Order of Operations
In my opinion the ideal order of operations for your 1st machine, if you have the storage space and budget, would be:
1.) Scout locations for fresh humans & appropriate space. Once you have some gems locked in your sight, then
2.) Buy a machine
3.) Develop your own products, figure out packaging basics, learn how to change prices & basic programming
4.) Source enough products (Mix of: your own, cheap resale, from other makers) to put together a 5 promotional kits to use for pitching to your top 5 locations.
5.) Secure a location & set move-in date.
6.) Paint & brand machine
7.) Finish sourcing products so machine is nicely loaded for move-in
8.) Pay for your business license & liability insurance before move-in date
The reason I recommend this OOO when 1st starting is because (1) Scouting locations grounds your idea in reality. By studying locations you can get a sense of your customer base & what they may want & need. (2) Buying a machine before the location is SECURED is ok with machine #1 b/c you need time with the machine to get comfortable with it. A nice soul synch with your automated buddy will give you the confidence to make the business happen. And honestly, you can't effectively (3) Develop your own products & packaging techniques, or learn how to program the machine, adjust coils, adjust shelves until you have one you can physically touch and play with.
How many products you (4) make/source before pitching & landing a location really depends on what you're selling, if you already have a product based & if you even need to win over locations with sample products. Some people will be able to pitch & land locations with no more than a handshake; others may need brochures, a website, business cards, social media presence AND more etc. This depends as much on the location as your own comfort level pitching.
Once you (5) land a location, you'll want to (6 & 7) customize the machine. If you've my online course you know why you don't want to paint your machine before securing a location.
Last, when you do (8) doesn't really matter, so long as you have that in place on your installation date. Some people do (8) 1st because they need the business license to get a business bank account. Some people already have a business account from another business venture, or they just use a personal checking account. Whatever you choose for this one, be smart & have a separate bank account from the get go, it will make your business bookkeeping SO much easier!
After your 1st machine, the order of operations changes & is MUCH simpler:
Secure location & set move-in date
Scale up existing inventory purchases
Move in (& update your insurance policy if necessary)
Just like life, you get wiser & it gets easier :) The 1st machine is the most challenging and you may not be able to do things in what I deem "the best order." Don't sweat it. Expect the 1st machine to be a wild ride. Give yourself the space & time you need & get stuff done in whatever order feels best to YOU.