Is the ATM Business a Bad Idea?

Is the ATM Business a Bad Idea?

Aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to “get-rich-quick” always turn to ideas where they think they can put in the minimal amount of work, yet yield the maximum (and sometimes most ludicrous sounding) amount of money in a short amount of time. Sadly, they’re also the ones who are more likely to buy or invest in anything that “sounds” good without really researching and fully investigating the idea.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying or starting new businesses with the sole goal of making lots of money. But what IS wrong is when the idea of making large amount of money overshadows the amount of initial work and commitment that it will really take before any budding new business takes off the ground.

The ATM business is a very good entrepreneurial endeavor and does yield a lot of revenue for ATM owners. However, going into business as an ATM entrepreneur is just not right for some people and their mode of thinking, and can quickly turn into the worst thing they’ve ever done.

No Money

As an aspiring ATM entrepreneur, if you don’t have any reserved money to invest into this business, then it may be a bad idea for you. Although getting into the business only requires a nominal amount of money, you do have to and need to be prepared to spend something to get the business set up. This is not a cookie-cutter business or a “business-in-a-box” and you will see that you’re going to need to treat the investment as a serious endeavor and be prepared to spend a few thousand dollars. Whether you obtain a small business loan or borrow the money, you will need to have something to get started.

No Business Plan

If you don’t have a plan of action or a comprehensive business plan, it’s not a good idea to go full force into this business. However, without a business plan, it WILL be difficult for you to be successful in this business. Too often, new entrepreneurs think they can perhaps install a few ATM’s at random locations and just rake in the cash without planning or forecasting. A solid business plan will help guide you through setting up the business, establishing contacts, understanding and signing legal contracts, planning for business changes, including profitable times and when there’s a loss of revenue due to unforeseen circumstances. A good business plan will also guide you on how to effectively market your ATM business and even what type(s) of software products you’ll need to have for your ATM’s, depending on their locations.

No Legal Agreements

Speaking of legal issues, contracts that are properly signed and worded are of the utmost importance for this kind of business. Verbal agreements are certainly great to have, but in the ATM business, you need to have comprehensive agreement contracts that cover each area and responsibility of the business as well as ensuring that you are covered as a businessperson.

No Mentor

With those legal issues, marketing issues, finding good ATM locations and even locating ATM investors for your business can best be covered with the help of a business mentor. This would, of course, preferably be someone who has or is currently in the ATM business world. They can help guide you and offer suggestions on your ATM business journey. However, if you are planning to simply dive into the business without any mentoring or guidance, you may be taking on much more than you can handle. Yes, you can certainly have success without a mentor, but you’ll have that success much sooner and without as many hiccups if you secure a mentor to help you along the way.

So, Is the ATM Business a Bad Idea?

With the aid of a good mentor, solid business information and an acute awareness of what you can expect out of the ATM business, you certainly can find great success and form a profitable business. Regardless of the length of time it may take, which can be shorter or longer for each person, your goal should be to build a solid, profitable, sustaining ATM business that will reap monetary rewards and personal satisfaction.

The ATM Solo Entrepreneur

What is the ATM Solo Entrepreneur?

The ATM Solo Entrepreneur

There are several divisions of the financial services industry that are profitable and fairly easy to maneuver, especially for those who have a keen interest in the industry. Just about any capacity of the industry can be simulated either with a large team of individuals or a one to two person operation. This includes anything from big banking institutions on the corners of large cities to a small team of financial consultants in a strip mall complex.

One such financial service or product that can be managed on a small(er) scale is that of the ATM entrepreneur.  The consideration of managing this type of business in a smaller way is in no way reflective of the amount of business that these entrepreneurs do, but rather it’s indicative of how many people or systems are in place to manage a (sometimes) multi-million dollar business, usually by one or two people.

Getting into the ATM business is not at all that difficult, but like any other profitable business, it does require careful planning and the time necessary to put in the work to get the business up and running. For those entrepreneurs who are new to the industry, getting involved with the ATM business will require that they perform thorough research to determine what methods, systems, products and services are right for them. They will need to find and work with reputable vendors and also find ATM machines that are affordable as well as current enough to keep up with any consumer demands for current and future usage.

The solo ATM entrepreneur usually doesn’t get to work with a team of employees. He essentially manages everything himself, down to re-stocking the ATM’s, troubleshooting any problems and working with other outside vendors to make sure the business is run smoothly.

Owning and managing an ATM business can be very lucrative, especially if the owner has multiple machines at different locations. In order to really be profitable, it’s a good idea to have as many machines as possible running so as to ensure a nice monthly profit from that investment.

At any given time, an ATM owner can easily manage as many 50 ATM’s at once. This of course depends on his personal preferences, but to effectively manage large ATM numbers, there are a few things that the solo ATM entrepreneur should have in place before proceeding.

  • A reputable ATM company will take the time necessary to explain the ATM business to a new ATM Entrepreneur to help ensure success.
  • Find a reputable ATM distributor or ATM Company to work with to buy and/or lease machines.  A reputable dealer may even offer to help find or arrange financing for the ATM machines for the owner, especially if they are just starting in their business.
  • It’s suggested to start slow and install one or two ATMs locally and be hands on to learn all the ins and outs of the ATM business.
  • Once the ATM Entrepreneur gains a thorough understanding of the business a larger portfolio should be considered in order to have a full time income.
  • When considering owning and operating a larger number of ATMs (more than 10), it’s important to consider working with accounting and legal professionals to develop a comprehensive, workable business plan that will turn the investment into profit within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Ensure your ATM Company and service provider is able to provide optimal service to include software updates, hardware upgrades and prompt telephone support for an ever-changing component of this type of business. Many times, software engineers and packages come with the services that are provided by the ATM distributor.
  • As a suggestion, it’s best to work within the local area as a new distributor before branching out to outlying areas. This makes it easier for the new distributor to capitalize on those already-established business relationships for possible machine locations.

There are many business owners who have trailed the path to ATM ownership. Looking to these individuals for guidance and direction is sometimes much easier and more preferable than trying to go do things alone. The business does require a lot of detailed, concentrated work on the front end to get things set up. However, once the initial set-up work has been done, then managing the ATM’s on a routine basis becomes easier as time goes along. Over time, the profits begin coming in as the business grows, making the investment much more worthwhile.

California Bill SB 1186

 Personal Service Businesses

Personal Service BusinessesATM businesses are service-oriented businesses designed to offer customers flexibility and convenience. You can find them almost anywhere from gas stations to ballparks. As long as there is enough traffic and a need for the service, an ATM business is likely to thrive most anywhere.

Customer-oriented businesses generally position themselves as entities that are interested in servicing the needs of their entire customer base. Providing quality service is an important component, whether that business is a service establishment or a product-focused business. They do this by trying to remain knowledgeable and sensitive to both current customer needs as they anticipate any future considerations that may arise.

Personal services businesses like ATM businesses are especially attuned to the changing needs of customers, and this is where customized or specialized services are often seen. Accommodating customers with special physical needs or challenging physical requirements is especially important for various industries, like those in financial services. Financial establishments like banks and ATM’s have come under scrutiny in several instances as not being as accommodating as expected towards their physically challenged customers. Cases have been cited where there were not enough easily accessible wheelchair ramps. There have also some situations cited where there were no ramps or accommodations given at all.

Although this is not the case with every single ATM business, the large majority of ATM banking facilities will try and make its services easily accessible for all customers. Also, there are some ATM businesses that have yet to comply with a mandate to make its facilities accommodating. Some legal entities have gotten involved in an effort to hasten the process, creating more of an abusive legal process.

ATM facilities are being sued for not having adequate or proper accommodations for physically challenged individuals. Lawsuits against ATM business owners began to grow and occur so frequently until ATM business owners began asking for some type of intervention on their behalf.

Financial institutions are often seen as easy targets for lawsuits for several reasons:

1. It’s perceived as having an abundance of cash assets or easily liquidated assets.

2. Accessible cash assets (can possibly) lead to a quick payout in a lawsuit.

3. Financial institutions often want negative issues (like lawsuits) to hurry up and go away, so the institution is always eager to settle.

None of these examples are the norm, nor are they the exception since each entity operates within its own operating standards. But because of often preconceived notions, abusive lawsuits against ATM business owners exist. To that end, a California legislative committee worked towards compiling a bill that would deter these (sometimes) frivolous lawsuits and give ATM business owners time, relief and flexibility.

California Bill SB 1186

Californian senateThe Californian senate, with a bipartisan vote, passed a bill called the SB 1186 which will curb those abusive lawsuits against ATM business owners. The suit will serve to ban demand money letters from attorneys of the ADA plaintiffs. This means that there is a ban against written communications coming from attorneys and sent to ATM owners that demands payments from the owner in return for a dropped legal suit from the ADA. This communication is seen as undue coercion and the bill strictly prohibits that.

Although the ADA still has the right to pursue a legal course, the SB 1186 bill states that the attorneys would have to send a notification letter to the business owner before proceeding with a lawsuit. Upon receipt of the letter, the ATM owner would have 30 days to correct any issues, after which the ADA could then proceed with their suit if the owner hasn’t made any changes.

This bill passing is good news, both for ATM owners and ATM customers. The bill protects ATM owners from frivolous lawsuits and impatient attorneys, but most importantly, it gives the business owner an opportunity to correct any issues that could be from a number of different issues, not just negligence.

The bill passing in California is a relief for ATM business owners from threatening lawsuits and any threats of forthcoming suits. Customers with disabilities may need the use of wheelchair ramps, Braille keypads or a lower reach to get to the machine’s controls without any difficulty. Now, with the 30-days grace period, business owners can ensure that the accommodations are sufficient.


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