machine owner spotlight
Robert is a veteran, retired medicine manufacturer, accomplished writer, and a bishop! As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he has decided to take on an ice vending business with the help of his wife Brenda. They hope the revenue from their business will supplement their income in order to allow Brenda to retire from the U.S. Post Office.
“Hi. I’m Robert Nichols, and this is my wife Brenda Nichols. We’re from Texas, and we are owners of B&R Productions. Right now, we’re going to discuss our ice machine.
A little bit of our background. I’m ex-military. And then when I left the military, we became chemists. We make medicine for a very large company. My wife, Brenda, has been working for the post office about 12 years, I think. For the 12 years she’s been there, I’ve been retired, and I’m a bishop for this area. Also, I’m an accomplished writer, and I write for church law.
What made me go into the ice industry was we would have things at church, like events, and I’d always go and buy the ice, and I watched people buying a lot of ice. One day I was sitting there, and a light bulb came on. How come I’m not running ice? And I watched the gas stations sell ice, and prices were high. And it was a headache, you had to bust the ice and everything. I kept thinking, wait a minute, if they can make money, I can do the same thing.
What made me decide to purchase the ice machine was about a year or so ago, I started talking to different companies, and what I did was, if we get this ice machine, we can quit work and find a new place. When I started looking into it, I would see where it was a billion dollar industry. I’m thinking, I want a piece of that action.
I looked at other machines at other companies, and they didn’t have the thing that made the light go on. After I looked into Kooler Ice, everything was just like made for me.
I was reluctant toward it at first. I said, “An ice machine?” But when he started really looking into it, I said, “Well, maybe he got a good idea.”
When we got the starter machine, the guy spent literally hours with me, explaining how to work the machine. When he left, I felt like I helped build the machine because I knew about what to do. There was no reason to buy a course. If there was something he told me and I forgot, I’d call him on the phone, he was right there. I mean, if you call for anything, they call back. So the customer service, to me, with Kooler Ice, is a-class.
As a new owner, I felt now that I’m part of the team. Matter of fact, we’re in the process of looking to get a couple more machines.
When they call when I call them, they actually know my cellphone number when I call. They’re very respectful when I call. Hey Mr. Nichols, how are you doing? Before I even say this is what I want.
The machine, itself, all you have to do is go there, clean it a little bit, put the bags in it, get your cash, and go fishing.
Because I can even do the change bags and everything, and do the maintenance on it. And if I can do it, anybody can do it, so it’s that simple.
Since we got our machine, the staff at Kooler Ice have called us and told us how to market. But, the best thing about it, the machines help market itself. The best thing to market your ice machine is location. Location, location, location. We’re blessed to have our machine on a major thoroughfare, where there are literally hundreds of cars a day go buy.
The ice from the machine is crystal clear. It’s beautiful, it’s not frozen, you ain’t got to break no bag on the ground or anything. It comes out perfect. And that helps market. So people talk about how the ice was presented, how pretty it is. Also, we advertise to our church. The church says, “You want ice? Go down here.” We give out coupons at church. And word of mouth from where does that ice come from, that’s what makes a sale.
My favorite thing is the ching ching. No. My favorite thing is customer service. If I’m going to get your product, and help market your product, I need to make sure that you and I could be on the same page. So, to me, Kooler Ice got the best customer service.
My favorite thing, like he said, the money. That’s good, because it’s coming in. And like he said, we’ve been advertising, and it’s getting more and more customers. It’s getting busier and busier. And people just love it.
If I had advice to give someone who gets into this business, look at, for one, overhead. This Kooler Ice machine is a low overhead because of the compactness of them, and they produce the same amount of product as the bigger ice machines.
Second advice is research and look and really know what you’re doing, because the catch of it is the more informed you are, the better you can serve the machine and the people.
And lastly, if you want to make some money that’s easy to make, get a machine.
I’m very glad we got into this business. And we just love it. We really do.
I am excited that I got with Kooler Ice. I’m excited I got in the ice business. And I’m over-excited about the money. The money is coming in.”
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