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Feeding Self Employment

Bridgette John is the owner of Get Snackin Las Vegas, a locally owned, family operated vending company delivering top-notch vending solutions to customers in Las Vegas, Nevada and the surrounding area. Bridgette transitioned her past experiences with customer service in the restaurant and catering industry to owning her own business in the vending industry. Get Snacking Las Vegas now services four locations with seven machines and is looking to place three more within this next year.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
A few years ago, I was looking to start a small business and show that I could run a company. I knew I wanted to keep the startup cost down when I was exploring various opportunities. One of the first businesses I looked into was Firehouse Subs but the startup costs were more than I was looking to spend. When I learned of the vending industry, all the pieces started to fit together perfectly.

What led you to start your business?
About two years ago, I learned about the vending business from a former coworker and once I started researching it, the more it felt like the right move. And as they say, the rest is history.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
One of the first challenges that I had to deal with was staying ahead of the requests from the consumers. Learning to predict customer needs was not something that I was familiar with. I had to really read trend reports closely and study as much information as I could to overcome my unfamiliarity in this new territory.

How do you market your business?
My business is primarily spread through word of mouth and by meeting other people and businesses in the community. I occasionally send out flyers and do other small marketing promotions but as I said, word of mouth has really been the best way for me to get introduced and build relationships with other businesses.

Do you have any employees?
I do not currently have any employees, I do everything myself: marketing, accounting, inventory, sales and housekeeping. I am hoping to be able to grow my business soon and start the process of bringing on additional people.

What does a typical day look like for you?
My days usually start with checking my inventory at the warehouse first thing. Once I check my inventory, I then make a plan on what we need to order, load the truck with supplies and head to locations. I’ll fill machines, collect monies, update item prices, rotate inventory and then make a list of what is needed for the next time. My days are a cycle of maintenance on my current machines and planning for what I will need in the coming weeks.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
I love being able to market and operated my business how I want to. The freedom and creativity that I have is wonderful.

Which NASE member benefit is most important to you?
The first benefit that got my attention was the Growth Grant, I saw an ad listed in our local newspaper and was immediately interested. Once I became a member, I really started to utilize the information provided about being self-employed and how to improve my business.

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
The most important piece of advice I can think of is to be honest and work hard. Being self-employed isn’t easy, but if you are honest with yourself and those you work with and you work hard, it will be much easier.

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