Side Hustle City

The Cool Success of Steve Slagle's $33,000 A Year, Passive Ice Vending Side Hustle

September 04, 2023 Adam Koehler & Kyle Stevie with Steve Slagle Season 4 Episode 42
The Cool Success of Steve Slagle's $33,000 A Year, Passive Ice Vending Side Hustle
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Side Hustle City
The Cool Success of Steve Slagle's $33,000 A Year, Passive Ice Vending Side Hustle
Sep 04, 2023 Season 4 Episode 42
Adam Koehler & Kyle Stevie with Steve Slagle

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Welcome to another exciting episode of Side Hustle City, where we explore the journeys of those who dare to turn their passions into profit. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting Steve Slagle, a savvy entrepreneur who defied the odds by transforming his side hustle of selling ice at his beach bar into a significant source of revenue. He was even featured in Business Insider with the headline "I made $33,000 last year from my ice vending machines. Here's how I started this almost passive income that only takes 2 hours a week". Strap in as we explore the ins and outs of the ice vending machine industry, from the inception of Steve's 'destination ice' business model to its current successful operation in Florida.

As we delve into Steve's world, we'll navigate the labyrinth of negotiations for vending machine locations and the compensation model with landowners. Through Steve's experience, we unearth the value of maintaining positive relations with landowners and the significance of offering a dependable fixed rent notwithstanding the machine's performance. We'll also take you behind the curtain to reveal the nitty-gritty of partnering with manufacturers, obtaining permits, and handling installation and delivery.

Lastly, we unpack the financial elements of the ice vending machine business as Steve shares his experiences with loans, interest rates, and the potential revenue of the company. Steve will also compare the effort-profit ratio of the ice business to other investments like property purchases. Stay tuned to the end as we discuss the power of word-of-mouth marketing in this niche business. If you're seeking your next side hustle or business venture, this episode is packed with inspiration and motivation from Steve's journey!

As you're inspired to embark on your own side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

Specializing in strategic branding and digital marketing, Reversed Out Creative is an advertising agency dedicated to helping you turn your side hustle into your main hustle. With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more about how they can elevate your side hustle, visit www.reversedout.com today and start your journey toward success.

Our blog is also full of great information that we work hard on

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to another exciting episode of Side Hustle City, where we explore the journeys of those who dare to turn their passions into profit. Today, we have the pleasure of hosting Steve Slagle, a savvy entrepreneur who defied the odds by transforming his side hustle of selling ice at his beach bar into a significant source of revenue. He was even featured in Business Insider with the headline "I made $33,000 last year from my ice vending machines. Here's how I started this almost passive income that only takes 2 hours a week". Strap in as we explore the ins and outs of the ice vending machine industry, from the inception of Steve's 'destination ice' business model to its current successful operation in Florida.

As we delve into Steve's world, we'll navigate the labyrinth of negotiations for vending machine locations and the compensation model with landowners. Through Steve's experience, we unearth the value of maintaining positive relations with landowners and the significance of offering a dependable fixed rent notwithstanding the machine's performance. We'll also take you behind the curtain to reveal the nitty-gritty of partnering with manufacturers, obtaining permits, and handling installation and delivery.

Lastly, we unpack the financial elements of the ice vending machine business as Steve shares his experiences with loans, interest rates, and the potential revenue of the company. Steve will also compare the effort-profit ratio of the ice business to other investments like property purchases. Stay tuned to the end as we discuss the power of word-of-mouth marketing in this niche business. If you're seeking your next side hustle or business venture, this episode is packed with inspiration and motivation from Steve's journey!

As you're inspired to embark on your own side hustle journey after listening to this episode, you might wonder where to start or how to make your vision a reality. That's where our trusted partner, Reversed Out Creative comes in.

Specializing in strategic branding and digital marketing, Reversed Out Creative is an advertising agency dedicated to helping you turn your side hustle into your main hustle. With a team of experienced professionals and a track record of helping clients achieve their dreams, they are ready to assist you in reaching your goals. To find out more about how they can elevate your side hustle, visit www.reversedout.com today and start your journey toward success.

Our blog is also full of great information that we work hard on

FranchiseU!
FranchiseU! is for those in, or considering, careers within the world of franchising.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Subscribe to Side Hustle City and join our Community on Facebook

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Side Hustle City and thanks for joining us. Our goal is to help you connect to real people who found success turning their side hustle into a main hustle, and we hope you can too. I'm Adam Kaler. I'm joined by Kyle Stevie, my co-host. Let's get started, all right. Welcome back everybody to the Side Hustle City podcast. Kyle Stevie unfortunately not here. His company has him stuck and he is very upset about that because we have Steve Slagowan today. Steve, welcome to the show.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so much, absolutely glad to be here.

Speaker 2:

I am pumped about this because a lot of people heard our last episode with there was a sales guy, forever's Vending. If people remember, these are the ice vending machines, ice water vending machines and a lot of people after the episode hit me up and said hey, adam, what do you think about that? And I said, I mean, it sounds great. You know, we have the sales guy on here telling us it's great. But now, guys, we have an actual vendor, we have an actual person who purchased these machines, jumped into the pool first and now he's going to tell us how cold the water is. Right, steve.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

How cold, how warm the water is, so we were super happy that you're on the show. I'm pumped. This is something that I'm actually considering myself. So you know, tell us how you heard about this and you know what made you want to take the leap.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so. Thank you so much for having me on. It's a pleasure to be here, get to talk to you and all of your guests and listeners as well, you know, and if I can demystify some of the ice vending world and open some doors for some folks, that's the ultimate goal. You know. Ultimately we've kind of got started. I used to own a small little restaurant and bar right on the beach and a great location, very busy, and we didn't sell ice. And then we kind of noticed some folks would come up and ask if we sold ice and they said no. So we kind of decided we would start selling ice. And it was an immediate success selling essentially just a grocery bag full of ice to folks on their way to the beach or enjoying the pool. And so we kind of kept up with that. I, a few years later I ended up selling my restaurant and but the ice idea stuck with me and where I'm located here in the panhandle of Florida, there wasn't a whole lot of locations outside of your big box stores, convenience stores to get ice, and that kind of stuck with me and we started doing some research into the ice vending world and talk to, you know, all of the big manufacturers, did about three months or so worth of research until we were very fortunate to have our sales call with Everest ice and water. And you know, pretty much after that first call with them, I was hooked. I had a great, great conversation with their salesman from there and then, you know, I turned around and I kind of wore his butt out for about three weeks. I had a lot of questions, you know, and and to his credit and Everest credit, they worked very hard to answer my questions and get the information I needed and we very quickly decided that was going to be our partner in this new endeavor, as we were going to, you know, buy the ice machines from them and start kind of placing them in different areas here in Florida.

Speaker 2:

Wow, so you started this in February of 22. So pretty recent, right. I mean you had you just coming off the pandemic wasn't a whole lot of people. You know, people still may be a little scared to come outside, right, but by October you had already made $33,000. Now, was that just with one machine or was that with all three of the machines?

Speaker 3:

At that time that was with two, two machines, two in the field at that time and then we added our third one very early of 2023. And obviously we're also now adding a fourth one here as we're almost finishing August of 23. So we'll be at four machines by the end of this year. You know we started, yeah, we placed our first machine early, 22. So one nice thing about Florida during the pandemic is we were open for business. That's right. Folks were still looking for a place to travel. They were tired of being pent up and, you know, for the drive-in market, people were coming to Florida in droves and our challenge then was well, where can we put our ice and water vending machines to get the most traction? You know, where can we get these out there, get the most people, get the best opportunity for revenue? And so the search kind of started there, you know, was where do we go? And you know we did some of the more traditional routes. We looked at them. You know we looked at marinas, parks, those sorts of areas. And then it kind of hit me one night having a conversation with my girlfriend and we kind of coined the term destination ice and it stuck. And the more we thought about it. You know everybody that for the most part that buys ice you have to go somewhere. You have to go to a grocery store or convenient store, but you have to go. And so we said what if we could put ice where people already are? They don't have to get in their car, they don't have to leave a property they're staying at. So we kind of started to focus in on some of the larger resort condominium areas that inhabit our beach and really host the majority of visitors that come to our area. And you know it was almost a light bulb moment for us, to be honest with you and you know, if we can put these machines where people are and then get them to the machine, you know we're knocking, we're checking all the boxes here at once, and we were very, very fortunate to see some immediate success with that business model and it's continued to do well for us up to this day. So we couldn't be happier.

Speaker 2:

Well, and you're in a good area, you're on the beach, you're in a hot state, you know it's year round. People are coming down there to check things out. You know, I'm up here in Cincinnati where, you know, two months out of the year it's practically unlivable, right Like it's freezing. You know there's snow, there's all this mess that's going on up here. But the crazy thing is is we have, as soon as it warms up, everybody's outside right Like it's a craziness. People want to do things, they want to barbecue, they want to. You know, have you know family events? They want to do all kinds of stuff, like all at once, practically. You know you're, you mentioned COVID people being pent up. Well, we have that every year. Like people are like I'm sick of being in the house January and February. You know, in most of March, april rolls around. People are starting to look to do things. Right, you may not need ice in April, but you may. I mean there's football parties that people are having in the winter even. You know, and you got the Bengals. You got university Cincinnati football. You know you've got basketball university Cincinnati basketball, xavier basketball, nku basketball. I mean there's a lot of sporting events and things that people do where you know. Maybe they do need some ice, right? Maybe they need a cooler in their house while they're having these events going on, so there could possibly be a demand for it. And we do have a company based out of your home city, ice, which is a you know, a big ice distribution company, and it's based here in Cincinnati, on the west side. A lot of times, what they have are these giant coolers outside of like a grocery store, and the coolers are filled with bags of ice and you go and you grab one and you bring it into the store and you pay for it, and that's kind of how that works. These vending machines, I mean these things, I mean they're. You don't really have to do anything, do you?

Speaker 3:

No, the wonderful part about the Everest machines it's a completely self-contained unit. It is an ice production facility, a distribution facility and a retail center all in one. So from the customer point of view, they're simply walking up to the machine, choosing how they want to pay for their ice and then choosing how they want to receive it Whether they want to put it in a bag themselves that's available or directly into a cooler. It's up to them, and it makes it very, very simple. The machine does bend purified water as well. So right now, so many folks are becoming more and more health conscious with what we eat and drink every day. So having very, very clean filtered water available is a great selling point as well. And the one nice thing about it is you can control you. As the vending machine owner, you control the entire process. So the ice is made there, it's filtered there, it's clean. Conversely, when we look at the boxes and chest freezers outside of some of these stores A, you don't really know what the production facility is like. Is it clean? Is it well maintained? The ice bags that are in this chest freezer how many people have touched them? Whose hands have been all over this ice? Who has put something in this freezer. Who has sat in this freezer on a hot day? You have no control over that. And now all of a sudden you're bringing that ice home and potentially ingesting it, using in drinks and so on. So especially now after coming out of the pandemic, we're all a little more heightened as to germs and those sorts of things, and you always got to kind of. I always wonder. You open those doors to those chest freezers. Who else has been in here, I don't know when. When you go to an Everest vending machine, that ice is completely behind lock and key. It's controlled until you choose to dispense it and then you're in charge of it. The climate in this now becomes a personal choice.

Speaker 2:

And it's all filtered and everything, right. I mean, they mentioned something like some kind of UV filtering process or whatever, because you're maybe tapping into you're tapping into the city water, right? I mean you're tapping into whatever it is, wherever you're at, you're going to get that quality of water and then you need to filter that somehow, right, and the machine does that for you.

Speaker 3:

Right. So inside the machine itself it does use a five stage filter system, and then it also has a UV bulb for disinfectant. It has an ozone generator again to continue to get rid of any of those little nasties that are in the water. You know, so the water that's then being pushed into the ice maker is about as clean as you could really give it without getting into the ultimately distilled waters, and you know it's fresh, it's clean, it's pure and that's what's going into your ice. And then you know, same thing with the water vending. So when you go to those machines you're getting, you know, very clean, very fresh water, and it's on demand. You know the water doesn't sit in the machine, you know, waiting for a bend. It's actually filtered and produced on demand for every customer, which is great. It's a great way to keep it clean. It's a great way to ensure you know your customers are getting the best product that you can provide them.

Speaker 2:

When outside ice. I mean I'm thinking of the people that are going into the gym. They've got those big giant water bottles they cart around with them. They don't want to use the water fountain in the gym because, again, that's not filtered right and if you're a big health nut, you're probably carrying around one of those jugs, those practically gallon of water they're carrying around, you know, and I mean you could use this machine outside. You could place one of these outside of a gym. You could place them a bunch of places. I'm thinking like down at the lake. You know you're going to have people that are wanting to. You know, go drinking out on the boat. They're going to need ice for their Yeti cooler or whatever it is they've got. So you know, talk a little bit about some of the places that you've found success at. You've got the three machines. You're going to get another one in. You've done this. What are some of the places you've had success at?

Speaker 3:

So our three machines that are currently in the field are actually all located at resort condominium complexes. They're all directly right on the beach or right on the Gulf of Mexico, and where we place our machines on those properties are typically are on the pool decks. So that way we're getting the greatest amount of visibility that we can. And then, you know, our secondary sort of tax becomes a little bit of marketing to get those guests to know that the machine is there and what it is. And then, once they figure it out, you know people cannot be happier. You've got ice on demand right there 24 hours a day. You've got water on demand. So we've kind of really found some great success in these areas. And again we tie it back to what we call the destination ice, because this is where the people are coming. You know this is where they're staying on their vacation. So now we've eliminated them having to go to the grocery store or the gas station or wherever. Now they don't have to get in their car. Or you know, typically for a family vacation it's going to be the dad, you know he's going to get up in the morning and have to go to the gas station and get ice and all that. Now he doesn't have to. Now he simply just takes his cooler downstairs and gets his bag of ice and they're on the beach. You know what used to take an hour to go to the gas station and bag. Now takes about five minutes and you're on the beach, you're enjoying your vacation. And we actually see quite a lot of people that will cooler or put their coolers at night. You know they'll go ahead and pre-cool and pre-chill the coolers in the evening and then get another bag of ice in the morning and you know their stuff stays cold for days, especially now with the technology of coolers that's available. And you know, yeah, we see folks that you know have ice for two or three days at a time and they love it. You know it's a great way to keep everything cold. You know. So for our locations, you know we knew where the people were coming, especially on the vacation and such, and, like I said, our challenge was to get the machines in front of them, to get them to be able to use them. You know, and we've looked at a number of locations, even kind of outside the resort world you know marinas are always sort of a hot button place for ice. You know folks going out on the boats. You know they're always getting ice. You know hardware stores are always a popular option. You know our fourth machine we're actually getting into an RV parking campground. It's one of the larger ones in our area and you know. So we're going to go in there because those folks you know traveling in their RVs, obviously they don't have ice makers, for the most part in their refrigerators, so they need ice. And a lot of them also have made comments that they really look forward to the filtered water. You know, just because you can put a filter on a hose and plug it in your RV. But how much does that really get you when you can just go to the machine and get a gallon of filtered water at a very reasonable price, cheaper than any of the grocery stores, and you're all set. You know now everything is very close to you and we've really helped them maximize their time. That you know. Ultimately they probably paid a lot of money to come on vacation. You don't want to waste it going to Walmart, you know, every other day. Or you know wherever, kroger, publix, what have you? You don't want to mess with that in summertime traffic and all that jazz.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, my wife and I we go to Orlando a lot and we end up at these resorts and then we have to door dash water because I'm not paying for the water there. It's crazy, right. I mean, you're one of these Disney resorts or you know we go to the Universal resorts and you're sitting there and you door dash a 24 pack of water or something. You know you're paying whatever the cost of the water is and usually it's high, because they're going to pick it up from a you know a grocery store near the resorts which is going to have a prices jacked up 20% or whatever and then on top of that you're paying the door dash thing but you definitely don't want to pay for for, you know, water while you're there. You're paying a really high premium and you know they got the pools there. You can. You know the kids are running around, it's hot. You know you're going to want some water. I mean, if you had something like that at one of those resorts and you, oh, I'd use it all the time, no doubt, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I mean, and people really enjoy the convenience of it. You know, in our sort of philosophy and the business Is, you know we're going to be where you are but we're also not going to gouge you. You know, we keep our prices very fair and very much in line with the market. And we get a lot of comments from folks that we do, as we go check out our machines, that you know they say, oh, you can charge double for this and get it. You know what? You're probably right, we could, but that's not our goal. You know, just because you're on vacation doesn't mean we're here to take advantage of you. I would rather have you buy ice every single day at a lower price than once or twice at a higher price, and and we've really seen the returns from that. You know, I think people, especially sort of in this day and age and the economies we're dealing with, you know people are watching their money a little bit more than they used to, and are appreciating value, probably more now than they have over the last number of years.

Speaker 2:

Well, now let's talk about so you know it's. You've got to convince whoever this is to let you put this machine there right. So you've got to find, you know whatever grocery store, mom and pop, convenience store, association, whoever it is, you've got to find the location and then you've got to call up somebody. How does that process work? And what? How do you cut them in?

Speaker 3:

So you know, as you're out, kind of looking at your sites and doing what we call site surveys, finding where the best spots may be, yeah, and then now you're talking to the landowner or the business owner and ultimately, you know our sales tactic is very simple. You know, I always ask them how much do you like free money? And and they look at me a little crazy and I say, ultimately, at the end of the day, I'm going to give, right you a check to let me put my machine out here and you have to do nothing for this. I don't need you to touch the machine, I don't need you to maintain the machine, I don't need you to do anything other than let me have this little piece of land and I'm going to do the rest of it and I'm going to pay you for this. And a lot of them kind of go ah, this is too good to be true. It's actually not. No, this is the deal we're going to make and we're going to pay you a greed upon amount and we're going to put a machine here and you're going to get to enjoy the benefits of this machine and you don't have to do anything and we're going to pay you pretty handsomely to let us be here, you know, and that really becomes a great selling point because there's not many things in today's world that you can sit back and continue to earn income on, especially for businesses, you know. So for that that's always a great foot in the door, you know. For them as well. You know it comes to customer satisfaction. It's a great amenity, you know, for any business and it's going to continue to drive more people to those locations, as they, you know, want ice and water. You know they're going to continue to come. So you know, really, if you were at, like, a hardware store or something like that, you know it's going to bring in its own set of people just to come to the machine and then, while they're there, you know, hey, maybe they need to go inside and get you know whatever it is to finish their honeydew list or their weekend project. And so it really becomes a partnership. And a lot of the folks I talked to who are interested in getting into the industry, you know I stress that with them you need to have a great relationship with your landowner, you know it's because you're going to be in this together. So, you know, really, work that out, get all the kinks out of it as quick as you can. You know, use actual contracts so that everything's very clearly spelled out and there's no ambiguity in it, and work on that. You know, foster and maintain that relationship, because the better that one is, the easier it is to have that location. And then obviously then you can turn that landowner into a reference, which is kind of what we have done as we go to new locations and we always say hey, look, you can talk to this person, ask them about their experience, ask what their guests are saying. You know, get their feedback. You don't have to listen to me because obviously I'm trying to sell you something. You know, talk to another person and the better that relationship is, you know, the more glowing reviews you get as you try to expand either the business or just your customer base, and it really pays dividends to have those relationships.

Speaker 2:

So what will be a fair amount? So generally, when you go to these guys, do you throw out a number, do you say, hey, look, here's what we pay. Everybody take it or leave it, or is there some negotiation that happens Like what you know, what do you guys? What do you guys usually do there?

Speaker 3:

There's always a negotiation, you know. Obviously the landowner wants the biggest bang for their buck and me, as the business owner, I want to pay as little as I possibly can. That's right, you know. So there's always some give and take and I'm a big proponent of honesty and being upfront with people and I tell folks you know, hey, we have no data on this location, so we have no history as to how well this machine may do, and so let's come to a reasonable amount of money and let's start there. And if the machine is very popular and does very well, you know we can look at. You know, maybe increasing that rent amount to be more commensurate with how busy the machine is. But conversely, you know, if this is just a location that isn't really coming to fruition and isn't producing the revenues, you know I might need to adjust that rent back downwards. And you know, and that's where having that good relationship and good rapport with people comes in.

Speaker 2:

You know, on average we're paying about $250 a month to our location owners hey, man, that's paying for some electric, you know, or whatever.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know, and they get that every month. You know whether the machine you know does $10 of sales or does you know $2,500 of sales. The landowner gets the same amount every single month. So for them it makes it easy to budget. They know what they're going to get at the end of the year and they're not necessarily tied to the success of the machine. And we kind of enjoy that because it's very easy. At the negotiating table, each say look, this is the number you know. Take that times 12. That's what you're going to get.

Speaker 2:

But do you say to them like, do you say, hey, look, you know we're going to give you $250, but if the machine doesn't perform here, we don't know what's going to happen, we may have to take it out. So do they, do they feel kind of part ownership in this, in this relationship, and then advertise the machine to their association? I mean, I could imagine if you go into a condo complex and you say, hey, man, we want to put this in, it's going to be great amenity for your, for your association members. You know, put it by the pool, we're going to pay you $250, but we need you to send out these flyers and put a, slide them under people's doors or something, or put it in the next association newsletter or whatever. Do they, do they ever offer to do that? Do you have to motivate them to do that, or do you just not do it at all?

Speaker 3:

Some of them will offer to do it. Some need a little bit of motivation. You know we always ask that. You know they at the very minimum put it in their you know quarterly or monthly newsletter, whichever it may be. And then we'll also ask them to let us do some marketing. You know what? What can we put up around the property? You know, can we put up signs in the elevators? Can we do little real estate yard signs kind of around the property, or wind feathers. You know, what will you let us do that we'll pay for. And then one of the nice things about the Everest machine is there's a way to. It comes with some coupons that are essentially for free vending, and so what we'll do is we'll take a stack of those coupons and give them to the association manager and say, hey, look, give these out to your staff. We encourage them to use the machine so that they're familiar with how it works. But also, now you've got something to give to a guest that maybe isn't having a good experience. Or, you know, maybe they've checked into a condo and the refrigerator's not working and they just went to the grocery store. You know, hey, give them a coupon, give them a free bag of ice. At least they can keep some of their stuff cool until you can fix the problem, and it's a great problem resolution option for the association, for their guests, you know. So we really encourage that. We like it when sort of the associates kind of get involved a little bit and know how to work the machine. You know I'm we always tell them constantly look, our phone number and our email address are on the machine. Have guests call us, we will talk to them and answer every question in the world we can and we do so. You know it's kind of getting them engaged somewhat as well. You know we also do some joint advertising. So on our website it does list the properties we're at. So they get a little bit of an advertising bump from that. And you know, as well as our Facebook page and some of the social media platforms you know we'll advertise out. You know our beachside ice is now at this location and so they're getting a little traction through those ways as well. But yeah, everybody we really dealt with has been very eager to have the machine succeed because it is such a nice amenity for their guests and they almost kind of take some a little bit of almost ownership of you know of the success which we encourage. You know we really enjoy working with all of our partners, howard.

Speaker 2:

Bauchner. So now that you've got these three machines up, you're getting another one up here shortly. I mean, does it feel kind of seamless now that you've done it and you kind of got a system maybe together? You know what, you know maybe what needs to get fixed on these things. You know how to talk to people, you know how to advertise, yeah, and now you're like look, I could have 20 of these machines, david.

Speaker 3:

Kroger, absolutely. You know the first one is always the hardest. You know, really, kind of with any business, especially a new business that you're starting, you know starting out as this toughest you're learning curve is like a hockey stick, you know, it's very, very flat and then just skyrockets, you know. So once you start to get some of that under your belt and you're looking to expand, yeah, your expansion becomes I don't want to say easy, but easier comparatively. You know, and we were very fortunate, after placing our first two machines and the word getting out that we were here and this is what we were doing, we started receiving calls. You know other landowners, other properties actually calling the company and say, hey, we really want to talk to you about a machine. And ultimately that's a great thing to have happened because now we're able to take that energy that we used to dedicate to essentially cold calling and door knocking to now answering the phone and doing these site surveys. So we were very fortunate. Our last two machines I actually went to clients that called us and said, you know, hey, we've heard about this, we've seen it, what do we do to get one, you know how can we work together. And it was like well, you know, set up a time and we'll come out and we'll look at your location, we'll talk, we'll see what we can start putting together. And you know, the more that word sort of spreads, the more sort of interest we're seeing in the machines, how they work, what they do, those opportunities for that, which we couldn't be more pleased with. Howard.

Speaker 2:

Bauchner, you've got more leverage when they call you. So yeah, you're like hey, look, now I'll pay for this machine, because they're not going to go out and drop $50,000 on one of these machines. It's just not, it's. They're never going to get the association to agree to that right and they probably don't have the money in their budget etc. Etc. So they may even know about Everest, but they're probably not going to. They need somebody to go out there and finance machine themselves and then they're happy with whatever they get out of it. They may be just happy with the machine being on the property and being a nice amenity and having somebody else take care of it.

Speaker 3:

David S. Here's roughly what the machines cost, you know.

Speaker 2:

Here's how you get one and then once you get it, howard Bauchner, I'll give you 50,000 reasons why you can't do it.

Speaker 3:

David S. Yeah, it's like, well, then you got to install it and you have to maintain it and you have to, you know, deal with the permitting and the regulations and the state guidelines, and then you have to deal with taxes. But yeah, absolutely, you can go ahead and do it. And you know, by the end of that sentence they're always like you know, that's great, you do it for me and go though, that's the business we're in. You know that's what we do. We encourage you just to sit back and collect your money and let us do the rest of it. You know, in our fourth location that we're getting ready to go into, you know, was actually serviced by another ICE distributor. They, you know, had a national contract with an ICE distributor and that distributor left them high and dry with no ICE over the 4th of July. And this property manager called me and said I know you have machines out, I want to talk to you. I said, absolutely, I will be there. If you're ready in 20 minutes, I'll be there in 20 minutes. And I sat and talked with the property manager, you know, within about 15 or 20 minutes we had basically agreed on a deal and said you know, absolutely, this is what we can do. And I said well, why don't you have any ICE? And she says, you know they won't return my calls. We've been out of ICE for a few days. You know, my guests are very, very upset and we can't get service. And it was just like, okay, well, we will service you. And in the meantime, you know, until we can place our machine here, you know, we can actually keep you in ICE. And she said well, what do you mean? Nice, you know we have the equipment to be able to produce ICE and bag it and bring it to you so that your guests can still at least have ICE. And now you're not getting yelled at every day for being out of ICE. And you know, you'd have thought, you know, she had won the lottery that day. She couldn't have been more happy. And I mean that evening we were filling her freezers full of ICE for her guests and we had people coming up to us. You know, hey, can we buy the ICE from you? Oh no, you got to buy it from the office. But you know, we're going to stock this thing as full as we can and then we're going to be back tomorrow and we're going to stock it again. And you know the comment that was told to me from her office staff she goes, we just don't see people do this and I said, well, that's, one of the differences in our business model is we're client focused. You know our goal is to give you the best product to give to your clients and then everybody's happy. You know we're all making money at this point and that's our goal. And you know it was nice to see them respond so well to that sort of service, which you know is every day in this world. And you know, we'll be honest, more times than not you're let down from sort of service oriented places and outlets. But when you find one you really like, you keep going. That's right, you keep using them.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, 100%. So I mean talk about some of those other fees you mentioned briefly. You said you know there's permits, there's some of these other things outside of the cost of the machine roughly $50,000. What are some of these other fees that you have? Or time commitments? I mean installation things like that, delivery, all that stuff, like what's all involved in setting one of these things up and what are the costs.

Speaker 3:

Sure. So you know the machine. You know, depending on the model you're getting, you know, obviously you're in the neighborhood of a $50,000 investment. But then you're also looking at, you know, a delivery, which Everest does a great job of working with you on the delivery fees and having it shipped to your location. But then, yeah, you've got to install the machine. It does run on a 240 volts of power and it does need, obviously, it needs water and it needs a drain, you know. So you've got to look at those sites and, depending on your area, you know, now you're probably engaging with a plumber and an electrician to be able to install the machine, get it wired up, and those costs really vary. You know, and it's the number one question I get when I talk to folks about the industry is you know where do I put my machine and how much is it cost to put it in? And I always tell them you know, look, if I could give you a hard and fast answer there, I'd be a millionaire many, many times Over by now. You know. So that really depends. And then it depends on the state you're in and your low, your municipality, as to what the fees and permitting are. You know where I'm at in Florida, we are permitted through the state. You know it is essentially a food license. So we pay them I want to say in the neighborhood of about 300 and change a year for a free license. And then we do quarterly testing of our ice and water to make sure there's no bacteria or anything in it, and that's about 40 bucks a pop. So we're looking, you know you're looking about $160 a year for testing there. You know, maintenance for the machine, filter changes, you know all in, you're looking at maybe five or $600 a year for those sorts of items to run it. And then obviously you're going to have filter changes. And the more successful your machine is, the more you're going to have to pay attention to it. And so, you know, people always say oh my gosh, you spend a lot of money on filters. Well, we do, but it's because our machine is very busy. You know, if the machine wasn't doing anything we wouldn't buy filters. But because it's busy and produces quite a bit, yeah, it goes through filters quicker than a slow location, which I'm kind of okay with. Yeah, that just means it's making money and I'm all right spending it. Then you know. So there are some fees where it really just depends. It's so location specific as to where you're going to be and where you're going to put it. You know, and I always encourage folks to reach out through their friend network, their family network. You know, find that plumber and electrician that you like and talk to them. You know, ask them questions. Hey, I want to put this machine here. Here's what it takes. How much do you charge me to do this or run this amount of power? And you know, and I tell folks too, especially if they're able, body and eager, ask those tradesmen what you can do yourself, because most plumbers and electricians will be honest, they don't want to dig a hole to run some condo it. They're happy to let you do it and you're going to save some money. You know the electrician doesn't want to dig a hole in the ground and run his wires through it If it's already there. When he's there, he's in a good mood and you just saved. You know however much his hourly rate is, you know. So I encourage folks to get creative with it and there's a lot of opportunities to save money in those routes and a lot of us just talking through, you know, your friend network, your family network, a business network and getting those folks engaged and involved.

Speaker 2:

So you're I mean, you're looking at permits and stuff maybe 1000 bucks a year, filters, stuff like that maybe a little more 1200 bucks. And then you got your electrician, you got your plumber, you've got the initial cost, which 50% you put down on the machine. So you had to come up with 25 grand. And then they Everest company actually has a group they that finances helps you finance out of their 50%. Is that correct?

Speaker 3:

You can't. So then that becomes a personal decision. You know you can and choose to finance it. They do use a company called Leaf Financial that is very familiar with Everest, you know and they can. They can certainly help financing if those are needed or if you're able to do it, you can pay for the machine yourself. It's a 50% deposit to put the machine into production and then obviously before they ship it and put it on a truck, they're going to ask for their other 50%. If you're in a position to be able to absorb that $50,000, you can certainly pay cash for it effectively. Or if you can't, you can work with leaf financial or even a local bank or a bank you may have a relationship with to finance the machine. Then you're kind of off and running and with anything there is those upfront costs. We talk about the installation, plumbers, electricians, permitting, those sorts of things. That are a lot of more one-time costs. Obviously you're not going to have to pay a plumber every year to come out. So that's a one-time cost that you're going to plan for. And then, once that one's absorbed back now you're just into the running costs of the machine. As far as filters, obviously you have to keep the machine stock with bags for your customers and cleaning products and those sorts of things. It's a direct relationship. The more successful the machine is, the higher those costs are going to be, and the slower the machine is, then obviously you're not going to have to spend as much doing those things. But most people I talked to have a similar mindset that it's a lot easier to spend the money when you're making the money. That's right. That's right. It becomes the cost of doing business. You go, look, I'm okay with four filter changes a year.

Speaker 2:

It means my machine's kicking butt and I love it, but Leaf will give you the one. Will they finance the deposit as well?

Speaker 3:

I believe they will. I think you can work with some of their representatives, and I think a lot of it depends on your personal credit worthiness. If you've got good credit and everything's in good standing, I think they do up to 100% financing. They'll shoot over the deposit for you and then and last I've heard they'll actually put the money in for you. But you don't start your payments until the machine comes delivered.

Speaker 2:

Oh, no way. So you're not paying interest on the money, or is there interest accruing? You just don't have any payments. Or do you not have any payments or interest until that machine's delivered?

Speaker 3:

You know I can't answer definitively whether or not they start the interest clock. I would envision they probably do. But yeah, you're not making any payments until your machine is delivered. So even if you're accruing that interest during that time, that's still pretty beneficial. You're not coming out of pocket or whatever your payment may be every month until your machine hits the ground and you're running. So let's just say it takes two months for Everest to build and deliver your machine. Well, those are two months that you're not out of pocket that payment and soon as it's delivered, now you're set up, you're running and you're going to have a monthly payment back to leave. So they're really flexible working with clients. What needs it? Obviously they have a great relationship with Everest. So if financing is something somebody needs, it's very easily during your call with Everest to say, hey, I want to explore my financing options and they'll hook you right over to the leaf representatives and you can talk it out with them and it almost becomes really seamless, which is nice. It's just one less thing for the customer or the client to have to do and they're going to do a lot of it for you.

Speaker 2:

I love it. Wow, and what's the interest like on these? I mean, is this commiserate with, like, say, a mortgage loan? Is it kind of in line with that? Is it like a used car type of loan? Is it a you know, it's not credit card 24% interest type thing, is it?

Speaker 3:

No, no, they're nowhere near that high. You know. Again, I think a lot of it has to do with your credit worthiness. You're probably looking between a mortgage and a used car for the majority of folks.

Speaker 2:

It's like an eight, nine percent, something like that.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean, you know, and the rates aren't terrible. You know they're obviously not as attractive as they were a few years ago, but then again nothing is. You know, I think, the days of the 3% home mortgage. You know we haven't enjoyed that in years. So I think, given the economy we're in, you know, if you can get in between seven and 10%, you're doing pretty good with that. Yeah, it's a fair poke to finance some cash.

Speaker 2:

But if you're in a moderate area, you know it sounds like your machines are killing it, but if you're in, let's say, a moderate area, you know you're. I don't know how much you charge for, for you know ice, a bag of ice and all that, but you know, say you're charging a regular price. I know they've got a calculator on the Everest site, but like what do you think gross? Say just gross. And then people because everybody's expenses are going to be different, so let's just say gross how much do you think one of these machines will make every year?

Speaker 3:

You know it's again kind of a direct correlation your first year is probably going to be your lowest sales. Obviously you've got a lot of hurdles and challenges in your first year. You know, and if you're committed to that, you know, I think revenues in your first year you know 10 to 12,000 is not unreasonable by any means. And I think as you continue to grow and put your energy into it, you know getting into the 15,000 dollar range a year, 20,000 dollar range a year is achievable. You know, and again, I talked to a number of folks that are putting in the time, putting in the energy, and are seeing these returns. And you know, inversely, the flip side of that situation is I've talked to some that that really don't put any time or energy in and they're not enjoying those benefits. You know they're very lucky to break, you know two to 3,000. And they ask, hey, why am I not making any money? And it's like, well, tell me about what you do, what you don't do, but how do you market your machine? You spend time at your machine and overwhelmingly it's consistent that they don't. And it's like, well, it's directly correlated. You know, I can't stress it enough. You know the more effort you want to put into it, the greater you're going to enjoy it. And you know, we've found, in the folks we've talked to, a lot of entrepreneurs do very well. Folks that have already started a business have done very well, and folks that are just hungry tend to do very, very well. You know, it's the ones that really kind of just sit back, don't enjoy the rewards as much as others. Now, you know, and there's always an outlier, I'm sure there's somebody out there with a machine that does very, very, very little and is just crushing it and it's like hey, great, you know, that's a, that's great luck for you. You know, I wish we could all enjoy that, but it's not the reality we're faced with.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, well, I mean shoot. I mean this sounds like you know it's cheaper than buying an apartment but you're going to make probably the same amount of money off of it. Like I mean, when it comes down to it, the profit. I mean I've been renting property for 20 something years now and I mean you could rent an apartment to somebody you know a little two bedroom standard apartment. They'll completely tear it up in a year. Maybe you were making two, three hundred dollars in profit a month off of it. But here you go having to spend five, six thousand dollars to get it back into shape so you can rent it back out again. So you're losing money in a lot of cases. Or you know, maybe they live in it for two or three years, but still, I mean somebody lives in an apartment for two or three years. They beat the crap out of it. You're probably replacing the carpet, you're painting the walls, you're, you know some of the cabinets are probably broke off there. I mean you're it's constant expenses and this is something that you're buying, that you can. You know you put more work in. You make more money, like with an apartment. You know your lease is set right, maybe every year, you, you, or every couple of years, maybe you jacked the rent up a tiny bit. But I mean, that's what? Three, five percent? But I mean with this you know, like you said, the more work you put in, the more money you're going to make. So why go out and spend all this money? And you know, jack up your credit by an apartment or whatever, when I mean you could essentially buy one of these machines and put a little elbow grease in and next thing you know you're making maybe more in profit than you would off an apartment.

Speaker 3:

Right, 100%, you know. And especially speaking of real estate, you know let's just say you're, you're lucky and fine, maybe a multifamily, you know, dwelling somewhere for $200,000 and and that that's probably a great deal, you know. But yeah, yeah, now you're at 200, you're having to either come out of pocket that, if you can, or you're financing that, and now you have a tangible asset. But it comes with property taxes, it comes with insurance, you know. It comes with just general upkeep, and now you've got to rent it. So now you're venting, vetting renters. You know who's going to be here, are they going to pay their rent on time? What are they going to do to the place? How much does it cost me every year just in holding costs, you know? And then you take that and you compare it to a nice and water vending machine through Everest and you go look, I'm at a quarter of the price and I don't have almost any of these headaches. I have a. I have some one-time fees to get the machine set up. You know, I got to get it permitted and I obviously have to get it installed, and now that's done. So now those costs are gone. So now my holding costs are reduced to, you know $1,000, $1,500 a year. You know in maintenance and costs with that and then, as that's happening, you're continuing to make money every single day and that's hard to beat. You know, and some of the folks I talked to say you know, this is got to be a gimmick, it can't be for real. I go look, it's real and it's out there and there are people that are doing it and doing well and for some folks it is starting to replace, you know, their traditional full-time job. You know they're putting more and more energy into growing. You know their ice business because it is becoming profitable for them and it doesn't require, you know you to be in an office eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. You know you just don't have to do that anymore. That's right. And you know I think certainly with the pandemic, you know that was a great springboard for millions of people to start their own businesses and take those chances. You know, because maybe they have worked at a company for a number of years and now all of a sudden they're furloughed. You know, and as they were, you know told a you got to go home for the next month or two months or whatever it is. You know you didn't do anything wrong. It's just the world we're in and they're like well, hold on a minute. You know I gave everything I could and this is how I got treated. You know, hey, they have their epiphany moments ago. I can be my own boss and this is a great way to do it, because you can control your business. You know you want to run your business the way you want to run it. Well, here you go, here's your chance.

Speaker 2:

This is a very low hanging fruit type of thing. And I talk about Turro too, where people just rent their cars out. Look, you got a car, it's sitting there. You want to put it on Turro on the weekend. Go for it. Like, what do you? You're not going to use it. You're sitting in a house playing video games, whatever the hell you're doing. Your car is sitting out there costing you money. Throw it on Turro, see what happens. That's one of those other low hanging fruit type of things with where this is relatively easy to interpret. I mean, it's about the cost of a car, for I mean, let's be honest, and you know if I can profit $20,000 off of something every year that I'm barely putting much effort into, like you said in the article that you spend maybe two hours a week, I mean, if I could do. You know what's that book for our work week? Well, you got three machines. You're putting in two hours that's half and you're making $30,000 a year off of these things. So, and then hopefully more, and, as you said, as time goes on, people become more familiar that the machine's there you're going to make more money. I mean, who's to say three machines don't profit you $60,000 in the next year or two. I mean it's possible. You've only had this thing up. For what a year? So I mean you never know.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, I mean, and really the growth potential is not capped, it is truly limitless, you know, and ice and water isn't really a product that is dependent upon our economy and you know whether the economy is doing great or not doing so great, no matter what the stock market is doing on a daily basis, this doesn't matter, because people still need ice, that's right. People still want fresh water. That demand doesn't go away. Now, obviously, depending on where you are in the country and seasonality, it's going to fluctuate, but it's still there. You know, in most major markets throughout the country are enjoying, you know, phenomenal growth. The construction industry is booming everywhere, you know. So you're looking at millions and millions of workers who buy ice every single day, at least once. You know so if you can tap into those markets of the blue collar worker, the tradesmen, the landscape companies, you know these folks that they're buying it regardless, and if you can give them a great product at a great price, you have earned loyal customers. And you know they're very watchful as how they spend their money, you know. So if you can give them that and get into that market and build a relationship there, you've got. There's a revenue stream right there that you would never want to replace because it's just going to keep flowing and everybody in this industry talks to each other. And now you've got kind of a viral, grassroots marketing campaign going that literally cost you nothing to get started other than maybe a little bit of time and a little bit of talking, and it's like you can't put a price tag on that. And you know, and that's one of the things, you know, we actually enjoy doing it. We'll go check out our machines throughout the week. A lot of times we'll go on a weekend and we go and just chat with people. You know where you're from, how do you like the machine, you know what are you in the area for, and you just kind of chit chat and you get to talk to them, and then it's great. And now you've got kind of another advocate and somebody else to tell other people you know, hey, use that ice machine over there. He's a really nice guy. Or you know, I talked to the lady the other day. She was really sweet. You know, go get your ice from them. You know, and it's stuff that growing it organically that really hits home for a lot of folks.

Speaker 2:

And you're not selling sugar. You're not selling, you know, caloric food like pizza. You're not. You're selling freaking water, right, like it's. It's it's kind of a you know, you don't have to worry about it, you're not hurting people. You're not selling booze to people. You're not, you know, selling weed to people. You're. You're selling freaking water, right, like, I mean it's. It's kind of like you're conscious, is clear, knowing that you know, hey look, they need water. I'm selling them the water it's you know, it's clean, it's actually. You're actually selling a health product in a way. I mean this, let's, I mean, let's be honest. So I mean this is this. I mean it's an unbelievable business In my opinion. I think it's it's great for people that want to just kind of wean their way out of a full-time job by doing something like this. And I mean, if you can afford a car, I mean you can get one of these things. I mean, if you've got decent credit, you, you know you can go out and buy a car, you can buy a nice machine and your car's not making you money, right, you just need your car to get around. But let's put it on to her, of course, but you know, you got this machine and it's crazy. And, steve, this has been great. I mean I've I got all my questions answered. I mean this is, this is unbelievable. But if somebody's listening to this podcast, maybe they're in. You know, I don't know how far out you want to go, georgia, you know. Then maybe they're in the Panhandle, florida, mississippi, alabama, whatever you know, and they've got a site and they're like, hey, this guy sounds great. I want to reach out to him and maybe get a, get a vending machine in my apartment complex or whatever. How do people reach out to you?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely we. You know we love talking to folks, especially with their interest in, you know, in ice vending and such. And you know, even if it's a market that maybe you know we wouldn't be able to service, you know I've got a lot of owners throughout the country that I speak with fairly regularly and, and chances are, you know, if we can't service you, I find can find or know somebody who can or who's willing to to grow into it, you know. So absolutely we love people to reach out and talk to us. You know we do have a website. You can get on right on to Google. Our company's name is called Beach Side Ice. So just, you know, beachsideice. You know, on Google, that'll pop up. We're also on Facebook, you know, under the same name of Beach Side Ice, and you know, get on one of those. There's Contact Us forums on on both of those outlets. You know, fill that out, shoot it to us. Most of them come directly to me, you know, and it's usually pretty entertaining. I'll get some emails and say you know, can you have Steve contact me or let Steve know and I'll write people back like yep, you're already talking to Steve. You know it's me. You know we're not some gigantic company where you got to go through 20 layers to get to the person you want to talk to. No, it's. It's, for the most part, it's me and my family and and yeah, we enjoy talking to folks about it and obviously encouraging them to enjoy the same successes we have with that. But but absolutely I would we'll give any any guidance and advice I can to anybody that's interested.

Speaker 2:

I love it. I love it. Well, thanks so much for being on the show. This is great. And yeah, I might be reaching out to you too with some questions here shortly, and you might have some of my guests calling you up too, so don't be surprised. They might shoot, they might, they might fill out a form or two on your website.

Speaker 3:

So but we are excellent. Yeah, I say definitely happy to help and, yeah, thank you so much for having me on and the opportunity today. It's been a great conversation. I truly appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

Well, congratulations for freeing yourself from the indentured servitude that is a nine to five job, sir.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of Side Hustle Sittling. Have a good one. Well, you've heard from our guests.

Speaker 2:

Now let's hear from you. Join our community on Facebook, side Hustle City. It's a group where people share ideas, share their inspirational stories and motivate each other to be successful and turn their side hustle into their main hustle. We'll see you there and we'll see you next week on the show. Thank you.

Turning Side Hustles Into Main Hustles
(Cont.) Turning Side Hustles Into Main Hustles
Ice Solutions for Vacationers
Negotiating Vending Machine Location and Compensation
Exploring Opportunities for Ice Machine Business
Interest Rates and Revenue Potential
Ice, Water Vending Machine Advantages