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There are three primary ways to become a gas station owner. You can become a gas station franchisee, buy an existing gas station, or start your own business from scratch. All options have their own benefits and setbacks, so you should consider each one thoroughly before making a decision. In all cases you will need a start-up investment to put into the business.
One way to become a gas station owner is to join a gas station franchise. This means that you pay an existing company or corporation a fee in order to start a business using their company name and business model. A franchise business has many benefits, including working under a well-known entity and having access to a proven business model that has been successful in the past. You will also likely have some help higher up in the parent company because the owners will want your business to do well, primarily if you are required to pay them a cut of your profits.
A downside to owning a franchise is that there may already be too many of a particular company in your area. There are generally rules set by the parent company dictating how many of their stores can operate within a certain location. Another issue may arise if something unfavorable happens with another franchise. Since your store will share the name and logo of the offending business, your own business may suffer as a result even if you had no part in the matter.
You can also become a gas station owner by starting your own business from scratch. This will likely require a large investment along with licensing to own a business and sell gasoline. You will need to find suppliers for goods and services as well. The main benefit of owning your own independent business is that you do not have to answer to anyone else and you make all decisions regarding its operation.
The primary downside to starting a new business is that you will have to do more work to market and advertise the business than if you owned a franchise. This can require a lot of time and effort aside from the actual running of your station. You will be competing with big name companies and franchises as well, making competition more stiff.
Buying an existing business is another way to become a gas station owner. This generally requires making a bid or offer on the business. The sum will be paid to the current owner, at which time you will take over operation of the company. There are benefits to doing this, including having a business that is already established and possibly successful. Just make sure you do your homework to find out the profitability of the company, expenses, taxes, and other information before you make a purchase.
Downsides to buying someone else’s business include keeping customers who may have had a good relationship with the previous owner and are not happy to see a change. You may also run into issues if the former owner did not keep accurate records, had debts with suppliers or creditors, or failed to mention other heavy expenses. Do your homework before you buy, and get the owner's reason for selling before you put your investment into an existing company.
All three options will require an investment. You will likely need to take out a business loan in order to make the purchase. Other things to take care of include obtaining your licensing, hiring employees if needed, developing rapport with suppliers, marketing your new business or new ownership, and hiring an accountant or learning to balance your own books.
One important thing to consider when becoming a gas station owner is what brand of gas the existing franchise or business sells or which brand you would sell if it is a new business.
Much like automobile manufacturers, many people have a particular preference for or loyalty to one specific brand of gas.
As the article mentions, market research is key. For example, if one particular gas brand is sold in a majority of stations in your area, that could mean that is the most popular brand among local residents.
As a result, you will need to decide whether opening a new station selling that same brand will lead to too much competition or whether a different brand would be popular enough to ensure profit.
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