Running a gas station can be very rewarding, but only if you have all the right items in place as well as the right setup for your business. You need to think of a lot of different factors that make operating your business easily so that you are not spending all day fighting with problems that could have been avoided. There is no reason to work harder and not smarter!
This article will not touch on safety related to managing the gas lines or any other portion of the gas station that delivers fuel. You will need to work with a skilled expert in this kind of management if you are looking into the setup of the gas delivery items on your property. We can advise about other aspects of the gas station must-haves that you should look into, however, and we will discuss these items in detail here!
If you are ready to learn some more about the must-have things that your gas station needs, keep reading!
Things Your Gas Station Needs
1. Gas Stations Need a Good Drainage System
Even if you have a covered area where the pumps are located at your gas station, standing water can impact the use of your pump areas. You will want to be sure that you have the right kinds of slot and trench drains installed in your common areas and near walkways. This will ensure that visitors and customers can get around without slipping in the water, or struggling to reach things that are impeded by water. Standing water can make your gas station much less fun to visit, and you will hate trying to keep your property up if there are issues with ponding runoff.
Drainage is critical to safety and to the prevention of accidents that can happen at the site of your business. Good drainage also increases curb appeal and makes your business so much more inviting. You will be grateful that you spent some money on proper drainage each time it rains hard.
2. Shade is Very Important for Your Gas Station
This item is particularly important if you live in a place that is very hot or sunny for most of the year, but it can be helpful no matter how often you have hot weather. Your employees will thank you for the shade, and your customers will be relieved to be able to fuel up in comfort. Your shade can also offer the tandem benefit of blocking the rain and inclement weather.
Shade is an essential part of any popular gas station setup, and it can also make keeping your fuel-up area clean and dry so much easier. You should consider adding shade to your parking areas as well to make it easier for people to stop and rest for a bit when they have been on the road for many hours. It can be nice to make the parking area more welcoming, particularly if you offer lots of other services at your station.
3. Add a Wide Array of Goods at Your Gas Station
If you do not already have a wide array of goods and foods that you are offering at your gas station, you will want to add these items to your list of things you must have. You will want to be able to offer what people are looking for when they are on the go, like phone chargers, food, and road trip essentials. If you are located in an area where there is a lot of local commuter traffic, you might also want to be sure that you have things like a nice coffee bar or other kinds of items that people who are heading to work might need they are passing through.
Making sure that you know who your customers are can help you to pick the right kinds of items and goods that you are selling. You can ask people what they are doing during their day when they drop in to get an idea of what kinds of people you see the most often. You might also want to invite suggestions from customers that you are chatting with to see if they have anything that they would like to see added to your list of goods and supplies on the shelves.
4. Coffee Bar Can Be a Big Draw to Your Gas Station
As mentioned above. You might want to add a coffee bar for the use of those who are traveling through and are sleepy or to serve local customers who are headed to work each morning. A good coffee bar can be a big draw to your gas station when compared to other kinds of amenities. Most people who are driving around need to be able to grab coffee when they feel like they need a nap, and if you offer really good coffee, you can get a lot of business via word of mouth. Repeat customers are important for your gas station as well.
A coffee bar can be a little more expensive to maintain but just make sure that you are charging enough for the coffee that you are making so that you can afford to make good coffee that people will rave about. Any kind of added service that you offer should be done well so that it makes your gas station well-known for its attention to detail and care for customers.
5. At Your Gas Station, Always Use Quality Equipment
No matter what you are buying as far as equipment goes, make sure that you get the best items that you can afford. You will save money in the long run if you are not replacing machines and other kinds of equipment that you have invested in right off. When you get the best quality items that you can afford, you will have a much easier time running your store efficiently as well.
Make sure to do your research into all the various kinds of tools and other kinds of machinery that you want to buy. Everything from the coffee makers to the refrigeration units needs to be able to hold up to your needs over the long haul. Buying something that will not survive being accessed or handled daily is not a good idea for your business to be easy to manage and to make a profit.
6. Fresh Paint Makes Good Impression at Gas Stations
While it might seem like you can ignore some of the areas of your business that are not as freshly painted, you will want to be sure that you keep all of your paint and any banners and signs fresh and new-looking. There is nothing that gives people pause when they are thinking of visiting a business like fading and peeling paint. You will make a much better impression on customers if you keep up with the appearance of your buildings.
This also goes for areas near the pumps. While these areas can get abused by customers and daily use, you will want to be sure that you keep them looking nice. This might be the only part of your business that your customers see when they drop in, and you need to make a good impression at the pump as well as inside the store or buildings on the property.
7. At Your Gas Station, Make Sure to Offer Air pumps and Water
Make sure that you offer an air pump and some water. People will have flat tires sometimes, and if some of your customers travel with animals, they might need to be able to give them water as they stop at your store. The more items that you can provide that help people to be safe and comfortable as they are traveling, the better off your store and gas station property will be overall.
There are various ways to deliver these services, so make sure that you are not missing out on the easiest way to charge a fair price for the use of these benefits on your property. You do not want to charge too much for the use of these items, but you do need to maintain access to them, so you should feel fine about charging for them. Make sure that you research the ways that you can offer these services to come up with a fair price that makes them worth offering but also makes sure that customers will not pass up on them and go to another store.
8. Clean Bathrooms are Necessarily Important at a Gas Station
Many people will want to use the bathroom at your gas station, and you will want to be sure that you have your bathrooms for their use. You will want to offer clean and well-maintained restrooms if you want people to come back to your gas station on later trips that they take. People do talk about how dirty a gas station is when they visit one that is not clean, and this is one of the reasons that you might get a bad Yelp review when someone leaves your property after getting gas.
Make sure that you keep up on these kinds of maintenance items to make a good impression on your customers. There is nothing worse than getting a bad review for your business just because the bathroom was dirty or something in the bathroom did not work. Also, consider making sure that you offer baby changing stations so that moms on the road can take care of their kids in comfort. This is one of the most overlooked items in gas stations everywhere.
9. Hot Food Option is a Good Idea for Your Gas Station
If you want to be sure that your gas station offers everything that people might want access to when they are on the road, you will want to be sure to offer hot foods of some kind. There are various ways to deliver hot foods, and you might want to consider all of the various options. It might not be for everyone to have an actual restaurant inside of the gas station, but you can still offer warm foods like pretzels and pizzas, and so forth if you have the right licensing and permits.
Many people on the road don’t have time or interest in sitting down for a real meal anyhow and need to take food on the go with them. If you provide hot food that can serve as a filling meal to those traveling through, you will be much more likely to be meeting the needs of the people who visit your store and fuel up. There is so much more to the average gas station stop than just getting fuel, and most people will be attracted to signs that indicate that you have hot food on offer and choose your station over others without this benefit.
10. Your Gas Station Needs a Helpful Staff
Make sure that you take the time to hire people who care about their job. You don’t want surly staff to chase people away who have come by to get fuel or food. Having helpful and friendly staff working for you can make all the difference in the reputation of your station, and you will get lots of other benefits from making sure that you are keeping the right team members on staff long-term.
Many businesses have all the other factors in place that are needed for success, but they lack the right employees to make their business a true success. No matter how nice your station is, you need the right people working for you, or your business will not be a success overall.
Running a Gas Station Can be Easy
If you take the time to offer these services and features at your gas station, you will be much less likely to run into roadblocks to your business’ success. Make sure that you keep things clean, that you have the right drainage in place for water runoff from the weather and spills, and be sure that you offer the right goods and services. If you take the time to offer all of these factors, you will be well on your way to making sure that your gas station offers everything that is needed for success!