Snack-in-the-Box: Building a Successful Business

"The Cadbury branding really struck me as a great idea - it's such a well-known name it would give our vending machines instant recognition in the marketplace."

Brian Russell, Belfast

I was looking for a business opportunity and, to be honest, it was purely by chance that I came across Snack-in-the-Box (SITB). I saw one of their adverts running in the paper and it was exactly the type of business I was looking for. I'd worked in distribution before and I wanted a business than ran along similar lines. It's a simple yet solid concept for a business I could see that SITB would provide me with a good opportunity in this industry.

The business I bought was an existing franchise so I was lucky enough to inherit a number of customers. Before the launch I was provided with a week's training at head office which was followed by a period of shadowing a franchisee on the actual job. This all combined to let me have a good understanding of the workings of the business.

Since I launched 12 months ago, I have built the business up to about 200 calls per week. I've found winning new business relatively easy - everyone likes chocolate, it's a product that doesn't require a hard sell. As the boxes are placed on a contract-free basis, customers feel that they haven't got anything to lose - and of course this is all helped with the addition of the Cadbury brand name.

Throughout this development, I've found SITB to be very supportive and helpful when I've needed them. One thing I consider to be a big positive is that they do leave you alone to run the business as your own business - but if you need the help, it will always be there.

You have to be a positive person to be able to stand on your own two feet in business, and naturally very motivated. SITB provides a good opportunity and I'm currently aiming to build a solid customer base. If you're hungry enough, there's the potential for further investment and expansion.

Earning money around the clock

Vince Edwards, Bristol and Swindon

For 17 years I've worked in the vending industry and I actually already own a franchise in this sector. However I wanted to run a business alongside my son James (pictured left with Vince), and so again turned towards franchising to find the right opportunity. The benefits of a vending business are plentiful, but namely it's a business that's easy to run, financially viable and, because of its nature, you're earning money round the clock.

After some initial research we found Snack-in-the-Box (SITB) to be just right. On top of the appeal of the business proposition, the Cadbury branding really struck me as a great idea - it's such a well-known name it would give our vending machines instant recognition in the marketplace.

We bought an existing franchise in our area and hit the ground running with an established customer base. With myself working in administration and my son going out to visit the sites, we set about upgrading to more profitable machines. One of the best aspects of the business is that if a machine is underperforming you can move it on to a location that may be more profitable - until you are happy with your results.

We've received good and professional support from SITB which comes in a variety of forms. There are reviews every few months to make sure we're making the most of the business's potential, we receive technical backup for the machines and we are assisted with finding new business. For a fee, we can use a service that tele-canvases our territory for new business - it's a great system and saves us a lot of valuable time.

There is potential to expand the business which is something we will consider but, right now, we're focused on finding the most profitable locations for our machines. It's rewarding work and working with my son is working very well - we're achieving exactly what we set out to do.

ESTABLISHED'BOX/VENDING BUSINESSES'FOR'SALE: Ipswich, Leicester, Luton, Newcastle, Peterborough, Redhill/Reigate, Southend