Update: Bringing In $30K/Month From My Vending Machine Business

Published: August 10th, 2023
Lakinya Francis
Founder, iKrave Vending
iKrave Vending
from Miami, FL, USA
started August 2017
market size
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
270 days
growth channels
best tools
Fiverr, Adobe Suite, Canva
time investment
Side project
pros & cons
24 Pros & Cons
1 Tips
Discover what tools Lakinya recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Lakinya recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on iKrave Vending? Check out these stories:

Hello! Remind us you who are and what business you run.

Hello, I’m Lakinya Francis and I’m the founder of iKrave Vending. We help people generate income through different types of vending machine businesses.

Our flagship service is the Ultimate Mentorship Package; which is a series of online courses, resources, and one-on-one mentorship to help individuals get started in vending. Helping others get one step closer to financial freedom is a passion of mine.

The typical client is someone who is working and is wanting to not depend on one source of income AKA a 9 to 5. We even have clients who are already business owners but are looking to diversify their income. When it comes to specialty vending, our clients are those in the beauty industry looking to sell beauty products from vending machines.

Since August of 2022, iKrave has managed to bring in a consistent $30k each month in revenue. This is mainly through a new investment within iKrave Vending.

Here’s the link to my original Starter Story interview!

Using my knowledge, skills, experience, and resources I was able to partner with a couple of clients and invest in their vending business in exchange for a percentage of the sales. iKrave is a silent investor in 32 machines across different states and cities.

My motto is to focus on one customer at a time. Provide everyone with a positive experience as they get to know you and what you have to offer.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

In a year's time, iKrave Vending has explored different opportunities. I enjoyed the remote working environment and decided to sell the eight machines that I had placed locally. My goal after that was to focus on my mentorship program. In the past year, it has been challenging because of all the new competition of people offering start-up help to those interested in vending.

I realized that I needed to find a better way to reach potential customers, so I decided to focus on Pinterest Ads. Pinterest however is a very different advertising cycle. You need to have money to invest in ads and be willing to wait a while for a return on your investment. Since I’m not selling a product it takes the buyer a little longer to purchase my program. Being that I needed funding to run ads that made sense, I decided to learn more about business credit.

Starting from scratch, I taught myself how to obtain business credit and was able to get about half a million dollars in business credit. I decided to add a segment in my program helping others use this strategy to fund their vending business. Here is where I had a light bulb moment.

As a consultant I help a wide variety of people, some are already business owners. There were two individuals who were starting a vending business but wanted multiple machines. Since I was essentially guiding them on how to start from scratch I pitched to them about allowing me to help with the investment of the machines in exchange for a portion of the sales.

The agreement was I would serve as the expert in maintaining and scaling the business. To me, it was a win-win! I used my business credit to invest while allowing the machines to pay for themselves and earn income from the deals. This allowed me to gain new partnerships, and continue vending and my consulting business.

Again, many of my competitors were on Facebook and Instagram advertising. I took to Pinterest and currently, I’ve used Fiverr to outsource my Google ads. This is still new to determine if it’s better than Facebook and Instagram but so far I’ve been getting more quality traffic.

I utilize Live chat to interact with my site visitors and I’ve noticed an increase in those who communicate via chat for more information in starting their business.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

The biggest challenge is finding the right advertising channel. I’ve done influencer marketing, Facebook & Instagram ads, Tik Tok, Pinterest, and email marketing. Pinterest works but it takes time, months before someone finally converts. Now, my focus is Google ads because in just three weeks I’m already seeing 2X ROAS.

I’ve finally found someone who understands my business and can set up the ads to get results. Google is going to be my primary advertising channel. The traffic is just a better quality because most of the traffic was interested in starting a vending business.

My next goal is to find someone who understands my business and can handle email marketing.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

My biggest lesson learned in the last year is to hire an experienced person to set up ads. I’d love to learn but I’ve spent a lot of money testing the waters blindly. On the upside, the best thing I’ve done was taught myself how to obtain business credit. Most of my clients have no clue how to obtain business credit so I’ve added a course showing them how to and this helps me stand out from my competition.

I’ve had a few hiccups throughout the past year of my website randomly not operating. Some people would email me who were interested in vending. Then some decided my site wasn't a trusted source and moved on. Due to this, I decided to hire a WordPress expert to complete monthly maintenance on my website.

My greatest skill is the ability to research and stay up to date with my industry to provide top-notch service. Although I've decided to hire others to do certain things such as advertising I still manage to stay in the loop on marketing strategies.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

My short-term goal is to start introducing a new audience to my ad groups, in Canada. I’ve had the opportunity to help a couple of people in Canada who have found me through social media. I feel that is another area that is not reached to help people get into the vending industry. I’m excited to start expanding my services to Canada and eventually Europe.

The vision that I see for iKrave Vending is to help many more people on a monthly basis causing me to hire help. My goal is to come up with a system to hire virtual assistance to help onboard new clients. I plan to increase ad spend which ideally increases mentorship signups.

My long-term goal is to possibly start selling vending machines. Currently, more than half of the people that visit my website are wanting to purchase a machine from me.

Selling vending machines could open up another stream of revenue. I’ve created relationships with companies that fund vending equipment for my clients so this would make sense for me to do.

In five years I’d like to have a showroom selling machines and a training room to provide the education part. My packages would include flying and housing those who are interested in different states and cities. The vending machine industry is a billion-dollar industry and each year businesses are moving towards selling their products from vending machines.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

Since I’ve been into marketing tips from various sources I’ve been consuming We McDowell on YouTube’s content. Even if I’m not using all of the different marketing avenues I’m interested in learning about marketing. I believe Marketing is the most important aspect of a business.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

The advice I’d give any entrepreneur who might be struggling with growing their business is to think of how people will know about your business. But most importantly, what is the buying cycle for them?

Put yourself in their shoes and think about your journey when you first take an interest in something to the point of purchasing. I’ve incorporated videos as my FAQ’s rather than text. This builds trust with my audience and generally works. Find what marketing channel works for you, with this you will have to try different ones before you can pinpoint the right one.

My motto is to focus on one customer at a time. Provide everyone with a positive experience as they get to know you and what you have to offer.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

I’m looking to hire an email marketer who has experience with previous course creators and coaches. The buying cycle is different with buying a product vs. a course that is not necessarily essential. If you might be the right person please email me at: [email protected]

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Want to start a vending business? Learn more ➜