Da Fizz Biz Franchise Relaunches Under New Ownership
Entrepreneur achieves passive income dream with help from Open to Business
Kyle Kisch is the rare case of an entrepreneur who walked into Open to Business with one business idea, but ended up investing in an entirely different business. Kisch is happy to finally achieve his goal of developing a passive income stream by assuming ownership of a vending machine route and partner agreement with the Coca-Cola Great Lakes Bottling Company. But the road to owning this new business—which he named Da Fizz Biz— was long and bumpy, with a lot of support from Open to Business along the way.
RESEARCH AND PATIENCE CRITICAL TO FINDING THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY
With the beginnings of a business idea in mind, Kisch met with Open to Business Advisor Kathleen DuChene to discuss a promising opportunity and possible funding sources.
“I was sold on her professionalism and experience. She had been a business owner before. I knew that she would help guide me through the process,” he said.
The first time Kisch met with DuChene, he had his sights set on opening a franchise with a company that places coin-operated breathalyzer machines in local bars and restaurants. Kisch already had a full-time job, so the vending machine franchise appealed to him as a way to generate income while he was working.
But the franchising commitment was $20,000, and DuChene advised Kisch not to make any decisions until he had done more research into the company. The company’s online presence looked good, but when Kisch visited all 42 sites where the machines were once installed, only 14 locations still had machines and only four were in working order. Once he made that discovery, Kisch knew right away that this was not the right opportunity.
“He listened to my advice, did the work and ended up making a tough decision not to purchase.” DuChene said. “Some people wouldn’t have done the up-front work that led to a good business decision.”
Although the first opportunity didn’t work out, Kisch’s business strategy was still clear.
“My goal was to purchase a business that would leverage my time, so I could have things out there making money without having to be hands on all day,” said Kisch.
Hoping to avoid another floundering franchise, DuChene and Kisch visited a local Sam’s Club location to evaluate what it would take to start up a self-managed vending machine business. They found that vending machines were prohibitively expensive to purchase. Starting from scratch would not be an option.
DISCOVERING THE PERFECT FRANCHISE FIT
Kisch didn’t give up. With the support of DuChene, he kept searching for the right opportunity.
Before long, he came across an advertisement for a Coca-Cola vending machine route. DuChene again advised Kisch to do his homework. This time, he liked what he found—machines in working order spread across the north metro, a reputable distribution company, and a motivated seller who was moving out of state.
DuChene agreed that this was the right opportunity. She worked with Kisch to create a business plan, which the pair presented to Open to Business’ loan committee. Open to Business approved a small loan to kickstart the business, and Kisch finally owned a business that would generate the passive income he had been searching for.
STARTING SMALL, WITH A VISION OF GROWING THE “NUTS AND BOLTS”
Da Fizz Biz vending machines are located in seven area businesses located in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Park, and Fridley. Kisch notes that although these disparate sites make for a time-consuming service route, they also offer a significant opportunity for expansion.
“What I’ve learned through this process is you can get machines anywhere,” he said. “The key is to find and care for locations.That’s the nuts and bolts of the business.”
Da Fizz Biz may be starting small, but Kisch plans to turn the current locations into hubs, seeking out nearby businesses where he can install additional machines to help him achieve economies of scale in each city. He also envisions hiring a sales manager to support this expansion. Until then, Kisch is focusing on building relationships with potential clients across the northern metro area.
“We are a small, family operation affiliated with one of the largest brands in the world,” Fisch said. “This is an operation that many businesses and landlords can feel good about being affiliated with.”