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Are you thinking of purchasing a gas station?
Depending on which agency you ask, there are between 150,000 to 200,000 gas stations in the US. Moreover, some reports show that the industry is steadily and gradually increasing. Gas stations are opening up everywhere in the country.
Many people think managing a gas station is easy. However, this is a misconception.
When it comes to running a gas station, there are many things you have to consider. Depending on your location, there is a chance that you will have to compete with other gas stations that already have a strong customer base. Moreover, nearly 84% of convenience stores sell gas.
Therefore, in order to run a successful gas station, you need to have a solid, well-thought-out, and sound marketing plan. In this article, we talk in detail about what it takes to run a successful gas station.
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How to Buy a Successful Gas Station
Are you wondering how you will know which gas station is worth an investment? Many people think it is about the right location, while others believe it is about the overall appeal of the station.
However, to buy a successful station, you must have comprehensive knowledge about the strategies to use at every step. In addition, you should conduct analysis, negotiate, review, and study a station’s valuation. This will help you pay the right price for the station. What’s more, you’ll know about any potential problems beforehand.
As far as starting a gas station is concerned, it is not cheap. For example, you can expect to pay at least $550,000 just for startup inventory alone. Meanwhile, the cost of operating a station is in the six-figure range.
Therefore, in order to survive in the market, you must generate enough revenue to cover all these costs. To get started, browse through available listings and see the pricing and different options available.
For buying the right gas station, give these tips a try:
- Go as a customer to a station you are considering buying.
- While you’re there, buy gas and go into the store, if there is one. Buy something from the store and pay with a credit card.
- Use the bathroom. The way the owner keeps the bathroom will tell you a lot. For example, it will give you an indication of how they maintain records and keep the books. It will show you whether they are a proud owner of the gas station or not.
During this one visit, you can uncover a lot of truths that the owner will never tell you.
Tips for Running a Successful Gas Station
Have a Set Schedule
One of the perks of being your own boss is flexibility and the freedom to work your own hours. In other words, you can choose your time to work. Surely, it is tempting to close the shop when the business is slow or come in late for work. However, for running a successful business, you need a fixed schedule.
If you want people to make your gas station their first option, you should have a consistent schedule. How do you know what schedule you should follow? Do research in the area about your target demographic. Your focus should be on the busiest times for filling gas tanks.
There are plenty of things you need to consider. For instance, will you open early for morning customers? Or will you be open during rush hours? An important thing to keep in mind is that you should never open late as regular customers will soon avoid using your station.
You can negotiate with your vendors for discounts. In this way, you can reduce the price of the products you sell. Then you can pass along a part of the profit to your customers. This will help to keep your gas station competitive.
Remember That Cleanliness Counts
If you want to attract customers, you must keep your gas station clean. Make sure the bathroom is clean and tidy, because everyone likes a bathroom that’s clean. If you run a clean station, customers will be more likely to prefer your station.
Furthermore, you should keep the whole station clean, inside and out. Everything should be organized to enhance the user’s experience.
Also, another important thing to keep in mind is that your station must meet the federal, state, and local regulations related to cleanliness and safety.
Don’t Keep Products That Don’t Sell
Never keep products in your gas station that don’t sell well. This is a rule of thumb, and it will prevent your station from looking cluttered.
We all know that the first impression is a lasting impression. Nobody wants to purchase products from a gas station that displays old, dusty items.
Make Safety a High Priority
When running a gas station, you need to understand that some things are not in your control. In other words, you must be prepared for all types of challenges. Without a doubt, no business is exempt from the risk of theft.
Therefore, you must make the safety of your customers, your employees, and the gas station itself a top priority. So ask the employees to keep less cash in the register. Have a drop safe nearby for easy deposits. At the end of every shift, make sure you clear the drop safe. Then deposit the money in a bank account.
Moreover, you need to install excellent security systems and cameras, along with shatter-proof glass in all the windows. Additionally, invest in an electronic door system.
Offer a Wide Range of Products
Let’s face it. People visit gas stations for several reasons other than gas. This is why you should make your station a convenience store as well.
Provide a limited number of impulse buys and products. The bestselling items include fresh food items, beer as well as non-alcoholic drinks, beauty supplies, lottery tickets, cigarettes, and tobacco products. Keep in mind that you must keep each product freshly stocked.
Use These Tips to Purchase and Run a Successful Gas Station
We hope these tips now have you ready to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit and run a gas station. Everyone knows that in this growing and competitive market, gas station owners must stay at least stay one step ahead of the competition. So give these tips a try and enjoy running your own successful station.
For more inspiration and ideas about starting and running a successful business, be sure to browse our blog.