Gas stations offer a needed service, but they are not always successful. Why is this? There are many reasons, but following these simple tips can help owners keep their station from failing, even when gas prices are climbing.
While this is true of most businesses, choosing the right location is even more pertinent for gas stations than for others. This is because the predominate reason for visiting a gas stations is to get gas, and in general one station does not offer better gas than the other, only more convenience and better prices. Contrary to popular belief, station owners have little control over the price of gas; therefore convenience is the best bargaining chip available in the business. Locations near high traffic areas, such as interstates, and in areas where there are few other options for gas, are ideal. Security is included in this. Invest in cameras, mirrors, and anything else needed to stop theft regardless of location. Gas stations lose thousands to theft.
Get Them In
Money for the gas stations owner does not come from gas sales. The profit that allows the business to stay open is a result of sales from other services. These include convenience store items, attached restaurants, and car washes. The key to making money off of all of these things, other than car washes, is to get them to come in. It used to be they had to come in to pay, but that is no longer the case. Combination prices of items such as hot dogs, drinks, or other products that they cannot get for a much better price elsewhere are a good alternative. If they can kill two birds with one stone, such as getting gas and lunch, and not break their pocket books in the process, they will.
Make them Want to Come Back
It is easy to ignore certain things when the crux of the business is located outside of the building. Do not fall into this trap. Once you get them in you have to make them want to come back. This mean if they buy food it should be tasty and fresh. If they go to the bathroom it should be clean, and the store in general should be neat and clean. Staff should also be friendly. If customers are not happy with these things they will drive on to the next station that will provide good food and a clean, happy atmosphere next time.
Know the Money
You must have financial sense to make any business work. Gas stations often run so close that knowing the financials is especially important. Invest in a good accountant or find a partner that knows what they are doing. There has to be someone who can look at the reports, understand what is going on, and act accordingly.
Take Advantage of Available Financial Help
There are tons of options for small business financing that can be used to update facilities, update pumps, or make repairs. Though traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions are sometimes sketchy when it comes to lending to gas stations, alternative lenders are great with business loans when it comes to small business lending of all kinds. Companies like Biz2Credit can help find the best financing deals available.
Keep these simple tips in mind when it comes to running a gas stations, and success will be well within reach.
This article was submitted by Faith Stewart, he has a BBA with a major in accounting and spent 10 years working in the various aspects of accounting and finance before pursuing her passion for writing.