Location
Before you purchase a machine, or even think of purchasing a machine, you must find a location for it. Unless you own a business, you have to find a location with plenty of foot traffic and an owner who does not currently own an ATM. This can be an extremely difficult endeavor. First, let us discuss what is a good location.
Good locations include gas stations, corner stores, bars, restaurants and any business with significant foot traffic. If in doubt, go with a bar, restaurant or video/pool hall. According to www.atms4less.com, an ATM customer will spend 70% more than a non-ATM customer at a nightclub or bar location. Your first order of business should be to target these types of establishments in your neighborhood.
To find out if you have chosen a good location you need to learn two quick formulas.
- DTC x 30 = TC
- TC x 3% = ATM TX
DTC refers to Daily Foot Traffic, TC refers to Total Customers and ATM TX refers to ATM transactions. Let us go through this formula using an example.
You find a location and really believe this is a possible location for your first ATM. You have two options. One is to go into the establishment and ask the owner or manager the average amount of foot traffic coming into the place of business. Try very hard not to give away why you are asking because this may not be a place you want to put your ATM. When the owner asks, simply state that you are doing some research in the area for a small business. As a small business owner or manager, they will understand the need for research. The second is to approach the manager or owner and explain to them you are doing research for your small business and would like to keep a counter of individuals coming into their store. Again, as a small business owner or manager themselves, they will understand. If the owner or manager refuses, look for another location.
Now that you have received permission to get a Daily Traffic Count you are ready to plug in the numbers. The store you have chosen has approximately 317 people entering the store everyday. 317 times 30 equals 9,510; which means it safe to assume that 9,510 people enter that store every month. 9,510 times .03(3%) equals 285.3; which means you can assume 285 ATM transactions will come out of this store every month. At 285 transaction a month with a transaction fee of $3, this ATM will generate approximately $855 per month. This is a good location.
At this point, you maybe saying, "I can't live on $855 per month." That is right, most of the population can not live on $855 per month. Also, part of that $855 goes to the owner of the establishment. Remember, you will need multiple locations to make a decent living.
Reach An Agreement With The Owner
No, you are still not ready to purchase your first machine. Now you need to reach an agreement with the owner of the store, bar or nightclub you have chosen to place your ATM. Your first move is to hire an attorney to create a contract agreement between you and any potential owner. I suggest that you have the attorney include the following:
- 90 day probationary period where at anytime you can remove your machine and dissolve the agreement without justification. This is important because if there is not enough transactions you will not make enough money. It is also important because even though you are dealing with a small business owner you may not agree with how he or she conducts business. Also, there is such a thing as a client who takes too much time away from you other endeavors. These situations will usually come about in the first 90 days.
- At the end of the 90 day probationary period, you will offer the owner a set fee per transaction that depends on the volume of transactions.
- The contract renews annually. The contract can be terminated by either party at that time with a 30 day written notification. You don't want the owner to buy his own machine and just kick yours to the curve.
Now you can sell the ATM lifestyle to the owners. This is where being an aggressive salesperson will come in handy. You must convince the owner of the benefits of having the ATM in their establishment and why your machine is what they need.
Approach the owner with these facts first:
- A typical ATM customer will spend 15% more than a non-ATM customer.
- 40% of regular ATM users will visit a machine an average of 10 times per month.
- Your ATM will eliminate credit card charge backs in bars or nightclubs.
- Your ATM can reduce the percentage the business would normally pay the bank on credit card transactions.
This will most likely sell the owner on the ATM. Now, you need to sell him on having your machine in their business.
- Most areas can qualify for a wireless connection (like a cell phone) so the business does not need DSL if they use your machine.
- There is no up front money on their part. You will pay for the machine, the set-up and filling the machine with cash.
- No maintenance on the ATM if they use your machine. You will be responsible for the maintenance.
The owner is now sold on ATM's, on your machine being put in his or her business and they are ready to move forward. No, you do not buy the machine yet. First you must have the owner sign the contract and make sure it is notarized.
Buy Your ATM
Now you can buy your ATM. Read part two of this article for details on purchasing your ATM.
I Don't Have The Time to Do All This
If you are saying that then you can either try another small business idea or hire an individual to place an ATM for you. You will still have to be eventually responsible for the machine but the individual can usually take this burden off of you for at least one year while you machine is being set up. The only person I know, so far, that can do this for you is CashMan Enterprises. They are located in Dickinson, TX. Their contact information is as follows:
- phone 409.692.3018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.